Remember those trapeze show videos I promised you? Life just gets in the way, ya know? Anyway, here they are! My sweet sister took the videos for me. You’ll see in the first one, halfway through she decided it should be landscape. Haha! To anyone out there shooting videos, always horizontal! (Thank you for being my videographer, Nikki!) Doing a board return has always been a circus dream of mine though, so I’m showing you the video anyway.
And now for my half-turn catch. I still haven’t caught that return bar, months later. Goals, people!
Noah took that video. Thanks Noah!
I got to help biscuit during the show, so I stayed up there a bit longer. I chose splits for my dismount…
There you have it folks, trapeze show 2015! I’ll update you on my flying progress one of these days.
Heeey there. Almost two months! Is that a non-posting record for me? Probably. You know what the great thing about having a blog is? If you don’t feel like posting anything, you don’t have to. So that’s great.
But there was a show! And I sewed feathers to my bum! As one does in a trapeze show, naturally. The theme was Mardi Gras, and I gotta say, green, gold & purple are not my favorite colors together. I wanted to embrace the theme anyway, and not just cheese out on only wearing gold sequins. Don’t give me too much credit, I almost did. So if you’re gonna go for a theme, let’s go for it! Right?
Sequins: check. Mask: check. Feathers: check. And check out them circus shoes, man! I was tasked with greeting everyone to the show. One must wear circus shoes whilst greeting guests. Naturally.
Unfortunately there was no juggling act for this show. We were not consistent enough to put on a great show. But my juggling skills are currently off the chart (and I’m the worst of the three)! So there shall be juggling in the next show. But now…the flying!
Here we got a half turn, return to the board.
Next up, the catch! The lovely Christopher was our catcher for the day. Don’t worry, I made the catch:
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
Look at them feathers, will ya? There are still feathers all over the property from my feather bustle. Sorry Dave!
And here’s the adult troupe!
Gosh I heart my circus people. How great is Betty’s outfit?? She’s 82, you know. I’m not kidding.
There were a few really great people that came out to see my show, and I’m so glad they did! One family came whom I had just met a mere two days prior. How great is that? Thanks to all of you who came to see me, I hope you know how much it meant to me! My sweet (and pregnant) sister even came early and did my makeup. Thanks Nik!
So, I’ve been working on this trick for awhile. Descriptively called Half turn, half turn, half turn. In case you haven’t guessed from the name of the trick, I turn three times. First a regular turn around, but then on the front end I push the bar down, half turn to the catcher. And if there’s no catcher, half turn again to land on my back in the net. I talked about it a little bit here.
When you keep working on a trick for too long and you’re in your head too much, it’s best to just stop that trick and try another. Halfway through class on Saturday, Susan told me “Try it one more time. If you don’t turn, stop for awhile and work on something else.” I was just in my freaking head! I had done it in class the week before, but my brain was stopping me from turning. I would just back drop. And I was so frustrated.
But I wasn’t ready to give up this trick. There are a few things my kid-self wished she could do, whilst dreaming of being a trapeze artist. One was to be caught then turn around mid-air, catch the bar and get back on the board. This was my chance! Another dream trick! I was NOT going to give up.
I gave myself a(nother) pep-talk while climbing the ladder. Susan, Tori, Noah, Dave and the entire audience (there were a lot of visitors that day!) had been giving me pep talks all day, telling me what I did good that time, everyone yelling at me “TURN!” when I was supposed to. (I like it when they yell. My body tends to obey.) I wasn’t going to leave not turning!
And turn I did. I did it twice in a row. Not very pretty. But I turned. Then it was time for catching. Dave told me to throw that trick. I ran it by Noah, he was game. So I threw that freaking trick and he freaking caught it! The great catcher that he is. Because I barely pushed that bar down at all. Kenny got up on the catch bar after Noah and caught me again. Noah took a video. Have I mentioned how much I love these people?? Pushing you when you need it, telling you where you’re doing good, and video’ing you when you don’t even know it. Also, they’re just awesome.
