Archive for February, 2015

Excuse Me…. Your Feet are Filthy.

February 25, 2015 Comments Off on Excuse Me…. Your Feet are Filthy. Uncategorized, Working in Circus

“Black socks, they never get dirty,

The longer you wear them the blacker they get!

Someday, I’ll probably launder them,

Something keeps telling me don’t do it yet…not yet… not yet….not yet….not yet!

Admit it – you miss summer camp sometimes! Anyhoo, this week, the incomparable Ray Pierce gave the internet a GREAT reminder:

If you’re an acrobat or aerialist on stage, your feet need to be clean!!!!!!

Shoes can even extend the lines of the feet! Performer: Nico Maffey

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you: I have absolutely looked down in horror mid act and realized that I was on stage in front of thousands of people with dirty feet. They were clean when I walked out on stage (I swear!), but after the walk between the wings and my trapeze, it looked like I had walked through Mount Vesuvius. *face palm*

Keeping Your Feet Clean in Circus – A Primer

  • Keep a packet of baby wipes in the wings. If you need to go out barefoot, give them a quick wipe-down before you head out.
  • If the stage is filthy (and in some cases, particularly abroad, it may be), ask if the stage can be mopped down prior to the show (be willing to do it yourself if you have to). Not possible? Wear your shoes to and from your apparatus, get carried out gracefully by a beef-cakey hand balancer, etc. Whatever you’ve got to do!
  • When performing in a sawdust ring, have an easy-to-slip-on/off pair of shoes that you can wear on stage, slip off to do your act, and jump back in at the end (** make sure you don’t need your hands to do this!!!!). I have a little black pair of crocs – NOT the clog kind – that work nicely for this.
  • Consider performing in shoes! If it’s just not practical for your act, fuggitaboudit. But many performers wear tan jazz or dance shoes while they work.
  • Make sure your pedicure is intact! Many companies prefer no polish at all for just this reason.

Thanks, Ray, for a great reminder! May your feet be fresh (and clean) as daisies! Dare to imagine, Laura

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I Just Can’t Take You Seriously With That Email Address

February 17, 2015 Comments Off on I Just Can’t Take You Seriously With That Email Address Uncategorized
New Years Eve, Times Square. Photo by Kenneth Feldman

New Years Eve, Times Square. Photo by Kenneth Feldman

Brrrrr – greetings from the frozen tundra that is now NYC! We’ve recently received a virtual flood of inquiries and submissions (thank you!). In all the sorting, watching videos, filing photos, etc, one thing really stood out: a few choice email addresses that left us wondering if we were receiving casting info or erectile dysfunction spam.

I Just Can’t Take You Seriously With That Email Address

If your email address is cutesy (,,, etc), I assume you’re twelve years old and your parents will have to come with us on tour.

If your email address is sexy (,,, etc), you’re probably not making it past my spam filter. I also wonder what you think you’re applying for.

If your email address is… quirky (,,, etc), I assume you either are new to the business, or that circus is very much a side job/hobby for you.


Your Professional Email Address

With a free email address one google click away, and easy mail forwarding available, there’s just no excuse for an email address that leaves your professionalism in doubt. First impressions count for a lot!

  • Your email address should be relatively easy to remember (when I’m casting for a gig, I don’t want to have to stop what I’m doing and dig through materials to find it). A combination of your first and last name works well, or an initial/last name combo.
  • Yes, there’s room for creativity – just make sure what you choose reflects your professional interests.
  • Our FAVORITE emails are, because this tells us that you have your own website! That’s another post, but you DO have your own website, right? We’ll tawk.


So, what are you waiting for? If you know I’m talking to you, go right now and get yourself a smart, professional email address that won’t push you to the bottom of the casting agent’s list. Give yourself every opportunity for success – remember, it’s a business! Dare to imagine, Laura



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The Day I (Literally) Pulled Out My Partner’s Hair

Lincoln Center NYC with Olympia Dukakis

Lincoln Center NYC with Olympia Dukakis

Many moons ago, Angela and I were performing our duo silks act at Lincoln Center. Everything was zooming along in the usual way – rigging, rehearsal, makeup, warm-up, pacing, etc. When it was nearing performance time, we had our ritual pre-show argument, rosined up, and stepped into the spotlight.

If you’ve ever worked doubles on fabrics, what I’m going to say next will really resonate with you: everywhere – everywhere – you want to be, your partner already is. When we put our original choreography together, 50% of our time was spent figuring out the moves, and the other 50% was spent contorting ourselves so as to avoid a shoulder to the nose or a crotch to the face (officially the worst).

There’s one spot in our routine where we’re both kneeling together; I grab the fabrics, she stands up, and I follow….. but something was odd. In addition to the fabric, I found myself holding a handful of her hair, and, before I could adjust my grip, she stood up. And her hair (herĀ real hair) remained in my hand……The show must go on, and she wasn’t swearing at me, so I continued – stood up, swiveled around the silk, and extended my arm to pose before the next transition. A lone shaft of light shone down upon my upturned palm, still bearing bits of Angela’s ponytail. I turned my palm towards the floor, hoping to dislodge the hairball, but to no avail – the rosin mixed with the sweat on my hand held it fast – a huge puff of curly red strands was practically velcroed to my fingers. So, I did the only thing I could think of: I quickly shook my hand, and watched (along with the entire audience) as the tangle of tresses floated down, down, down, and landed with a sigh on the stage. For the remainder of the piece, the little tumbleweed could be seen drifting back and forth along the floor, sometimes attaching itself to the end of the silks (it was an aerial hairball, after all), or dancing with the dust motes in the stage lights.

“Maybe no one noticed!”, I thought. Oh – they noticed. We had no fewer than 20 people come up to us afterwards and say, “That was amazing! But, did I see you pull our her HAIR?!” Le sigh.

How did Angela fare, you ask? Oh please – she was fine. The base of her skull was a bit sore the next day, but that girl had hair to spare. She got me back, but that’s a story for another time.

Do YOU have any hilarious doubles stories? Share them in the comments below!!! Dare to imagine, Laura

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