Archive for November, 2016

Professional Gossip: Pots, Stirrers, Kettles, and Dishin’ Dirt

November 29, 2016 Comments Off on Professional Gossip: Pots, Stirrers, Kettles, and Dishin’ Dirt Uncategorized
Me when I heard what you said about me last week.

Me when I heard what you said about me.

This is something I think about a lot. Why? ‘Cause I LOVE gossip! Let’s be honest – lots of us dish the dirt every chance we get. The problem? Friend, if you think for a single solitary second that what you say stays between you and the performer you’re talking to, I have a (moderated) old adage for you: telephone, telegraph, tell-a-performer. I know, I know, Bitsy would NEVER tell Blinky what you talked about! Except SHE TOTALLY DID. Now, there’s drama, lost work, and day-um, you could cut that tension with a knife. Oy.

Put a Sock in It

My grandmother, when I was 16, handed me a laminated card. On it was printed: “100% Foolproof Birth Control. Instructions: when amorous feelings arise, place card between knees and hold it there.” After I finished wishing the floor would open and swallow me whole, I – well, I got older and here we are. But it brings me to this: when you feel yourself about to trash-talk another artist, take off your shoe, remove your sock, and place said sock firmly into your mouth. Crisis averted!

Don’t Stir that Pot

Some folks just LOVE to stir up some drama. Am I talking about you? If you’re asking, than I probably am. Stirring the pot, fanning the flames of discord, and general mischief-making might feel good at the time, but it always comes back to bite us in the ass, doesn’t it?

Being easy to work with doesn’t just mean being on time, good-natured, accommodating, etc. It also means mindin’ your business, and being careful about the cans-o-worms you open for yourself and other people.

It Says More About You Than You Might Be Comfy With

Before those of you who know me start pelting me with stones and screaming, “POT! KETTLE!”, I know – I hear you. I have surely done my share of trash talking, gossiping, and pot stirring. If we’re being honest, I’ve done my share AND the shares of at least twelve other people. I’ve hurt myself, I’ve hurt others, and I’ve made situations that didn’t have to be dramatic WAY more stressful than they had to be.

When we are (as my son would say) “Giant Poopie Heads”, we make crappy choices (HA!). I’ve decided to tackle this part of my character, because frankly, it’s not who I want to be anymore. When we gossip, trash talk, or pot-stir, it says way more about us than it does about the person we’re talking about. And remember – the other person almost always hears about it. Circus is a small community – we would all do well to remember that. So, the next time we’re tempted to let our big mouths run the show, let’s all just put a sock in it.

It’s Dark in Here: Getting Our Heads Out of Our Artistic Arses

November 22, 2016 Comments Off on It’s Dark in Here: Getting Our Heads Out of Our Artistic Arses Uncategorized

luminarium 2Do you create in an artistic bubble? Before you say no, hear me out. It’s natural and reasonably healthy to surround oneself with like-minded artistic folks; we fling ideas around, support one another’s kooky projects, go see each other in shows when nooooooooo one else will. We gain a lot from these friendships and collaborations! But, friends, there’s a dark, dark hole we risk falling into: our own artistic arses.

I Would Never Fall Into My Own Artistic Arse

Love, I saw that piece you did last month using dental floss and Legos as a structured and tangled metaphor for our political realities. You’re up there. We’ve ALL been up there! Well, our own, not necessarily yours. My point is, we all create in a bubble to an extent – corporate circus, traditional circus, contemporary circus, sideshow, burners, burlesque, whatever. While bubbles can be supportive and nurturing, they can also blind us to the weaknesses of what we’re producing and stunt our growth as performers. If everyone around you is constantly strokin’ that ego, and you’re not getting meaningful critical feedback from communities outside your own, you may find yourself rather chilly – ’cause the emperor will have no clothes.

But I Really LOVE My Arse – er, Bubble!

We all do, dearest. We all do. And hey – everyone has a target audience! Folks outside that audience may not get what we do, or think what we do is weird, or not weird enough. I’m not saying give every opinion equal weight, I’m just saying that you should make sure that other opinions exist for you.

