The road to creation is never a straight line.
It’s December. By now I’ve been training on straps consistently since August and it’s time, time for me to buy my own equipment so I can do the things I set out to do.
Traditionally aerial straps are used for conditioning and performing feats of strength. The loops at the end of the 9 feet long cotton covered polyester straps are used for the circus artist’s wrists so that he/ she can hang, twist, and suspend in the air. But I my intentions are different. My goal is to dance in the straps. I want to slip my legs and neck through the straps. I want to translate my vocabulary on silks onto this new equipment.
And so, before I head off for a tour, I decide to order my very own, custom made straps. I want them to be long so I can perform dynamic drops, I want the loops to be wide so I can hang from different body parts and I want the fabric to be soft so that I don’t rip my skin to shreds.
As we know, buying things off the Internet can be risky. A year and a half ago, when I was buying a new pair of silks I made the mistake of ordering the fabric too short (11 yards). Then, because I placed the order in the USA, I had to go through a big ordeal with Canada Customs, who decide to charge me an exorbitant amount of money in customs fee (which I was later able to get refunded). This time I was smart. I did my research. I made sure to order from a reputable company, which specialized in selling high quality aerial equipment. I made sure to measure the length of the loop I wanted. I ordered from a Canadian company, so I didn’t have to worry about customs, or the high US dollar. But, as it is with the creative process, things went… differently than my perfectly laid out plan.
It was 2 weeks before I was scheduled to leave for my tour. My straps arrived and I was SO excited! I opened the package… But they were the wrong color, the wrong loop size and the wrong material. How could this happen? I specifically asked for cotton covered straps and instead I received aramid fiber (must more abrasive). I called the company. The customer service representative didn’t speak “circus” and explained that the owner was out of town. When I finally get a hold of the owner, he told me that if I mailed the straps back, and drove out to the factory to pick up the new pair, I could have my order fixed and ready before I left town. GREAT! I sent back the straps. When I got the new straps (generously picked-up by my husband!) and open the package… They’re too long, they were the wrong color, and they were too wide. “I’ll never be able to work with these”, I cry out.
I call my friend and ask her to come over, and through my tears, I show her the equipment. She looks at them and shrugs: “You can make these work. They’re not that bad. And it’s good that their long. We can make a temporary knot in them for when you’re training with lower ceilings.” I sigh. “Ok”, I say, “I’ll try them out. Worst comes to worst I’ll sell them”. So I bring them to the studio the next day. My friend helps me tie the temporary knot, and… It’s not so bad.
In the end I did take the straps on tour with me, and I made an effort to train on the equipment whenever I could.
When I got back home, I went to the National Circus School to train, where I knew I could hang the straps without worrying about their length. The first day I hung my straps in the new space, a fellow artist came up to me and commented: “Wow, those are so cool. You have so many movement possibilities”, and another said: “I like your straps! Their really unique.
Unique. That’s exactly what I had wanted them to be. Suddenly… I’m in love.
Now I’m going to the studio to train every night that I can. I can’t get enough. I have embraced the challenge, and accepted that these straps are different. Just like me.
Sometimes you’ve got to go with what you’ve got. Sometimes, trusting in the unknown is what makes the magic happen.
We’ve launched our new studio!
The Screaming Goats Collective
We produced our first workshop “Intro to Pochinko Clown”, taught by Jed Tomlinson at the beginning of May.
Next, we are excited to present the “Get Off You A$$ Creation Lab”
This 17.5 hour long workshop will provide you with a variety of tools on how to generate new material and create a unique performance.
Visit our facebook page for more details (https://www.facebook.com/screaminggoatscollective/)
I’m honored to announce that my project: “Persephone Bound” has been accepted for a creation residency curated by the TOHU. This creation residency will allow me to rehears for 33 hours with my director, choreographer and designer at the National Circus School. At the end of our creation period, there will be a work-in-progress presentation to an invited audience. More dates and details to come…