Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Flashback

The cast of Skate for the Heart
performs the opening number, "I'm Yours,"
accompanied by a capella singing group Straight No Chaser.
More fan videos available here!



Kayso that didn't really go exactly as planned.

Which seems fitting, actually, since last Saturday would have been the 70th birthday of John Lennon, who famously said, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." And I figure the God of my heart, who, as I've mentioned before, seems to find my industrious and carefully configured plans mostly quite amusing, was enjoying a good laugh up there with John while my weekend unfolded like an intricate origami piece in reverse, gone horribly wrong and ending in forlorn little paper shreds that bore no resemblance whatsoever to anything other than cat barf. With which I am intimately familiar.

And since John's quote is kind of the story of my life and my weekend--that plus a heavy dose of taking myself way too seriously once again, a dash of overestimating my own importance in the grand scheme of things, and of course a generous dollop of impassioned tunnel vision--I've been thinking it would be the perfect engraving for my eventual tombstone. Although my kids, in honor of my penchant for, shall we say, colorful language, still want to go with: "She was the best f*cking mom ever."

Anyway.

So Skate for the Heart went well, according to reports, with posters and banners (thank you forever, Wendy Bell and Mel Lockhart!) and lots of happy screaming fans and Johnny appearing to have overcome his hip injury from All That Skate to turn in strong performances, so that's all good. And he's been kinda tweet-happy since he came home, which of course is always fun, and I am especially intrigued by this one:


So does anybody have some clue as to why he's going to Toronto? All I know is that there was some speculation in fandom that went kind of like this: "Oooo maybe it's to meet up with choreographer David Wilson! Because he's in Toronto, right? Yeah, that's gotta be it! Oooo I bet they're working on 'Dirty Love'! Finally! Yay!"

I have no idea, but this scenario works for me, so let's just go with it.

But so why is he going to LA ... ? (Discuss.)

The other intriguing thing about this week's brief tweet-fest is that last night he changed his Twitter background to this photo from the Olys:


And that, in all its bittersweet glory, sent me hurtling back to early this year, to Nationals, to Vancouver, and to all of Johnny's plans and hopes for medaling at the Olys, which fell by the wayside while life happened to him, in amazing and astonishing ways that I think he didn't ever expect. Because who would ever have imagined that by not medaling, Johnny's star--one that "is like no other," as Tara softly says to him in BGJW--would achieve the kind of trajectory that it has, and which shows little sign of stopping?

This flashback reminded me that this might be a good time to run the final piece from the Mook Book: a gentle and sensitive interview of Johnny by gifted sports journalist Akiko Tamura. Here in part 1, we relive the devastating blow that was the 2010 Oly results for Johnny, and his decision to withdraw from Worlds. It's difficult to read for those who love Johnny, but as always, his unsparing honesty is compelling. (And at least we know it gets better after this!)

With many thanks to our translator, the fabulous Akiko Nakata, here is Part 1 of the final series from the Mook.



From the "Special Interview with Johnny Weir," by Akiko Tamura, conducted in NYC, April 2010, pp. 22-26 of the Mook.

Johnny answered my questions during breaks between shooting the photos for this book in collaboration with M.A.C.

As I face him, I feel the maturity and strength of a person who completely understands my intentions, and generously considers whatever I ask him. I think he has two merits of Americans: to clearly express his opinion, and to respect others' rights. During our time, he seemed unable to conceal his despair over the results of the Olympics, and he spoke frankly about his feelings.


Days After the Olympics

I missed you at the World Championships in Torino. Why did you decide to withdraw from them?
In Vancouver, I skated my best both for the short program and the free skate, but the result was sixth place. I thought that if I went to Torino without understanding the reasons for that result, and then received sixth or seventh at Worlds, it would have been bad for my mental health. I thought I needed to reconsider what kind of programs I create, not only ones to satisfy me, but also ones that the judges would score well. Besides, I could not concentrate on practice. During the month after the Olympics, I flew around the US for various things. If I compete next season, I want to be 100 percent ready for competition. I don't want to cancel at the last minute after the press has been saying for a long time, "He may come, he may come."