So, try to get out and occasionally see the stuff that makes you cringe (but set yourself up for success – go see the best of that particular genre)! If you’re die-hard contemporary, make a pilgrimage to see Ringling Bros, or take the train to Coney Island. If burlesque makes your eyes roll so hard you’re pretty sure they’re going to get stuck somewhere in the back of your head, make it a point to find the “it” performer of the moment, and go see what you can learn from them. If you’d sooner stab yourself repeatedly in the throat than go to one more Cirque show, I hear you. But don’t make it a rule – shows and companies change. Try not to get stuck – it’s a big artistic world you’re in. Dare to imagine, Laura

It’s Election Night and We’re All Going to Die: Uncertainty and Following Your Performer’s Heart

November 8, 2016 Comments Off on It’s Election Night and We’re All Going to Die: Uncertainty and Following Your Performer’s Heart Uncategorized, Working in Circus

Like many of you, I’ve been (quite literally) tied in knots recently. This election has me on tenterhooks, so I decided to do what I sometimes do well – spill my guts on the internet in hopes of some sort of cathartic release. How will I parlay this into a circus blog post, you ask? Oh ye of little faith, I may take the scenic route, but I’ll get somewhere. Maybe. Probably. No – definitely.

Uncertainty

 

Do I do this? Why the f**k am I doing this? When should I do this? Am I being stupid for doing this? But I love this. But should I waste the (fill in the blank – time, money, heart, etc) on this? And so it goes. Uncertainty. Circus is fraught with it. Uncertainty about what to focus on, whom to partner with, where to base yourself, whether to give it all up and become an accountant because CRAP you are never gonna get that back planche and you were never good enough anyway and you always suck on Tuesday nights. Ugh. Uncertainty.

Our election misery will (hopefully) soon be over, but our circus quandaries persist. We’re so often torn between practicality and what we (and society) view as frivolity. But tell me – does it feel frivolous when you’re training and performing? Or does it feel like your soul has swelled to twelve times it’s normal size, and is pushing at the boundaries of your skin, seeping out of your pores and running down your body, until you’ve totally spent yourself in a sweaty heap? Yeah, me too. Not all the time, but when it matters.

As productive members of society, we are charged with taking care of ourselves and our people, and making a contribution. In the good ole US of A, that contribution is valued less if it doesn’t result in a clearly profitable service or product. I am SO not going to open that can of worms today – not today, friends. But I will say this: art and entertainment is not frivolous. It is essential, whether that gets recognized or not. So, our choice is not between practicality and frivolity. It’s not even a choice at all – if it’s really for you, the work is a calling. We do what we have to do to pay our bills, we dance with the devil in negotiating our dreams, and we cobble together a life on our own terms. So, while questioning is always good, and heaven knows we’ll always worry about the future, perhaps we can make peace with the uncertainty part. Maybe – just maybe – we put it on hold for a while, and give ourselves to the dream like idiots (….. idiots who make good business decisions).

Where does that leave us? The Neverwhere. Ambiguous-ville. UncertainLand. Uuuuugh, so uncomfortable. But what is the alternative?

Never having been one to do things in half measures, I think I come down where I always have. I choose the uncertainty. I choose the Big Life. I choose THIS life. So, friends, spend the money on the circus classes. Buy the costume. Squander the hours trying to sit on your own head. Fall in love. Fall in love with it all. Because, in the end, it’s the only thing we can take away: the love. The terrible, wasteful extravagance of love.

This poem is pretty much required reading for artists (and, you know, humans). “To Have Without Holding” by Marge Piercy. Read the whole thing here, it’s short- you’ll be glad you did.

“Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.” – excerpted from “To Have Without Holding” by Marge Piercy

Dare to imagine, Laura

ImaginAerial Presents: Sideshow

November 4, 2016 Comments Off on ImaginAerial Presents: Sideshow Corporate Events, New Offerings!, Theme Parties, Uncategorized

What is Sideshow?

Rose trunk color

 

ImaginAerial’s sideshow artists are quirky, edgy, and the life of the party! Many right from the stages of Coney Island, these artists are an outrageous and daring addition to any event. We know – it sounds really over-the-top, but audiences go wild! Be as daring or as conservative as you wish, there’s something for every party.

 

What Does Sideshow Look Like?

 

 

ray-edit-swordWhat Does a Sideshow Artist Need to Perform?

 

  • Acts include sword swallowing, human blockhead, fire, contortion, yo-yo, bed of nails, juggling, and more.
  • Needs depend a bit on which artist(s) are booked.
  • Contortionists need a clean floor space, and about 5×5 feet of space on a stage, pedestal, or floor.
  • Artists can perform acts as walk-arounds, on a stage, or even pose as guests at the event for a VERY surprising reveal!
  • If you have questions (and I’ll bet you do), give us a ring at (929) 260-3134 and we can talk you through it.

 

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