Tokyo: From Flu to Fierce

I was so excited to get back to Tokyo after having been there 18 months ago with Evita. There was so much of the city I wanted to revisit and explore. I was last there in July 2018 and Evita in 39 degree heat was certainly interesting. This time it was fresh and crisp and I’ve never seen so many stylish coats in my life. 

Emma Kingston and Ramin Karimloo Evita Theatre Orb 2018
When you go back to a place you have been before, all the memories of your time there come flooding back. As I walked into the theatre, the memories of the final days of Evita consumed me. Having just been in South Africa and now Tokyo, it was hard not to think about it, they were the places that book ended the tour.
You think about the good times and the bad. How you felt, emotionally, physically and mentally. 
This year, 2020 for me, is about creating new memories. I have promised myself that I will try (try being the operative word) and not let the past dictate my future. 
Everything in life is a lesson. 
You cannot let past anxieties get the better of you.
When I arrived in Tokyo, I wasn’t feeling quite right, I powered through thinking, "tomorrow I will feel more human, jet lag is a bitch." After a few hours of exploring, I had to go for a nap which I know is like the worst thing to do when trying to adapt, but I couldn’t walk around anymore, it was the weirdest feeling. I slept for 12 hours that night, which for me is unheard of! If I get 6 hours without a loo break, I’m impressed with myself. The curse of an overactive brain (and bladder, too much info?)
The following day I felt like I’d been spiked at a party. I was so blocked I felt light headed, my vision was blurred, I had a temperature and my body felt like someone had injected me with poison. I went to the doctor (he recognised me from Evita and asked how my hand was - see pic, not my finest)
 After having a cotton swab shoved up my nose for testing, the doctor and nurse came out with masks and gloves on, looking down with hands clasped. I honestly thought they were going to tell me I was dying, they looked so concerned. They handed me a mask and said “Yup, it’s the Flu.” 
Safe to say I cried my eyes out. Here I am, trying to start my year positively and confidently and BAM, quarantined for 3 days. This meant missing every rehearsal day. I kept saying to myself, “This is out of your control, you WILL sing at the concerts.” And I did! The mind is a pretty powerful thing, even with the flu. (I’m sure the drugs helped too). I tell you though, being in one of the coolest, most vibrant cities in the world and only being able to stare at it from your window is pretty crappy. I felt like Rapunzel in her tower, but less princess like, with a blocked nose and a fever.
Ryan Silverman, Dean John Wilson, Emma Kingston, Ali Ewoldt, Richard H Blake, Michael D Xavier
Thanks to the power of Japanese medication (which is STRONG), a lot of hotel sleep and steamy showers, I went into the theatre on Saturday and I have never been more happy to be at work! I'm a very impatient patient. 
I asked to go into work everyday that I was ill, but our WONDERFUL producers were concerned about my health and the rest of the cast. Whilst it is frustrating staring at 4 walls for 3 days and everything that was on my hotel TV was in Japanese, I have never felt so supported by a management team and cast. Everyone just wanted me to get better and I was never made to feel guilty. The strength and care of our producers is what enabled myself and other cast members who weren’t 100% to make a speedy recovery. We wanted to be at work. We felt safe!
The reason I’m gushing so much is because that doesn’t always happen.
I had a small amount of anxiety about returning to Tokyo following Evita and within a few hours, all of that stress melted away. 

Ok, now the good and fun stuff. The shows were AMAZING! The audiences were incredible. So warm, generous and excited to have us there, the fans out in Tokyo are truly unbelievable. We were just as excited to be performing. Thank you to everyone who wrote cards, sent gifts and waited at stage door.

Takashita Street - Harajuku
Our small cast of 6 were just brilliant. Michael Xavier, Dean John Wilson, Ali Ewoldt, Ryan Silverman and Richard H Blake. We laughed so much over the past week, it was the perfect way to start the year. We Topped off our stay with trips to Harajuku, TeamLab Boarderless, a few late night dinners and maybe one too many drinks on our last night. (After having the Flu, one glass of wine, realllllly hits you).

TeamLab Boarderless
The Flu was a blip, it happens. As much as I would consider myself to be a robot, I’m not. (unlike our hotel room service. Seriously, Japan is the future). I wish I had more time in Tokyo, (the vintage shopping is AMAZING) but I can’t wait to get back again to perform. (Hoping they’ll have me).

If you ever get the chance to go to Japan, go! Do not hesitate, you won’t regret it!

You had me at Konichiwa πŸ’›



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