Project Main Details
The documentary is about the families and members of a traditional taiko drum ensemble in Hawai’i, who are descendents of 19th century Japanese who emigrated as indentured laborers for Hawaiian sugar plantations. Through getting to know these musicians we learn all about the history of Japanese Americans in Hawai’i, from the plantation era through World War II, prejudice and internment, the heroism of the all-Japanese American 442nd battalion in WWII, and their political and economic success beginning in the 1950s. We also see an intimate and joyful portrait of these families today, and understand the deeper significance of their music. This is an emotional and hopeful success story that echoes the experience of many immigrant groups in America. We expect this program to air on Hawai’i public television and it will be given to schools in Hawai’i. We are seasoned professionals with 30 years in the business, this is a non-profit project that has not been supported by any major grant funding, hence the low budget. It has been endorsed by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai’i and the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui. Thank you for auditioning! 2010-12-03 13:20:25 GMT 2010-12-10 20:00:00 (GMT -05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) Yes (click here to learn more about ) Closed 0 0 1 direct invitation(s) have been sent by the voice seeker resulting in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far. Voice123 SmartCast is seeking 80 auditions and/or proposals for this project (approx.) Invitations sent by SmartCast have resulted in 0 audition(s) and/or proposal(s) so far.
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Narration Audition Script
(Direction: During WWII Japanese Americans suffered prejudice and internment. When the war ended many Japanese American GIs returned to Hawai’i as war heroes. Despite their continuing fears of prejudice, many Japanese Americans began to celebrate their traditions in public again. It was a time of renewed hope.)
NARRATOR: A cultural revival began. Kay’s father Albert Watanabe and his friends brought out their taiko drums again for the first time since the war. Albert’s family arranged for him to exchange photos with the family of a young woman in Japan, and he travelled there to meet her.
(Direction: This paragraph is near the start of the program, as the taiko drummers arrive at a rehearsal and begin to practice. The drummers range in age from children to 84 years old, and as they set up they kid around and have fun. The narration is warm, genuine, serious.)
NARRATOR: Between 1850 and 1926, over 100,000 men and women came from Japan to labor on Hawaii’s sugar and pineapple plantations. They endured poverty, prejudice and internment during World War II. The families of the Maui Taiko ensemble are helping keep alive the traditions brought to America by their ancestors.
(Direction: We see historical photos as you describe them, see the faces of people, we feel a sense of struggle, progress and the birth of a community.)
NARRATOR: In 1900 Hawaii became a US territory, and the practice of contract labor was ended. But poor wages, poor living conditions and mistreatment continued for the workers. The unfairness led to bitter labor strikes, which helped gain higher wages for the workers. With mechanization, conditions gradually improved. Better housing was built. The camps grew into towns with a company store, Buddhist temples and Japanese language schools. Despite the poverty, a thriving community lifestyle was born.
Thank you for auditioning!
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