I never considered myself a huge AKB48 fan. I’m a casual fan but I watch a lot, if that makes any sense. Just enjoying the ride, but going on the ride a lot. (That sounded dirtier than I envisioned, but my thoughts are pure. Really.) I entered the AKB48 Grand Prix because I was greedy, I just wanted a free trip to Japan, lol. I asked a couple of friends to +1 me. I think I only got 3 from them. A couple from the community. I also tried to talk to any NMB fans, all 5 of the English speaking ones, and a couple of the Japanese ones. Some cool people out there. Never asked them to +1 me back, all I did was write silly comments that showed that I read their post. I was thinking of killing my post too, since I was tired of all these spammy comments saying “Please +1 for me too!”
Somehow I broke into the top posters, maybe because I was among the first few posters. I would trail the leading posters slowly, the gap widening to 100, then 200, then 300… it’s currently at 400. Ah, no biggie, I’m a mooch after all. I would fluctuate from 30th to 40th place.
With that said, I was surprised to see that I made the waiting list to be selected as a reporter. Me? I’m not even that high up. My post was for an NMB member, not even an AKB member. I even made a post shortly after, saying “This is so nerdy and embarrassing.” At the same time, I was also pretty bummed too because I haven’t had a lot of success with waiting lists, and I had no idea what my position was. And who would turn down a free trip to Japan anyway?
I was told I would receive a call between 1:00PM and 4:30PM if I could make it. So today, I sat in my cubicle, waiting for 4:30PM to pass so that I could shut those thoughts out of my mind, so I could stop clinging on to this thread of hopelessness and move on.
But, at 1:00PM I receive a call. “Hello?” “Moshi-Moshi, is this Joseph? Did you enter the AKB Grand Prix? You were #2 on the list and the #1 candidate couldn’t make it.”
A huge smile crept up on my face. After confirming the details, some old lady needed help with her car, so I helped her with that. Now I felt good about myself and about helping other people. Even during the staff meeting at work, I was still bubbling. “freetriptojapanfreetriptojapanfreetriptojapan!”
I was driving back on the way to work on the freeway. A car in front of me comes to a near complete stop for no reason, and I had to slam on the brakes, my tires screeching, barely avoiding an accident. Whatever. I don’t care. No accident. I still get a free trip to Japan.
But… as I thought about it, I wondered…
I actually have responsibility now. I have to do work. A lot of pressure might be on me. What if I have to stand on stage? What if I have to give an interview? I hope I don’t make any mistakes. Other people wanted this trip and I got it, so I now I feel like I can’t let the foreign fanbase down. The guy who passed up the trip seemed like a better fan and a better writer than me. All of his handshake event logs are extremely interesting to read, he’s both a reasonably intelligent person yet a devoted fan. If you’re a fan, you’d get a lot more of the fan experience reading his stuff than you would reading my blog about the complexities of demiglace sauce.
So now, what was once a gigantic source of joy has somehow morphed into a source of stress. One thing I loved about this blog is that I was so carefree and I’d just write whatever because no one cared. Now, people might care. I might even be on camera, and I’m terrible on camera. I haven’t even been to an AKB event ever. Will I be scared by all the wota and accidentally make negative comments? There’s a lot to think about. I don’t even know how I’d handle meeting one of the girls if I get that chance because the possibility never crossed my mind until today.
Hell, I completely forgot that I’m going to Japan, where everyone speaks Japanese. And my ability is still poor.
But who knows. Maybe it’s not as important as I think. Maybe it’ll just be chill and I’ll be an audience member who has to write a G+ post every once in a while.
Well… here’s hoping for a smooth operation. I hope I don’t let anyone down. I hope people don’t think “What a jerk. He wasted a perfectly good ticket.” All I can do now is ganbarimasu.
It’s funny, I entered because of selfish all-about-me reasons, and now I’m nervous because I’m worried about meeting expectations…