LoGiRL interviewed Towako Tanaka part of the staff founder of Actors School Hiroshima were Suzuka Nakamoto, Himeka Nakamoto, Perfume and many more graduated years ago. Towako speaks about the development of the students, graduates and the efforts of ASH to make their students the best artists. Interview translated below.
Actors School Hiroshima staff member Towako Tanaka talk Suzuka, Himeka & Perfume
We the Actors School Hiroshima produced a large number of artists including such as Perfume. They have been praised as skilled artists with high performance level. The reason is that we are stricts about basic learning. First of all, we hold important lessons, like if they only like to dancing or singing they will eventually reach a deadlock, that means that if they hold the basic learning a certain number will be able to continue after their graduation.
We start following the development of our graduates, I feel like everyone is still improving themselves day by day. One thing is sure, some have natural talent and aptitude, but also there are those who understand that "there is not an instant success", those will make the proper effort and will become a successful person.
The most important is the trio Perfume. The girls moved to Tokyo when they graduate from Junior High School, since then kept performing in live events with just a few people in the audience until 3rd Grade High School. Such situation could one think in quit many times, but they never did it.
I also heard that Himeka Nakamoto was a semi-regular member of Nogizaka46 and also had thoughts of quitting. But she stayed and eventually became main member of the semi-regulars. Also, Suzuka Nakamoto from BABYMETAL became the center of the attention even going through difficult moments in Sakura Gakuin. I think they faced such situations by having the confidence taught in Actors School Hiroshima.
One thing I wanted to teach them at first was how to build your relationships with adults. Usually children are just living in the world of school and friends. But once they entered in the world of entertainment they will be in contact with adults for sure. The first person they will meet are us, the teachers. That's why should be natural to teach them what are the basics things like courtesy and greetings. They will see or feel unconfortable in specific situations since they are childred and cannot understand but is important for them to understand such things.
For the better or the worse, they can always express their feelings in Blogs or Twitter using smartphones. We are in an era we have to monitor them at that point too. If comes to a point when we find a student who wrote
risky stuff we must drop strictness at the point of "This is the end of your entertainment career". Because the smaller thoughtless action can lead them to the end later due those incidents.
In addition, I want the students learn that the future is different for everyone. They can find rivals, or receive the admiration from others who maybe could be better than them anyway, ASH training system includes students that want to stay around in order to help other students. There are also students who through acting or modeling ended creating their own troupes and competing in the world of Tokyo theaters.
Last year our graduate Natsumi Hanaoka won the "14th National Beauty Contest" sponsored by Oscar Promotion. She is tall and beautiful enough, but she was very quiet girl when she entered Actors School Hiroshima, her singing skills were also a problem, since was a step behind from others. But she worked hard for 5 years, since then she improved a lot. Just like Perfume, sending students who took lessons here to Tokyo have been always an emotional experience. It's important that they follow their own dreams, but I'm glad they have found their different possibilities here because that's is our goal.
Now, I think ASH's focus for secretariats, teachers, professionals from each field of the school have gathered in sincerity. This leads to gaining trust, various people from productions have come to see us as we send graduates to the world. We have been doing this since the beginning.
Interview by: LoGiRL.
Translation by: Akira Karo.