Some of my favorite maxims for life can best be summarized by my time at the We ❤ Japan event at Meltdown Comics last night. The first one being “90% of life is just showing up”, secondly, “Be prepared”, and lastly, “What are you waiting for?”
For the first part, I found out about this tsunami relief effort and silent auction event where a number of my favorite artists would be there from the voice acting industry. So I decided at the last minute to drop by a couple hours early and stay to meet them, support the relief effort, and network.
When I got there, I came knowing I would take pictures and videos, and brought about 50 of my business cards to hand out–having business cards saves time from writing down info or trying to exchange contact information with many people by giving me a chance to whip out a card, hand it to them, and allow them an opportunity to get a snapshot of who I am with my personalized design. It also applied to the fact I had some of my parkour and martial arts videos to show as well, and one of the people there said she was interested based on her impression of me and what she saw in my videos, inviting me to potentially appear in a shoot. It also helps that my voice and look are unique–as someone said, I look like an anime character 😉 . Maybe it’s the vest, the hairstyle, the Lionheart pendant, the parkour shoes, the face, the smile and mannerisms, or the deep voice–who knows?
The last part of those maxims manifested itself twice. Firstly, when I came and saw them preparing, they looked like they needed help setting up, so I just hopped in and assisted everyone with little things here and there. They all were surprised later to find I wasn’t registered to help; that I was just a guy who came early and offered to help for the simple reason that I can. Why wait to be told or asked to help? I was there, I had nothing more to do, so I went out and helped.
It then continued when I spoke to the voice actors whom I have admired and been inspired by to pursue voice acting, including DC Douglas, Yuri Lowenthal, Crispin Freeman, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn (whose golden voice sings my favorite songs in the Silent Hill series, Tara Platt, Stephanie Sheh, Michelle Ruff, and Cristina Vee. I didn’t see them as celebrities, idols, or gods on Olympus whom I wasn’t worthy of breathing the same air–I just saw them as ordinary people like myself. If there is an Olympus and they are there, then I am not a lesser being standing in the presence of gods, but a hero rising to ascend and join their ranks. It is completely within my potential and everyone else’s to be amongst them, but what separates them from others is that they are actually doing it and I am in the phase of pursuing it, whereas others see it as something impossible and unfathomable.
The best thing I heard all night came from Yuri Lowenthal: “I don’t believe in wishing people good luck, so have fun.” That’s exactly what I intend to do. One of the things I realize ten years after high school is that for everyone who told me I can’t sing, act, dance, or fight–well, I’m still trying to do all of that now. I don’t consider myself good, but I’ve stayed with it all this time, picking all of these things up at different phases and years since graduation after making the conscious choice to ignore other people defining me and telling me “No you can’t”.
Ten years later, most of these people have stopped doing whatever it was they believed themselves to be better at than me, and the others just never tried any of the things they told me I couldn’t do. It is just like the UFC fan who thinks he can fight because he watches it on TV religiously but has never had any formal training–it’s silly, especially when he’s telling me whatever style I have studied is ineffective but refuses to accept my challenge to test our abilities and improve our skills by applying them. In the case of my old classmates, some have been in and out of drug rehab, incarcerated, not finished college, or continue to live at home with their parents, watching TV, going on the Internet, and insulting people anonymously on youtube or criticizing my videos, writing, pictures, and hobbies.
Ultimately, even if my fighting, writing, parkour, dancing, and music aren’t as great as I’d like them to be–I’m still doing them because I have fun. And more importantly, I’m having more fun than them. The authority who would agree with me on this is Albert Einstein: “I’m not smarter than others, I just stay with problems longer.” I’ve stayed with mine for ten years now and have no sign of stopping.
Overall, a lot of money was raised for the tsunami relief effort, and I met a lot of new people, had fun, and I even got to see the Ajuku Girls perform:
For more pictures, you can see them on my Flickr set.