Good Luck in the New Year

Yesterday I went to Yoyogi Park to work on a new comic hooping act but got distracted as I entered the gates, Healthy Matsuda, one of Tokyo's licensed buskers (Heaven Artists, dont' get me started) was setting up do a comic mime performance. I grabbed a hot tea from the vending machine nearby and plonked myself in front of his hat as he warmed up.

I was the only person waiting and watching, and I was surprised when he addressed me - in English - saying that he'd seen me hooping on Sundays. It was nifty to be recognised; there are lots of regulars at the park and it's good that we get to know one another. I should make a point to greet the people I see frequently.

His act was charming - impressions of flowers and fruit (the banana cracked me up completely), a very clever series with invisible masks, and "how people laugh around the world." It was a good performance and with my own comic show in mind, I paid close attention to his manner, timing and showmanship. 

By the middle of the show he'd attracted a moderate crowd. When it was over, I dug some money out of my wallet and tossed it in his hat. Offering paper money in the US might mean a dollar, right? Here the smallest denomination is worth about $12, so it's a leap up. I certainly laughed and learned 1000 yen's worth.

Matsuda-san told me I was his first audience of 2012 and thanks to me he was sure that it was going to be a lucky year. Maybe it's sort of like the first tuna auction at Tsukiji, where prices are bid way up to ensure a good season of fishing and business. If you get some decent cash in your first street show in January, the rest will be good, too. I hope it is a great year for him.


It is nice to feel part of an arts community. On the subject of new years, sort of .. How is your shoulder?

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