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Invent Yourself

Posted by David Chester on 28 October 2017

For me, one of the best things about living and working in Tokyo has been the unique opportunity to discover my strengths. I would have never thought I could do screenwriting when I first came here 24 years ago. But circumstances led me to it, and I can say that it has now become my "calling." 

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Alternatives

Posted by David Chester on 7 June 2017

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I was interviewed today for an upcoming (hopefully) review of FIT in Metropolis, one of Tokyo's oldest English-language weeklies (print, and now online). The interviewer had carefully prepared her questions and it was a great morning in which I was able to share what I thought was of value for those who continue to define themselves as freelancers in T-town. 

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Twenty-four years later...

Posted by David Chester on 2 April 2017

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I arrived in Tokyo on April 1, 1993. I was thrilled beyond belief. I had been to Japan twice before, once in 1988 when I was a musician on Royal Viking Cruises, again in 1989 as a pianist working at one of the last Playboy Clubs in the world (located in Roppongi). I had had a taste of the unusual, the bizarre, the beautiful, the strange, the enchanting... and more. I knew I wanted to return. 

I brought USD $8,000 with me, because I already knew that in order to "purchase a phone line" (that's what you had to do back then) and rent an apartment, I would have to shell out a lot of money. I did. I went through every conceivable emotion as I grappled with setting up my new life. Check them off the list: living in a 6 tatami-mat room and sleeping on a thin futon; struggling to get a visa sponsor; fighting homesickness; being shocked at the price of food; loving and hating everything at the same time; getting my own apartment (I was told that the landlord was "not a racist," so there wouldn't be any problem), and any other misadventure a gaijin could have. Finally, after about eight months of doing anything I could think of to make everything come together, I was "legally" in Japan and able to start my new life.

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FIT is what YOU make it

Posted by David Chester on 10 February 2017

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When I first created FIT, my idea is that a community of like-minded freelancers would contribute ideas, suggestions, websites and more to support a "community" that would meet on a monthly basis and help to expand opportunities for all. I worked very hard to create that and in the beginning it was fun. But as I was the one coordinating everything, it eventually became too much and/or I didn't see the interest that I had hoped I would. 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: You're unique. Work it!

Posted by David Chester on 8 January 2017

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YOU'RE UNIQUE: WORK IT!

This is my first blog post since August 2016. Long story short: I was very involved in my first love, screenwriting, and didn't have a spare minute to update this beloved site. Screenwriting continues to be my main focus, but I will do my best to return to FIT when I think there is something of value to share. 

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Freelancing in Tokyo: Why are you here?

Posted by David Chester on 1 August 2016

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"Why are you here?" This is a question that you may be asked during your FIT adventure. You may bristle at it, but it's a perfectly legitimate question, isn't it? If you came from another country, and you aren't here on holiday, then, really, why are you here? 

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