Monthly Archives: June 2013

My way to becoming an artist – beginnings

So I started figure skating, I could not explain what was that I loved about it, but I surely thought the world would fall into pieces if I had to quit. After 5 years of devotion and hard work it was me, who decided to end it all. I left the sport so disappointed and feeling so betrayed that I did not return to put on my skates for over 7 years after my last competition. This experience also prevented me from getting involved with other sports. I was 13, I did not return to sports until I was 21.

I thought the cause of my depression was the age, but now I know that it was the lack of physical activity. My body was trained to be used, not only used, it was trained to be pushed to its limits. So when I stopped doing this I just got swallowed into this swamp of emptiness.

Obviously this was not that dramatic, I did great in school (as far as a very bright, but very rebellious artsy girl can) and I became a self taught dressmaker and very genuine punk sweetheart, which for me, rather than anything else means being true to myself. Oh, and after leaving terrible small town high school, where I was claimed stupid and deemed a failure it was discovered that I was a language genius.

Let’s fast forward to age 18. Figure skating did me very good, I had some kick ass muscles even 5 years after I quit.

One month after my birthday I started working in a strip joint, not a sport, but I had a hell of a muscle ache after the first day, so I gotta say those stilletos do the trick. Meanwhile I figured out I wanted to stretch. That has a funny story. While figure skating I was not stretched much as I was not amongst the lucky and talented ones, I guess the coach just considered us the filling behind and top couple, so nothing really happened that you personally did not push yourself into. I started from the point from I could only wave hello to my toes from the distance. Why did I start? I met my future (now past) husband, one morning he decided to stretch. I was outraged, I could not handle that a man was to be more flexible than I was! Even if it was nothing unexpected, regarding my inflexibility. So I started to stretch, just by myself, no methods, no classes. Me on the rug just for myself and my pride.

Age 20. Spain, another strip joint. Strippers, well no!!! And no!!! Pole dancing showgirls. Moves I could not even comprehend. I felt like a little girl in a funfair, actually I still do watching fellow performers. I’ve been training for 6 years now, but I still stop and stare mesmerized when others do their entire choreography rehearsals in any of the circus training spaces. I was surely warned to not talk to that “Romanian whore” that had a fame of beating up Hungarian girls, well, I went straight over to her and asked, and contrary to the beliefs of the other girlies, she did not beat me up or anything, she was sweet, helpful and showed me how to do my first move on the pole. From there it was all looking out for videos trying to learn the moves by ourselves. (This was a time when climbing the pole upside down was to be considered almost impossible) That same summer I ended up working in Ibiza in the legendary Blue Rose… (another story)

Somehow over the years I started to nurse an idea of going to a circus school, I have no explanation, again… I had no idea of it all. I have hardly ever been in a circus, my mom was so terrified of it, she hardly took us.

I mean, if I knew how hard it was to be, if I think about how hard it really is, I still have no explanation how I get up in the morning and go and do it, but it makes me very, but very happy.

I believe I somehow knew it would help me to improve my pole work, at this point I already knew I wanted to be one of the best, that surely never happened and won’t, but I am pretty content, because I have pushed my limits a lot further than I ever would have thought.

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On the way of circus training – part 2 – outlook on my mistakes

After a very intense first year of training and desastrous detour of a marriage that lasted almost 3 years, travelling around Europe, facing my enourmous fear of height, work, life, day to day survival as a full time artist I decided to return to training as I was doing during the first year.
I never stopped training, don’t get me wrong, but I was rather scattered with it.
In 2009 I did for sure 7 months straight in a little private school, where I kept returning until we moved back to Budapest in may 2010 and there it got all messed up.

Schools or acro gyms are good, they give you discipline and also the right track to achieve your goals, yet they are pretty costy, I spent about 300-400 euros a month on classes during my best months. So very obviously if you are not well off this is not an option. Private lessons are also quite expensive and the people worth learning from are not quite advertising it.

After this I pretty much made lots of mistakes on the way until I found my way.

1. Training too comfortably

Yes, after a good beginning I fell for this mistake. Not moving out of my comfort zone of training. Doing the amount of abs that was comfy, neglecting chin-ups or push-ups as I disliked them, etc.

So, are you sweating? Cuz if not you are not doing anything. What is more you better reach the point where you end up without breath, to not put shitting yourself.
No muscle ache? Also wrong, you should have, a lot at least at the beginning.
Same for stretching,  cuz, no I was not born this way, I am not genetically stretchy, not double jointed, I worked my ass off, just as anyone else with an impressive oversplit.

2. Training vs. Rehearsal

The second mistake, I made this one, when I started silks in 2010, well, we know silks are already hard, any ways, so I never thought it can be not enough. I started only rehearsing and slowly, but surely I was getting weaker.

3. Not asking for help

If you don’t know how, ask, the worst that can happen is that you get an answer. Even more, a personal trainer or an older professional can help a lot. I was pretty shy on this front.

4. Neglecting one skill for the other

Even if you are preparing for a particular show, just take a little time to at least pass through coreographies of your other disciplines.

5. Not taping myself

This. This is the most important. I heard that some of the very best aerial artists tape every single training. And, when after a year of diligent silk training I saw the result I wanted to cry. Over the year I took up a series of just horrid habits and moves, like kicking the silk around in the air. I wished I had taped myself before, because I could gave avoided all.

6. Rehearse in show height

Well, I guess this only applies to me, but especially on hoop, I’m afraid up high. I will write more about this later.