Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"I Want to Be the Chanel of the Figure Skating World"

Johnny rocks the tassel during his short program
at the 2010 Olympic Games, Vancouver.

Flashback: After live-tweeting our way last night through part 1 of the Season 1 finale of BGJW (part 2 coming up next week on Logo!), and also because Japan is on my mind so much, today seems like the perfect time to offer another interview translation courtesy of my dear friend Akiko Nakata.

This two-part interview appeared in the November 2010 issue of Figure Skating Days Plus. In part 1 below, Johnny discusses the 2010 Olys, his many projects during his year "off," and what he hopes to be doing less than four years from now. #Sochi2014

Another translation of this interview is available on the fabulous blog of Yoko Takeda (@coddycoddy88 on Twitter). :)

"I Want to Be the Chanel of the Figure Skating World"

Text by Fusako Suzuki
Photos by Takayuki Honma and Keiko Asakura
Figure Skating Days Plus
(November 2010), pp. 54-57

At the Vancouver Olympics, after performing your free skate, you tried to calm the audience as they booed the judges regarding your scores. Your attitude was seen as very classy. What were you thinking about at that moment?
I was thinking I should calm the audience because Plushenko, the next performer, was on the ice. I know that it’s hard for a skater to appear on the rink after the audience is dissatisfied with the scores given to the previous skater. I did want Plushenko to concentrate, and the audience to be quiet. Needless to say, I’m really grateful for their anger with my scores.

Now you are “Johnny Weir, the celebrity” rather than “the skater.” What would you like to express by yourself?
I have a lot of projects in which I can express myself. They are all artistic: designing costumes and a fashion line, creating a song, writing a book. Through these activities, I can express various aspects of myself, and this is a very special time in my life. For skating, I have to do a lot of training, I have a lot of stress, and I am required to have the strength necessary for an athlete. So I am taking a rest. It is really exciting to enjoy my life, and to be given opportunities to find new ways of expressing myself.

Will you tell us about your CD, “Dirty Love”?
I’m excited. It’s a new project, another way to express myself. I don’t think of myself as the best singer, and I haven’t been trained to be one, but I really enjoyed the music and lyrics. The song is about the relationships between me and the judges, the inner circle of figure skating, skating itself, and rivals, and about how I have to have two faces—a smiling one and an angry one.

Will you talk about appearing in Vogue Nippon and other Japanese fashion magazines?
We took many beautiful pictures, and I love shootings. When I get old, those pictures will remind me of how pretty I looked when I was young. Fashion magazines are a good way to express my various characters through photographs. In Vogue Nippon, I appeared as a vampire, and it was fantastic to wear extreme outfits, to be made up by expert face and hair artists, and to be able to spend happy hours.

Johnny in Vogue Nippon, December 2010.

How do such activities as a singer or a fashion model influence your skating?
As for now, I think they have a bad influence on my skating. I cannot spend as much time practicing and training. But I don’t mind. Two weeks is all I need to get back to being a competitor, and for now I try to be in the best condition I can be in to perform in shows. I hope that my fans can understand that there are only 24 hours in a day, and I want to skate better, and to be slim and in good shape, always ready for performing. But I have too many projects I want to participate in, and they sometimes take up a great deal of my time. All these projects affect my ability to be in perfect shape and to perform fabulously on the ice. On the other hand, these projects have helped me be more open to others than before. Thanks to them, I can express myself on the ice better than I could before.

What do you expect of yourself as an artist?
Those projects help me improve my expression. When I’m on the ice, I feel as if I am at a concert, and I can give authentic, emotional performances. It doesn’t matter which jump I choose or in which element I have a problem. I want to express my feelings and show the audience my character. Now I think I can do that better.

It is regretful that you aren’t going to compete this season. Can we expect you will come back?
Taking one year off . . . no, not off, but after enjoying other projects for one year, I want to come back as a figure skater and performer, stronger and in better condition than before. If I continue breathing deeply for one year, I’ll be able to do that. For a different reason, Takahashi had one year off, due to an injury, and became an Olympic bronze medalist and world champion. If he can do that, I can do that, too. Also, Plushenko came back after a long gap and won. I am inspired by these two skaters. We are of the same generation and I know them well, and I’m impressed by them.

I want to come back in the next season. I already have the music [for a program] in my mind, and I know what to do and what character I will act out. I’m excited to think of creating the program in reality.

