Anifest... more like Ambifest (hee hoo)

Hi everyone! It’s k8 checking in with my very first blog post! ☺️

This weekend was Sydney Anifest and it was so much fun! We debuted our new set of costumes (designed by our own Pengi and Lolly) and 2 new songs - Tokyo Rat City and Ambivalent!

Getting to Sydney was a bit of a debacle for me... My fellow group members flew in to Sydney on Friday morning, but I unfortunately had work and had to fly in on Friday night (gross). By the time I got to the airport, it started to storm and all flights were delayed... after an hour or so of sitting around the rainy airport, flights started to commence again, but my flight was kept waiting for a particularly long time..... it turned out that the plane was held up because it had not been stocked with SNACKS! They ended up putting us on the plane without snacks, and I ended up getting to Sydney 2 and a half hours later than I was supposed to... zzzzz.....

I finally got to reunite with the rest of A-MUSE at about midnight, but we were faced with some... costume challenges that kept us up into the wee hours of the morning. Whoops. (More on this in a future blog post maybe.... these costumes have quite a story behind them!)

On Saturday we headed to the con exhausted and incredibly nervous about our new song “Ambivalent” by Keyakizaka46. Keyaki is a 20+ member idol group known for their intense choreography - so it was unlike anything we’d ever attempted before. Learning the choreography and adapting the dance from 20 people down to 6 was no easy feat - huge thanks to Rinya and Lolly for breaking this down!

Before I continue talking about Anifest, I want to mention something very personal to me. I’ve always loved Musical Theatre and being in musicals, but dancing has never been a strong point of mine. Back in high school, I was ridiculed for having 2 left feet and basically being a big uncoordinated baby. Because of this, I tend to get really nervous when dancing with A-MUSE - and so learning a song like Ambi was a huge hurdle for me to jump over.

A-MUSE actually started working on Ambivalent while I was in Japan for LLFes, and so I joined in on the group rehearsals a little bit late. I already had my insecurities about the dance, and sometimes dances can take me a little longer to pick up, so starting on the back foot was a challenge in itself for me. We worked on polishing Ambi for a couple of months, and I often went home from practice feeling overwhelmed and defeated. My members were very supportive of me through this - they always encouraged me when I was upset. They often told me they were proud of me too... They realized how much of a hurdle this dance was for me and were there to support me the whole time! I’m so lucky to have 5 bootiful gorls in my life.

I worked very hard in my own time and at practice to catch up on Ambi and raise my confidence in the dance, and then it seemed like all of a sudden we were backstage about to perform it for the first time in our pretty + shiny new long swishy skirts. As we ran out onto the stage I tried to put on a very brave and happy face, but on the inside I was so scared. Ambivalent was the first song of our Saturday morning set, and I felt nervous and determined as the song started, but I left the stage feeling disappointed. I had totally messed it up. I walked offstage brushing it off, saying that we still had 3 more chances to perform it and that I could redeem myself...

But thankfully, lolly had set up a camera and filmed our performance. I was shocked watching the footage back - I was in sync with everyone else! All 6 of us looked so powerful! I was so sure that I had been the weak link of the group and that my performance was sloppy, but this was not the case. I don’t think I gave a perfect performance, but I was definitely stressing for no good reason.

I wanted to share this story because I can imagine there are a lot of people out there like me - feeling insecure about trying something they’ve never been particularly good at. In cases like this, I guess you kind of just need to get out of your own way and do the thing! You’ll never know if you can do it until you try - and even if you don’t get it right away, you’ll get there eventually. And probably - you’re doing a much better job than you think you are. This is something that I need to learn. Your best is more than enough.

Outside of performing and Buppan, we barely had time to explore the con, but a highlight was getting to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons with Aleks and Pengi!! We have been waiting for this game for such a long time and had a lot of fun running around the island crafting things and hitting each other with nets.

After what simultaneously felt like just 2 hours but also 2 years, the Syd Anifest weekend was over. We left the con exhausted and hungry, and bumped into some congoers giving out WORM ON A STRINGS???? They happened to have worms in all of our IMAGE COLOURS???? I was a lot more excited about this than I should have been.

The pictured worm does not depict the worms in question, but he is a very good boy!!

After dinner on Sunday night, as we walked back to our Air BnB for the evening happy and full of KBBQ (お肉食べたい, am I right lads), Lolly and I reflected on our weekend. We walked behind the group, watching Luvkii and Pengi walk arm in arm and Aleks happily chat to Helen (our dear friend and amazing helper for the weekend!), and were filled with so much love and pride for A-MUSE. We spend a lot of time together hard at work on our next projects, so these rare moments that we get to just relax and enjoy each other’s company + celebrate our hard work are very blissful.

Syd AniFest weekend was so much fun - it brought a lot of new challenges for us, and I’m so happy that I get to continually face these challenges with such an incredible group of girls I am so honoured to call my friends.

I wonder what challenges our next adventure will bring ☺️

Thank you so much for reading + I hope you’re looking forward to our next projects!

Much love,

Kate 💙