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I Made This

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Oct. 30th, 2012 | 11:02 pm

And I'm really honkin' proud of it.

The process:

1) Four weeks before show: Get call from last year's Halloween client, who realizes he wants us back.

2) Re-hire performers I enjoyed working with on a gig a few weeks ago. Make list of acts they already do. Figure out finale act when Aimee says, "I love doing rope!". Choose title.

3) Dork around for a few weeks.

4) Ten days before show: Panic. Do rough plot outline based on Josh being a big dork. Plan finale that can't be fully rehearsed, because white aerial silks being stained with blood is unrepeatable.

5) Six days before show: Realize a gun will solve all plot issues. Realize I'm in England and I don't know where to obtain nude unitards, adding machine tape and food coloring, and get them to Detroit in time. Thank God for Amazon.

6) Spend three days editing music like a fiend. Send performers music to adapt their choreography to. They plan it in their heads while driving to other gigs.

7) Two days before show: Fly home from London. Assemble last of props. Discover company does not currently own a rope. Rewrite finale.

8) Day before show: See theatre. Try desks for the first time and brace them. Assemble contortion act by telling the three performers, "Anyone who can do a handstand on a typewriter gets a margarita." Rig aerial equipment. Re-rig to accommodate fly system. Re-rig to accommodate a lower point for the trapeze. Get stuck up a lift when the battery runs out mid-rigging.

9) Day of show: Run cues once. Run show once. Do show. End in a glorious mess of blood, water, paper, and sustained standing applause.

10) Collect check, buy margaritas.

And that's how we make circus.


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Comments {20}

tigrkittn

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from: tigrkittn
date: Oct. 31st, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
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I'm in awe.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
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Thanks :) It was a pretty fast process and I was surprised (pleasantly) at just how well it worked!

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Jenn

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from: kickthehobbit
date: Oct. 31st, 2012 03:56 am (UTC)
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Awesome! :D

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
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Thank you!!

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blahblahblah, whatever

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from: kathrynrose
date: Oct. 31st, 2012 04:52 am (UTC)
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woooooooooot!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 04:07 am (UTC)
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(shakes pompoms with you)!

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Rowan

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from: mzrowan
date: Oct. 31st, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
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Wow!

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 04:08 am (UTC)
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Thanks :) And it was pretty darn cathartic, too - I've had some interesting personnel issues this year and it was cool to make something totally new!

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blink

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from: yachiru
date: Oct. 31st, 2012 02:22 pm (UTC)
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Can't see it at work but I'm assuming awesome. I think that's a safe assumption.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
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Thanks :) I think it's your kind of show, too - gunshots in the dark, nobody knows who's dead, and a lot of bloodiness at the end!

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writerdoc

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from: writerdoc
date: Oct. 31st, 2012 03:03 pm (UTC)
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Wow, that's really gorgeous! Fantastic work, seriously!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
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Thank you! Despite the short timeline, it really is one of the best shows I've made!

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Andrea Blythe

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from: blythe025
date: Oct. 31st, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
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That is awesome! :D

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
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Thank you!!!

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C.S. Inkheart

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from: frecklestars
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
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The silks look really great, but I also love what you've done with the trapeze! And is that a sling of silks or aerial straps or something else? I can't tell, but the consistency of the material looks interesting (if that makes any sense). Really love what I can glean of the story arc. Well done you!


(And, of course, it makes me miss silks like crazy.)

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 1st, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
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Thanks! Aimee's trapeze act is awesome, and I love how it lent itself to kicking up the papers on the stage floor.

The slings act is on spansets - here's a closer photo of the equipment (different show)
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150906537489193&set=t.10100243&type=3&theater
They work like a silk sling, but more painful :) What I like about them is that, to the audience, it's a different apparatus in a way that a silk sling or hammock isn't, so we can put them both in one show! Same moves translate to chains, too.

You should go back! You should do silks! You're awesome!

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C.S. Inkheart

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from: frecklestars
date: Nov. 4th, 2012 02:53 pm (UTC)
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Ah spansets! I've always wondered. What's the difference between spansets and spanish web (aerial rope)? I'd assume the former is thicker, but maybe there's more to it. Either way, they both look infinitely more painful than plain old bruise-inducing silks. :P I got up on a trapeze briefly to work on finding front balance points, and went "oh HELL no" pretty much immediately. I prefer the softer circus mediums. Don't know how the rest of you cope! (Though for the sheer awesomeness of chains, I might put up with my entire body becoming one single bruise.)

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Nov. 4th, 2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
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Spansets are two loops, and they're a slipperier material. They don't go all the way to the ground, and you can get spun and stay spinning in a way that's easier than on rope or web (you don't need a setter to keep you spinning, and because it doesn't touch the ground, there's less drag slowing you down).

Yeah, trapeze really freakin' hurts, and I don't know that I'd ever love it enough to do solo. However, I love duo trapeze, and even the simple routine my partner and I have feels good enough to push past the pain. I really like working with a partner, so that makes it worth it. Lyra hurts worse :)

Chains awesomeness does compensate, and I wear jeans when I practice :)

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C.S. Inkheart

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from: frecklestars
date: Nov. 5th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC)
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Duo trap did always have more appeal to me, but I don't know whether I trust people enough to do it! ha I do enjoy the idea of working with a partner, but in practice it's maybe not for me.

Out of curiosity, ever done a duo silks act? I always wonder how the logistics of that works out in comparison to duo trapeze acts...

Lyra hurts worse? Really? Is that because you're almost always interacting only with the metal bar, as opposed to trapeze where you're wrapped in ropes at least some of the time, or am I missing something?

HAAAA, watch me hijack this thread into a circus geekery thread! :P

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Tom Ramcigam

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from: magicmarmot
date: Nov. 6th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
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Holy Mother of an Alsatian Water Dog...

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