Beth, an American eel. She’s not that much an old eel, but her enthusiasm is always beyond description. She’s a jewelry designer and made a great accessory that describes well about our love toward JKS, eternal love. I shared some info about her work at the bottom of this post. If you’re interested in it, please contact her directly.
Credit: Beth Wagner from Oregon, U.S.A and ECI
Here is my full FA for the Team H Halloween Party at Makuhari Messe Hall, Chiba, Tokyo, Japan on Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1st 2015!
PART 1: The Build-Up
If I go back to the beginning of this adventure, I would say it started just after the first of the year. MelyPr Eel (Melinda Reyes) and I had been dreaming of a chance to go meet in Japan someday and go to a concert, and suddenly, she had a possibility to take off work in the fall, sometime around the first of November, and my husband coincidentally began to plan another of his art shows in Tokyo for the end of October/beginning of November. When he finalized his plans in the spring to have the art gallery opening party on October 30th, Melinda and I got serious about planning a trip where we could meet up.
The only thing missing from our trip was the concert we dreamed of seeing together. First, Monochrome was released, and many concert dates were announced, but they ended in June. We hoped perhaps for a second round of concerts in the fall, but June came and went and no further dates were announced. We kept biting our nails, afraid to buy tickets for the wrong date– what if we got the tickets and then they announced a date that we just missed?! It was terrifying, but we tried hard to just think of it as a fun trip to Japan and a great place to meet up for the first time. Still….. it was impossible to push hopes for a concert out of our minds.
Summer came and still there was no announcement. It was beginning to seem that our dear AP was either taking the fall off, or had some other plans that would keep him from touring. We really began to lose hope of a concert. But suddenly he had a Live in Seoul concert, and our hopes bloomed again…. then…. it happened!! The announcement came that there would be two Team H Halloween Party concerts in Tokyo, over Halloween weekend!!
I know I could barely sleep that night, knowing that all my wishes were coming true. An art show with my husband, friends in Tokyo to see again, my dear friend Melinda to finally meet, more eels who I was excited to meet, and then of course, the concerts of a lifetime.
We booked our airline tickets, booked hotel rooms and other travel accommodations, and waited for the day we could apply for the tickets, assuming we would get them since we had both become members of the Japan Fan Club earlier, just in case of a concert.
We applied for S and SS seats for both nights, for both of us.
We FAILED all our bids.
I don’t know about Melinda, but for me this was absolutely crushing. I tried so hard to be happy for the others who all succeeded (we were the only ones in the group who failed all bids)…. and I WAS happy for them, but at the same time it felt such a cruel twist of fate. To have this perfectly timed chance to go to Tokyo, to be there when he is there and having a concert, and yet….not be able to go.
I have to apologize to anyone who saw my posts that day, lol…. I was so distraught, I honestly hardly remember it, but I’m sure I came across as a lunatic! Well, I think I felt like a lunatic that day, so it wouldn’t be far off the mark, lol.
Then, to my utter surprise, our dear Tenshi Akuma (who lives up to the ‘Angel’ part of her name for sure!!) contacted me. She knew of a few other eel friends who had all gotten extra tickets (in case any of them failed their bids), and they were happy to sell us their extras for both nights!! I went from uncontrollable, hiccuping sobbing, to uncontrollable joy in a heartbeat. To have this chance returned to me by eels, most of whom I never had spoken with before… it made everything so much more precious. The tickets meant more because of the kindness of eels– the caring nature that ties us all together. I can never thank Tenshi and that group of eels enough. I know Melinda feels the same. Because of them, because of the kindness of our eel family, our dreams came true. 🙂
Finally the day came to meet Melinda in Tokyo, fresh off her 20 hour flight and an hour-long bus ride with a baby who screamed like someone was killing it (seriously… it was bad!! everyone on that bus got off with the same horrified look, including the baby’s mom!) Despite the ordeal, as soon as we saw each other, it was like the oldest of friends reuniting. We laughed and hugged, and I don’t think we stopped laughing for the whole rest of the trip– especially when Mamacri Chan (Maria) and her daugher Melody joined us. We had fun everywhere we went!
