Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 7

FYI:  I should specify that my previous Cirque post due to some technical difficulties was delayed. Pirate Fest was actually August 9th & 10th. This post is about the most current weekend Aug. 23rd & 24th.

Yes that's right. I spent yet another weekend in the renaissance. And boy was it got and uncomfortable! But this weekend a company member that hasn't worked with us allll summer joined us and it was fabulous!! Got to work on my partner acro which is always a favorite of mine. I also got back on the Lyra this weekend which was a bit rocky but lots of fun. 
This weekend I spent a lot of time thinking about the future of my acts and various costume situations. If you have ever seen a sideshow or circus act and thought "how did they come up with that idea" I can only speak for myself really but for me there's a few options of how this goes down. The most straight forward is of course when my boss just tells me "I think you should learn this". Then I start trying. 

Sometimes I see another performer executing a skill and think "I could totally do that!" Usually what that really means is that with lots of practice and probably bruises I can work up to that. Most of the time it really happens too! 
There are also situations where my ADHD self gets bored with my act and starts researching how to make it more interesting. My favorite is when I see something totally unrelated and decide surely I can add that to my act! That happened this weekend. 
I have a specific act that needs to be made more interesting. Not because it's bad but more because I have a short attention span. In my selfishness I saw some belly dancers do a sword dance in which they balance swords on their heads and thought "that's what I need for my act!" I'll probably try it. Could go horribly, either way I promise to write abt it. 
I'll try to find something other than fair to write about for my cirque category. Till then...

Things I learned at Ren Fair
1. Eating all the food can make you want to take your clothes off
2. Wearing a security shirt does not give you a free pass 
3. Not all crochet dragons are created equally 
4. "Do you wanna do a sideshow?" (Song)
5. Everything's better when your spinning, just not too fast
6. People exist that have not seen Mean Girls
7. When it's humid everything sticks. EVERYTHING
8. Calories don't count on fair weekends 
9. All food tastes better when served on swords 
10. The female William Shatner of waitressing does exist

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 6

I spent this weekend at West Michigan Pirate Festival. I wish I could say it  was something new and adventurous for me but it was remarkably similar to the renaissance festivals. That being said I still had a blast this weekend and got to know even more performers vendors well.

I wish I could say it was lots different from the renaissance fairs but truth be told it was very similar. What struck me this time was how much the audience really does keep you going. Perhaps some of you are not up Michigan weather but it was super hot this weekend and we had the pleasure of working in the center of the fair. A fair that was in the middle of a field, so no shade. On days like this it's hard to remember why you spend your weekends dressed in spandex sweating. Until a small child comes up to you with big eyes and asks you how you stay up on the ropes, or the audience has just the perfect reaction to a skill you've been working on that's the moment you realize why you put yourself through the heat and the sweat and sometimes the freezing cold (I'll write that blog later). Maybe that makes us all attention seeking and spot light starved, but I choose to believe that it means we are people that have a gift. The unique ability to suspend reality and exist for a time as a pirate or back in the renaissance. Instead of being weirdos that are possibly diagnosable we share this gift with our audience to help them also suspend reality. Then hopefully everyone has relieved a little stress!
Enough with my sappy ramblings I have altered the title of the closing section to fit the theme. Catch ya later!
Pirate Lessons:
1. Rennies double as pirates 
2. Two men sometimes talk abt gag reflexes on Sunday mornings
3. "Susan B Anthony was the original. Thomas Jefferson was cool too. Ben Franklin was creepy." 
4. New KB roles Sylver: artistic director and le jefe, Sabrina: personal trainer, Gwyd: cat herder, Me: fashion and hair director
5. Blue Beard hides everything in his hat
6. In black, red, and stripes Sylver Sabrina and I are sisters
7. If stretching were a competitive sport it would have its own ESPN channel
8. We are strong as marines or amazons, you decide
9. Dragons have awesome ice cream
10. Rib cages suck when they are not in place

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Cirque Part 5

You may have been thinking that I quit the circus, but this is the post to remind you that's not true! I have written quite a bit about my Renaissance fair antics but I do other things as well. One of  my favorite gigs that keeps me busy in the summer is stilt walking at our local ballpark.

I have never been one for baseball. I don't understand it, and I get bored trying to watch it. I have done this gig for 2 summers now and only ever seen something happen twice. Working this gig has taught me to appreciate why Americans love it. This is a sport where you can show up halfway through and it's OK.  You can chat with your friends, eat, and drink all with out danger of missing something important. Because it never happens ;)

Baseball aside I love stilting there! The crowds are so friendly and the kids love it! The season ticket holders all look forward to seeing me and asking how I'm doing and make me feel so welcome. Last year they all said farewell on the season closer and when our ballpark was struck with a fire they all told me how worried they were that I would  not be back. My favorite part about stilt walking is the reactions I get from people which really never gets old.

There's the Toddler Reaction: Usually a child between 18 months and 4 years. They stare at you with and intensity that can only be broken by their parent picking them up and moving them, or food. They are trying to figure out why this is wrong. They can tell something isn't right about you but can't figure out what it is. Approach with caution though, these are the children most likely to scream.

The Young Child Reaction: This is typically a child between 5 and 11. They've picked you out as something strange and fun to play with. They love high fiving you, running between your legs and asking you all manner of questions from "How did you get so tall?" to "How do you drive?". My absolute favorites were "how do you get in bed?" and " What are you?"

The Middle Aged Man Reaction: These men are easy to spot they are usually drinking but don't have to be. Their wives are either not with them (they are with the guys) or they are the quiet sort of wife that laughs or scolds from the sidelines. These are the ones that are most likely to joke about knocking you over. They are rarely serious but best to be on your guard and squash the idea early. They are also lots of fun because they typically get sarcasm and want to joke with you. I would say most of the time these are bad jokes about playing basketball or liking women with long legs, on a good day I get puns :)

The rest of can be simply summed up they are either impressed at your skill or too cool to acknowledge you. I enjoy all the reactions I get and I love guessing what it will be in my head before I interact with a person. I work more than just baseball games if you are wondering. Once I worked at a corporate gig in a museum which was fun, partially because I love museums in general but this one had sentimental significance for me as well! Recently I worked a city festival which was also fun. there were of couse lots of kids but a fun band that gave me shout outs every time I walked by and lots of people running for state office that though I was pretty awesome. I absolutely love that I get to stilt walk it gives me an excuse to meet all types of people. I will write more soon we have a few more gigs coming up this summer!