January 22nd, 2013


Third Way

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.