Friday, November 09, 2007

Taiko=Love & ART=LIFE

NaBloPoMo#9: I love taiko. I always have. Tony and I call it the "music of our people." Tonight, Maiya & I were joined by my brother Darin and his family to see San Jose Taiko in concert at the JACCC. They came to my office after work, and we all walked down to TOT in Little Tokyo for dinner. At the restaurant, we saw friends from Bombu Taiko (I played with them as a beginning taiko player for about a year), Kenny Endo (who I met through Great Leap/Bindu Records years ago), and some activist folks from the community.

I have to say, the kids did pretty well during the concert. They all sat fairly quietly in our laps in the first half of the show. By the intermission, they were kind of antsy and needed to run around and play a bit, especially as it was running into bedtime. During the second half, Maiya & Kevin were standing up and dancing around, drumming a little in the air, so we spent a good part of the second half in the lobby. We did go back inside to see the finale and the encore, and by then the kids were running up and down the aisle.

Darin, Kevin, PJ, Saori & Kyle

After the show, we hung around awhile and got to catch up a little with PJ, the Artistic Director of San Jose Taiko. She is so much fun to watch because she looks like she is having so much fun performing. I met PJ years ago through Great Leap when she and Nobuko spent 5 years creating the Triangle Project-- I wrote a column called "My Journey with the Triangle Project" about the birthing of that incredible show.

I enjoyed spending time with Darin, Saori and the kids (they drove out from Ventura County on a Friday night), enjoyed seeing old friends from the taiko & arts community, and enjoyed sharing a night of API performing arts with Maiya. Even though I am really "into" early childhood education right now and I know I'm doing good work for low income families for a great nonprofit, I realize that I have missed working in the arts the last 3 years.

I miss the energy of producing a show, being part of artistic creation, being backstage just before and during a show, the stress of selling tickets, lining up sponsors and funders, writing press releases and doing PR (oh wait--the stress part I don't miss), greeting friends and supporters during a show, interacting with incredibly dedicated and creative community artists, and the relief of a successful production as it comes to an end.

Maybe it's time for me to start seeing more productions. I know that I'm looking for kid-friendly shows to see and look forward to giving Maiya more artistic experiences as she grows up, because ART=LIFE.

1 comment:

mikazuko said...

I also miss being so entrenched in art and music. During junior high and high school, I was in concert bands and orchestras. There's just something about that. Yeah, I miss it.