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Hidemi Woods 

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

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Hidemi’s Rambling No.513

When I was a ninth-grader and a leader of the ninth-grade play team for the homecoming at school, I devoted myself to dramatization and direction in the run-up to the homecoming. The teacher in charge of our team praised my first dramatization. He said it was a good script and I had a talent. While I was motivated, other members of the team didn’t have a whit of interest or enthusiasm. They tried to make me decide everything. I took care of the set, the props and the costumes while teaching the lighting and acting. Above all, their acting was terrible. They were just reading their lines in a monotone. No matter how strenuously I explained, they simply couldn’t act. I acted every role for them and asked them to mimic me. As I needed to tell every member what to do and how to do, I felt like I was working with a bunch of robots in the team. At last, they started suggesting that I would be better off if I did everything in the play alone by myself, instead of giving them each and every single instruction. Maybe it was true, but there was one exception among the cast members. The girl whom I cast as a leading roll tackled her acting earnestly and seriously. She followed every instruction and advice from me. Other members were still sardonic for my casting of a non-pretty, unpopular girl as a leading role, but her acting got better and better. It seemed she felt an obligation to me for the casting. She even brought a present for me on my birthday although we had never been close and had hardly talked with each other at school until the play team got going. With her and my effort, our team successfully put on the play at the homecoming and it was much better than I had expected. This curriculum play was part of a school competition. The faculty would vote to decide the best play among the seventh, eighth, and ninth-grade team’s plays. It was a school’s tradition that a ninth-grade team won every year. As a ninth-grade team leader, I was sitting at the auditorium, preparing myself for receiving the prize out on the stage when the winner was announced. “The eighth-grade team!” the announcement filled the air. That year, for the very first time in the school history, the ninth-grade team didn’t win. In the joyful clamor of the eighth-graders, every member of our team shot me a reproachful glance. It was a perfect nightmare. Our team’s teacher later told me that a big set in the eighth-grade’s play had impressed the faculty. A large glittering slay with The Snow Queen on it appeared and that was the decisive factor in victory. Come to think of it, our team’s biggest set was an ordinary ping-pong table…

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