What do you want to show of yourself when you come back?
I want to show a different Johnny Weir. Of course, I want to show my original skating style, but at the same time, I want to make it ten times stronger and more beautiful, with a different character. Moreover, I want to be better at transitions. That was one of the flaws going into the Olympics. My programs were regarded as just too simple. I was taught to make everything look simple in performing. At competitions, I always try not to make things look too hard. So even though I was doing something difficult, I performed as if it was all easily done, and many people were deceived by that. I think that hurt me in various ways. I want to have everyone see how difficult it is to do what I do, while showing it in my own skating style.

What is your skating style? For example, like Lady Gaga? Classic?
My skating style will be always classic and elegant. Lady Gaga is only for exhibitions--only to enjoy the makeup, costumes, and being crazy. As for competitions, I think I must be elegant and refined every time. It's like wearing Chanel instead of Top Shop. Chanel is classic and elegant, isn’t it? Top Shop changes every season. I want to be classic, elegant Chanel or Hermes.

What do you think you will be doing four years from now?
I want to be successful in all the projects I work on. In songs, in my own ice shows, in competitions--I want to succeed in all of them. I’m going to work hard every day to realize them all, and I hope to win a medal at Sochi. At this time in four years, I hope I will be performing in an ice show with a medal from Sochi.

Will you tell us your philosophy of being Johnny Weir?
My philosophy is to be myself, to enjoy every moment of my life. Nobody knows when he/she dies, right? My everyday goal is to enjoy the day, to believe in the day, and to do something I’m proud of. I always miss skating. If I don’t skate every day, the ability to feel that I have accomplished something wonderful is taken away from me. At the same time, I try to be proud of anything that I do everyday.

Second, I never conceal myself. I always reveal my heart and soul to others. Maybe this is my philosophy. There is no plan to be Johnny Weir. I just live.

Already every inch the Chanel of figure skating,
Johnny performs his short program during Worlds 2008.
His performances earned him the only US medal
at Worlds that year.

~ Our thoughts, our prayers, our hearts are with you ~
Please consider donating, if you are able,
to help the people of Japan.
Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation
that will appear on your phone bill.
Or support Lady Gaga's donation efforts
by purchasing her special "We Pray for Japan" bracelet
for just $5. You may include an additional amount
with your bracelet purchase if you wish;
all proceeds go directly to Japan relief efforts.
For more ways to help, please see this article.

Yes, Ice Dreams is happening again
in Bensenville, IL, on April 30!
For every ticket sold, $1 will be donated to
the Japanese Red Cross
More info on the Ice Dreams website
and the Ice Dreams Facebook page!
Young skaters: Sign up here to audition!

Yes! At last: Pop Star On Ice is now available on DVD!
Order yours today from the Pop Star On Ice website!

Please help Johnny meet his goal
of raising $10,000 for breast cancer research
by visiting his donor page! Any amount
you can give will help Skate for Hope
in the fight against cancer.
You also can get tickets NOW to see Johnny
perform in Skate for Hope on
Saturday, June 18, in Columbus, OH!
(Same weekend as the Annually Awesome

Johnny tweeted recently:
"Buy my single,'Dirty Love' via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!"
You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny's website,
or just click the "Buy" button on the player
at the top of the blog!

Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny's website!

copyright 2011 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


germansoulmate said...

"Second, I never conceal myself. I always reveal my heart and soul to others. Maybe this is my philosophy. There is no plan to be Johnny Weir. I just live."

That is it. HE´s just Johnny with all up and downs which he owns. I really believe that´s something people have forgotten and need to be reminded of. Generally spoken.

Thanks to Akiko again for taking the time to translate the interview, and to you for posting it.

Anonymous said...

GAHHH!!! all this talk about Johnny competing again everywhere is making me way too excited!!! I missed him competing so much this season. After watching him for 10 years, this skating season was just not the same without him. I am ready to route for him and cheer him on the minute he decides to compete...SOCHI2014!!!♥♥♥


WheresMyKoppy said...

Thank you MM! And thank you Akiko! Thank you so much for all your effort and hard work on these translations!

I admire Johnny's honesty and I am happy he has had the chance to work on other projects.

I'm still not sure I want to see him deal with all the BS again, but if he wants to try and compete again I'll support him. If he does not compete again, I will still support him!

Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

lovely, lovely, interview!

thank so much Binky and Akiko!


akiko said...

My dear friends, you're welcome, and thank you for reading the interview and leaving your comments!

Binky, thank you so much!! You edited my translation so beautifully, "covered with delicate pink blossoms," and put it with such lovely pictures of Johnny!! I feel your and Johnny's love to Japan again.