Last Friday, February 11th I got a phone call from a friend, and she asked me if I had any free time available. This type of question usually ends up in a "could you do me a favor" question, so obviously my answer was maybe. If the proposition was cool then definitely I had free time, but if it was something stupid or not interesting then I could say, "Wow, I'd really like to but I'm just too busy".
Usually I'm an idiot, but sometimes I'm not an idiot, and I've learned over the years not to let people take advantage of me. My friend asked me if I could go to Japan following Monday. Now, most of you reading my interviews know nothing about me. I do hope you enjoy my writings though.
Well Let me open up to you. I have 3 favorite words and they are as follow, FREE, WIN, and EASY and in that order. FREE has such a nice ring to it. So I asked my friend, "Would my expenses be paid for"? And she said, "Of course". Apparently there was an event company in Korea that wanted to hire me. They wanted me to go to Tokyo and try to meet Charlotte Church, and persuade her to come to Korea for a concert.
First of all, I had no idea who Charlotte Church was, but I heard the word FREE and all I could think of was "business class please, and you can reach me at the Tokyo Hilton." Seriously though, this sounded like a job right down my alley. The event company had the name of the concert hall and what time the concert was, and that was it! They had one contact name; a man from England named Brian, but no ticket to the concert and no appointment. Basically they just said, "GO! Good luck!!" The rest would depend on my ability to get myself in and try to meet with Charlotte's management team.
The next day which was Saturday, I bought both of Charlotte Church's CD's and listened to her music. If you don't know who she is then let me tell you. She's a 13-year-old opera singer. Who has sold over 2 million records with her first album entitled "Voice of an Angel" and her latest album "Charlotte Church". She has incredible vocals and I enjoyed both CD's even though I'm not a big fan of opera music. I'm not culturally inept, but I know that opera music just doesn't do it for me. So Monday morning came and off I went. My mission, besides trying to locate The Holy Grail, was to find the venue, locate the target, which was Charlotte Church's management team, and then neutralize the situation by persuading them to come to Korea.
I will try to make this extremely long story short. My plane arrived at 12:45pm and I was supposed to be at the venue by 3:00pm. If you've been to Tokyo, then you know that Narita Airport is closer to China than to Tokyo!!! The next train leaving for Shinjuku was at 2:30pm and the next bus was leaving at 1:00pm. It takes 2 hours by bus to get to Shinjuku, where my hotel was, then another hour to the venue, so I hopped into a taxi and helped pay for the driver's kids college tuition. The taxi ride cost $315 US dollars and it took an hour and a half. I checked in as quickly as possible and then jumped into another taxi to get to the venue. I didn't get to the venue until 4:30pm because of traffic and that taxi ride cost me $220 dollars. Super! Just got into the country and I already blew over $500!
Most places in Asia if you speak English really fast and look important you can do almost anything. I got past the outside security and now on with my mission (WHERE COULD THE HOLY GRAIL BE?). I located a Caucasian male and promptly went up to him and asked where I could find Brian. He told me Brian wasn't in Tokyo. He didn't come to Japan. I felt like banging my head against the wall, but I kept my cool and just started crying. Just kidding. Seriously, I was pretty flustered. Some woman came up to me and asked why I wanted to see Brian. I told her that I had an appointment to meet with him and I just came in from Korea to discuss the possibility of Charlotte performing in Korea. This woman turned out to be Charlotte's mother. Yes, there is a God. She was really sweet.
After the concert she brought me back stage to meet her husband and Charlotte. Charlotte's father was a real good guy and Charlotte herself was very charming. Charlotte had some press things to do, so I stayed back stage and chatted with her parents. I invited them to dinner, but they already had plans with Sony Japan, so I asked to meet up with them for drinks later and they said that would be fine. Since I had NO idea where I was, I asked if they could just drop me off at their hotel and I would wait for them there, so I jumped in the van with Charlotte Church's family, her tutor, and Sony Japan's staff. I thought to myself this would be a good opportunity for an interview for www.1stopkorea.com so I asked her if I could ask her a few questions for an interview and she didn't care.
