Acrobats setting up for a circus street show in France

Many Problems Abound

Today was the first day of final exam presentations which were a lot more fun than I expected them to be.  It’s not too high-stress.  I managed by best side summies and hit the standing full.  Mario mentioned to the jury that I kept working in spite of my wrist injury which was nice of him. 

Aladdin went, and that’s the most important thing: it’s just done. 

Trampo was fine, I had fun but I mistakenly thought it was two warm-ups and one real one but it was actually one warm up and two real ones and I screwed up on one of the real ones but I still had fun and the teacher didn’t fail me.  I’m really tired because I got in at 1am this morning from Boston where I spent a day or two to see friends. 

Friday night I went out to The Clown’s house which was fun.  I was able to actually shoot the breeze and make people laugh and be interesting in French which is an improvement. 

The Clown and I worked on our juggling number for about 90 minutes today because we present tomorrow.

Circus school friends

Working Hard At Not Working Hard

Lousy evaluation in Jeu: C for being tired and either late or arriving just before class starts.  I also need to work more on writing for various projects instead of sticking with the simple things.  I guess i agree with that but as I was telling The Clown, I haven’t felt comfortable doing harder things yet because I don’t feel I’ve mastered the simple stuff, but if she’s indicating that i need to try harder things i will take that as a sign and work at it. 

Preparation physique was fine, not too tough today. 

It felt like spring and as one of the first year girl’s has just broken up with her boyfriend which always changes the chemistry in the school I found myself at my charming and flirty best today!

In Equilibre i did some one-arm work with Larissa for the first time and she had me do cool drills where we actually held each other for the one arms to actually feel exactly what you have to do to hold it. 

Worked with Esteban on crosses again.   

Trampo was trampo and my pike barani is not too bad.  At the same time i was trying to work standing back fulls with Straps Guy and another of the upperclassman.  I meant to do back fulls but kept doing back full and a half so they were teasing me for that. 

Finished up the day with tightwire – I got A’s and B’s but the evaluation got weird when the teacher asked me why all the girls are trying to switch out of his acro class. 

I’m really exhausted I didn’t get much sleep last night because there was a big dinner with my roommates but it’s still good. 

I’m definitely eating better which boosts my energy.  since so many teachers said i was working too hard and tired all the time i’m going to take a couple of days where I don’t do any additional work just to give it a rest anyway and take some time for myself.  it’s against my nature, and the first time i’ve done it since starting the school, but they insist that its better so I’ll give it a shot.

Two circus students from the National Circus School of Montreal shooting images for their streetshow

Back To School

My first day back in school after gramma’s funeral was better than i thought it would be and it was really nice to see everyone.  I guess they knew what had happened because they weren’t coming up to me with the usual “ca va? ca va? ca va?”  

Flexibility was cancelled so we did acro into the pit and I worked on my standing side summies.  I may have tweaked my knee.  i hope isn’t going to be a pattern of immediately twisting my knee like I did after midsession last semester. 

In dance we learned new combos which was fun and i’m picking that up pretty quickly using my new “think of it as martial arts” technique. 

My evaluation was not great: D in general because the only classes I missed have been dance classes.  we learned the first two bars of the adagio today and The Hotshot and I will be working on a sequence for it to present on Wednesday. 

She’s working on musicality with everyone (counting music and feeling it).  This is the one thing we’ve done in dance which i feel totally comfortable doing – having to do a pattern in a three count with different accents. 

Equilibre was frustrating because these two weeks off have resulted in a lot of lost strength and how everything is supposed to go together but maybe that’s just normal with handstands.  I remeber it was that way after the last break as well, so hopefully it will come back up to speed pretty soon. 

Acro was fun. i talked with Esteban about working iron cross drills because i really want to beat jc at getting a good iron cross.  Esteban’s technique really turns the shoulders forward to use your chest muscles, so the work i’m doing is really to try to recruit my chest muscles to hold the cross. 

