Waratte ii to mo at Studio Alta - 1999.01.12
Hekiru was called by Gontiti. Nobody had even dreamed that she would appear on such a widely viewed show. It's a pretty impressive accomplishment to be in a position to be called upon, although we all know that they guests are decided a couple weeks beforehand and the calls are staged. :P
I debated going to Studio Alta, since there was no guarantee I could get in (you have to apply to get into the audience by sending out a postcard more than a week before). Also, I had never even heard of the show before that day. Even after talking to people, I couldn't find out much, except that it might be possible to glimpse her going into the building, and that perhaps there was a cancel waitlist or something.
Some chance is better than no chance, I finally decided, so I hastily took half day off work and went home. I thought about just staying at the office and going to Alta on the first train, but realized that I had to set the video timer. (I actually screwed up on the timer and got only the first half of Hekiru's appearance though. -_- ) And I also thought that no-one would be crazy enough to go so early. So I went home and took the second train the next morning. I arrived in Shinjuku at 6:15 to find BETA already there! And a line of about 17 people!!
But they were all female, no other Hekiru fans. Later we figured out that they were the people who already had tickets, not the cancel line. There were 7 people ahead of me in the cancel line. There reason there were so many people waiting was because Shingo from SMAP was appearing, but we didn't know that. Then at 7am, disaster!! One person turned to me and BETA and said, "They don't allow guys into cancel spots." EH?! BETA was pretty crushed, but he hung around with me until a little past 8 when he had to leave for work. 2 other Hekiru fans showed up too, not people that I knew, but they were turned away. Later, after getting a cancel number, I walked around and saw some familiar faces leaving Alta. So other fans made a try too. But I was the only fan to get in, being the only female fan to show up. There were 10 cancellations, and I was 8 in line.
We got into the studio, which holds only about a 100 people. Photos are allowed during the actual show, but since Hekiru doesn't like to be photographed I didn't want to take any. I did take pictures of the stage, and when she came out I tried to take a photo of how the stage looked with all the flowers and congratulations that had been sent, from like Sony and stuff. But screwed up on it, and so finally just took one of the whole stage when Hekiru was sitting down and not looking my way.
Hekiru wore a long, rather tight black skirt, black platforms, and some kind of tight light purple fur jacket over a black blouse. Her hair was quite straight, not curled a little like it usually is, and getting rather long. For some reason she was looking a little plump, but maybe it was just the fur. She brought in a promo poster, Face to Face, and the album and her calendar to give to the host.
They talked about her name Hekiru and why she chose it, and also about Shinya, with whom she had performed the Hyouryuusha duet, and who was the drummer for Fly Away in her new album. Then during the commercial the host brought up the topic of her being a seiyuu originally, and Hekiru talked about how at first she had no desire to sing.
I don't remember the talk after the CM, so I have to wait to get a copy of the program. Hekiru was on for about 10 minutes, and she was visibly nervous. From where I was sitting, I couldn't see her face at all since she kept facing the host. She hardly looked at the audience and I thought she kept looking down a lot, but a glance at what I had taped reassured me that it was not as bad as I had thought. Certainly much better than Urugusu. She smiled a lot and she looked at the opposite camera quite a few times, so overall I think it was a pretty decent outing on primetime national TV!