In the US, you worked as a TV commentator for Worlds, didn't you?
Yes, but to be honest with you, my feelings were complex. When I actually saw the competition on TV, I felt like I did want to compete there after all. But what's good is that I knew almost all the skaters there as friends, and I was able to comment as someone who was knowledgeable about them in that way. Older commentators don't have that information.

Johnny receives
gifts from fans
after his free skate
in Vancouver.
 Did you enjoy working as a TV commentator?
Yes, I did, but I don't know if I could work as one for the rest of my life. In LA last season, it was really interesting to sit together with the broadcasting staff and experience the inside of that world. But while watching the performances, I began to feel, "I should be skating there," and it was a little conflicting.

Since Vancouver, have you had enough time to reflect on what happened in the Olympics?
Not yet. After that, I went to Russia, I went to LA, and my life was so hectic that I didn't have any time to sit and reflect undisturbed. I'm thinking of going to the Cayman Islands in several weeks [Note: Poor BB. Is this planned vacation ever going to happen?] to think about the future. Last year I went there with my brother. This year I'll go alone so that I'll be able to have time to free my mind and to contemplate. I can't move forward unless I thoroughly analyze what has happened.

What did Galina [Zmievskaya] tell you after the Olympics?
She told me that she was really proud of what I had achieved. I think not only she, but all the people in the US--no, all the people in the world--were proud of me. Galina was of course dissatisfied with the results and insisted that I should go to Worlds in Torino and overturn them. She was a little upset when I decided to withdraw, but she understood what I felt. She was with me while I was crying in the back after seeing the Olympic results.

Did Viktor [Petrenko] tell you anything?
Well, he mentally supported me. As a matter of fact, I rarely went to the rink after the Olympics, so I've had no opportunity to sit and talk leisurely with him or anyone yet. Those opportunities will come. Right now I'm enjoying the off time.

You haven't decided about next season at all, have you?
Not yet. I have been nominated for the Grand Prix series. If I do compete, I want to create new programs in June or July. But if I think I am even a little behind, I won’t push myself. The judges may be more interested in supporting young skaters like Adam Rippon. If I decide to compete, I want to do it when I am completely ready to fight the rivals. [Note: Johnny announced on July 8, 2010, that he would be taking a year off from competition.]

Coming up: Part 2 of the interview--Olympics, USA, and Judges (hoo boy).



Yes! You can own a fine art print of Johnny
perfect for any/every room in the house!
Prints of artist Peter Jurik's "Showtime!"
are available for purchase from his website.
More info here!

Johnny is skating at the
ITNY 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit and Performance
honoring Olympic Champion Dorothy Hamill
on Monday, October 25!
Weirlandians are working to go in together on a table,
but the deadline is 4 p.m. TODAY to sign up!
Buy tickets here; more info here!

Please remember to register to receive
the JW Art Project's email newsletter!
They have great tidbits to offer,
and you get a special sneak peek at an exclusive photo
from the Artbook when you sign up!

Special holiday offer!
In exchange for a donation to Toys for Tots,
Trish Aaron-Misiura will send you one handmade,
Johnny-inspired Christmas ornament! More info here!

Coming up: The final series
of translated interviews from the Mook Book
courtesy of the fabulous Akiko Nakata!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved

14 comments:

WheresMyKoppy said...

Yay! She's back! A new Blog! Yay! LOL!

First, I would like to say I wish all interviews with Johnny were as insightful as the ones done by itoi_shigesato and Akiko Tamura, or the recent NJ.com one. No stupid questions, no innuendo, no journalistic license taken... Thank you again to Akiko Nakata for her work translating these interviews, and to you MM for all the trouble you go to putting them up for us fans!

And it's fun speculating on that Tweet, isn't it? LOL!

And interesting he changed his background to that picture tonight when several fans the previous night on Twitter had watched 'Fallen Angel' from Vancouver and been talking about what Galina said to him after, and how the expression on his fans still gets them every time...

It's so good to have you back Blogging! We missed you!

WheresMyKoppy said...

Uh, I meant the expression on his face, not the expression on his 'fans'! Sheesh!

