It was a big deal at the time. I was living with my then girlfriend from art school (who would eventually become my wife, then my ex-wife) in Tokyo. We were both on the books at a modelling agency and she got a call to come in and audition for an ad that required dancing. She had written down dancing as a skill. (I hadn't. Mine were 'heavy thinking' 'abstract expressionism' and 'space invaders'.) I tagged along with her. It was in a dance studio. There were hundreds of people of all nationalities trying out. I may as wel join in, I figured and asked our manager to put my name down - said that of course I could dance! Any style! They shrugged and figured, why not. If he gets in too, it's an extra commission for us. Everyone loves an easy 20%.
Bianca did a great job, she looked great busting her moves in her leotards and long socks. (Guess what dance movie was a massive hit that year. Starts with 'Flash...') She got in on the first round. Easy. They told us it would be a three day, away shoot. All expenses paid. Plus a significant daily rate. My keenness was amplified. They only needed a few more from the callbacks. What I lacked in formal training, I made up in wild abandon and goofy charm. I made it in. I was the last choice. Yahoooo!
Break dancing was only just starting then in the US. They brought out four of the best from LA and NY. And they were amazing! I remember watching their moves, popping and locking, and being in complete awe. It was super cool and inspiring.
The shoot, for the new Nissan Bluebird, starred a Japanese singing superstar. I forget his name now. Maybe Saijo Hideki or Julie. He was a nice guy. Wore a cool gold suit. Don't remember much about the other dancers. It was a fun few days, though. Being on set in this kind of ad usually is. Got to stay in a nice hotel with Bianca too. And everything was paid for.
As well as the TV commercial they did some massive billboards in Ginza. I remember seeing it, towering about us, at the main intersection, as we exited the subway one afternoon. You could just make out the top of my head, jumping up like a popping Sex Pistol, and Bianca's right breast. We were famous! Well, at least rich. (Compared to before the shoot anyway.)
When I found the ad on my computer this morning, I was delighted. How funny. I had to rewatch it multiple times to even find myself. You can catch just a glimmer of me, twice. The one in the yellow singlet slightly left of the left side headlights around the 2' mark and again at the 22' mark. Bianca is behind me around the 4' mark, in her glorious purple sequined one piece. I laughed when I saw it. Good times. Funny. And how cool to be able to wake up, remember it and be watching it minutes later, thirty years on.