Cloudy Bong Water

Cloudy Bong WaterOccupation:
Comedian, performer, teacher
Time in Japan:
5 years

I' a performer and I just love it. Everyday is really different for me. Friday night I step on a plane at Haneda to anywhere from Sapporo to Okinawa. I perform shows in English for Japanese children. Performing in front of kids is very, very fulfilling. There are so many rip-offs with children as far as English schools go these days. We perform songs and dances which the kids learn at home. Sometimes we have as many as 5000 kids singing along. When I speak with them, they can really speak English. Some of these kids are pretty young. I swear we have pregnant mothers there. What's the kid going to do? Write in English on the walls of the womb.

On Sunday nights I am up on stage at the Tokyo Comedy Store telling jokes. That's my favorite feeling, being up there making people laugh. I used to get nervous but now I can't wait for that moment. I performed comedy in Australia for about ten years on stage and TV. The audiences in Tokyo are different - more intelligent, more diverse. In Australia I could have banged two pots together and they'd be cheering.

Weekday mornings I teach junior high school in Hakusan. I also have my own schools in Osaki and Chiba where I teach the rest of the week. I used to work for a big company that went bankrupt so I pirated the students and started my own school. Being my own boss is great - I can take all the 12 hour lunch breaks or call in on Monday mornings and say 'I'm busy. Manage without me.'

I think Japanese people are starting to distrust the big English schools. I know all my students personally and we go out or have parties all the time. And I don't teach them stuff like 'This is a pen.' We teach them how to order a drink or go to the post office. Japanese people want to know how to express their feelings. We talk about love and life and jealousy. I use Japanese a little, especially with beginners. People who'll tell you to use 100% English in class don't understand Japanese people.

I'm here in Tokyo because life in Australia is too easy. I like difficult things. When I first came here I couldn't speak the language, I had no job, no money and worse, no girlfriend. Now I have all that in abundance.

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