The Master of Ghost Ninpou?

By Donnie | Articles

ghostninpouPant, pant, hoo, hooo…hoooooo! (the sound of Donald gasping for breath).
“I…I’m…I’m back”…hoooo.

Oh my God, let me tell you what’s been going on with me lately. I recently finished up at the Tokyo Ninjitsu graduate school with a major in the Ghost Arts. During our final examination, all ninja candidates had to demonstrate all of the 忍法 (ninpou: ninja arts) they had learned over the course of the program.

I REALLY wanted to impress my panel of instructors, especially head instructor, Ryu Hayabusa…yes, Mr. Ninja Gaiden himself. I ended up demonstrating the forbidden Shadow Ginpou technique (Shadow + Ghost + Ninpou) the ultimate disappearing ninjitsu. This is not to be confused with the Shadow Gimpou technique (Shadow + Gimp + Ninpou) where you disappear and end up in reappearing in a black leather suit with a red ball in your mouth (a la Pulp Fiction).

Needless to say, I was teleported to another dimension, and I have been fighting my a$$ off every single day just to find a way back to my home dimension. It’s been tough, but I did finally make it back.

It turns out it was a silly little mistake with my hand sealing technique. Did you know that your fingers being just 2 degrees off while performing a ninjitsu hand seal can ruin or completely alter a magic ninpou technique? Well I didn’t either, but I know now!


Maybe I haven’t been fighting ninjas, maybe I don’t have a graduate degree in the Ghost Arts, maybe Nintendo legend Ryu Hayabusa isn’t my ninjitsu teacher. Hell, maybe I don’t damn lick of ninpou, but I have been going through a whirlwind of stuff, and IT IS good to be back to talk to you again.

As some of you may know, I moved to Tokyo back in early January. I was living in a sharehouse near Ouji Station because I figured if I was going to be doing more modeling gigs, Tokyo was the best place for me to be.

I was able to get by for a while, and started landing regular extra, modeling, and commercial jobs. I had the opportunity to do some cool work for Panasonic & Canon, tv extra work, events, etc.

Being able to smile and say, “I was in this Canon commercial” may sound cool, but it’s not the equivalent of landing the same type of job in the U.S.. Sometimes people think if you’re landing those big name gigs in Japan, that you’re rolling in dough and it simply not how things work. Were the modeling industry in Japan unionized the way it is in the U.S., it would be a different story altogether…but that’s for another post, I suppose.

Though I haven’t done enough modeling in the U.S. to know fully, I hear that landing a commercial in the U.S. with a “big” company would mean that you wouldn’t have to work for the the rest of the year.

Granted, modeling gigs can pay pretty well for a day’s work in Japan ($1000 or more if it’s a good job), but it’s often not quit your job type of money, at least it hasn’t been for me.

After a string of jobs, I started thinking that I might actually be able to make a career of it, but all of sudden…“poof!” those audition dry spells blew in out of nowhere. There were those time where I wasn’t landing jobs, and of course those times when the audition offers slowed down. But that’s the nature of the entertainment beast.

During those lean times, recognition is nice, but it doesn’t pay the rent.

I know it’s doable because I have friends (not many, but some) who do it full-time. I guess things didn’t line up the way I wanted them to. A stable yet flexible source of part-time income may have made a difference, but I can’t say that for sure. I just didn’t leaving my income to chance.

But you know what? Screw all that!

We’re not gonna dwell on anything negative right now. I tried for six months, I’m glad I did, and that’s that. I may do some part-time acting/modeling work, but it’s time to change gears, and trade in the freedom/unpredictability of modeling for the stability of a full-time job. Yes, it’s back to the classroom for me & back to the dream drawing board for me.

That’s life. You live, you learn, you adjust 🙂

A humongous thanks to all of my family, friends, and even Japan Guy readers that helped me stay positive when things weren’t going so smoothly. I hit a rough patch, but I’m back on course now.

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