Morin: What happened to the real father?
Yuichi: Even the mother doesn’t know. There was a lot of physical violence. They divorced, and that was the end of it.
Morin: Did you take his name?
Yuichi: Yes, I use the father’s name—first and last.
Morin: How do you handle it when the daughter gets angry or sad?
Yuichi: I never yell, no matter what. That was in the order-form description. The girl was bullied also, if you remember, so her feelings can be very unsettling. There was also a rebellious time, in her teens. She was having difficulties with her mother. When she’s with me, though, she always asks, “Why do you have to leave now?” It’s unpleasant, but it is a reasonable emotion.
Morin: Does she love you?
Yuichi: She does. It’s easy to feel her love. She talks about her relationship with her mother, she shares sensitive feelings, she opens up to me.
Morin: Does any aspect of your real self seep in?
Yuichi: I don’t allow it to, otherwise I would become self-conscious.
Morin: Do you feel like you have a responsibility to the daughter, because of your connection to her now?
Yuichi: Depending on the situation, it’s different. The heaviness is different, but everywhere I go, I feel it—the responsibility.
Morin: When you’re working, is it purely acting, or do the feelings ever become real?
Yuichi: It’s a business. I’m not going to be her father for 24 hours. It’s a set time. When I am acting with her, I don't really feel that I love her, but when the session is over and I have to go, I do feel a little sad. The kids cry sometimes. They say, “Why do you have to leave?” In those instances, I feel very sorry that I’m faking it—very guilty. There are times, when I’m done with the work and I come back home, where I sit and watch TV. I find myself wondering, “Is this, now, the real me, or the actor?”
Morin: How do you answer that question?
Yuichi: I don’t think I have an answer. The person that used to be me—is he me now? I know that it’s common for actors to feel that way. If you’re a really good actor—if you’re in it all the time—it feels very unsettling.
Morin: When do you feel the most like yourself?
Yuichi: When I’m with my family, my real family. It’s agonizing to be alone and just think, “Is this really me, right now?” The inner monologues are tough.
Morin: How do you know that your family hasn’t been hired?
Yuichi: That’s a good question! No one knows.
Morin: I have a project collecting dreams, and often work is a common theme. Do you dream about your work?
Yuichi: I dream about my client—when she cries because I have to leave. It’s a very emotional situation.
Morin: How is the dream different from reality?
Yuichi: Sometimes, in the dream, I tell her the truth.
Morin: What do you say?
Yuichi: I say, “I’m very sorry. I’m a member of the Family Romance corporation. I’m not your true father.” Right before she can respond—just as she opens her mouth to speak, I wake up. I am terrified of the answer, so I just wake up.