Circus clowns at the National Circus School of Montreal's annual show

Things That Are Interesting After 7 Months Of Circus School

years of failure at a trick can be fixed by a russian coach telling you ‘do it with no falling.  is much more beautiful for the public that way.’

after you control your fear, anything is possible.

there is nothing that is physically difficult in acrobatics.

flexibility is the most important thing in the world.

juggling does not suck.

unicycle does.

if you do a trick correctly the first time, you will never, ever, ever forget how it is done.

there is no expectations on a person that cannot be raised by their success.

sometimes, you are right.

sometimes, you even know it.

a one-armed handstand is just holding yourself up with one hand.

a standing full twisting back somersault is just jumping really high, arching your body, kicking yourself in the chest with your knees, hugging yourself while looking over your shoulder, and then straightening out.

strength is the most important thing in the world.

if you feel the responsibility that goes along with holding someone over your head and then throwing them for a back flip, there is no way that you will let them fall.

if someone you trust tells you that you can do something you have never done, they are right.  So do it.

charisma is the most important thing in the world.

if skill is developed by learning, then creativity is developed by playing.

people like seeing you do something you enjoy more than they like seeing something that is difficult.

show an acrobat a skill they have never seen and they will try it.  if they fail, they will fall in a funny way.

when a russian tells you to do a double back salto from a wall, do it. 

even if he is kidding.

sleep is the most important thing in the world.

good night!

 

Flying acrobat killing a Thunder Bird in rehearsal for Kosmogonia

Evaluation

Had my evaluation today:

  • Work too hard, making me tired.
  • Need better flexibility and toe point.
  • Need to speak French.
  • Have good potential.
  • Am a true artist.
  • The evaluation concept lacked technique, but was ambitious with all the characters.
  • We needed to go farther.
  • The men overpowered the women.
  • Some looked like they did not offer up ideas.

I passed everything!  There is speculation that some in the first year did not get a good evaluation at all.  ITA was fun, but hard on the body.  I am really starting to get the hang of juggling with clubs and with juggling with four balls.  The Flyer looks good, having come back from Panama with her hair all in braids.  Main a main was a pain with my legs all bent out of shape and having The Dreamer as my partner for the first shoulder mounted handstands.  I also lost my job teaching on Fridays, but supposedly because they need someone who can teach fil de fer.  Movement was fun; we watched our evaluation tape, and then watched some partnering contact improv.  Tried to work extra, but was just too damn tired.  Talked with Alex at length.  He talked about a stair-like workout program with light, medium, intense, and then break day sequence.  He will have me talk with a student of his who understands his program better.  Alex will also talk with me later about the Moscow school to help me make up my mind.  Byamba is still not back.  My wrist is a little better I think.  My article from the technology review got here.  Interesting read, but they got a few facts wrong.  Some Alex quotes: “circus is not all fun.”  “I see your determination and effort, but without direction you are blind.”

Handstand tableau in the National Circus School of Montreal annual show

Circus Crush

Morning equilibre, not as good as last night, but what can you expect?

Did pullups with weight in preparation physique today.

Skipped trampo minor due to knee problems, and slept in sauna instead.

Talked with Alex about just doing static cradle, and he said, ‘Tanabe, understand well, it is called intro to arial, not arial minor.  It is alright.”

Did my first mount on cradle it was fun.

I have my front and back giants back on barre fixe, which is nice.

I am starting to find ways to put juggling skills together into a routine, which will be nice for busking purposes.

One of the other first years is a pain in the butt in that he really can’t take people joking about him, but will be as cruel as he wants to others.  He looks a lot like a guy on a ‘youth and alcohol’ booklet that we all had to read, but was upset when I told him that, and was pretty mean in finding something to say to me about it.   I laughed.  That’s all there is to it.  He’s getting a bad reputation for dropping partners.

Main a main was with Natalie today, and we just played around.  Learned a lot, though.

The Trapezist was all happy because her exboyfriend emailed her.  I said that she gives him a lot of power that way.  She was mad at me because I mentioned how women get emotionally affected by what other people say about their bodies, but that came up because of some things that Russian speaking equilibre student overheard about Larissa saying about his girlfriend.  The Trapezist said that she needs someone to make her feel good as a teacher.  I had to disagree.

Jinny Jacintho was subbing today.  Everyone knows I’m have a fan crush on her but I didn’t get a chance to talk with her.  I hope I get another chance.  The Clown was upset I didn’t grab this one.