First of all, she's got a great sense of humor. She's so gifted that it's sickening. (If any of you out there have ever seen Scholastic Sports of America on ESPN then you know what I mean. On this TV show they showcase high school athletes that are incredibly talented and they make people like me look like fools. For example, here's Chad Perry out of Dallas Texas. A senior now, he's the top rated high school quarterback in the country. He's been a varsity starter since 8th grade and he's also being recruited in 4 other sports. He's a top-notch prospect in basketball with schools like Duke and Texas after him and he's also an excellent baseball player. During the summer he plays on Texas' state soccer team and he's also an accomplished pianist. Carrying a 4.5 GPA and taking a few college courses, he some how has found the time to start up his own Internet company. A website that offers advice and help to troubled teens and is also a part of the fight against global warming. Chad also volunteers his free time by helping out with the local Special Olympics branch and gives motivational talks to middle school kids about abstaining from sex, and all you LOSERS out there that are watching this program will never be like him or come close to accomplishing all of his feats, so just be happy being average!!!!)
Whenever I watch this program I feel like an idiot! And Charlotte is like that. She performs so well on stage and she's only 13! Sorry about all that. My hands are still shaking from remembering my past failures and never being on Scholastic Sports of America! I'll be ok once I find my happy place. Ok, I'm back.
Well, we never arrived at the hotel because the driver took us directly to the restaurant. I just flew in from Korea and guess what we had for dinner? Yep, we had pizza! Just kidding, we went to a Korean restaurant. Apparently, Charlotte loves Kalbi (Korean spare ribs) and she loves cooking it. Yes, Charlotte Church cooked me dinner and she didn't do too bad either. We had a great time talking and finally here is my interview with the one and only, Charlotte Church
J: This food better be good!
C: Don't worry about it!
J: Have you ever cooked Korean food before?
C: Sure a lot of times.
J: If I get sick I'm not going to buy anymore of your albums.
J: So how did all of this start?
C: I was watching the television show Talking Telephone Numbers and I called in and auditioned for the show without my parents knowing. They asked me to come on the show and perform. I sang Pie Jesu and Paul Berger from Sony UK saw me and signed me to a record deal.
J: Did you always know that you had this singing talent?
C: I knew I had a good voice, but not one that other people would like.
J: You've sung all around the world. You sang for the Queen and the Pope and the President of America. Who did you like to perform for the most?
C: I really loved singing for the Pope!
J: I heard that you had quite a few invitations to sing for the Millennium and you turned them all down. The President, the Queen and the Pope and so forth, why?
C: I was just so tired, so me and my family went skiing instead.
J: Is it hard being on the road?
C: It gets tiring after a while and it's hard to always stay happy and upbeat.
J: How do your friends treat you? Did they get all jealous?
C: My true friends stayed by my side and sometimes when they have a holiday they come on tour with me.
J: Do you miss being an average or everyday schoolgirl?
C: You know a lot of people always ask me if I'm going to regret losing my childhood, but I'm so happy and if I never did all this then I would regret missing this opportunity!
J: What type of guy do you think you'll marry? Probably somebody like me! Right?
C: (After she stops choking with laughter) Someone nice but right now I'm not interested in boys.
J: Who did you like better? Leno or Letterman?
C: Jay was great! He was so funny and kind.
J: Just like me right? (This time I needed to do the Heimlich maneuver because of the laughter). Besides singing is there anything else you would like to do?
C: I really like acting also, and if I had the chance to be in a movie I would like to do that.
J: Who have you met that was really cool!
C: I loved meeting Tom Jones since he's Welsh and Danny DeVito was really nice too.
J: Anyone you didn't like?
C: No comment.
J: Who's he? Was he the gimp in Pulp Fiction?
C: You're weird.
J: People keep telling me this but I still don't believe it! When do you think you'll go back into the studio and release another album?
C: Hopefully this summer if my schedule permits it.
J: Hey, thanks for answering some questions while you're busy cooking dinner.
C: No problem
J: By the way, I like my meat medium rare not burnt! Just kidding.
Charlotte's cooking skills is just another hidden talent that many of you are unaware of. It's hard to imagine her becoming more talented, but at the innocent age of 13, she has so much natural ability that she should succeed in anything that pursues. Charlotte Church was far more gracious and professional than some other artists. (See Yngwie Malmsteen)
For more info about Charlotte Church go to her official website www.charlottechurch.com
Check out more of Johnny's entertainment interviews!
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