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Third Way

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Jan. 22nd, 2013 | 11:51 am

So, since my last post I have...

 - Rehearsed, staged and opened (last night! They were awesome!) a school circus show (We are pictures 1, 5&6 - picture 1 made the front page) that performs again tonight. We lost two days to school closing for weather and had to scramble for alternate rehearsal spaces. Rehearsal could then not be mandatory because school was closed...

- Written, revised, printed and sent in a large application (309 printed pages, including 6 copies of a 50-page writing sample) to a potentially life-changing opportunity, stay tuned...

 - Gotten gastroenteritis, which is basically a high-falutin' food poisoning. Somewhere, my server didn't wash their hands. I'm normally pretty cagy about doctors (no benefits when you're a circus performer), but at one point I woke up in the night and couldn't sit, stand or lie down without pain, so I went to the ER. Only about four hours to fill me full of fluids and antibiotics! I coached one day lying on my back with an extra spotter and had an assistant coach come in for two more days. Ironically, I had a better view of all the aerialists from the mat...

- Taken two days out of the rehearsal schedule to teach workshops at a high school theatre conference, which was delightful. Caught up with some fellow guest artists I hadn't seen in awhile, stayed out of the air for aerial workshops thanks to student demonstrators, and very much enjoyed teaching yoga for the first time in awhile.

Through all this, I've actually still done some goal maintenance (kathrynrose's project), including listening to my language lessons and research on building a studio apartment. What I haven't done is write. That said, I'm not sad--I truly love teaching circus to high school students, and these two weeks have been pretty darn fulfilling. It's a town we've come to before, and about half the students are repeats. They are more skilled, yes, and we've created some excellent acts in this year's show, but that's not what makes them more fun to work with. It's that they already know not to say "I can't" (because "can't means won't and won't means push-ups"). It's that when we're warming up, or conditioning, and someone moans, and a coach shouts, "Pain is temporary!" the entire room shouts back, "Awesome is forever!"

They inspire me.

So I'm looking ahead. I'm looking at a Facebook message from someone who''s looking for a coach--they want to start an aerial program in their gym, they need rigging and some teacher training. And they live in a beautiful small town with a lot of vacation cottages, and they already like me, and I write better when there is some structure to my day. You know, like:

9-11 - Teaching Training
11-1 - Lunch and walk in beautiful small town
1-5 - Write

I could do three weeks of that.

And that's what I'm discovering even as I write this, discovering why I'm weepy lately, it's not just PMS and gastroenteritis and the exhaustion of lifting kids and staying positive and not cursing in front of them, it's that I don't want to walk away. I don't want to choose either-or. The things I do are also the things I write about, and all writing and no circus makes Jill a dull girl. Discovering that maybe there is a Third Way.

It will take planning.

It will take things from my goals list. Speaking Afrikaans so I can apply to Zingara and work in Cape Town and write about the townships. Building a live-work studio in my yard so that my home is a place of creativity and safety instead of fussing about roommates. Paying the last of my debts and sorting out my finances so three or six months of freelancing in a developing country is possible.

This started as an update. It's finishing as writing. That's the lesson. Start writing and trust.

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Comments {20}

Donna

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from: dabhug
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 05:29 pm (UTC)
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Awesome and amazing. You are inspiring to me.

You're on your way and you can do it!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Thank you :) Now I just have to write my Sunday Goals Check In post!

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Pyraxis

(no subject)

from: pyraxis
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 05:57 pm (UTC)
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Yes - this is inspiring. I also have to find a middle road between doing and storytelling. Haven't made the leap yet to self-supporting, but looking for a good place to jump.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Thanks - it's tough, but it's also true that what we do is so helpful in informing what we write!

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Andrea Blythe

(no subject)

from: blythe025
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
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Excellent! The photos from the Starfish Circus are fantastic. How great for the students to be included in the news!

If there is joy in the work, then it's not a waste.