Evaluation concept was interesting.  We kind of nailed down the juggling portion of the show, but I had to step into a much more directorial role.  I didn’t mind, but at the end, we all sat down and talked about the working situation.  Of course the usual suspects missed the meetings.  We decided to have non-mandatory writing meetings that would be led by The Clown and myself, and that rehearsals would be when that writing is presented to the group.  People were pretty receptive to it.

Pizza night was pretty tame, I wanted to leave early to get on with the Journal and to hopefully get some sleep.

I start to find The Dreamer cute.

I broke the dance bar with The Acrobat last Monday.  Oops.

Acrobat holding a New York City souvenier

Feeling The Upswing A Bit

Morning handstands with Byamba, preparation physique in which I did my first solo hollow backs on a mat.  Trampo minor assessment was not bad, and I was surprised that my front skills were a little better than my back skills.  I had to learn a ¾ pike front to my back, and was really lost with no visual cues, but all went well.  ITA was fun, I started out doing the solo porting of The Trapezist and The Dreamer.  At one point, The Dreamer was jerking my back so I dropped her.  Alex said “look at his face, you are hurting him.”  She did much better after that.  Juggling was fine, finished with unicyle and hat evaluations, and then in main a main I was one of the only guys in my group who could complete the figures with the girls, which were standing with them on my shoulders, sitting, pirrouetting, and standing, and having shoulders to feet.  Then we finished with banquine, in which I get to be a flyer!  Yay.  Did a back salto. Getting cold again, yuck.  Sante was boring, and I get frustrated with the non-specific popular science they teach.  The science education here is not like that at MIT.  I guess that should be obvious. The Clown is paying me in fruit beverages to improve his flexibility, and we had our first session today, which was fun.  Pizza night at Ban Thai.

Circus acrobats backstage at Paleo festival next to their costumes

Midterms 2

First meeting with the artistic counselor for our Evaluation Concept today.  We tried to set up some semblance of a schedule, and assigned characters.  In my mind it was perhaps a bit too premature, but on the other hand, what better time than now?  I am a little surprised at how hard a time some people have at creating a character.  I guess it’s one of the advantages of coming from a theatrical background.  I had to do an improv sketch in French, though, and it was only moderately successful.  I think part of it was that it was the first time I’d ever worked with the professor.  The Clown is really happy to have his direction because he is ‘really good’ at theater stuff and has ‘a lot of experience.’  Be that as it may, I am worried that the director is using this as an excuse to railroad his ideas.  It is a danger to impose your ideas in group work because you will eventually run out of those ideas and feel as though you are doing the same thing over and over.  I don’t like anyone’s opinion to override anyone else’s.

Trampo was good, and I started work on back layout today.  It’s hard because with correct trampo form it feels like you are arching like mad.

I have an evaluation in my trampo minor also!

ITA I learned the other form of cradle today and had my barre fixe assessment, which was a piece of cake.  I finally got the hang of the porting, though, which wasn’t bad.  You just need to not bend your back at all and use your arms.  Being small is a huge disadvantage for me, though.

After juggling where we just did our assessment and I didn’t do too bad, we saw the Jeu III students present.  They were pretty good!  A few were a bit less interesting, but it was nice seeing people’s stage presence, though.  Straps Guy is really good at it. 

Main a Main was cool because we did planche and I finally got my timing down as well as being able to be the pusher on the running form of planche.  You need to bend when the pushers’ first foot hits, and finish your jump as soon as they touch the end of the board.  I jump too far, but Sylvain let me do a double (“just for fun; this isn’t track and field”).

After main a main, it was time for a half hour of free equilibre with Byamba.  I was pretty exhausted, and I think he could tell, but this is experience I need to gain.  3 hours a day is the goal.

Movement assessment was weird, we just did the standing there humping thing, and then did the four people humming and one person following thing.  The Trapezist told me that she thought I was good at the moving freaky thing.  My only goal was to be entertaining using breakdancing moves, silly noises, long pauses, and the like.

Then I got a pretty good massage from one of the girls in the first year who has gender issues about how the group immediately saw the Boss in our show as being a male.  I think she worries too much.  At first, the group wanted me to be the boss, but then I said I’d prefer being the troublemaker, and they agreed.  This exact first-year was being pressured into being the lesbian boss, but then because the wife of the boss at my suggestion.  All of it happened too fast, though, and she is now maybe unhappy about it.  Good massage, though.

Flexi assesment tomorrow.  Oh my god.