On the Thursday before the concert, we heard that one of the eels who had arranged for the tickets wanted to meet up with us, and had managed to score a dinner reservation at the Zikzin cafe at 7:30!
We had thought we wouldn’t be able to do this, because we know how jammed it is, especially when our AP is in town– and yet, eel friends made another dream come true for us. We hoped that Tenshi could join us as well, but although it turned out she couldn’t make it, we knew we would meet at lunch before the concert on day 2. Melinda, Mamacri, and Melody went shopping early at the AP and CdZ stores while I had to help my husband a bit with his art show. We planned to just meet right before the dinner reservation. But luckily I got done early because suddenly I got a text from them to GET OVER THERE! A security guard had suddenly been posted by the door, with an earpiece, and it seemed something was up….. we waited and waited….. and then saw the facebook post that JKS had just arrived at Haneda, and left in his little red Fiat. We were just certain he was driving over to the shops, with all that weird security! So we hovered some more, and other eels were gathering too. Then the tall male security guard (there were two guards by this point) came over to tell us we couldn’t stand around there because the other businesses got annoyed. We understood, and were ready to move away, because we don’t want our AP to get in trouble with his neighbors…. but then the security guard didn’t tell any of the others to move away– only us! Feeling a bit slighted, we moved to the other side of a wall right next to Zikzin shop, out of his view, and proceeded to crack up, giggling as quietly as we could about how we were hiding out from the guards. We had a great time hiding out, although our dear boy never showed. It’s possible there was a chance he meant to but ran out of time, but oh well. It was hilarious fun anyway.
We met up with one of the eels who sold us her extra tickets and Tawan Pholprasert , and ate our dinner.
It was delicious, and every plate looked so beautiful!
My favorite was the cocktails– I am dying to recreate them at home! they looked so gorgeous and tasted wonderful. 🙂 And getting to know two more eels was the icing on the cake. The number of good friends we made is something that only happens among eels I think. We are simply predisposed to like each other, because we all have such similar hearts.
Even eels whose names we never caught, were so kind! Everyone laughs and smiles…. we see each other, and as soon as we see a little leopard, or a Keunsagi hoodie, or a piece of Zikzin jewelry on someone, our eyes light up. Every time it was the same thing– a flash of recognition, that we were looking at another eel, all of us grinning, making thumbs up gestures, and expressing our excitement for the show and our love for JKS in whatever broken words we could string together. It didn’t matter if we cold barely speak each others’ languages. We always smiled and laughed and hugged and gave presents as if we were already old friends.
It is absolutely true, that Jang Keun Suk’s biggest gift to eels, is each other. Our family swimming in all our little ponds is quite an exceptional thing.
PART 2: The BIG DAY!!!!
At LAST, Saturday arrived, and Melinda and I gathered up our costumes, our little gifts, and put them into verrrrrry heavy bags (I think we got hernias carrying those things…LOL)
The funny thing was, two months before, we had decided on costumes of Melinda being the Mad Hatter, and me being White Rabbit.
We worked for a long time to alter and make our costumes just right, and Mandy Pan even made rabbit ears which went perfectly with my costume! A few days before we left for Tokyo, we just about died laughing– turned out the theme for this year’s Halloween Party was Mad Hatter Keunsagi! We felt pretty pleased with our costume decisions. 🙂
We boarded the train for Makuhari Messe, met a random eel on the train (instantly friends, of course), then made our way up to Mandy’s hotel room in the hotel connected to the Hall. Mamacri and Melody met us there too, and we all changed into costumes and put on waaaay too much sparkly makeup and sparkle hairspray. I know I personally looked like a glitter bomb had exploded on me. Yep. Perfect. 😉
We walked down to the venue, stopped by the merchandise tables (already sold out of so much! they really ought to bring more…..) and we bought a set of keunsagi wristbands for Melinda and I to share.
