Hello everyone! It’s been a few weeks since my birthday live - time flies! I have tried writing this blog post so many times now. I can’t seem to find the words to say what I want to say. I guess this is as good as it’s gonna get 😂
Obviously, 2020 has been... a challenge. I really hope everybody is holding up okay! Kate birthday live was actually meant to be held on the 21st of March, but unfortunately increased COVID restrictions meant that we had to postpone the live the day before it was meant to be held. I was pretty gutted. Everyone had already bought tickets and I was upset at the thought of disappointing people. I had also been working on something really important to me that I was looking forward to sharing with everyone (more on this later), so I was sad that we had to postpone indefinitely.
We held a “birthday party” livestream on the 21st instead, which was lots of fun! And, even though I was really disappointed about the live being postponed, AMUSE and all of you in the Briswota community supported me and helped me have fun despite everything.
You all really surprised me with the beautiful arrangement of blue flowers and white lillies (my favourite flower - how did you know?!), and the artbook! AMUSE also got me flowers, a LEMON CHEESECAKE, and a really touching card. I keep the photobook and card from AMUSE on display in my house, and I look at them often. They always bring a smile to my face! I was so touched by everyone’s support, I didn’t even know what to say....
AND THEN YOU DID IT ALL OVER AGAIN FOR THE RESCHEDULED LIVE???? I am so grateful and so lucky. I love you all. Thank you.
COVID restrictions started to ease, and we were able to reschedule my birthday live to the 25th of July! We were all so excited to be able to perform for an audience again. I was hiding backstage before the show, when Pengi appeared and said “I think you should come with me” with a lil smile. She took my hand and led me to the front of the venue where I saw.... a big blue flower stand! Complete with a little blue basket of lemons! I was surprised by such lovely flowers from everyone in March for my actual birthday, and I was SO touched that you all pulled together to organise something so lovely for me a second time. A huge thank you to everyone who contributed - you made me so happy. Seeing the flower stand made me teary and I ended up just sitting on the floor next to it and having a lil cry, but Luvkii made sure to take some photos of me in that moment before the show!
Something I was SUPER excited about for this live was that we got to have our very first opening act - Ripple! I love Ripple so much and she shone so brightly on stage. I am very proud of her and I feel so lucky that we got to share the stage for my birthday live!
I actually found it really difficult to put a setlist together for the show - I love so many of our songs it was hard to pick just an hours worth! But here’s the setlist I ended up settling on!
1. Brand New Parade - Gang Parade
2. Tokyo Rat City - CY8ER
3. LOVE GET YOU! -THIS IS THE BIRTHDAY SONG- (PAPIPUPEPO WA MUZUKASHII)
4. My Life - CY8ER
5. Jiken Boppatsu - Leiwan
6. Kami Iro Awase - Binaria
7. Gray Wednesday - Triple H
8. Taisho wo Idake! Galbi Ambitious - Wa-suta
9. Datte Datte aa Mujou - u’s
10. Nerve - BiS
11. Family Name - ZOC
12. Sakura Apparition - Dempagumi Inc
EN1. Ambivalent - Keyakizaka 46
EN2. Goshuu - CY8ER
We got to perform TWO new songs! One was Love Get You! -This is the Birthday Song-, which is super fun and you’ll be seeing it at all of our birthday lives from now on! My new song of choice was Sakura Apparition!
I think that Dempa are SO fun and I really love how silly the dance is for Sakura Apparition. It is so full of character and energy I can’t help but grin ear to ear even when we are rehearsing it!
On a different note - look how cute my birthday costume is!
Lolly designed it and found the fabric for me, and I sewed it (well, most of it. I was time poor, so Lolly added some finishing touches after I sewed the base dress. I lov you lolly thank you). How perfect is the fabric?! The sequinned lemons are so cute, I’m surprised Lolly was able to track down such a perfect fabric.
I said earlier that there was something that I’d been working on that I was excited to share with everyone. Lolly, Pengi and I all really love an anime called Mawaru Penguindrum. I particularly love it because it has beautiful music. One of our favourite songs from the soundtrack is Gray Wednesday, so I asked Lolly and Pengi to perform it with me. We would all sing together and I would play the piano.
Through my childhood and teenage years, I took piano lessons. I performed at recitals and took exams fairly often, but one performance in particular has stuck with me - the first time I played a grand piano. I was nervous, and as I sat down to play I totally panicked. The piano was so big and all the keys seemed to meld together, and I couldn’t find my starting note. I just kept hitting random notes and just HOPING one sounded right.... it was a bit of a disaster. I ended up muddling my way through the song but it was BAD. Since then, every time I have played piano for other people, I think of that moment and feel completely terrified.
Gray Wednesday is such a beautiful song, so I really wanted to push myself to get over my fear and perform it at my birthday live. I had also never played and sung together before, so I really wanted to give that a go! I love singing in harmony, and I initially notated the 3 part harmonies in Gray Wednesday by ear for us to sing, but I was very nervous about the piano and we haven’t sung harmonies together before - so we decided to shelve the harmonies for now. Working on the harmonies in Gray Wednesday can be an exciting project for another time!
On the day of the live I was so nervous - more nervous than I’ve ever been in my life. I really, really did not want to mess up Gray Wednesday. It seems really silly to put so much pressure on myself over one short song in an hour-long setlist, but my past experiences had me so scared, and I really wanted to push myself to get over my fear.
Gray Wednesday did not go as well as I would have liked it to. I froze up right at the end, but managed to finish the song. To tell the truth, I was really disappointed in myself (and a lil embarrassed) about how I played. I was really stuck on how poorly it went, until I watched the footage back after the show.
When watching the video back, all I could notice was the immense support I had from everyone in the room. Pengi, seeing I was scared and placing her hand on my back while I played to calm my nerves. A voice in the audience, yelling out that I was doing a good job when I froze up. My mum, frantically waving a blue penlight in circles around her head at the end of the song. AMUSE rushing onstage to hug me after the song and gushing about being proud of me.... I’m a perfectionist, and wanted to give a perfect performance to help me get over my fear - but I’ve realized now that I was focusing on the wrong thing. This is going to sound cheesy, but I feel like I can do anything because I have the support of AMUSE and such a wonderful community behind me.
Thank you, everyone. I hope I can play the piano for you all again soon!
In general, I definitely put a lot of pressure on myself when it comes to performing. I hold myself to very unrealistic standards and when I don’t meet them I am pretty cruel to myself. I had so much fun at my birthday live, and really that is the most important thing. When people ask me what I love the most about being an idol, the answer is always “having fun and working hard with my dear friends”. I’m slowly learning to be nicer to myself, and to just enjoy performing with my friends and seeing everyone in the audience have fun.
I hope I can continue to grow as a person and as an idol!
Thank you for reading. I can’t wait to see what other adventures AMUSE gets up to, and I hope you’ll continue to support us along the way!
Much love, Kate 💙
PS - a huge thank you to @indopr0 and @jinkakurevolver on insta for the stage photos in this blog!