24 November 2011
Because You Were There For Me: Ichikawa Miori
Interview number 30 from the Shukan Asahi interview series, and out 5th translation, featuring Team 4's Ichikawa Miori (Miorin).
Getting into the media industry is no easy job. Some people are lucky and get in on their first try (Acchan), but most of the time it is a long and tiring process. Some may even take years to finally get into a proper entertainment job.
This story talks about how the love of Ichikawa Miori's mother enabled her to push through the hardships with talent agencies before joining AKB48, and offers a cute story about how she broke the news to her mother in the end.
Discharged from the agency... How My Mother's Love Supported Me When I Lost My Confidence
Translated by Kyttyee
In the year before I joined AKB48, I was in the spring of my second year of high school. Even so, I already had experience as part of two talent agencies before then.
The first time, when I was in fifth grade, I was discovered by a scout while walking in Harajuku with my mother. I was with this agency for about four years, during which time I entered in more than 100 auditions. It wasn't unusual to have two auditions per day, or 4 auditions per week.
My mother accompanied me to all my auditions. At the same time, she had to get up early to go to work, and rarely had a break. All of my legal procedures and paperwork were also left to her. Along with all the cleaning, laundry, and other housework, it must have really been tough for her.
However, I passed few auditions. I spent most of my time as extras in movies and stageplays, or appearing in small photos in magazines. However, I hoped that one day, luck would turn in my favor. That's how I cheered myself on.
Even so, when the renewal period for my contract came up, the agency informed us "We cannot renew her contract anymore."
Of course I was very shocked, but that evening I saw something even more shocking. After all the family members had gone to bed, I saw the tear-streaked face of my mother crying silently to herself...
While it was originally my own wish to make it in the entertainment industry, it seems that as she accompanied me through all my efforts, my dream naturally also became my mother's dream. In the end, her own time became wholly devoted to her daughter's dream.
The next talent agency that I joined, I didn't last even two years. With this one, I also did not receive a contract renewal.
In the train station on my way home from school, my phone rang, only for me to hear, "We regret to inform you that we do not believe we can sign the next contract." Dumbfounded by this sudden notification, I forgot about getting onto the train. Wah~ what should I do? How can I explain this to my mother?
When I got home, said to my mother, "I'm hungry." In short, I couldn't even bring it up with her (lol).
After that, on the days I was supposed to have my weekly lesson at the agency, I would leave the house saying "I guess I should go to the lesson," and then, wonder where I could kill time that day. I would go hang out at the same park every week, that's how the situation was. On one occassion, as I was leaving the house, I even tentatively suggested to my mother, "Incidentally, let's go shopping together." Hiding it forever would be almost impossible, sooner or later it would be found out. I knew that much.
However, because I did not want to make her sad, I would make up the next dance steps on my own to report back to my mother.
Two months passed like this. The day that I would have to tell my mother the truth drew closer and closer. Although I felt like I ought to tell her that I had been fired from the second talent agency, it was much easier to tell her good news after all. I finally faced her, and told her, "I passed for AKB!"
Then, talking very quickly, I told her about the bad news from the previous agency, and apologized for not telling her for the past two months.
To my mother who had always been supporting me up to now, although we had been in an "epic repayment battle," sure enough, success was finally achieved somehow.
However, my mother, having just heard news from both Heaven and Hell in the same moment, didn't know whether to be delighted or to be sad, to be angry or to praise me, and could only make a very complicated expression on her face (lol).
Even now, once in a while my mother and I will laugh together when remembering that day.