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Nov 16, 2013

Japanese TV wants to interview ME?



ZOMG, readers -- you won't believe how I spent yesterday!

About a month ago I'd received an email from a producer at Japan's Nippon TV network, saying they were interested in doing a short (2 1/2 minute) segment about vintage sewing machines.  They'd discovered my blog and were wondering if they could do an interview.

With my friend Johanna.

And would I kindly contact her for them?

OK, originally it sounded like they were interested in both of us, but after a few email exchanges it became clear that they wanted to tape the segment at Johanna's apartment, focus on Johanna's machines, and -- tragically -- interview just Johanna.

Friends, I was totally OK with this.  I've had my fifteen minutes of fame (or at least Cathy has); now it was Johanna's turn.  Not to mention that Johanna's collection of roughly twenty vintage machines dwarfs my own.  And her colorful, artsy-craftsy apartment is much more telegenic.  Plus she doesn't live with two yapping chihuahuas.

The interview was scheduled for yesterday afternoon.  Johanna made me promise I'd be there -- it's not like I pulled a Lucy Ricardo, hoping to break into show business by squeezing myself into the frame.  Also too, Johanna didn't want to be alone while her home was invaded by strangers, and who can blame her?

Johanna had spent a few days prepping her machines, straightening up the apartment, that sort of thing.  I got there early and was immediately reminded how many beautiful machines she owns.  There are sewing machines in almost every nook and cranny!

A few highlights:















When the TV crew of four arrived (two of whom spoke no English), they already had a precise idea of what they wanted to cover.  A lot of time was spent moving furniture, setting up lights, plugging in cords, and making sure the machines (and Johanna) were ready for their close-ups.









They wanted to tape Johanna sewing more than just a fabric scrap, so Johanna actually ripped open the seams of an old muslin so she could sew it back together.   That was my idea!









It was a very long day, readers -- they filmed for roughly four and a half hours!  Fortunately after the adventure was finished, Johanna treated me to dinner at a marvelous Greek restaurant that specializes in fish. 





Greek coffee is half grounds.

I am very proud of Johanna, who (so far) hasn't let her sewing machine celebrity go to her head.  The segment is due to air in early December and I think it is going to be big, very big.  At least in Japan.  I only hope Johanna still remembers me when she's starring in her own Japanese reality show.

You can view more photos of Johanna's large (and growing) vintage sewing machine collection, as well as highlights of our day under the glare of portable klieg lights here.

Don't you think it's time for Johanna to formally open her sewing machine museum already?

Have a great day, everybody!

32 comments:

  1. International fame, and you didn't send Cathy???

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    1. Cathy wouldn't know a sewing machine from a toaster.

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  2. I hope she doesn't get cramps signing the royalty checks from The Super Terrific Happy Hour!

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  3. That's really cool! Stinks that you didn't get to be featured too, but on some level it's kinda funny how they gradually made the ol' switcheroo to get to Johanna. That took some chutzpah (or its Japanese equivalent).

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  4. Oh, what a fun day! It's so great to see that people are actually interested in sewing and sewing machines (vintage or otherwise). :)

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  5. The only Japanese reality shows I know involve obstacle courses resulting in face plants into foam pads

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  6. That is too cool for words! How fun!!!

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  7. So close to international TV fame! Of course you already have international internet/blog/Vogue pattern magazine fame, so missing out on the TV...not a bit gap in your resume, as I see it.

    As far as the switch....is Joanna of Japanese ancestry? Besides her many machines, I wonder if that wasn't part of it? Although from your description, it sounds more like their plan was to interview Joanna all along.

    Wow, a restaurant specializes in fish and it's NOT deep fried? Now THAT I envy!

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    1. She's actually of Chinese ancestry, nope.

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    2. just want to correct my brain fart....I should have typed Johanna. Many apologies!

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  8. What a wonderful day for you and Johanna! You may have been approached first because of cultural differences. In this country we contact people directly, but perhaps it is more proper in Japanese culture to be introduced to a lady through a respected male friend.

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    1. That definitely makes sense. I know it often works like that for social connections.

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  9. My brother lives in Japan, I will have him look for it,

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  10. I've got 4 of the same machines as Johanna, possibly 5. (and others) Oops, wondering if I should be as pleased as I am.

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  11. Fantastic. What beautiful machines Johanna owns. Can't believe there's a New Yorker with more vintage machines than you.

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  12. "What's my line?" JohannaNovember 16, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    I prefer to think of it as an amusement park, not a museum =)

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    1. Now THAT's my kind of amusement park! Thank you so much for sharing your day. Absolutely delightful.

      Lisa

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  13. Wow, I have machine envy! What glorious sewing machines! Sounds like a fun (if long) day! Also, I'm a Greek coffee addict... I love the stuff! I'll treat you to a cup any time. :)

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  14. It's amazing how much work goes into a short segment, we had some commercials filmed at our house several years ago and 3 x 30 seconds took about 12 hours.

    I noticed that my mum's model Bernina, the one I learned to sew on, is in that last shot - I know it was second-hand when my mum bought it, but surely I'm too young to have learned on a museum piece? Maybe Johanna could call it vintage, or collectable?

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  15. I wonder if there's any chance it'll be on youtube so us non-Japanese viewers can see it? In any case, I love the photos. I love both the collection and the way it's displayed.

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  16. Oooh so exciting! I will be waiting for it to be aired here!

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  17. Is this like the Iron Sewer? The Japanese version of Iron Chef is hilarious!

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  18. Thanks for sharing that! What a wonderful opportunity for Johanna and a great day for you!

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  19. Oooo, that's exciting! What program of NTV will it be part of?? When will it air in Japan, do you know?

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  20. You're supposed to turn your cup over and read the grounds in the mound on the saucer to learn your fortune!!

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  21. Wow! How exciting! Hope we get to see it via YouTube.

    Congrats to Johanna!

    Peter, next time it will be you!

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  22. That is very exciting - I just love how much press the sewing world is getting these days!

    And by the way, I think a couple of yapping chihuahuas would only add to the charm of the feature.

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  23. What fun for Johanna and you too, even if they didn't interview both of you. Her machines are fabulous.

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  24. How very cool! Too bad they weren't so starstruck by you that they had to include you in the interview, but you'll know your hand was behind it all pulling the strings (or threads, as the case may be).

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