I think I’m paranoid and complicated…

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We have all seen a million and one versions of this meme, right?

In the general artists’ psyche something similar happens, and apparently I am not the only one.

You open facebook, our artists’ websites and you see and read an overflow of glamour and of “Iamthebest” attitude.

As for myself I am desperately insecure in my art, 200% aware where and what needs to be bettered (everything, everywhere, obviously!)

To begin with, being a mostly self taught artist is pretty tough, not having the guidance of a proper program or school backing me up. Never knowing if what I feel right is right at all, other than it works or not.

Asked for CV… uhmmm so what do I put in? “The Honeycup Circus Academy”, a.k.a whichever squat I frequent? Or the unfinished law school, that is completely unrelated?

Up until the past months I constantly told myeslf I was almost, but not quite there yet.

Where is the “there”?

“There”, or pro enough. Where is it? Will I be pro enough when I can heel hang or do that funky spinny move, drop 5 meters on silks, or I wont be shitting my pants whenever I need to work over 10 meters? Be hired by a very recognized company?

Hard question.

Find a pretty good answer here:

Are you ready to go pro?

So obviosly it is all in my head. By this standard I’m obviously professional, yet I keep questioning myself.

The way I see it in circus you have the completely amateur performers, who are happy to even have a chance to perform, and for any money, on the other end of the scale the Cirque du Soleil level of multi skilled acrobats, that can do literally anything, they won’t have my problems, because their skills and talent are unquestionable, so they must be full of work and success…
And like 80% of circus artists I’m in between, in this great sea of questionability of good enoughness…

Paranoias:

What if a coreographer one day asks me to perform a trick I cannot do?
What if I am asked to work on 15/20 meters height and I can’t cope?

What if I cannot do the final trick?

What if I am asked to perform whatever superhighclass dance act and I cannot spin? (never mind I am no dancer)

All paranoias, and what changed?

I sat down to edit a showreel for myself.

Up until the past months I constantly discarded my videos…

Reasons: not skilled enough, not fast enough, not slow enough, stupid face, hoop not spinning enough, a single fail of the point or the knee, a “bad”, that is for me not pretty move with the arms, not enough on the acting and I could go on and on… All in all never perfect.

I was desperately procrastinating.

I was in this bubble of making myself to believe that once I will be “good” enough, work will just flood me unsolicitedly.

I was told, and at the same did figure out myself, it is not like that, even the best acts have to work to get work…

Here comes in, the magical world of marketing yourself…

Circus girl in the burlesque world

A special paranoia. of mine.

another post.

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The casting call monster!

I bet you are registered at trillion and one casting pages… Me too!

Burlesque performers, circus castings, variete castings, variety jobs, entertainment casting, etc.

But you know what?

I never ever had a job from any of the pages!

In fact I only got outrage and indignation from strolling these pages!

So, now, I am just going to pick apart some of the casting calls that have made me want to jump off the roof of a building.

Since some go back as far as 2-3 years, I won’t quote them exactly.

I am aware that with this post I am likely to loose my last chances to work with mentioned producers that can recognize themselves…

Looking for a multiskilled artist, who have costume making skills as well… for Dubai…

Basically they were looking for someone who was an actual costumier, not someone who could sew a button on.
So yours truly, aerialist on 1-2-3-4 disciplines, pole dancer, posses a fair share of flexiness and obviously even can learn a basic dance coreography, and by the fucking waay is a costume maker…

After about the 4th attempt of contact I get:

“So what else can you do?”

Maybe perform brain surgery while making a chai latte hanging upside down while sewing a button on you ass with my feet?

Looking for aerial acts to perform in a circus show, this is not a nightclub casting, please apply if you can/have experience…

Is there something like a nightclub aerialist? What is that?

Basically implies that you need to be an aerialist, not someone who had touched an aerial hoop a couple of times…

Let’s have a closer look:

An aerialist by deafault can do a show, and the girlfriend of the gogo coordinator dude is not a god damn aerialist! A chick sitting on an aerial hoop or trapeze is not an aerialist! And btw, regarding the inherent danger of the job, no gogo dancer should be sitting around on aerial apparatus on a height higher than 1 meter as most.

work 6 days a week but only perform in the shows (one a day) as there are no other duties.
You will be provided with a room for the full contract.
Fees payed include 3 meals a day, accommodation, travel and 1000 euros per month.

And be like MULTISKILLED!

