Archive for January, 2017

That Show Sucked. Seriously – It Was the Worst.

January 24, 2017 Comments Off on That Show Sucked. Seriously – It Was the Worst. Uncategorized

THIS show was a winner!

Ever had a show go bad? I mean REAL BAD? Yep – us too. Your act can go poorly one night, or an entire show can just be le poo for whatever reason – maybe the whole thing is just wretched, maybe it was just an off night. Most of us, when confronted with a stinker, do one of two things: we castigate ourselves mercilessly, or we pretend that nothing is wrong. Move along people, nothing to see here…..

Hate Yourself. You’re Awful. Oh – and You’re a Fraud.

If you come off stage and flip a table, or sob in the dressing room while eating the entire last tray of catering, you’re in this camp. It feels so goooooooood, and so right somehow, to really let yourself have it if you messed up, or if things didn’t go as you’d hoped. And it’s so motivating and helpful, right? Well…. right?

……Maybe….. If you find that giving yourself a harsh talking to really works for you – gets you motivated to fix what’s broken and work harder, then have at it! You’re awful! Positively dreadful! Get to work tomorrow. BUT. If, after screaming at yourself, you feel broken, sick, sad, hopeless, or exhausted, your reaction may be a hair counterproductive. By all means, wallow in self-hatred for a few minutes, but all that energy has to go somewhere productive eventually. Keep reading.

Pretend Everything is Fine

If you find yourself getting stabby if someone suggests you weren’t perfect, or if you can’t “hear” any input other than your own, welcome to Pollyanna-ville. Population you. Every time you perform – EVERY TIME – something could be better. Can you be honest enough with yourself to admit that you, your act, or the show aren’t perfect? If you can’t bear to evaluate your own work, or have it evaluated for you, it can help to remember this: you are NOT your work. You are not your act, you are not the show. Criticism of the work is not personal. Repeat until you actually believe that.

(I get it – believe me. It can be hard to separate “us” from the work, as much of it is reflective, or has so much of “us” wound up in it. Work to cultivate a slight detachment, kind of like you do during meditation when you watch your thoughts, but are NOT your thoughts. It’s HARD, but it can be done. It’s a process.)

Reality Check

Performance is never perfect. What we do is always somewhere on a spectrum between The Worst Thing That’s Ever Deliberately Happened on a Stage and Absolute Perfection Incarnate – Like Angels Dancing on My Eyeballs.

When we think of our work this way, it’s so much easier to see each performance as a blueprint for future work. We look at each show – what worked great? What was not so good? What should never, ever, happen on a stage again? Write it down if you have to. Keep the good, fix or make a plan to work on the bad.

There’s no need to bash yourself into a hole of depression, no need to pretend that everything you did was great. Some stuff was meh/bad/stupid/uuuuugh, some stuff was pretty good/amazing/yes/right direction. Every time. Each and every time we rehearse, perform, or create, we have the opportunity to get a little closer to what we really envision for ourselves and our work. Whether we flog ourselves emotionally, live in a perpetual state of denial, or use each creation as an opportunity for growth is completely us. What’s it going to be? Dare to imagine, Laura

ImaginAerial Presents: GLOW

January 20, 2017 Comments Off on ImaginAerial Presents: GLOW Uncategorized

 

What is GLOW?

ImaginAerial lights up the night! From UV blacklight acts to LED-powered hula hoops and costumes, this is an experience your guests will never forget.

 

What does GLOW look like?

Here’s an example of a GLOW event we did in Toronto last year!

 

What do GLOW artists need to perform?

  • Acts include LED hula hoops, UV silks, light up juggling and prop manipulation, contortion, and more!
  • Many LED props require charging immediately prior to performance. Multiple outlets and/or power strips will be needed to make sure everything stays nice and bright throughout the evening.
  • Artists can perform acts while mingling with guests, on a stage or pedestal, or as part of a show.
  • GLOW ground artists need a clean floor space, and about 5×5 feet of space on a stage, pedestal, or floor.
  • If UV blacklight is desired, the client will need to arrange for UV units through their lighting vendor.
  • 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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Better or Bitter? Are You Working and Training With the Right People?

January 17, 2017 Comments Off on Better or Bitter? Are You Working and Training With the Right People? Uncategorized

I surround myself with the BEST people!

Your mom was right: pick your friends (training partners, coaches, etc) carefully – they have more influence than you can imagine. I was (wisely) counseled early on to surround myself with people who were just a little bit better than me, who would challenge me to up my game; this proved to be some of the best advice I’ve ever been given.