Hopefully by the show I’ll get back to the bar and possibly back on the board? At least to the bar. And another new trick! Always reach for the next tough thing, right?
Sweet Celeste took this video of me doing the splits. Thank you Celeste! I’ve been trying to stretch every day to limber up my legs and back. Spliiiits! Toe touching! Really trying to work on my form. Straight legs, staying tight throughout the whole trick, including (especially?) to the net. A good take off. This video looks better than my last. But I totally see all the flaws. At least there’s improvement, though.
The trick I’ve been working on in class is a turn-around, but then I push myself off of the bar straight up in the air and turn around mid-air to the catcher, then from the catcher I’ll return back to the bar and back to the board. Lots of turn-arounds and back to things. So I’m learning this thing one step at a time. I can do a turn around. I have the beginnings of shooting myself into the air. It’s totally not solid yet, and I really wish my body (and brain) would learn it faster. The last part of the video, after Chris catches me, is part of that trick. Only right before he lets go of me, I am to push my arms straight down to my hips so I shoot straight up in the air, then turn around and grab the bar. We have a show coming up, and my goal is to get this down to perform it then. I got this! (right? ugh.)
I had a dream last night that I figured out a way to record my dreams on my iphone. How brilliant would that be if we could do that?? No more forgetting the awesome dreams you had, you could just play them back. You know how when you try to tell someone what you dreamt about (like what I’m attempting to do right here) and you can’t convey it just right and they just don’t get it, nor do they care? Well now you can just sigh, roll your eyes, whip out your phone and show them for themselves. Then their eyes will brighten, they’ll look at you and say “I get it, Ang (insert your name here), I get it!” Anyway, it would be amazing if it were true. It reminded me of Inception, because I had a dream in my dream, but then I watched the playback of my dream in my dream. Or was the dream I was watching just another dream I really dreamt in really life?
My brain hurts.
Speaking of brains, I’m learning to juggle. You’d know that if you were following my Instagram. If you’re not following my Instagram, shame on you (aka you must have a life, and really, that’s better). I decided to video my progress, because, duh.
Clearly it needs some work. But I’m totally getting it, and that’s very exciting.
Also, I found these amazing circus shoes at Nordstrom Rack that were originally $250, but on clearance for $30 because who in their right mind would buy circus shoes?!
I guess I’m not in my right mind (just ask that guy in the mirror, it’s clear from his face that he’s judging me). But they’re amazing and make me incredibly happy. And currently being displayed in my bookcase, as circus shoes should be.
Next to my juggling balls, of course (when not in use).
It’s about time I give you a full trapeze update! As you know, I went through a crappy spell when I just wasn’t improving that much at all. To be honest, I was doing pretty bad. And most days I left the rig, I was disappointed and discouraged. Am I just not cut out for this? I’ve wanted to do this my whole life, I thought I’d excel at it! Be the best trapeze artist they’ve ever seen (albeit, not limber in the least), I would impress them all with my natural ability. And I was just failing left and right. Should I quit? Give up? Move on with my life? I couldn’t bring myself to do that, I loved it way too much. The more bruises and bumps and shoulder pains the better. Our bodies are meant to work hard like this, and it feels so good to be using it to the full. And doing flips is pretty awesome too. Besides, no one is good at something when they first start learning it! I needed to keep pushing myself. Quitting gets you nowhere. It’s not an option.
So I kept at it. Two days a week I make the trek out to the rig, don my black ballet slippers, wrap those homemade wraps around my wrists to protect my already blistered hands from ripping further, and climb up that ladder and jump off that platform over and over again. And one day…I did everything right.
I had been working on a turn around with a push away. That means you jump off the platform facing forward, when you get to the other side of the rig you turn around on the bar, so you’re facing the platform, extend your legs up and over the platform, then when you swing back to the other side, you do a back flip to the net. Eventually when I can swing a bit higher, instead of extending my legs over the platform, I’ll let go of the bar and land on the platform. That’s the whole point of the trick. There was a couple other girls working on the same trick, and Dave was having them just do a back drop to the net. But he specifically instructed me to do a back flip (aka push away). It’s not the first time he’s had me do the more complicated tricks. I think he sees my potential and passion, and wants to push me further. He knows I have it in me (at least, that’s what I tell myself, ha!).