OMG! Ive been dreaming my whole life about this job! 6 shows a week, needing multiple skills, but I get room and food and some pocket money! And you bet, the waiters would get a higher salary…
1000 euros a month for 6 days a week work! But you only need to do the shows! Easy-peasey, I mean you surely never need to warm up or rehearse ever!

…It’s unpaid but promises to be a great day …

I am sorry, I though that at least we were working for a couple of beers?

TV appearance

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11 am, my phone rings… referring to one of my very good friends, Tv show… they want me to perform live…
More specifically they want me to perform pole dance topless live on Tv… I’m sorry at most I could do a burlesque themed pole act that would go down to pasties… THEY WANT TOPLESS!
Btw, how much is the pay and when would be the shoot, if I am to think about it?

Oh you would get a lot of exposure and the shooting would be in 3 hours at the studio.

Comments on casting calls

We are /insert whatever they are looking for/ but oh we are /insert another town from the same cou try/ ah well, maybe some other time…

Congratulation sweetheart you just prooved, that you never ever had a professional gig!

We have our own equipment and costumes and can rig ourselves…

Since when there is a need to say that? Are there acts who cannot then? How do you work without own apparatus?

another favorite of mine:

Costumes clearly bought from the sex shop down the road.

This is the please don’t, there are so soo many costumiers around in all price ranges, just please drop a dime and get a proper costume for fuck’s sake people!

So as for professionalism I would like to direct y’all to this very well written piece:

Are You Ready To Go Pro?

Annndd Laura on costumes:

Cirque Costumes: Not To Be Confused With Your Underwear

Please note:

I’m not trying to be on the high horse here and pretend I am so perfect, I was an eager newcomer once, I still am not half as good as I would like to be, but I always respected the industry and never underpriced myself miserably.

If we all tried to be the most professional we could be the whole thing would work out so much better.

Award winning and critically acclaimed!

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I would like to start my post with this quote from this great man. (thanks facebook)

This post has been festering in me for quite a while. I am one horrible critic, and I do not spare myself either of it, also I am way too harsh in my expressions.

Award winning

Award winning is something more of a tangible thing, yet critically acclaimed is harder to grasp.

Award winning suppose an actual award to exist and suppose that the person actually won that award, prize, title, etc.

Obviously in London/Britain each and every performer has won some kind of an award, even being a part time performer not to mention bad performers, yet on the mainland we performers hardly ever get an award, even if we maintain ourselves by our art.

Then you can go and make shit up… distort information and such.

In my home country we have a lady, that a couple of years ago decided that pole dancing, stripping, aerials, and whatnot belonged to her personally. So she made Tv appearances and claimed to be a world champion stripper… Well, great, but there is no such title as is!
Obviously people in the burlesque scene would refer to the Burlesque hall of Fame and the Miss Exotic world title, but she never even competed there, so nope. Then in “stripping” (as of butt naked, or more sexual stripping – no shame, just specifying) there is a million and one competitions, with a lot less art involved.
Anyways this fair lady won a Miss Nude Canada and returned home as a world champion stripper… you see the contradiction here. (Later on she surfaced in a far away burlesque festival as well, you know just because…)

So what is this all about? Marketing! Shameless marketing…

But, at least she makes a damn good linving out of it! She is a major celebrity and even has quite some contacts and shows internationally…

So, I get it!

Yet, I cannot understand people who does this without any apparent benefit… being “famous” with nothing… getting attention, only… that is quite a trainwreck attitude… (at least for any of us trying to make a living here…)

Anyways, turning back from general shittalking about others to the point in the burlesque industry…

Award winning…. all new awards and titles and competitions popping up and guess what?

Bumm! It goes mostly to the very same people, who already had some…

So either you are a newcomer and may win something in that category or straight up forget about it, if you do not already own a couple of well polished awards up your award shelf.

Critically Acclaimed

By whom?

We all know about the marvellously written press releases, right?

I mean, you know, written by your best friend or a payed writer to put the best quotable line out there about you…

Then, let us be honest with ourselves, there is no negative criticism our so beloved community, it just cannot exist… Even when we express negative opinions we wrap it in pink so carefully, making sure we don’t burn up the bridges behind us and don’t loose precious contacts in the scene…

Nobody wants to be the troublemaker

Also the faux-positivity surfaces, as you are the badguy, when God forbids you name the person who ripped an act of yours off, because say something nice or don’t say anything at all…

You see a shit act, and nobody dares to say it out loud, you see a rip-off act and hardly nobody dares to say it out loud, yet everyone thinks the same.

