December 31, 2009

Confession of the Month

That time again ... better get it over with.

Nearly twenty years ago, when skating in a show in Japan, we had noticed leading up to New Years the audience was spending more on the t-shirts and pictures, tipping the waiters, which they normally didn't need to do and generally giving away more money.

Later I learned why. New Years is a big holiday for the Japanese and the thinking goes that giving away more money at the end of the year will make you richer in the new year.

But I didn't know it at the time. So I was a confused when I saw a paper bill on the ice during the kickline in our show on New Year's Eve. As we kicked our way downstage I discovered it wasn't any old paper bill, but an ichiman yen.

That was 10,000 yen! Half a week's* pay! And it was sitting all by itself on the side of the ice.

Now I would like to think that I was the utmost professional and I would never deviate from the choreography, but there was half a week's pay taunting me. So I instead of the last kick I improvised with a nice lunge, broke from the line and swooped up the money. Roughly $75 in exchange for risking a $10 fine for misconduct.

Professional, schmessional.

I was so excited with my new windfall that I had to tell the other skaters, which meant I had to donate the money to the party fund. (By being generous, I hoped I wouldn't get fined. And I didn't).

So, that made for a happier New Year's Eve party, I think. But I'm not really sure what happened to the money after I handed it over to the company manager. And I'm not sure if the Japanese audience member who threw it had a more prosperous year either.

But I am sure that I want all of you to have a Happy New Year!

*for you math geeks - we did receive only $150 a week as per diem. The balance of the $300 weekly chorus pay went not-so-directly to my bank account in the States.


Xan said...

It's the giving that brings the luck, not where the money ultimately ends up. So I'd say good luck went to both the audience member and you!

Ice Charades said...

Thanks Xan - I say the rest of that year went pretty well. I got a part-time job teaching English at the local community college and it paid more than the skating did!

Ice Mom said...

I so would have picked up the money. :)

Ice Mom