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!


Circus acrobats doing a two-high column in the annual show of the National Circus School

The Russian Connections

Working with a handbalancing graduate while Byamba is away.  He’s teaching more about the Russian style and I’m getting a big planche workout from him.

Getting pointers from Larissa’s husband.

Wall work.

Seeing the national geographic special on the Russian circus and school.

ITA: being ported by The Clown and porting The Clown.

Talking with Alexander about the school and that his son will help me out.

Working with The Clown on the juggling number.  The idea of a moveable screen and playing with the impossibility illusions there.

Main a main and being annoyed by the flyers annoying uppityness.

Sylvain being much less friendly to me.

Having the review of fall session’s sante class and trying to make The Acrobat laugh without laughing myself.

The flyers’ annoying uppityness extending to that class too.

Pizza night almost all in French.

The Russians talking to some colon cleaner lady in Russian.

Flexibility and musculation crammed into an hour.

Seeing Larissas hoop and web act.  Spinny.  Interesting.

Group act in the animation before the National Circus School annual show

Grumpiness And Burnout At Circus School

Slept in again, missing my equilibre major class but with no Byamba, I am not too worried.

Started with ITA where I stayed at the cradle the whole time.  I ported for over half the class.  Alexander is giving me good advice.  He said that he would buy me a huge bag of peanuts at Costco when he goes next.  I almost finished the ones he said I could take from him yesterday right before I almost got a migraine before trampo.

I worked with The Clown in juggling on our number that we have to prepare for the end of the year.  It will be a hat number.  It is funny that it is the two of us and then the rest of the class, most of whom worked with us in the evaluation concept.

We presented to them and I think thought it looked pretty good.  Main a main was ok too, but I was sick of the girls, who would sit in a spot that they repeatedly were almost run into as others of them fell from the barre russe.  Dumb!  People really seem to be getting on my nerves lately.

In movement I got to do my first contact impro class with The Contortionist.  Have to admit it was a little more fun that my second time with one of the first year guys.  Anyways, the technique is making more sense, now.

Then I did a little Byamba equilibre.  I also talked with The Trapezist about Russian teachers and things like that.  We obviously have differing opinions on the matter.  Now I’m tired and not looking forward to dance.


Back In The Game

Skipped jeu after a night of general malady of the emotions and calling friend after friend to no real avail.  Did preperation physique first, and was a little floored by 5 minutes of jump roping and a 2x rope climb, but in general, I did OK.  I have awesome rope burns on my feet and insides of my knees.

I learned to always volunteer first, which I did anyway, but in the case of the rope climb, I started from sitting without using feet just like we did on the MIT gymnastics team, and then when I could no longer do it, I switched to using feet.  I also climbed all the way to the top, and did a slow descend with one arm at a time.  After, he clarified that we could start from standing, use feet, etc, and could slide down.  Most started from standing with feet and arms, and made it halfway before sliding down.  Would I have done what I did if I hadn’t gone first?  Probably.  But going first allows you to set your own bar without looking like a showoff.

Equilibre was fun, Larissa worked us hard.  I definitely feel like I am back in the groove.  She also gave me the phone number and fax of the Moscow school, which I will try calling later.

I am getting much better at the stumph’s.

She also has me doing the stumph to both blocks being thrown away at the same time.  Oh!  And we saw Larissa’s weird bendy pole act, which she did not like, but it was fun seeing her be a performer.

In trampo I actually did the piked barani.  Just had to take it easy, and be an observer of the trick at the same time as a performer of the trick.  Relax!

Richard was not there for fil, so The Clown and I watched a video of hat stuff for inspiration for our juggling number we need to do.

The Aerialist came in and watched an old school show, and we all agreed that the technical skill was better then, and she was mad when I was critical of technique.  I saw the number of the guy who I might have seen in alegria (equilibre) and commented that I didn’t like all the cheesy discovery of the apparatus stuff, but she said that this might have been the first time it had been done, and so was not cheesy.  I think it was still cheesy.

