This spring I auditioned for NHK show “Learn Russian on TV” and I got the job. I was very excited because I’ve been watching that show for a long time and now I am part of it. It will be a one year run and I have already recorded 5 shows including a test.
My role there is very small : I greet the viewers, explain some grammar, then we practice pronunciation and after that we do a culture corner where we have various guests and talk about the specifics of Russian lifestyle. It sounds easy but in reality it’s quite hard. After my first recording I was so exhausted I took the next day off. We do two shows in one day and each take is quite long. I have to say each line into a different camera and then know exactly when to say it all the while keeping my back straight and hair away from my face and then smiling the entire time. Plus I have to wear my own clothes and it can’t be black, blue, purple or green because of the background they are shooting us against. So nothing in my wardrobe is anything but black, blue, purple or green. Ok, I don’t do green but almost everything I own falls within these three forbidden colors. Keeping in mind all the shows that I have yet to record, I need to purchase or borrow a whole bunch of bright happy colored clothes that I will NEVER wear in my daily life. Oh, did I mention the show is in Japanese?
All in all it was pretty tough on me so far. Maybe it’ll get better after I get used to everything. It certainly is a good way to study Japanese for me because of all the scripts written in Kanji. I also learn to pronounce phrases with the right intonation and according to the grammar. I have to do a lot of “free comments” during culture corner – which basically means I am given 1 second to think of what to say, how to say it in Japanese and how to say it in correct Japanese – appropriate for TV. It really wears me out, I have to use my brain so much, it almost gives me seizures.
But the show has many good points too or rather many great people. My partner is really nice. He is into fashion so we always have stuff to talk about.
Our authority – Kyoko sensei – is sooooo funny and generous and very very smart. She is translating Akunin books into Japanese and promised to introduce me to Akunin in October. He may even come to our show for an interview (I’m keeping my fingers crossed). And then the crew is incredible. Last time I had headache and stomach ache and couldn’t eat anything so they bought me a special lunch that was easy on me and didn’t cause me pain. Everyone was so accommodating and understanding. I really enjoy working with them. Next time we plan to go drinking after the show! Yay!
There is also a text book that goes out every month simultaneously with the show. These pictures are from the book! The first show is gonna be aired on my birthday 30th of September. And in tradition of every incompetent Gaijin who lives in Tokyo thinking he or she is a big TV star or supermodel I will say : 私を見てね！よろしく！