This morning I had just arrived at the theatre and was settling in to some translation before rehearsal started, when one of the actors asked me if I could run lines with him. Instead of telling him that I could barely read the script, let alone be relied upon for timely interjections, I foolishly agreed. Thankfully I knew about 80% of the Kanji for the section that he was reading from, and so it wasn’t a complete disaster. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I insisted we do it again. Though sadly, when it came to requesting a fourth run through I was informed that this would not be necessary; I think it was because he was now more comfortable with his lines, but it could well have been because he was scared by my over-eager attempts to annihilate his native language.
In the early evening I was asked to help out with a concert by a Dutch reed quintet. Fearing that I was going to be asked to do some horrific third party translating, or worse asked to fill in with my Grade 5 clarinet ‘skills’, I was relieved to find that all I had to do was sit at the back of the hall and fill up one of the empty seats. As far as jobs go I’ve certainly had less enjoyable ones, although there was a definite element of boondoggling to the proceedings. Of course there is always the strong possibility that I had misunderstood my instructions, and wasn’t actually working at all, but had been bequeathed the tickets as an act of kindness. A very strong possibility indeed.