Yay! for the Third Way! I hope it all works out. :D

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
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Thanks :) Yeah, we got a nice write-up, I was so pleased!

Fingers crossed!

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Rebecca

(no subject)

from: beeker121
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC)
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I adore that final sentence. The things you've accomplished in the last week (while sick even) amaze me.

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
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Thank you :)

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blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 08:44 pm (UTC)
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You are a powerhouse. I do hope you're spending some time taking care of yourself (beyond continuing to work while lying on your back).

You continue to amaze me!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
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I had really nice Mexican food for lunch - I'm trying to stun my digestive tract into submission...

It should calm down soon - Show tonight, fly to Utah tomorrow early, show in Utah tomorrow night after afternoon tech, one workshop Thursday morning and then I get a half-day off on Thursday, can't wait! Workshops all weekend, fly back to Memphis Sunday, and then Monday-Thursday of the next week should be waaaay calmer. Only private lessons until the weekend.

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blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Jan. 22nd, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
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so, by calming down soon, you mean that day after tomorrow you get an afternoon of less than break-neck speed, and then in a week you have what other people would call a normal work schedule? :)

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 08:34 am (UTC)
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You know what? The hardest part is actually sharing a car with everyone, because the time I'd normally spend making phone calls and catching up on business and personal life, I can't be on the phone!

The show was great tonight - I really love this part of my job, we all do, which is cool, because it's sooooo not about the money (though we do get free housing, which is very relevant to the other three coaches, who have no fixed addresses right now). I truly feel like I made a difference in kids' lives tonight, I could see it and they told me so. Some of them were in tears that the show was over, which breaks my heart but is also wonderful that they loved it that much.

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blahblahblah, whatever

(no subject)

from: kathrynrose
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 06:48 pm (UTC)
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It's so powerful that you have that kind of impact on young people. The ripples from that just go on forever.

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drwex

Excellent

from: drwex
date: Jan. 23rd, 2013 04:10 pm (UTC)
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I don't want to walk away. I don't want to choose either-or.

This is the part where I smile in that way that infuriates half the people who know me. Good for you.

Also, don't necessarily blame the server, please. I'm sorry you got GI or noro or whatever it was, but there are lots of routes that don't involve bad behavior on the part of a server. Having been one I'm a mite sensitive, I admit, but it's still true.

Break a leg!

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whipchick

Re: Excellent

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 28th, 2013 02:06 am (UTC)
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Thanks - the really ironic part is that the part of my job I love most is the part that doesn't make bank the way the rest of it does!

I've been a server, too, so I hear you :) I think I'm inclined to attribute it to food handling because I had breakfast and lunch at the same place and was sick that night. I'm a hand-washing fiend, but it also could have been rehearsal with kids the night before. I'm wondering, though, because none of the kids got sick--maybe one was a carrier?

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drwex

Re: Excellent

from: drwex
date: Jan. 28th, 2013 04:23 am (UTC)
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Hard to know what the path was. Sorry you're not making bank on the stuff you love as much as on the other stuff, but that seems often to be the way of the world. People make up stuff like "paying your dues" and all, but it still sucks.

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whipchick

Re: Excellent

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 28th, 2013 05:25 am (UTC)
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True. And it's so funny to me - I've been doing this for over ten years, we book some pretty large corporate events and do well at festivals, but what really moves me is when we work with kids. And I don't even LIKE kids :)

On the up side, my partners love it, too, and we had a great conversation in the car the other day about how, hmmm, we seem to book several of these kid gigs a year without any marketing at all, we bet we could book enough to take us through the winter in warm places if we just put some effort into it, and we're planning to contact more schools and try to spend our winter doing them!

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drwex

Re: Excellent

from: drwex
date: Jan. 28th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
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I don't even LIKE kids

Really? Seems an odd choice of events to book, then.

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Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Jan. 24th, 2013 02:51 am (UTC)
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*hugs* Good luck!

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whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Jan. 28th, 2013 05:22 am (UTC)
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Thank you!

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