All the critical good words I have out there are from LBF, and are mostly blogs…

Why?

Because, who the fuck cares about the chick from the other end of Europe, while we can review the well-known, friend of many friends local performer?

So the conclusion is that while there is not a panel of official critics that do need to review everything they actually see, and by what they actually see, this is also just another dead end street in burlescalandia.

What is success?

We jump back to the basic fact, that life is on social media. Nowhere else, but…

Or really?

Performance art is live art, and sure we can tape it, but it will never ever be the same, as it is live. In my view it looses somewhat 80% of it’s poise and energy. Therefore it is very hard to convert or to translate it into social media terms.

And here comes the tricky part, how social media gets to distort the skills a performer might have.

Well, in the world of circus, skills rule the scene, and that is hard to fake, even a photo is showing a whole lot to another professional, so evaluation is easier, there is less playing around. Surely there are differences between the success of same skill level artist with different talents in the artistic side or plain marketing.

But with burlesque, it is just insane what have been going down in the last 7 years! (read my post on the burlesque top 50… from over a year ago, yet just NOW, bigger names start to pick the topic, carefully wrapped in pink schiffon, of course, because saying it is all bollock would be too harsh…)

To answer the question.

For me, success is being able to be a full time performer, earn over 80-90% of your income from performing. Preferably performing, what and where you actually like.

Then again it is not all. Now, I absolutely can see the benefits of stepping back from full timing in order to better as an artist.

The conscious private fantasy world

This is where I live.

Whenever I need to face the “real” world, I get very shocked and wonder how much wronger it all can go?

I don’t want, what other people want, I don’t want what society wants.

I don’t have a Tv.

I don’t buy at supermarkets.

I don’t eat that manipulative publicity.

I still wear clother I made myself at age 15.

I think my body is perfect, yet this has nothing to do with anything.

I plant tomatoes. I also kill my plants quite often….

I do my best to generate less waste, yet I do buy chocolate, separately packeged.

I care about my health, yet I am not a fanatic.

Blabla.

In the middle of a big city, I live a completely different life to the others.

And I think you should as well.

I’m not talking about manic pixie whatsoever crazychick style, because that is also a pose.

Either instamaniac vegan cook or crossfit wannabe style.

We need authentic people, we need no wannabes.

We need consciousness. Care and attention payed to something other than yourself.

Generate less waste, pick up the garbad and take it to the bin, leave the nature clean.

The point is that we all live in our private little worlds, but we do not need to necessarily ignorant selfish bastards. There is a fine line between (like the Grand canyon) being commercially manipulated and consious living.

We need to be more critical, ask why a whole lotta more often and accept not the unacceptable…

Just a block from my house there is a huge billboard advertising breast augmentation, with a model in underwear. NOBODY, but nobody questions that!? Yet, when you ask to not to be given an extra plastic bag with your food (intended to be bought at the counter) you are questioned with a sigh and bad manners.

The aerial artist and the postpartum

A quite busy time, as my son is already over 2 months old and I have not find the time to write this.

Once again this time I either can say that this is some kind of a scene of suspense movie, where the crazy mother wants to strangle her own child…

Then again, I had the easiest of births, so I was mobile from the moment I finished giving birth, I could get myself from the birth bed to my hospital bed by my own and refused all painkillers I was offered through my stay. (I am no masochist, I just did not have pain)

Here they have us in about 48 hours. So I was out by Tuesday afternoon.

You obviously need to break down at a certain point after such an intense experience. My breakdown came, when we arrived home and I saw how unready all was, and dirty and messy… we even left a candle burning next to bathtub on the day of the birth, so you can imagine…

So I had a good cry.

Then life went on.

My input:

Having a 24 hours helper comes in veeery handy at least the first week. (in my case my Mom) I felt the need of it. Pretty much any help goes from someone who have seen babies before (¡¡¡¡muy very important!!!). Before accepting my mom to come we thought through a cleaning lady, but decided to let my mom stay in with me. I was all mobile, but to recover the best you need to lie flat and rest, and that is hard with a baby, also you would need 15 hours straight sleep, which if you breastfeed is just impossible.

Good thing about this time, that you actually can’t give a fuck about anything that is not your baby, when I was told I could not believe, but now I know.

