Why the title?
Hmm. I’m not really sure.
Maybe things lately have been just that: close yer eyes, clench them fists and just jump into, whatever it is that is in front of you.
Maybe it’s the decision to go full freelance, not really sure if there are available work for a has-been animator like me, who recently had a gig with book illustration but management screw-ups made me think twice and head on out the open door and run as fas as I can. In the dark. Not knowing the direction I’m running into.
Or maybe, just maybe, I have seen Kuroshio leaping from a corner post and slamming a straight leg down on The Bodyguard during one of the most tiring, nerve-wracking, energy draining, geeking-out thing I have done in recent years since getting trampled on the floor while playing wrestler at home.
I’m no expert. Keep that in mind. I have met people who can distinctly point out a certain move by Tajiri on Akira. I have known officionados who are devout followers of Mia Yim. Foreigners who have asked about Ray and Leon’s opponent while briskly replying on Twitter. Googled Alia and Lady Loryfor background info. People like Mikers Litton, who graced the occasion by being the commentator, Ouel and Bombay who, true to form, are on site and hands on, even the group they’re in brought Syuri flowers and a cake. Even the folks at WhenInManila.com with Martin, and Hub pacheco, they know more about wrestling nowadays than I do.
It’s not that I don’t don’t really know anything, I’m just outdated.
But I was with the team that organized the Joshi+Jam Manila event. With just 45 days to make things happen, creating the posters and event name (we didn’t even have a name for the event!), made some hastily done teasers on AfterEffects and Premiere, and from thereon in, it was going someplace, talking to suppliers, and with some help from the younger wrestling fans, things went well, better than I had hoped for.
Up to the point when it was just days before the event, the ring itself was plagued with problems. From the start, ticket sales will be just an afterthought, with us, the organizers focusing on GAB licenses , working permits for the wrestlers, venue arrangements, ticketnet problems with issuing sales against offshore issued credit cards, light and sound suppliers, trucking, food. You know, stuff that happens in the background that keep the machine working without the audience knowing. We got good footage. We got people noticing. But things always seem to go haywire.
Still, show must go on.
Because, darn it. I could draw and illustrate meticulously. I could create UI. I could whip out motion graphics. Wrestling is something I wanted when I was a kid. I could get this done.
It’s like being an animator for TOEI Animation, doing hard scenes and cuts with shows like Dragonball and Sailormoon, One Piece and a bunch of other popular anime. I swear, the otakus and anime fans know more about the characters and the stories more than us who draw in-betweens and animate the darn thing. And in this case, wrestling fans tend to be know-it-all about their idols.
I have a better vantage point where no fan nor officionado can replace. Our team. We who worked our asses off, often neglecting personal stuff and family affairs, just to get things moving. No fan can tell me I fucked up with the arrangements while I go headbutting with the inept Ynarez staff, or when the ring provider was late in coming. No other derping moment can replace the fact that I ate and drank and even joked around with Lady Lory and Alia, The Bodyguard and Kuroshio. Even those few exchanges with Rionne McAvoy were fandom fodder. There’s a big difference between a blogger whose source is only what’s unravelling before his eyes, and not from behind the the walls. They can rant and rave, they will never guess how it is to be the one turning the wheel. To be that hamster. To be among those who worry and fret about things. From ingress to egress, I was there, talking to bouncers and looking for house staff who are always nowhere to be found. When Tajiri walked in I managed to do my duties, but my will is weak.
By the time Akira and Tajiri locked hands, I was screeching and screaming like I was in the front row (I was doing this while walking the hallways and dugouts). And as the matches progressed, me worrying about the ring giving out under the intense slamming and jumping around. I shuddered, thinking if those fans from Taiwan, HongKong or Singapore got to buy tickets, the whole event would have been louder, raunchier, more animated. But you know what, even with the small audience, I have no regrets. the fans made it happen. They made the event all worth the time and effort, cliches we often hear, but it is what it is.
Two days after Joshi+Jam Manila, dealing with the last thing at hand, I was bushed.
Certainly made quite a number of mistakes with the organization and production. Even with dealing with people, so much to improve as of today.
Again, this pretty much sums up how I deal with real life: I learn as much as I can, deal with the flaws, improvise, improve and then do it again. But with better results.
Kinda like a leap of faith. Or fate. However you might want to call it.
There’s no knowing, or what to expect, until you went through it.
One thing though. I think I fucked up pretty bad with allowing fans to play around with the ring and be present while the wrestlers do a tech rehearsal. Tajiri’s still pissed off at me, I guess.