So! I’ve been working on that trick for a few weeks, then finally something clicked and my turn around portion is much cleaner, I’m getting higher on the board each time, and my push aways are flawless. I’m getting yells from Dave like “pretty!” “That was in your top 3!” Then finally last night, “you know, you could do that out of lines”. Out of lines! Yes!
I have not done that trick out of lines yet. But just last week I did do my first trick out of safety lines. Knee hang with back flip to the net, then also to the catcher. Just out of the blue Chris said “Do a knee hang out of lines off the second riser, we’re going to catch that tonight.” Second riser?! Guys, I haven’t used the riser before, it’s always scared me. It bumps you up two-three feet higher than the platform. You use it so you get a higher swing, which was necessary if I’m going to a catcher without safety lines to boost me higher if needed. So I marched on up there and nailed it, complete with back flip, about six times. I was so proud of myself! Dave said it was beautiful and perfect. Unfortunately I don’t have a video of that to show you. But I do have a video of me doing splits out of lines for the first time last night! Complete with a little twist at the end so I land in the net on my back, not my face. (warning, grainy video ahead!)
I now hate safety lines. They hold me back. They get in my way, they slow me down. I used to never want to do tricks without lines, I needed their comfort. But now I just can’t wait to do tricks out of lines.
I still need to work on my form. I stretch every day, but progress has been slow! I’m working on being more flexible, keeping my toes pointed and my body tight. Legs straight as an arrow, never bending my knees. If you saw my very bent knees in the video, you’ll see why I need to improve on that.
When I left last night, Dave said I’m improving much faster than most people, and it’s been really fun to watch me. There have been a number of people that haven’t seen me fly in a few weeks, and they’re shocked at how much I’ve improved. So, maybe I really am meant to be a trapeze artist, just like I always knew in my heart! Or maybe I’ve just had a great couple weeks and I’ll continue to suck next week. Whatever it is, I’m not going to give up. I’ll be flying for a very long time.
Wednesday night was considerably warmer than it has been the last few weeks on the rig. It makes flying that much more fun when you’re not freezing your butt off. I’ve been struggling with getting a pretty back end planche down in time to get caught by the catcher. When I first got to the rig, I walked up to the outdoor heater (you know, the kind they have on restaurant patios) where Dave and Susan were keeping warm. Dave gives me a hug and says “I want you to learn a turn-around tonight. Let’s forget planche for awhile.” Susan completely agreed, said she was going to suggest that. (A turn-around is the first step you need to take before you learn how to jump back on the platform.)
My first time doing it, they were all pretty impressed it was my first try at it. It was sloppy! But for my first time? Not bad I guess. I pulled some exceptionally bad ones that night, and some pretty darn good ones, too. Especially considering I just learned the trick that night. There were only four of us flying that night, so we each had tons of time on the rig. I was exhausted at the end of the hour and a half and was feeling pretty good about myself.
Then Dave came up to me and said “Some people come out here and fly like Sabrina*”, one of the younger girls that was there that night (*name has been changed to protect the innocent. Or in this case, the guilty). “But not me”, he continued, “I’d rather give it everything I got and do it all the way. I’m not content with just doing it.”
Dave just told me I was half-assing it.
This girl is cocky, acts bored the entire time, and just does enough. She never really improves. Ever. I’ve flown with her many times before, and she just does the same thing, with the same crappy attitude.
I drove home that night, feeling good about what I accomplished, but replaying what Dave said in my head. “Dave thinks I’m half-assing it! I’m not half-assing it! Wait…am I half-assing it?! If I’m half-assing that, what else in my life am I half-assing??”
