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star struck

Bright spark
Becky revels in the glitzy world of TV variety shows

By Chris Betros

Regular viewers of TV variety shows in Japan can’t miss
Becky, the 21-year-old tarento whose energetic demeanor makes her stand out among her colleagues.

But it’s no act. When you meet Becky, she comes across as bright as the colorful fashions she likes to wear. Born in Kanagawa to a British father and Japanese mother, Becky has spent all her life in Japan. She doesn’t speak as much English now as she’d like to, but understands enough to get by. Unlike many celebrities, she is continuing her education at university and next year will complete a business studies degree. That doesn’t mean she’s going into business anytime soon. Becky has a full plate now with myriad TV and stage appearances. She recently made her movie debut in the fantasy film Makoto and is one of the voice actors for the Japanese version of The Mask 2, which opens April 16.

But her staple remains TV variety shows. “They are so much fun. I really love doing them,” she says. “Maybe they look a bit childish to foreign viewers, but I enjoy them because of all the people I meet and the different things I can learn. It’s something I wanted to do ever since I was young.” Although some shows use foreign or hafu celebrities because they are cute or amusing, Becky says she has never encountered any problems. “Actually, I don’t even think about the fact that I am half-Japanese, half-British, either in my life or profession.”

Becky’s website attracts an enormous number of fan letters. “They all compliment me for being genki, but I think it is their nice messages that make me the genki person I am,” she says. “I read as many as I can. There are all sorts of comments, asking me to recommend fashions, and so on, and some silly ones, too, like marriage proposals.” So what sort of guy would stand the best chance to become Mr Becky? “My ideal man would be a ladies first guy, a romanticist. Johnny Depp would do,” she coos.

Becky’s day normally starts about 8am when she has university classes. Work begins after that, so some days can be pretty long. She relaxes by playing the piano and singing at home. Amid all the fun of her life, Becky says one social issue troubles her — the growing incidence of violence toward children. “There seems to be a lack of love for children in families today,” she says. “Families should spend more time together and enjoy nature. When I was growing up, we always took time to go out and enjoy nature.”

Becky’s future goals are to do more drama and maybe one day open a used clothing store. “If I hadn’t been in showbiz, that’s what I would have done. Either that or become a dolphin trainer at marine shows.”




 

 

the scene

womenfest 2005
revelers of all sexes celebrate in ebisu

photos by Steve Meyers for Style Media
Landmark pub What the Dickens hosts the annual event supporting Tokyo’s women’s community and promoting female artists to mark International Women’s Day

 

 

Q&A

Jan Mönkedieck
Room at the top

On July 1, the 290-room Conrad Tokyo will open on the top 10 floors of the 37-story Tokyo Shiodome Building. German Jan Mönkedieck will be there as general manager of the city’s newest five-star luxury hotel.

How many countries have you worked in?
This is country number 10 in 18 years. I was last here from 2000-2002.

How did you get interested in hotels?
Growing up, I traveled a lot and stayed in good hotels with my family. I loved riding the elevators up and down—maybe that got me interested.

What was your first hotel job?
It was a small Exhibition Center hotel in Munich. I parked cars, cooked breakfast and carried luggage. I had a great boss who awoke my passion for the industry. He wasn’t so happy after I parked a guest’s car into a wall, though.

What’s your definition of a good hotelier?
A passion for hospitality and service and the ability to keep an overview of the big picture is important.

You must have seen some weird things over the years.
Yes, I looked after Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee and had to encourage another pop group not to do sit-ups in the lobby. How’s your Japanese? I speak enough to make people laugh.

How do you get away from hotel life?
I am a pilot and fly out of Chofu airport. I usually rent a Cessna on the weekend and fly off for an hour. On the way back, I always make sure to do a little loop around Shiodome and the Conrad.

Would you like to comment on this article? Send a letter to the editor at letters@metropolis.co.jp.

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