I would have been cool having help only the first week, but you gotta let the grandparents play.

Things I learned:

It is not always the boobie. The first day, whenever my son cried I was putting him on the boobie, nope, he also poops, gets sleepy without finding the way to fall asleep, tummy aches, etc.

The pediatricians can be very… not nice…

Postpartum classes are great and useful

Breastfeeding rulez

Cloth diapers are awesome!!!
(although the lack of skin irritation is not guaranteed, baby boy had irritation on his belly from the pee and hot weather mix)

Nursing bras

Looks like the world thinks nursing mothers’ sizes start from 90 C… and on top it we are so amorf that our boobs are tight close together…
I mean I’m a 75 B and my boobs are wider apart, than the general nursing bra’s measure… add the fact that they are expensive too.
So if you are not an amorf being with 90 C plus size I have a cheap and pretty link for you, this is the bra that worked best for me, 100% cotton and very good quality, especially for being chinese, and on top of it cute and the opening method is really funky and comfy.

Nursing bra

Training (or the lack of it):

On the third week I was finally alone with my baby and the daddy!!!! I was so happy!!! I was eager to get back to training…

Which is hardly ever happening ever since…

I guess I will be able to set up a doable ruotine soon. Until now I was caught up procrastinating (obviously), between too sleepy, too tired, too late…

Also we are just cleaning our “local” up so my pole and weights and machines can be used.

In this almost 3 months I did a contorsion class, stretching and abs now and then and a “leg” day(doing 1/3 of my general leg warm up) last monday… which caused me loads of muscle ache…

The aerial artist and the pregnancy – part 5 – magical natural birth

So, I published the last post and the next morning I went into labour at 5.30 am.

Information overflow

Dilemma was the overflow of information, the drowning amounts of advices from people that had no idea whatsoever about anything about my strenght of will, lack of their own, or knowledge of my lifestyle and body. Pretty similar to the third trimester thing. I had recent mothers telling me how there was no way to not get an epidural and that natural birth is like a myth…

It was clear to me, that doctors decide, if a c-section was necessary, or whatever, but I really projected a wholly natural birth in my head.

Culturally the whole approach towards the procedure of giving birth goes pretty different in different countries.

“Just shoot me up with epidural” Spain.

Fucking crazy! Attitude of want no pain. In the preparation classes I was the only one, who had it clear, that I wanted natural and another couple of girls saying that they will see.

Most people that had epidural tells you that you cannot go without.
At the end, you can whatever you want, as far as no medical intervention is needed.

On the other hand, Hungarians see giving birth as something very natural and most would never even consider epidural with a well going birth, not even the younger generation.

Hungry of episiotomy Hungary.

Or maybe only my mom. She had tearing so she told me a million times to make sure to be cut first before tearing… Well, I did the very contrary, I wanted no episiotomy. All natural. In fact doctors are ther to know when to cut if needed. (The scary bit is that in some cases the tearing can go upwards, which is a nonoNOOOO, as for telling you the risky bits to consider)

Obviously I did massive preparation, I did the perinal massage from week 32 about 5 times a week, 15-20 mins. I also religiously drank the raspberry leaf tea. And I practice Prana Nadi, that is my magic for life.

Acrobats get C section.

This was the worst case scenario for me, so I listened to the midwife, and my body, quit abs for the last trimester and mentalized that I will need to relax my ab muscles, breathe and control and let go.

The birth

This is where all women start hating me…

May 31.

I had a quite express, all natural birth. Less than 12 hours between the first contraction and baby. No epidural, no episiotomy, no stitches, no painkillers.

Contraction started 5.30 am, I was accepted in hospital at 2 pm, waters broke 4 pm and my son was born at 4.45 pm.

I would do the whole again the same way, although there were certain screams of I cannot any more.

(I just figured I skip the not so gruesome, but details)

My recommendation:

Get as much information as you can, expect even the unexpected, but don’t freak out. I went to the preparation classes they have here, researched a lot about birth in general, talked to pretty much all mothers I knew, and also was aware of my family history (very fast births).

Do the perineal massage!! It is a great pain in the ass, but it does work magic!! I used pranarom’s perineal elasticity oil, did it about 5 times a week.

I did Prana Nadi, you do whatever you please, but find a way to relax.

