Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Aerial Omily: Mind the Gap

I haven't been performing long enough to have a set routine in place, but there are a few constants on the day of: lots of nutritious food, coconut water, and absolutely nothing else planned. This combo serves to ensure I'm satiated, hydrated...and have plenty of time to freak the feck out.

For this latest performance at the Muse, I found myself departing from these constants: I started my day with a pastry and a cappuccino, and moved onto (wholewheat, homemade) blueberry waffles with butter, cream cheese, and maple syrup from there. I spent the afternoon painting birdhouses and decorating jars for a dear friend's wedding, did my makeup in someone else's mirror, and set off just in time to make the tech rehearsal after stopping for a snack along the way. I was hydraded, and satiated, though perhaps not as much as usual, and, I did not have any time to freak the feck out. I didn't even run my piece before the show. I warmed up, went over music cues, touched up my eye liner, and spent the next twenty minutes before show time chatting with the husband and friends and going to the bathroom on three separate occasions (ok, so I was still a little nervous).

Even better, I was second in the lineup. Once the curtain went up, I knew my performance would be over in about fifteen minutes, maybe less. And then the MC announced my act, and out I went, and then the music started, and I was off, except I wasn't off for once! I was ON: gloriously present to the silks I was navigating, the direction I was facing, the audience nearby, the rises and falls of the music. I was able to make decisions moment to moment about how to articulate my feelings as part of my character within the narrative through facial expressions, and movement.

And then I was in my final position, and the music was fading, and that's it: it was over, and instead of being in a semi-conscious state of pure adrenaline, or mentally kicking myself for one stupid mistake or another, I felt good about it, like I had actually shared, at least to the best of my ability, what I had hoped to share with the audience.

Success!!

I'm still a long way from the aerialist I want to be, but this is absolutely a milestone in my career, and it feels like a resounding answer to all of my doubts. I really can do this. I've taken one big step toward closing the Ira Glass Gap (which you should check out if you aren't familiar with it. If you do any highly skilled activities, you will totally be able to relate).

Of course, now it's back to the drawing  board! I have a little over two weeks to refine my new choreography for my next performance. It will be interesting to try to channel that same sense of presence and character with choreography I've only been working on for a few weeks! I'm excited about it, though: I want to keep challenging myself. I won't have the luxury of eight or nine months to play with and restyle choreography most of the time.

You can watch my latest performance right here (right now!), and see what you think! Do you get an inkling of character or narrative in this piece..?
Just in case the video embedding feature gives you trouble, or if you want to fullscreen it, you can go watch the video here!

Enjoy your flight. ;-)

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