Saturday, January 18, 2014

Aerial Omily: 'Um, Who Is That..?'--An Aerial Learning Curve

As you may have picked up on from my continuous rotation of blogging topics, I do a lot of things. This is just fine, according to society: I'm a well-rounded person with lots of interests and hobbies. Here's the kicker, though: I don't consider any one of the things that I do to be the one thing that I do. I don't have a single, clearly defined career, plus some hobbies. I have several different areas in which I'm already a paid professional, or in which I am working toward being a paid professional. Now THAT is frowned upon! It's the whole basis for the phrase, "jack of all trades, master of none".

To be fair, there is some truth to that. If you're always chasing the next big thing, you may not be setting aside enough time to refine your previously learned skills enough to be competitive at them. If you have multiple passions, you have to have lots of energy, and some kick-ass time management skills to pursue them all, and ultimately, odds are some are going to come out on top, and others will get relegated to hobby land. Which is fine. It's just that so far none of mine have, and the funniest part is, the one that I assumed could only ever be the hobby as emerged as the one I'm prepared to drop the most time and energy into, and the one I embarked on as a full-time career is still the smallest financial contributor.

That just goes to show you, there's little point to deciding in advance what will be a hobby, and what will be a job. Do what you love. Scratch that. Does anyone out there really love just one thing? Do ALL of the things you love! Do them with wild abandon! Get good because it's inevitable, and then offer your goods and services to others for a fair price. Learn how to market yourself properly, and let the dollars decide what will be your bread and butter, and what you'll do because you can't not do it. Shift your time committments as necessary to find a place where you're doing all the things you love in the quantities of time you want to do them, and you're also bringing in the money you need to maintain your lifestyle.

P.S. This is not easy. This is super hard. You can also just go get one of those 'jobs' I keep hearing about and have some hobbies on the side. No judgement.

In the spirit of that, I'm going to increase my weekly blog topics by one. I'm going to blog about aerial starting...


My very first aerial teacher told us that aerial was like a language: the best way to learn it was just to be immersed in it, and not get too hung up about understanding all of it all the time. I took to that theory like a fish to water. Within a couple of months I was intimidated by how much my biceps had grown, had learned to love the deep, movement-restricting soreness that proceeded a good class, and had picked up a decent vocabulary. I felt like I was on track.

A year and a half later, I had the opportunity to perform in a real show for the first time: my third aerial teacher's student showcase. I was so, so, so super-pumped! I had a CONCEPT for my performance: a whole complicated concept about needing versus wanting, and the intersections of love and obsession, and being trapped but wanting to be trapped, and bondage, and also of course it was all set to a Lady Gaga song because fangurl.

I wrote my own choreography...realized I couldn't possibly fit my choreography into two minutes and cut my choreography...realized I couldn't fit it in and cut it AGAIN, made my costume, and practiced SO MUCH.

Then I performed. It felt amazing. Me, under the lights, Lady Gaga singing to my soul, the audience cheering...

Then I watched the performance and was like, "Um, who is that loser wearing three pairs of underwear and spazzing all over the silks?"

Turns out, feck concept. I needed to seriously up my game. And I've been on that journey ever since! I've performed four more times in the year and a half since then, and the good news is, my viewing reaction has shifted to, "Um, who is that person wearing cheap ebay pants from China/kick-ass 90's leggings and jangly bracelets/a leather blazer/baggy purple pants looking super uncomfortable and effortful all over the silks?" The bad news is, yeah it kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it? I need to seriously up my game.

Thanks to the sweet, nit-picky, tough-love-with-a-sense-of-humoreful, encouraging tutelage of Nicki Miller, that last performance was a whole lot more, "OMG, that's BETTER!" than, "Um, who is that..?", so I'm really looking forward to fulfilling one of my New Year's Resolutions: performing six times in 2014.

I'm confirmed for performance number one at the monthly variety show at the Muse: the MuseIam, on February 16th! Don't worry, I'm going to market all over the place shortly, so you'll have no chance of missing. Come check me out, and try to guess what "Um, who is that..." sentence I'll sum up this performance with! Get it right tell me on the blog, and I'll give you something cool for free...tarot reading? Reiki healing?? Could be!

That's enough for now, I think. There are so many fun specifics to get into, but I wanted to start by shedding some light on what aerial has been for me. Do you do aerial? What's your learning curve been like?

Fly Omily,

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