Aaron Tanaka: Suave and Sophisticated

November 20, 2017 Spotlight29

The audience cheers with electric vigor, loudly enough for them to be heard outside the colonial-era stage theatre in the rainy streets of Seattle.

Aaron Tanaka, the man in the spotlight tonight, takes a deep breath. He straightens his tie and fixes his hair with a quick swoosh and swallows. He steps out from behind the curtain to a roar of enthusiastic ovations and applause.

He confidently makes his way across the waxed wooden stage towards the microphone, grinning. He straightens his face to a semi-serious expression, but the euphoric ghost of a satisfied smile remains somehow.

Tanaka raises his hands like a conductor of a spectral orchestra, and the crowd silences instantly. He lets his facial muscles slip into a grin for a second, flashing his brilliant white teeth. He exhales and begins.

“As most of you know,” – a pause – “I’m Aaron. Aaron Tanaka.”

The crowd explodes into cheers again. Make it personal. Perfect.

“I’m going to outline myself briefly, then get to why I’m actually here. Okay, let’s begin.”

Tanaka makes a brief gesture, the kind of motion you’d expect from Obi-Wan Kenobi opening a blast door in a Star Wars movie, and the slide on the massive screen behind Tanaka switches in synchrony with his motion.

“I’m a senior in high school at TPS – an online school, but I’m just actually taking Calculus there this year. I’m looking at colleges, maybe community college, maybe state university at some point. I honestly don’t know yet, I’m only sixteen.” He shrugs light-heartedly. “Mechanical engineering sounds interesting. Maybe Cedarville? George Fox? WSU? Cornell?”

“Anyway, I’d like to be a mechanical engineer because I love tools, cars, and it’d be incredible to work for Ford or Tesla or someone like that. You know. Math. Paperwork. Business meetings.”

“I’m from Silverdale, just across the water from here, but I live in Poulsbo, north of here. Not many neighbors, lots of hills.”

The crowd knows Poulsbo. Tanaka’s grin is infectious, the assembly is good-natured, and the night is already turning out to be a success.

“I play soccer, ride my bike, write my novel. I’m planning to tune up my car at just about every spare moment in the future, so I won’t have that much spare time.”

Tanaka glances down at the palm of his hand, as if he’s written something there like a middle-school test cheater.

“All right, bear with me, I’m listing off music, movies, and books I like. Here goes –“

He inhales deeply like Dan Reynolds in Radioactive, and a barrage of words spill out of his mouth like restrained water.

“Music: Alternative, rap, techno, rock, The Score, Zedd, Ben Rector, Macklemore, The Chainsmokers. Movies: Insterstellar, Black Hawk Down, Baby Driver, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Maze Runner, Cinderella Man, Furious 7, Furious 8, and way more. Books: Ready Player One, the Hunger Games, the Maze Runner series, Flyboys, Boys in the Boat, Unbroken, Legend, Alex Rider’s work, and others.”

He feigns coughing as if he were out of breath, but he was able to get through his list with ease, and the audience is able to call his bluff. Tanaka grins widely.

“Just kidding, I wasn’t actually reading that.”

He flashes his clean hand in plain view of the audience and they cheer accordingly. He hadn’t been reading straight off his hand, he’d been spitting them out of his memory like bullets.

The crowd quiets down to Tanaka’s cue.

“Now. The thing I’m actually here to talk to you about.” Pause for effect. “I have two verses I want to share with you. Romans 3:23 and John 3:16.”

The verses appear on the screen behind Tanaka.

“I’m a very theoretical person, meaning I like to understand why or how something works or happens, so I need to know why John 3:16 makes sense. And Romans 3:23 provides that. Romans 3:23 condemns us, giving us a purpose to the gospel, and John 3:16 gives us hope of salvation.”

The sound of silence rings loud through the theatre.

“And now, my conclusion.”

Tanaka can almost hear the necks and backs cracking as everyone in the theatre cranes to see him for the last few moments he spends onstage.

“Don’t hate. Appreciate. Impossible is nothing. And he is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Tanaka brings the mic to his lips on more time.

“Why so serious? Death to quail pants!”

He drops the mic to deafening applause and walks off stage right grinning.

29 thoughts on “Aaron Tanaka: Suave and Sophisticated

  1. Aaron Tanaka

    November 20, 2017

    Bro. This is good. XD
    Thanks, though. I feel like I know myself better xD (Although I forgot to tell you, I freak out in front of crowds XD)

    • A S

      November 21, 2017

      hehe I’ve been doing oration since I was 5

      • Aaron Tanaka

        November 21, 2017

        Good for you *slow clap*

        • A S

          November 22, 2017

          *smug face*

    • Audrey Coker

      November 29, 2017

      Haha Well now you know your true calling, bro. You gotta tell the world. 🙂 Nice job, Gabriel!

      • Aaron Tanaka

        December 8, 2017

        hahaha thx sis

  2. A S

    November 20, 2017

    What is it with TPSers and quail pants?

    • Christine Niu

      November 20, 2017

      QUAILPANTS ARE ONE OF THE MOST HATED AND RESPECTED TOPICS OF TPS

      • Rachel Shey

        November 20, 2017

        Simultaneously hated and respected? It must exercise great power over TPS! *hastily finds a pair to wear during campaign for world domination*

        • A S

          November 21, 2017

          No seriously. Quail pants look fine! The “Complaint” document is a completely unbelievable.

          • Aaron Tanaka

            November 22, 2017

            “Better naked than in quail pants” –Jack Waters

          • A S

            November 22, 2017

            Better to wear pants then to be sent to jail for indecent exposure.

          • Jessica Seabolt

            November 23, 2017

            *facepalm* Aaron, Aaron, Aaron…you speak of what you do not know!

          • Aaron Tanaka

            November 27, 2017

            @Jessica I speak from experience.

          • Jessica Seabolt

            November 27, 2017

            @Aaron T well yeah you but I meant other Aaron xD

          • Aaron Tanaka

            November 29, 2017

            @Jess Oh lol XD

          • A S

            December 2, 2017

            Dude so like all your pants were in the washer or dry cleaning and you just walked outside wearing your underwear? xD

  3. Christine Niu

    November 20, 2017

    YEE
    *was laughing hysterically*

    • Hannah Wong

      November 21, 2017

      xD xD

  4. Rachel Shey

    November 21, 2017

    How much of this is based on reality?

    • Aaron Tanaka

      November 21, 2017

      All of it. x)

  5. Joshua Wideman

    November 21, 2017

    and didn’t i just meet you the other day, aaron?

  6. Aaron Tanaka

    November 21, 2017

    Yeah, you did, Joshua! Hey 🙂

    • Luke Wideman

      November 22, 2017

      Hi!

  7. Caleb F

    November 22, 2017

    *applause* nice job Gabriel! And nice to get to know you better Aaron. DEATH TO QUAIL PANTS x)

  8. Kevin Yang

    November 24, 2017

    *silently observes Quail Pants discussion as official Judge making sure the court’s ruling is followed* xD

    Anywho, nice job, Gabe. And nice job Aaron for being so suave while being interrogated—interviewed—by Gabe. xD

    • Aaron Tanaka

      November 27, 2017

      lol thanks, man 🙂

      • Audrey Coker

        November 29, 2017

        That picture, your poor brother in law got cut off. xD

  9. Daniel

    November 28, 2017

    Dude this was awesome!

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