I proceeded to spend the rest of the week analyzing every important aspect of my life, wondering if I half-ass it all. Do I just go through life half-assing and I don’t realize it? I guess at work, sometimes I half-ass it. But other times I work my ass off. My entire ass. It’s gone. Nothing left. So maybe when I let myself slack a bit it’s okay? Or maybe it’s not. What about other important things in my life, including my relationships with people? I don’t think I’m half-assing those things, because those things are top priorities in my life. But is that only half of my ass talking??
I’ve always fought for what’s important in my life, things that I really wanted, I worked really, really hard for. And I’ve accomplished a lot! After analyzing my ass all week and how hard it’s working, I’ve come to the conclusion that no, I do not half-ass these top priorities in my life. But that doesn’t mean I can’t do better. Put more into it. More umph, if you will.
Today at trapeze, I worked both halves of my ass. My warm up swing (out of lines, let me remind you) is improving with every swing. My back sweep is getting stronger, my seven better. I did a few very good turn-arounds with a cut-away (includes back flip). I did much better planche’s today. My take off’s were improved. I was caught twice by Tori doing planche both times. Then after class, I went over and played with the traveling rings, which was so fun! I did pretty darn good at that, too. Even pretty! Kira said “Whoa, you could be really good at this!”
I came home wincing in pain. My blisters have formed underneath my callouses (I count ten blisters in total, just from today). The biggest one popped before we started catching. I cut the skin off and taped up and kept going. I landed on the net wrong one time and both knees are bruised pretty bad and hurting.
This is not half-assing. What Dave said motivated me to have more confidence and to keep fighting (harder!) for the things that matter most to me in life. I really was giving everything 100%. But 110% is so much better.
So now I’m celebrating by drinking champagne out of the mini bottle. At noon. And wearing a hat because it’s freezing in my house. HERE’S TO HALF-ASSING!
Guess who took her first swing(s) out of safety lines??
Yep, that would be me! I think I can truly say I’m training to be a trapeze artist now. Right? I felt like I was lying every time I told people that (which was every chance I got, of course), but now it’s GOT to be true. Out of lines, baby!!
This doesn’t mean I don’t have safety lines for every trick. This is only on the warm up swing. Each time I safely perfect a trick, then I will be allowed to perform it out of lines. When you don’t have those safety lines to get all tangled up in, you can do net tricks! That’s what you saw me do at the end of the video, when I hit the net. I have no idea what they call that net trick. Pencil something, maybe? You land first on your back, then do a 360 and land on your back again. Apparently I did a good enough job the first time, Tori’s “oooooo!” told me so.
It’s so good for me to watch videos of me flying. I can totally see what I need to improve on immediately. I had no idea I was bending my legs that much (we won’t discuss all the other flaws I saw).
Things are much smoother without those darn lines in the way. It’s quieter, you swing higher, have more control. I love it. I’m so addicted to this, you guys.
Sunday was the anticipated Trapeze Show at Trapeze High. One and all came out to support all the performers, and most of all, to be entertained. “If you’ve never been to a circus in a backyard, we assure you, this is how it’s supposed to be”, said our trusted announcer. We had double trapeze performances, rope performances, stilt walkers handing out lollipops to the kids, traveling rings act, and of course flying trapeze. The traveling rings duo was just epic. Makeup and outfits were spot on, and they looked gorgeous swinging on those suckers, so graceful and effortless.
They split up the flying trapeze performers into three troupes: the kids, the women, the men. I’m not sure how they organized the troupes in the past, but this way was great. The kids killed it! I don’t normally fly at the same time they do, but I did see them fly at rehearsal and they did great. But at the show! They just shined at the show. Parents were crying in pride. They were just adorable. Those tiny things totally showed me up. Ha!
I was first of the adult flyers, you know, worst to best! I was also the newest flyer, so of course I wouldn’t do as great as those who had been doing it for years. Things we’re moving so fast the day of the show that I was totally freaked I would miss my cue and screw everything up. I didn’t though! I nailed all my tricks and my catcher managed to catch me, despite myself. These seasoned flyers are just so great to watch! They’re crazy talented, I love having their inspiration around for me to look up to. They did some crazy tricks that looked impossible.
