I knew my last chance at Cosplay Burlesque for the weekend would be doomed by the interview but Celestin and Joo Young made it very worthwhile. The two dapper hosts were engaging and charming. They spoke with immense energy and excitement, eager to offer details and extending their private refuge when it got too loud. Thank you to both of them and the Host Club for taking such precious time to sit down with me.
I know it was precious because Makoto sat down with us but before I could ask my first question, he got pulled away and unfortunately, never to return. I had prepared the same questions I asked of the Maid Cafe hoping for a comparison.
The Paper: What led you to apply?
Celestin: I started in 2009 at a friend’s recommendation. He thought I would fit. I play in a band. I enjoy social interactions. The girls are pretty.
The Paper: What do you play?
Celestin: Acoustic guitar.
Joo Young: I heard about it from a high school friend. Actually met the manager of the club at Tysons Corner. Thought it would be fun. Besides, I got nothing to do on weekends.
TP: How many applicants are accepted vs those that applied?
Celestin: Hmm, I am not sure how many applicants there are.
JY: The managers pick them and they’re good at it.
TP: What advice do you have for applicants?
Celestin: Have fandom in Japanese culture. It’s amazing I got accepted since I am just normal guy you know…. know how to make apologies. It’s funny because you have so many tables at once and when you’re late, it’s a lot like apologizing to a girlfriend.
JY: I am going to give uncensored advice. You need to be good at talking to people, to girls. You need to sell alcohol. Be really confident.
TP: What’s the best part about being a host? Worst?
JY: I am still shy…
TP: You don’t seem shy at all!
JY: I am very shy. I wanted to change that. I wanted to make friends… change my mindset. So the best part is making new friends. We stay in touch after Host Club. The worst is that it’s physically impossible to give attention to everyone.
Celestin: I totally agree with JY on the best part. The worst is when customers get angry. There’s too much demand and not enough of us. They will stare at you when you’re at another table with another girl. There’s also a tendency to drink a lot.
TP: Are there any differences in how male and female patrons react?
Celestin: Male clients will come with girlfriend or they’re gay. But no difference really.
JY: Couples just want to have fun. Some boyfriends would get jealous. It’s part of our job to flirt but we must control it because of that.
Celestin: I did experience anger tonight from a boyfriend. It wasn’t even much, I just complimented her hair.
JY: Girls would come onto us but we can’t give out info. They would offer their phone numbers or room numbers.
Celestin: [Shows me his wrist.] I have had girls write their room number on my wrist tonight.
TP: Last question. Is there any rivalry with the Maid Cafe?
Celestin: Nah, no rivalry.
JY: We make a lot of friends with the maids. We hold group meetings together.
They were happy to field more questions and I wanted to accept and stay longer but I clung to my hopeless dream of burlesque instead.