Don't be afraid to show who you are!
If you've ever considering that you would like to sign up for one of Flying Fantastics Scratch nights, but have any kind of doubts about it, maybe reading my experience will help you soothe your soul.
I`ve always wanted to do something amazing like aerial, but never had the courage after I passed my salad years. Then I decided that it`s never too late and I started aerial in the beginning of 2020 and I thought that it would be my year! Well, we all know how that went... It was a rocky start, but the first few months of struggling with getting tangled up in silks was enough to have me hooked. Literally and figuratively! For anyone who is just starting, please be kind to yourself and don`t forget that
any aerial stuff is pretty damn hard!
Since I helped with some of the Scratch night as Front of house, I knew that one day I`d like to show myself up there too! It took me a long time to sign up for the first time! Spoilers! I`ve now already done 3 altogether, so I can confirm that it`s great fun and nothing to be afraid of! But it is challenging! Showing a piece of you in front of other people is not easy for anyone, no matter what your skill level is! But this is different! This is your ever loving, accepting and supporting circus family! I can`t express it how supportive everyone is!
For my first act our theme was “When I grow up...” I`ve always loved animals and I`m pretty sure, that watching Ace Ventura about 1000 times and Jim Carrey`s amazing humour has something to do with that! Growing up I seriously thought that pet detective was an actual job! So, I thought, this is it! And since it`s more comedic, I can focus on the character rather than stressing myself out with trying to do hard poses and moves perfectly. I picked the main theme song from the film and I thought it`s a fun song and I don`t have to worry too much about the timing, just do as I am able. Then I was thinking about the moves. For my first time, I just wanted to do some easy things, moves I liked and practiced a few times with supervision already. Then I picked I think about 5 moves and started to link them together. It was basically just doing the moves after each other, I didn`t get too much into beautifully linked sequencing. And I did ask my teachers if I got stuck how to connect some moves, believe me, they are always happy to help!
And oh, dear what a difficult start it was! When I first tried to run through the whole thing, I did think 'I`m the dumbest person alive for thinking that I can do this'! After 4 performances, I can assure you that this is a perfectly normal feeling in the beginning, and I promise you that it gets easier the more you practice it!
One of the most important things, I believe, is not to be afraid to do fewer moves and slow it the hell down! It is tough on your body and stamina to do any sort of aerial performance! For the first time I had to take out several moves and change my climbing to an easier one. This something you love doing, make sure you also enjoy it!
The audience who does aerial want to see you doing something that makes you happy, not perfect moves, and the audience who doesn`t do aerial will cheer for you no matter what you do because they think it`s magical to do anything up there! And damn right it is!
My second time was the Christmas show and the themes was “Christmas characters”. Since I love Jim Carrey so much and I`m bit of a Grinch myself too, the choice was obvious. However, this time, I challenged myself to do the act on trapeze. I didn`t know many moves I could pick from, but I was determined. I also went with dance trapeze, even though I haven`t done much spinning on any equipment at that point. Yes, sounds a bit crazy, so let me walk you through my process. For this one, I`d watched some comedy trapeze acts on YouTube, to find inspiration and I checked simple trapeze moves on Instagram I thought I could do. Then I had some private lessons with the lovely Michelle to help me put it together. It went badly at the beginner, I must tell you that! But I kept practicin the moves separately, then all of it together and then with a spin. By the time of the show, I was still very nervous because it wasn`t my precious silk I was comfortable with! But I knew I am capable of doing the routine, and still, at our main rehearsal before the show, I stepped under the trapeze, and I forgot all my moves. I was very close to give up, but then again, the amazing Joel, Mich and the other lovely performers helped me overcome my nerves and it was one of the funniest things I`ve done in my life!
The third time was the easiest, but of course, I wouldn`t call it easy. I have participated in the act creation course, where I wanted to do a serious act after doing comedy. I wanted to show myself that I can feel beautiful and confident in the air. I went there with concrete idea and concept. Doing something out of your comfort zone is one of the scariest things in life, I believe, and I was proud of myself for pushing my boundaries.
So, when I`ve heard that unfortunately some people couldn`t make it to the next Scratch night performance, I thought my body is training mode anyways and I`m finally ready to show more of myself. I modified my routine a bit, and because I had only two weeks to prepare for it, I picked one of my favourite songs.
Just to give you an overview, my first song was 3:12 minutes, with about 3 moves, the second time it was 2:31 minutes, again about 3 moves and I didn`t get on the trapeze right away. My act creation performance was a 1:46 minute song with floor moves and then a 2:53 minute song on the silk with about 4 moves. Compared to that my last performance was to a 4:35 minute song, of which I spent about 4 minutes on the silk, and I added more moves to it than the original routine, including a last minute extra move I added on the day of performance. It's not an easy process, but it gets easier.
I`m happy to give anyone advice, encouragement and all the support you need anytime! Don`t be shy, you`ve got this!
Head over to our youtube channel to watch highlights from all our previous scratch nights! YOUTUBE