When I’m not making home decor out of silverware and spray paint, much of my free time is spent at The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts. Eighteen months ago, I took my first aerials class, and I’ve been hooked ever since. At the very least, it’s a great way to get into shape. I’ve gone from someone who could barely do a couple on-you-knees “girl” pushups to someone who can do thirty proper ones in good form. I can lift my own body weight. I can climb a rope four times in a row. It’s given my inherent ability to put my feet on my head a purpose. But more than that, it’s become such an important part of my life. I’ve met so many wonderful and creative people and made so many good friends. April was a fantastic month for the circus arts in Philadelphia, thanks in part to the Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts.
To start with, I had the opportunity to attend the Green Fairy Cabaret, a variety show of sorts featuring aerial performances by some of my amazing instructors at the gorgeous rooftop garden of the Kimmel Center.
I snapped this picture of the venue before the show started, but I was too enraptured to take any during, which is probably just as well, as it wouldn’t have done the experience justice. This lovely review, though, so eloquently expresses what it felt like to be in the audience that night.
Also affiliated with PIFA, Fly City’s flying trapeze rig was set up in an empty lot on Broad Street, and I had the chance to take my first flying trapeze lessons. Much like the first time I got on a static trapeze at an intro class at PSCA, my first taste of flying has me hooked. I really can’t wait to try it again.
And if that weren’t enough, I also performed for the first time on static trapeze in the school’s annual student showcase. Eighteen months of training, eight hard weeks of performance prep, and three weeks of running around the city, overdosing on Sephora, costume prep led up to a night that I’m pleased with and proud of. So many of my friends came out to see and support me, which means the world to me. The lovely, lovely Andrea took some amazing pictures of me, which I’m so happy to have, because the entire experience was a blur.
A couple weeks after the show, I walked in to the gym during an open practice session and found myelf pulled aside to be shown this gorgeous painting of myself, on the left, and another performer, Rose, back stage before the show started:
It was painted by this phenomenal woman, Alice Dustin, who also takes classes at the school and performed that night. (Go watch this video about her aerials experience. She’s so inspiring.) Today, in fact, she’s showing and selling some of her work at a show at Sharpe Park in Haverford. And yes, Rose and I were both texting. For shame!
I love circus. Love love love it. Nothing makes me feel more alive, focused, strong or content. If you’re in the area, I will performing in another show next week, a fundraiser for cancer research. Please let me know if you’re interested in coming, and I will pass along the details!