America's Got Talent Hypnotist Chrisjones
A story of bringing an American comedy hypnotist to Japan.
"We're Going to Japan in two weeks"
In July of 2017 I was presented an opportunity to bring an America's Got Talent Chrisjones to Tokyo, Japan. Chris called me up one early summer day and said "Shane, I want you to show me the Japanese experience... I'm booking tickets in two weeks" I quickly replied, "Hai".
I've been on the road with him from 2015 - 2018, working to promote his brand through filming stage performances, capturing and creating live video for his fanbase on social along with graphic design. Being able to merge my love for the culture with my passions quickly got me to thinking how we could maximize the trip to work for him. I quickly got to calling a few connections to see what kind of events I could pull together.
A little about working with chris
Each adventure with Chrisjones has taught me the power of storytelling and entertainment. I worked in developing content and filming for him on tours, along with managing meet-ups and trips on the road.
He leads his tours with a strong "Why", in the business to provide smiles and laughter to whoever he meets — while encouraging them to "Dream Big Dreams".
This same energy encouraged me to properly capture and frame it for all content delivered. It also granted me a more in depth understanding of all of America's 50 States, as we would hop from state to state experiencing culture. Utah, Wyoming and Kansas in particular would open my eyes to some interesting insights.
Street magic in Zushi, Kanagawa
One of the most exciting experiences was filming a variety of street performances with a nod to David Blaine in style. We went to an Okinawan restaurant called Alohi, and started interacting with the Japanese-only speaking guests. I translated dialogue between the two of them for initial introductions.
Chris was able to speak to them fluently through magic however — making everyone realize that magic is yet another powerful universal language.
GETTING CHRISJONES ON TBS TOKYO
Connections are a powerful thing to have.
I was fortunate enough to meet a variety of small business owners and creatives during my times to Japan. This round, I reached out to my friend in the NPO scene, who had a friend looking for guests to be filmed for a segment they pitched to TBS Television, Tokyo's largest broadcasting channel. I was able to get us placed on Biz Street, covering a tourism business which places foreigners in Japanese cultural activities. Chris was able to experience the Tokyo countryside preparing Nagashi Somen, which is an experience with cold noodles flowing down a bamboo shoot.
He was able to chop down a bamboo shoot, make a cup and eat noodles out of a stream of downward floating water.
Connecting with expats & Locals
While we were on tour, I was able to book him a performance at one of Tokyo's established international hostels called Yadoya Guest House, which is in Nakano, Japan.
I wanted Chris to experience the opportunities of connecting with Japan traveling expats, locals and resident foreigners — to be able to experience their day to day in Japan for trip inspiration. The routine consisted of hypnotizing one English-speaking Japanese guest, and performing magic tricks.
The main event | two nights at Good Heavens Comedy Club, Shimokitazawa, Tokyo.
All of the anticipation for this trip came to fruition in our last four days, as we were granted access to a stage at Tokyo's Good Heaven's British bar and Stand-Up Tokyo — Japan's largest comedy club for English speakers. Interaction with the owner, locals and residents, along with comedians instantly supercharged Chris. He delivered that same energy in a 90 minute set which prompted an encore headliner days later.