*First ambient aerial silks gig: check. Also, first gig outside of DFW: check.
Several of us were booked for a circus-themed employee appreciation event last night all the way out in Longview, which is about two hours east of the metroplex. Road trip time! It was a rather easy drive, although Sticks, who rode with me, and I were both very glad to get out of the car and stretch our legs at the end of it.
Along the drive leading up the the civic center where the event was held were these giant upright metal hoops, so of course I had to go take photos with one of them once we got the rig up and in position. Unfortunately, my phone didn’t actually take as many photos as Sticks thought he took, so there isn’t any evidence of my attempts to hang from the top or proof when I actually did.
I also did not take a photo of the new hairstyle I tried out—a looped bun faux hawk I stumbled across onYouTube. (This is the tutorial I followed: “Easy Topsy Tail Bun Fawk Hawk!”) I did take a photo when I was taking it down afterwards, though, because my hair attempted to eat two ponytail holders in the process. Despite that, I think it’s a keeper. It stayed up the whole time, I only lost one bobby pin out of the 15 crammed in, and it only got wispy because I skipped using hairspray. Bonus, it’s not a basic bun.
Two hours of silks feels almost like nothing now; I remember when just an hour-long class would leave me exhausted. With the exception of a 10 or 15 minute break halfway through, I came down periodically long enough to take a few sips of water before going back up. I’m rather pleased about that.
I’m not so pleased about having to ditch some of the moves I had planned to do. Earlier in the week, I wrote out a few sequences of moves that worked together so that I wouldn’t have to figure out in the air what to do next. Moves involving secretary, moves involving a thigh lock, a cat’s cradle sequence, an expanded “beginners” sequence (single footlock moves), drops I feel comfortable in my ability to wrap (even if I don’t like them), random moves that I feel confident in but didn’t have a written sequence for. Our red silks are still so slippery, I kept slipping on them—even in crochet climb, which is pretty secure—and didn’t feel safe trying to attempt a lot of things that required a bit of distance between me and the floor at the end of it. Or required a knee hang to start with. I know Russ wants to keep the red silks as pristine as possible, but with as little use as they get—a handful of gigs at full height so far, and slightly more rehearsals—I need to invest in some rock rosin. Even if I don’t use it, I’d feel better knowing it’s there for super slippery days.
Overall, though, I thought it went well as a whole. For someone who isn’t fond of them, I ended up doing a total of nine drops over the course of the event, if you include the cat’s cradle release down into a knee hang as a drop. And lots of spinning, wheee! In secretary, in a thigh lock swing, in flying fairy. Enough to make me need ginger during my break. The only mishap, besides an uncomfortable foot lock and the sliding problem, was getting the silks hooked around my left leg the wrong way in my final drop of the night. Not quite the dramatic finish I was going for!
Sticks made a really good silks roustabout. (Despite him telling me to pace myself after I had done just two climbs up and a few silks 101 poses. One day he’ll learn which moves take the most energy.) He took care of dissuading potential creepers on the ground, and to deal with those who continued to stare at my butt I came up with a new game: make eye contact with them while dangling upside-down until they look away. Something about the upside-down part made it really effective, much more so than when upright being the “unattainable goddess of the sky” (that phrase still cracks me up, it’s so full of “reach for beauty”). I should have kept a running tally; after all, pre-show everyone kept track of some extremely silly things in our green room area.
I do need to work on having a “reach for beauty” expression in place when I’m trying to figure something out (a foot lock that felt out of place, how I managed to get tangled in the Elsie drop, what moves to do when I’m sliding too much to do what I planned on the climb up). I was told I made everything look so easy, so I must not have made too many scrunchy, thinking faces. It’s just hard to remember sometimes to not make weird expressions without a reason the audience can see, such as reacting to action somewhere else. After all, nothing should disturb a sky goddess. (Although, how would one react to getting caught in a thunderstorm? Or extremely high winds? Hmm…)
Now that I have one ambient gig under my belt, I feel pretty good about them. It’s time in the silks, I have several sequences I can do smoothly, I don’t have to do drops if I don’t feel like it, and the mini panic attacks before certain drops can just be dramatic flair. I think that’s a win all around.