You Don’t Want to Be the Best in the Room

Well, not ALL the time! If you’re the top dog at your school or in your community, it may be time to level up. While it feels GREAT to have your ego stroked every time you take the stage or bust out an ankle hang, if there’s no one to push you to get better, chances are you won’t. You’ll begin to slide into “big-fish-in-a-small-pond syndrome” – trust me, it ain’t pretty. Eventually, your bubble will be burst! Tale as old as time – you’re the very best aerialist at the Dolly Dinkle School of Aerial Arts, you take a little field trip to Montreal to train, and you get your ass whooped but good. It hurts, but a swift reality check to the butt is ultimately a good thing. Don’t wait for it – seek it out and embrace it!

These two push me every damned day

Better Business vs Bitter Business

Do you surround yourself with successful folks? People neck-deep in best business practices that you can learn from? OR are you drowning in a sea of people who have bought into the notion that being an artist means sitting back and waiting for work to magically find you? Take a gooooood look around right now. The people you work and train with influence everything from core beliefs to training practices. The people you encounter every day should push you to be better in SOME way – train harder, get better in business, be kinder, love broader, point your toes, etc. If you’re pouring out your best self into rocky soil, and getting nothing in return, that (as my son would say) is NOT GOOD.

I’m in no way saying that you should only befriend people you see as “stepping stones” – that would be douche-y. But, it’s always healthy to look at the community you’re aligning yourself with and check in – are they headed in the direction you see for yourself? Yes? Carry on. No? Time for a change. We invest in others, and they invest in us – just make sure it’s a good investment on both sides. Dare to imagine, Laura

(Wo)Man Up – Circus is Not for Wimps

January 10, 2017 Comments Off on (Wo)Man Up – Circus is Not for Wimps Uncategorized

blue-circus“Oh my gosh – you are SO GLAMOROUS! Look how gooooooorgeous!” And we bat our lashes, Vaseline our teeth, hike up our Spanx, and say, “Thaaaaank yooooou!”, while simultaneously thinking, “heh – you should have seen me three hours ago with sweaty hair and last night’s confetti in my bra, lugging a free-standing rig up a loading ramp and tripping over my ratchet straps.”

But, of course, we never SAY those things… out loud…. to normal people.

If you’re going into circus performance imagining an endless parade of impossibly glamorous situations, exploding with glitter and fabulousness, you’re only 5% right. The other 95% is hustle, body-breaking training, and manual labor – scramble, sweat, haul. Now don’t get me wrong – that 5% is dreamy! Performing is spectacular! But it comes with a looooooot of work. And blisters.

Haul, Fetch, Carry

Some gigs are cake-y! Walk in, do your thing, eat sushi, look pretty, perform, go back to your 4 star hotel. But many are…. well, decidedly less cake-y. Early morning calls, schlepping equipment, hauling and setting up a free-standing rig (whether or not you’ll be the one performing on it), steaming costumes, loading bags, you name it. Warm-up, into costume, sparkly makeup, warm-up, 4 hour event. After the show, eat a Power Bar, wait for the guests to leave, break everything down, pack it up, drive it home, unload, fall into bed. Or, you know, drive to the next city and do it all again.

We’re lucky in that we have a core group of mensches who know that the show must go on, no matter what. They schlep bags, drive vans, MagGuyver rig covers out of table cloths and athletic tape, whatever it takes. In fact, when we’re casting, we absolutely take into account who our best team players are, and try to throw the glammie gigs their way whenever possible (hey, butt busting has its rewards)!

You’ve Gotta Be Tough

Performing, and touring in particular, is incredibly hard on the body. You cannot be a delicate flower and expect to blossom in this business! Be prepared to:

  • Help load and unload – even if you don’t have to, it’s much appreciated!
  • Have a nutty schedule – late nights and early mornings are a thing.
  • Deliver an impeccable performance.
  • Take care of your circus body.
  • Drive if you can, navigate if you can’t, and expect long drives.
  • Put a sock in it – working circus artists don’t whine and complain.
  • Stick up for yourself if working conditions are extreme or unsafe (this is another post).
  • Make it work! The show must go on, and sometimes creative solutions or compromises are required to make that happen. Flexibility is key!
  • Remember – teamwork makes the dream work! None of us perform in a bubble – everyone from the ticket takers to the artists to the lighting techs are essential. When you have an “it’s all about me” moment, go do jumping jacks and burpees until the delusion passes. Be a mensch, not a Pretty Prince(ss)!

Go forth, work HARD, enjoy the glammie gigs when they happen, and enjoy doing what you love and loving what you do! Dare to imagine, Laura