The sun went down, and we could see the glowing entrance to the venue…. it looked a bit like a theme park haunted house entrance– so perfect. 🙂
And the ticket takers were all dressed like male Korean guards in all black, or female Korean ghosts in all white with spooky hair over their faces. Everything was thrilling…. walking through the gate, getting my ticket checked, walking into the Hall and seeing the place done up with big ghostly hangings from the ceiling and the huge stage in the middle, and then finding our seats. We were seated for the first concert right at the end of the long runway, next to the sound control booth. We looked over, and standing probably 15 or 20 feet (5-7 meters) from us was GSM! he hung out in the control booth most of the night, so when there were moments that I couldn’t see JKS, I often turned to see what GSM was doing. 🙂 Our wristbands suddenly turned on and that was another thrill– I couldn’t wait to see them all change colors in unison, as the staff controlled them. That really is a fun touch to the concerts, and one that even my non-eel friends were impressed by.
Then the lights dimmed and it started…… and JKS popped up on one of the shorter side runways dressed as Peter Pan… the most perfect costume there is for our forever boy. He looked sooooo handsome in it!
A word about JKS’s appearance…… everyone who says he is not photogenic, and that he is 1000 times prettier in person, is absolutely right. It is shocking how beautiful he is, and I am convinced it is because he may be gorgeous on the outside, but he is even more beautiful on the inside, so his beauty just radiates from within. He doesn’t seem like he could even be a real human, and yet at the same time, he IS so REAL. His skin just seems to glow. His features seem so finely sculpted, they are like a perfect porcelain doll. And then there is that energy he fills the room with…..Every time he got close to us I couldn’t stop thinking how lucky I felt to be near him– this boy, whose hard work and determination I respect so much… who inspires me every day to try harder and do the best I can at everything…..and all that radiant beauty….. it just makes you forget to breathe to be in the presence of such a man. And he doesn’t look thin and fragile like I feared he might, knowing how he has been dieting lately. I have seen a few other Hollywood celebrities in person, and they all look thin on screen but totally anorexic in person. JKS’s body looks… exactly the same. He is tall, and broad shouldered, and though he is slim, it doesn’t have a fragile look to it. He looks very manly. Really, I could gush about the way he looked all day kkkkkk.
During the concerts both days I had the same reaction every time he stepped onto our runway. I froze. Completely stopped dancing, singing, shouting, blinking, breathing. Just froze with my hands clutching my poor “dugun dugun” heart. I kept feeling like any small movement would distract from me memorizing every fraction of every second he was near. I wanted to absorb it all, so I just stood there, feeling awestruck by this amazing man each time.
But when he wasn’t near, I joined back in with the other eels, singling along, jumping up and down, waving our sea of Keunsagi wristbands in unison, with different moves for each song…. squealing and grabbing Melinda when my favorite songs started, and watching the monitors when he would go to parts of the stage I couldn’t see. BB was also so great– very handsome and his DJing skills are really incredible. When you see a whole concert start to finish and see how he times it and blends it all, you can tell the guy is crazy talented.
Even if he and JKS someday quit doing Team H, I think I will always follow BB too. Partially out of Eel loyalty to this guy who stands by our dear AP no matter what, and partially because I know I’ll enjoy anything he does too.
The first night’s concert was full of energy, but like everyone says, the second night’s concert was even higher! The first night he had a couple of funny mistakes, like his wig flying off when he was dressed as Jang MeiLi, but he’s such a professional that the little mistakes are easily covered, and overall it was so great!! There were some sweet and funny moments, like the little girl in the Red Riding Hood costume , with whom he took so much time. She was so excited to meet her idol, and the fact that he took so much time to talk to her and treat her kindly, she will cherish this memory forever. He often picked kids to talk to and was always so sweet with them. He lightly teased them but so gently… not Do-S like he is with us kkkk. You can tell how much he adores kids. 🙂
One of my favorite moments from the first night, which he did a couple of times the next night too, was when he would pretend to fall asleep and snore. Sometimes he would do it flat on his back, relying on the strength of our cheers to give him the energy to sit back up and stand…. and sometimes he would do it standing up, especially if he made a mistake. It was his funny way of covering it and making us laugh. Every time, he would pretend to fall asleep, snore loudly into the microphone, then “wake up” all startled, like “wha– where am I ? What’s going on??” LOL it was really so silly and darling. Our boy’s great comedic timing at work.