Then I tricked The Contortionist into thinking that a guy who looked a lot like her roommate really was him and that it was last years evaluation concept.  She believed me so much that I had to tell her the truth.

Then flexi and muscu.  The Flyer wanted me to teach her some martial arts too.  When someone put in the mortal kombat theme, she raced over to attack The Clown and me, but I defended myself reflexively a little too aggressively, and I think that caught her off guard.

During flexi, Larissa came over to me and introduced her Russian husband who spoke Japanese to me, but I do not think he understood my English or French.  Then they left without her introducing him to The Clown.  Niether of us know what this means.  Russian thing?  The Clown says, ‘but I am not really her ideal student.’

Circus acrobat in second year show at the National Circus School of Montreal

Slowly Ramping Back Up

Calves hurt in a big way today.  Flexi was the preevaluation which sucked because I was so sore.  Dance we made the switch to modern and do not do evaluations at the barre anymore.  In equilibre it was basically just The Dreamer and me, and I did a new type of press when I am crouched between the blocks and then press up, and I also did a crocodile stumpf up to handstand, which was hard, but Larissa was happy anyway.  We talked about some Russian words, and she and I made a bet for two weeks for me to have the full pike for the uskaruschka lower down.  Acro I took it a little easy due to my calves, but in trampo I got a lot of my tricks back, which was a real relief.  I got off early because Byamba is still not back yet.

Acrobats backstage at the circus show "Kosmogonia"

First of the Second

Oh my god.  Two weeks is far to freaking long to be on vacation.  I got to school at 8 so that I could get ready, say hi to people, etc, in addition to getting used to a more morning-like schedule.  Just got in from vacation yesterday at 4, too.  Jeu was fun, we did a lot of warm up things, and finished with the mirror exercise where one person needs to tell a story while the other leads the mirror.  One of the other first years and The Clown went and it was hilarious, and then The Acrobat and one of the high school girls went and it was fantastic and I was paired with The Dreamer. After the pause we changed partners and I went with The Contortionist. We had to declare love to each other.  I ended with crawling under the carpet with The Contortionist.  We had a good time. 

I had prep. physique with Richard for the first time.  It will be much harder, I think.  Then, equilibre with Larissa.  The only injury I have right now is my left wrist.  The bone in it hurts a lot, just the tip of the radius or whatever.  My balance was all off, and I think that that frustrated her.  She and Alex are really hyped about getting me the info for the school in Moscow.  I’m excited that they are so excited, but I am also worried that it will be a huge decision in my future.

Acro was acro, with Esteban being all excited that I went to Mexico, telling me that the best bordellos are in Tijuana, etc.

Trampo was another example of being really out of form.

We are switching to “monkey feet” tight wire, and the whole apparatus came tumbling down before we started due to no one’s fault, really.  The monkey feet hurts a bit, but will be a fun challenge.

Then I did an hour of flexibility, including my active flexibility workout which essentially entails martial arts training (the kicks).

That one teacher who works all the time came up to me and The Clown and said in French that she did not get a chance to talk with us after the evaluation concept, but that she really liked what The Clown, The Acrobat, and I did.  That was nice to hear.

Alex also told me stuff about eating and told me that we will talk about my future sometime.  He said that there are alive foods and dead foods, and that you need to eat the alive foods.  He could not really describe the distinction.  Eggs are alive.  Mayo and canned foods and pasta are dead.  Rice is alive.  Fresh fruit and vegetables and meat are alive.  He said that his main hand-to-hand students understand only a little of what he says, and that he will tell me more day by day.  It is good to be back and to be healed with the exception of my wrist, but two weeks and a half gets you really out of shape in the worst way.  I hope it all comes together soon, but I am relegated to feeling really sore tomorrow.  It was great seeing The Clown and The Acrobat again.  The Tumbler broke his foot falling down the stairs outside his and The Clown’ home!