Having the father there is the best, it is the business of you two, not anyone else. (not your mother, and the least some stupid friend)

Relax, listen to the midwife! I was amazed how professional she was, she didn’t even touch me, just guided with her voice, amazing.

At the end birth is a natural process of life and the less doctors need to be involved the better for you and your little one. (yet, I do recommend giving birth at a hospital just in case)

For the crossfitty types:

If you think you are hard core, better try natural birth, bitch!

😛

The aerial artist and the pregnancy – part 4 – Third trimesterish

We are soo approaching the due date!

So what can I say?

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Photo by the amazing Danny Gibert!

Third trimester horrors

Everywhere you are explained how desperately hard this time should be. Expect peeing yourself, massive lower back pains, etc.

For me almost nothing about the third trimester horrors told are true.

It is only now, the last month, that I can get quite heavy in the evenings, yet it is nothing to exceptionally complain about.

I am slow walking. Very slow, that is true, groceries have never been this heavy either, but you have the faithful granny trolley to the rescue, so no problem!

Last week till due date note:
Ok, now I can only do the shopping that include little walking.

Chill and back off of training

I finally realized why circus people tell you to chill and back off.

So what do I have to proove and to whom?

That I am miss crossfit universe?

I can still rock inverts, when I really shouldn’t?

My mindset changed.

Baby and his health comes first, I will still have the rest of my life to tangle and perform and train, but my little one only has this 9 months to grow to his best health to face the outside world all alone.

So around 7 months I felt, that I should back out of aerials, I already stopped to invert at the 6th month as my little one started to not like it. (Heavy kicking afterwards)

Stretching

Now I do a weekly session or two of stretching/contorsion with Dasha, so my flexibility is still in quite a shape, except for the back, of which we have no current information.

So far I feel that this is soothing the widening of my hips and easing, that strange muscle ache like sensation that comes with it.

Food

Thank god that horrible gluten craving went away in the second half of the trimester, now I feel like radish, like radish with salt. o.O

The end of my career

From the beginning I really find it, can’t find the right words here, odd, or plain malicious, how people approached this. Questions like so are you selling your performance clothes kept creeping up… and I was like ‘NO, why would I?’.

It is really not nice to assume that a still emerging circus artist, to not say, still student (only because I am mostly self taught) would just drop her shit and leave what is her entire life as of until pregnancy.
From strangers this should really not matter, but from friends it’s kinda offensive, gives you the hint where they actually want to see you… in the gutter, ugly, run down and old, crying how having a baby ruined you… (which I think is still a way sorry excuse for anything)

I already had the judgemental bad eye from a ‘friend’, who had her flight of only a month of crossfit (already skipping classes), because I was all the way sick at the beginning… like I was obligated to not have nauseas, becuase she knew people that didn’t…

How long after will I be back?

Hell, no idea, might be 2 weeks-4 weeks-6 weeks or 6 months. Yes, I have all the time I need and zero hurries. Training as soon as I can and allowed.

Breastfeeding is important.

I hope to be able to start picking up training after 3-4 weeks or at most 6 weeks. The contorsion classes maybe earlier, so we see if we can get some benefits of that supposed relaxin, that so far only made my hips click, but nothing with my general flexibility.

Everyone has a story here, which is not necessary true…

My mom’s sob story is all about how my grandma was a horrid useless bitch, who was unable to help her and her postpartum was terrible the first time… yet she had grandpa and greatgrandma, so I wonder how that wasn’t just quite enough…

Other stories include the general she had to leave her studies and sacrafice her career, blabla. Well, that, my mom did not, she was one proud mom taking my brother to university. (Then again her stories needs to be approached with a certain caution, as the change more than the weather)

I see how I will need help, I know, but let’s just turn this around a bit.

Do I need help or do I need the lack of people asking shit from me?

The second case is the true one.

Watch your friends. I learned.

So, I had my self claimed ‘besty’ watch me in my kitchen with heavy nauseas trying to cook, comment ‘Oh, if you are really sick, you can sit down and finish the cooking later’…. erh, thanks bitch, how about getting your ass off the couch and helping?

Yet, a real friend came over to see me after work, I had lunch prepared, which she didn’t even want to accept and after it she cleaned all the dishes without a question, she did not sat down expecting her coffee to be served.

And ever since I refuse to see toxic ‘old’ friends, or even talking about toxic topics for me. I have all the time on earth, but not for that. Just say you are busy preparing baby stuff, it is a great excuse.

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That for now.