When the first night was over, I felt a little disappointment, but knowing that I still had one more night made it bearable.
We arrived for the second day, and I wore my orange Team H shirt (thank you for letting me buy it through you Dawn Hazelett !!) and again wore my bunny ears from Mandy Pan. Our feet were dying from the night before, so Melinda and I both wore more sensible shoes LOL.
The energy of the second night was immediately, palpably higher than the first night. we knew they were filming for the TBS Broadcast, but we also learned later in the show that two of his old Hanyang friends , original Team H members, were in the control booth enjoying the show. I think all of it gave JKS the energy to really go over the top. This time we were seated on the end of one of the short side runways, about 5 rows back. When he stood at the end of our runway I think he was only about 6 or 7 meters from us. I could even see leg hair when he popped up on our runway, dressed in the wig and short kimono…. 🙂 As much as I love love love him in the Peter Pan outfit, He was INCREDIBLY sexy in the woman’s outfit. I swear that boy could outperform any stripper with those moves. Whew!! I really needed a fan lol! so much hip wiggling, slow thrusting wave-like movements with his body, and running his fingers up through his “hair”…. He was only missing a pole-dance lol! Then they took their usual intermission , but instead of going to a back room to talk on camera, both nights they just sat on their consoles and talked out there with us. Both nights they held a “Costume Queen” contest where they would interview different people who thought they had great costumes. If I had understood what they were doing, and wasn’t shy, I might have tried to stand and get the camera man to see us as the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit! Oh well…. it was so fun seeing him interact with the eels, being sweet one minute and ultra Do-S the next. So HIM, lol. I think one of my other favorite parts out of both nights happened on the second concert. During the costume queen part, he was blindfolded, and a couple of girls wearing huge 3-D horse-heads were picked. Anyone wearing a full mask like that really got our boy’s curiosity up, and he would always pressure them to take it off, then immediately turn Do-S and say “Sayonara!” because they were just normal looking ladies lol. With the horse-head ladies, he asked once, and they refused…. he asked again and they refused…. on the second refusal (this is the part I loved), he turned into the cutest little boy! He stamped his feet, balled up his fists, and shook his body all over, making that whiney, frustrated sound, like a little kid whose mom won’t buy him candy! Absolutely hilarious, partially because it felt like his genuine reaction to the moment! Everyone cracked up, and one of the women even gave in and took off her mask… “Sayonara!” again lol.
I loved this because it is a great example of what sets him apart. Letting us see the childish him, the silly him, and not just the cool and suave him like most other actors… really feels special. You feel like you are with a friend– a group of friends– all making jokes together.
My second favorite part of both nights was the song that BB remixed– “Starlight”.
It was short, but they took that song to go out onto the runways and toss out candies from a halloween pumpkin shaped bucket. Something about the song, and JKS’s graceful movements tossing out the candies… it felt nothing short of magical. It was a symbol of the magic of the whole event for me. I kept half-expecting sparkling fairy dust to emit from his every movement during that song….. In fact, I think my memory of those moments has altered itself to include the fairy dust. 🙂
To every eel I met, thank you for your care , hospitality, and friendship. To those I missed meeting, I can’t wait to try to meet up someday, because I’m certain we’ll be friends immediately. And to those eels still waiting for their chance, keep Zikzin-ing toward it. Dreams absolutely come true, and I know yours will too. Someday we will meet at a concert too!
Until then, we will keep supporting our dear hardworking AP, and keep supporting each other within our dear eel family. Our pond of love and friendship makes everything seem right in the world, doesn’t it?
tenshi_akuma’s note: Here is Beth’s jewelry brand shop website. She kindly donated the proceeds to Joso victims in Japan.