I don't know why he's in Los Angeles either! Uh, 'Dirty Love' again?

germansoulmate said...

I have my own thoughts and wishes about the question why he is in LA.
But it also could have something to do with "Dirty Love" or his jewellry line he designs with Alana Hale, couldn´t it?

I like these interviews and I admit I had to read twice today to comprehend it.

Thanks for all your efforts you still put in your blog. It is much appreciated here.

PumaJ said...

Sometimes the outcome of any exchange between humans comes down to this:

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. ~ Robert McCloskey"

Thank you, Binks for being the wonderful person that you are.

bsontwit said...

MM- love love you MM, good to see the blog today!

I noticed Johnnys new twitter background. I hope its partly him dealing with the Olympics in some way. He is an Olympic Champion for the way he skated and I will never forget watching him skate Fallen Angel in Olympics - alone on my couch - on the edge of my seat - middle of the night - routing for him to just hold it together and skate clean (i had the routine memorized) - holding my breath every jump - and then i screamed so loud my husband woke up (can you imagine he was not watching!unbelieveable!)- and being so so happy and proud of Johnny that he did it!! no matter what the scores are he still did it!!! ♥♥♥

Beth (twitter-bsontwit)

theresa said...

It would be great if Johnny was meeting with David Wilson. Wilson has said in the past that his choreography was somewhat butchered by Galina. I don't know if he feels the same way when other skaters use him for competition but I would be very intereted in knowing the answer and very intereted in seeing Johnny skate a piece put together by Wilson that is not controlled so much by scoring tactics.


Thanks again Akiko and Binky for the translation.
Love it!

TK

Debora Walsh said...

Oh, I missed your presence on the web! I hope things are straightening out, and that the JGW love remains intact...

Thank you for working at the laborious task of translating and posting these interviews with Akiko...the Mook is great to look at, but having the words makes it so much more than just a picture book for us! That being said, the interview with Johnny is perhaps the one I have been most anxiously waiting for and yet dreading at the same time.
It's gonna hurt, but his star burns brighter now in spite of the results...

-Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans- John Lennon nailed it, indeed. We all suffer disappointment and disillusionment at some point in our lives, and it is how we regather our strengths, wipe off the dust, and move ahead with renewed purpose that makes every day more interesting than the last.

Thank you Johnny for regrouping, & thank you Binky, for returning!

aaaack said...

Thanks again, Akiko, for the translation. And thanks, Binky, for all that you have done and continue to do. You deserve a crown of roses, too.

wendys said...

I just want to say again... "the Chinese parable". I'm sooo sorry your trip didn't turn out the way you had hoped, but I believe it will all be fine in the end (so easy for me to say, right?).

Thank you (and Akiko!) for another translation. I'm printing them all out and keeping copies with my Mook.

And is Johnny reeeeally vacaying alone this year? Methinks not! He needs somebody to put sun lotion on his back and sip umbrella drinks with.

xo and <3 !!

Maggie St. said...

Thanks again to you & Akiko for these translations! ♥ I plan to print them out and slip them into my Mook Book to enjoy again when I'm old(er).

Vicky said...

Oh dear! What a shame for you, I hope it was just unfortunate circumstances and not something serious that spoiled your weekend. Thank you, and Akiko, so much for the translations from the Mook.

I hope the change of twitter background is part of Johnny's healing process after Vancouver.

jenn said...

So glad to see you back. Many thanks to you and Akiko for the translations. I've loved all the interviews, but I'm so glad to have the chance to read this one.

May I just say:
Toronto = David Wilson = SWAN THEME!!!
That is all.

WheresMyKoppy said...

Jenn has a point! Johnny did say of the two new programs he was working on one was #DirtyLove an the other had a 'swan theme'!

Sasha said...

Thank you for everything Binky. That old saying about life, lemons & lemonade won't get out of my head while reading this. For me I love some lemonade, just sometimes I have trouble finding the sugar to make it. Pity life doesn't always label the canisters all that well. Happy to be reading this, & a million thanks to everyone involved in the Mook translations and your posting of it.
XOXO, Cheers
Sasha