Trip to Japan fuels photographer’s return to Clova theatre (photos, video)

CLOVERDALE — When William Jans travels, he brings a camera, an impressive sense of adventure and, ultimately, a desire to share his stories with others.

For 25 years, he’s built a loyal following locally with entertaining live shows based on his journeys around the globe.

His eighth multimedia production, dubbed “A Man, A Plan, Japan!,” debuts in Squamish this week and is brought to the Clova theatre next Thursday (April 23) as part of a three-date tour of the region.

“It’s a still a work in progress,” Jans admitted in a phone interview from his Vancouver home on April 9.

“It’s exhausting, but if I waited until the show was finished before I announced dates, it would never happen because it’s so hard,” he added. “I’m doing 17 hours a day right now, easy.… It takes a year to build one of my shows. My head spins, but I think people appreciate the amount of work that goes into it.”

Jans’ shows are “virtually interactive,” with costumes, photos, videos, stories and other elements in play.

At the Clova, audience members will be charged more than $20 for taking in his latest production, to focus on an “outrageous” road in China, an abandoned amusement park, a trip through something called “Buddha’s nostrils,” a sumo-wrestling experience, fake food, radiation and more.

“It all has an absurd sort of bent,” he said, “but I’m glad it’s culturally responsible and I really do my research, but I key on things that are a bit different than what most people might like to do (when travelling).

“From way back when I started to do this, I was never the stand-back-and-observe kind of guy, I’m the jump-in-and-try-this guy – with permission. And I find that most places overseas, people are willing to allow someone to jump right in, which makes it great fun for me. And if I do my job right, it’s not me up there in the photos, it’s you, the audience, doing and experiencing these things.”

(Story continues below TV clip of William Jans)

 

In Japan, one adventure had Jans mixing in with the time-warped rockabilly dancers at Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park. It was his intention to bust some moves with the pompadour’d guys and poodle skirt-wearing women, but he opted out after breaking his foot while out jogging (not “rescuing a camel from the river,” as he tells some people).

“I had to make the decision whether to bail on the trip,” Jans recalled. “I decided to keep going, with some cautious decisions, but it made dancing a no-go. But with those guys, if you try that, they’ll push you out of the way because it’s like, ‘Hey, this is our show, man.’ They’re really nice guys who shared some beers with me, and I don’t drink, so I’m there on a Sunday afternoon almost a bit hammered with these guys, who are drinking a lot of beer. They just do it for fun – no hat out for money or anything – but there’s a bit of ego and glory involved, too, and if they open it up to everybody, it just becomes a dance party, and they’re not into that. It’s them showing off. It’s probably best I didn’t jump in, otherwise it probably wouldn’t have gone well.”

Jans’ “A Man, A Plan, Japan!” show plays Squamish on Thursday, April 16, John Oliver Secondary in Vancouver on Friday, April 17 and the Clova in Surrey on Thursday, April 23 (show time 8 p.m., tickets $20.99 online, via Wrjphoto.com/tickets, and $22.99 at the door).

tzillich@thenownewspaper.com

Just Posted

‘Coffee with Cops’ visits Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP Wendy Mehat says there is always a good response from the public for the informal chat sessions

Surrey’s top cop Dwayne McDonald is moving on

McDonald’s new role is RCMP’s criminal operations officer in charge of federal, investigative services and organized crime for B.C.

Overdose deaths down in Surrey, but more than two people still dying a week

As of the end of August, 86 people died by illicit drug overdose in Surrey, which is a drop from 2018

Federal candidates’ Facebook ad spending disclosed

Facebook’s new Ad Library shows how much candidates are spending on advertisements

GOWN UP to raise $10m for Surrey Memorial Hospital upgrades

The money will be used to upgrade 10 operating rooms, buy cutting-edge equipment and recruit more top-notch surgeons

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

Man who orchestrated Mission murders gets day parole after serving less than three years

Victims’ parents express grief, outrage over parole board decision

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read