Did a lot of good side summie work today, but trampoline was all over the place.  That comes from losing the tempo of the bed after two weeks.  My plongeons were coming out pretty well because it’s one of the skills i wasn’t afraid to do on the MIT trampoline over the break.  It seems so much smaller than the one at school which has all the safety mats around it. 

Byamba equilibre was fun and i actually talked with him for a while.  I guess The Trapesist’s porter didn’t have a very good audition.  She said he sort of approached the audition as a sure thing because, as she said, “he has The Trapesist’s name on his forehead.” 

She told me that maybe she was going to do equilibre and i asked Byamba if she had told him that.  He told me that earlier she told him that she thought equlibre was too hard and said that if you have that mindset it will be tough to do handstands. 

He asked if she was open to doing the rolla bolla – I mean i’m not interested in rolla bolla either and I wouldn’t be doing it if it weren’t for my wrist injury, but i can find ways to make it fun and she said she can do that too.  That said, it’s one thing to say it and another to live by it. 

I told him was giving myself six weeks to learn a one armed handstand and he motioned over to the canes to say, “Well, get to it!” 

So i worked at it and its getting there but its still sloppy and not sturdy at all, but I’m working them all up against the wall and i think that that’s helping.  I did three 1-minute handstand holds against the wall today and then three 10-second one arm handstands against the wall on each side with legs together.  I think that’s helping.  It’s just one of the things that you just need to commit to if you want to do equilibre.  Being able to hold a handstand with your shoulders pressed out as if your against a wall, its just one of those things that you need to be able to do. 

I also talked with Estaban about changing my acro goals to just master the basic skills rather than push myself to do harder skills and sacrifice some of the work that i could be doing on the simpler one that may help more in the long term.

It was nice to be back and see The Contortionist and The Clown because i think that we really missed each other.  

When i was setting up the rings, the cables flew up.  One of the riggers just happened to be around so he was able to pull them down for me but that was kind of embarrassing. 

In general it was a crappy day because the way you eat and sleep affects the way your body performs and after two weeks of not doing that very well I need to get back into eating correctly, sleeping correctly, and all that.  I’ve set up a special timer light to have little sunrises in my room at 6am which is good.

My ideal schedule would be sleeping from 10 to 5 and doing a run in the morning according to Alex who is in Belgium right now possibly talking to the Moscow school on my behalf.  Hopefully the students over there are doing a great job, so good luck to them!

Coming home today I realized that the stupid people are shaping our society on a day-to-day level.  What I mean is that so much in everyday life is put there specifically to keep stupid people from screwing it up, like “coffee is hot” warnings.  One stupid person results in a policy that forever affects the rest of us every day.

Byamba’s son tried out for the school and hopefully he’ll get in for Byamba’s sake.  it would be nice to have another Asian person in the school!

 

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.’

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!

Circus acrobat doing a handstand trick at the National Circus School of Montreal

Appreciation!

Bon.  The meeting with the artistic counselor went well.  People and he were very appreciative and impressed with our efforts on the script that we were up working on last night.  The Trapezist said to the group and the counselor that we are lucky to have The Clown and me in the group.  Trampo was on my own, I played around with my bug walking on the wall stuff, The Frenchman said that he likes my trampo style because I do not do hard stuff, but I do original and stylish stuff.  That was cool to hear.  Alex was gone for ITA and the trapeze instructor has I guess quit the school, so the funny ex-student who does trapeze with Natalie is taking over at least for December.  For barre fixe I am really finding my giants again, so I am going for speed and numbers.  I want to do muscle ups on the barre more.  During this class I lost my left contact lens, which made juggling next to impossible.  In main a main I was spotting again due to my knee.  When one of the porters started screaming in the air as usual, I could not stop laughing.  Movement is always cool after I get into it, like everything else in performing arts, it really is just about performing for people.  I decided to go for the comic route tonight.  Doesn’t change that the class is a bit weird sometimes, but it makes me learn something good in it.  I like playing with the other people I present with.  I also like that we all learn from each other and incorporate it into our pieces.  I need to find some music for the new dance assignment tonight.

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.