Sunday, October 9, 2011

What it means to be a circus artist

A) Bruises and burns are merit badges; the more you have, the better you are at your job.  Admitting pain is a luxury outside of your pay bracket.

B) You travel.  A lot.  But you usually only see your hotel room, the venue, and the ride in between.  (Tomorrow I'm traveling to teach up in St. Andrews)

C) You don't get to have preconceptions of who you are.  One minute you're a performer under the lights, the next you're helping lug 50lb bags of sound equipment to an overstuffed Camry or selling merch at a popup table. In costume.

D) You learn to work on your toes.  This Friday I'm doing an act with a live band I've never met, to a song I've never heard, on a piece of equipment I have trained on four times in my life.  My next practice opportunity is 3 hours before the show opens.  I'm hoping to have a 4 minute routine.  And a costume.

E) You understand that nothing in life is inherently glamorous.  Everything is what you make of it and how you choose to present it.


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