Speaking of impossible…the guys! Their strength is unbelievable. There was one guy visiting from France, and Dave made him perform in the show. I have no idea how long he’s been flying, but he’s pretty incredible. He gave our flyers a run for their money, but ours are just as talented, if not more. They we’re the most fun to watch.
Outfits! Everyone had such great outfits! Chris & Gina did an amazing job on their double trap performance (they are so strong! One trick Gina was holding him up by one foot using only her thighs. Thighs!) and Gina had two great outfits. One for double trap, one for flying. You will be happy to know that my makeup turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself (evidence below). And no wardrobe malfunctions. Fabulous! A few of my friends came out to see me (thank you friends!) and we went out for sushi afterwards. One of them asked where I was going to change clothes. Um…I’m not changing! Yep, wore sequins and polka dots with circus makeup to dinner. What if I showed up in that makeup and a normal outfit? That would’ve been weirder.
Alright, ready for some pictures?
Wanna see me fly now? Sure you do.
I loved my little sequined onesie. It even had pockets. Now to figure out where else to wear that sucker. Without the polka dot tights, of course. I painstakingly sewed each little hot pink sequin on those wrist wraps, too. It was totally worth it.
I almost forgot videos! Is this post long enough? Sorry (no I’m not).
The show is in a week, and I realized how close it was and I only knew one of the two tricks I was expected to perform. Everyone gets a warm up swing and two tricks. I knew one. Last week I tried back end splits and utterly failed at that. So I resigned myself to just doing two-position splits in the show, and I can work on back end after the show is over. I needed to land planche and fast. I had attempted it a year ago, but never fully got into position. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to learn it in time. But good news! I did! I landed it over and over again yesterday, and that was just great. Little tweaks are in order, like tightening up a bit more, and making sure I look where I’m supposed to look at the right times. But all in all…I got my second show trick. Fabulous!
Friday I had to practice show makeup. Let’s get one thing straight…I am no good at makeup! Daily, but especially show makeup! Totally out of my element here. But I found a picture I wanted to copy, and I made my way through the makeup department at Target, came home, and started heavily applying black to my eyelids. Is it going to be perfect? Heck no! But absolutely good enough, and might even turn out great, who knows? I thought it was pretty good after my practice session Friday night. For me, anyway.
Yesterday I went out to look for a trapeze show outfit. This is the best part, right? The outfit! A show outfit! We have specific show colors that we cannot deviate from. I already have some amazing black leggings with mesh cut outs and silver sequin hot pants, but those are not in the color palette. Sad. I went to the ghetto mall (you know, the Carlsbad one), as one does when they’re trying to find teeny-bopper inexpensive sequin outfits. My go-to store didn’t exist anymore, so I was a bit worried. But guess who did not fail me? Forever 21, of course! They are always down for some quality sequins, let me tell you. That’s where I found my sequin hot pants a couple years ago.
I tried on lots of different sequin items in lots of different stores. But, you know, I had to make sure I could really move in the clothes. So I had to test it out. I left the privacy of my own dressing room cubicle and proceeded to do handstands with lots of leg movements up there to make sure I had the mobility I needed with no costume malfunctions. In front of everyone else in the dressing room area. Was it embarrassing? Not for me. Probably was for my mom, who was with me. But lets be honest here, she embarrassed me by always opening the dressing room door when I was stark naked. Yes, they still do that when you’re in your 30’s. Sheesh. By the third store I didn’t give her dressing room privileges. Enough is enough, am I right? She was extremely helpful in the sequin-outfit department, though. And zipped up things that I could never reach on my own. (Also, she bought me lunch. Hooray for moms!)
So, outfit: check. Makeup: check. Tricks: check! Now to just get rid of this darn cold my body decided to get yesterday, and all will be well. In the meantime, I’ll be staying in bed all day Netflixing my life away.