May 6, 2013
Wow. I feel like a truck hit me, but its a good kind of exhaustion and sickness. What could be a good kind you may ask? I’m run down and feel like death because yesterday was insanity. My fire troupe, Lux Arati, teamed up with crew from Drexel’s Film & Video program to shoot a promo. It was a win-win shoot for everyone- the Drexel folks had some new cameras they wanted to test and run comparisons of, and needed some interesting footage for their color correction class. Plus all the young folks get some GREAT footage for their reels. What’s better than hot girls on fire? Of course, I managed to schedule us to start at a park on a beautiful Sunday that also happened to be Cinco De Mayo. Oh, and Equality Forum, a block or so away. Yeah, parking was a NIGHTMARE. Then we moved to a warehouse to do some rooftop stuff for magic hour. The warehouse was under construction. When I talked to Kevlar about the location, he said there was a ‘lift’ to get to the roof. I thought he was being British…. and was picturing a large elevator. Nope, when he said lift he meant this kind of lift. It was worth it though.
Lux Arati and the Philly skyline
After the warehouse we headed over to Michelle & Tim’s for a food break and some night shooting. We got to use Tim’s awesome tank to add interest to the background. It was a super long day for everyone, but I’m so pleased with everything. You know its good when the camera guys are high-fiving after a take. We shot a TON of stuff (about a terabyte and a half!) so I’ll have a lot of sifting, but I can’t wait to get started on it. Now to drink some tea and get myself feeling more human!
April 30, 2013
Geri at practice, with some palm torches
My fingers are crossed for nice weather tomorrow… Lux Arati will be performing at the Rotunda as part of the Poet-tree EnMotion series. We did a gig for the series last year, and it was a lot of fun. The location is beautiful, and our set was nice and casual. We were supposed to have drummers, but there was some sort of family emergency, so a few people grabbed some things to bang on- it was a little bit all over the place and tough to dance to, but still fun. This year we’re a bit more organized, and I’ve told pretty much everyone I know in the Philadelphia area about the show. Which means I’ll actually know quite a few people in the crowd. Eeeep! Time for stage fright to kick in! I’m really excited about it, though, because we have a nice line-up. Its a mix of fire and non-fire, solos, duets and group pieces. We’ve got our intensive practice tonight, so I hope the rain holds off. Another fun bonus? We get to use the new speaker thing that I bought for the troupe… its pretty awesome. Basically like a guitar amp on wheels, battery powered and iPod friendly. We’ll have to test how loud it gets tonight, but I think its going to be really great for our shows. Definitely relieves the “Where the hell is our music supposed to come from?” anxiety. Now we’ll always have a backup ready! So yeah, if you’re in Philadelphia, come on by! Its a free show, in West Philly at the Rotunda. We’re set to go on around 8:30 or 9. It’ll be fun!
April 19, 2013
a move out of the elusive hip-key
I’m not really sure why I first decided I wanted to climb the silks. I think I saw people playing on them at PEX fest, and it looked fun. But there were always people watching and I was intimidated. I did some research, found the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, and put their intro workshop schedule on my calendar. I bought a cheap groupon for an intro circus session and let it expire. It took me about a year to actually sign up for a class. I didn’t take the intro workshop, just went straight for the full session. My body was so sore after the first class I felt like I couldn’t move for days. I was awful at everything. My first class had one other student, a really nice girl with years and years of gymnastics training. I was pretty discouraged. I thought I was at least a little bit stronger! But I kept signing up for classes, and getting stronger. Chris took a workshop with me, and though he was sore for days afterwards too, he kept coming back. Now we’re signed up for level 3, and both getting stronger and stronger, pushing each other to eat well, exercise and train to be able to do even more. We compare bruises and skin rash and talk on the drive home about the new skills we want to learn. We sign up for extra practice sessions, and I’m pretty sure if we owned our house I’d have convinced Chris that we needed to rig a set-up at home somehow. Circus makes us strong. Not only that, though, we’ve met some really great people. Our fellow classmates are from all sorts of walks of life. From PhD candidates to school teachers to pole dancers- anyone and everyone. We coordinate practice sessions and try to make dates to meet up for dinner or circus themed events. Though we’re all advancing at different paces, and may not be in class together from session to session, we clap for each other when we nail tough tricks and laugh when we tangle ourselves in stupid ways.
Yesterday night Chris and I took our first flying trapeze lesson. Fly School Circus is set up across from the Kimmel center for the month, as part of the PIFA festival. I organized a few friends from the circus school to get together and try it out.
Chris is caught mid-air
I’ve already signed us up for another session. I love this. I thought I’d be scared, but I just wanted to keep flying. Chris, of course, was awesome. That man is built for the circus. Though I’m jealous of his gymnastics-as-a-kid muscle memory, I love that I have a partner that will sign up for two rounds of flying trapeze without blinking an eye. I asked if they had a permanent location close to Philly, and got a side whisper of “we’re working on it… put the positive energy out there!” I’ll be in trouble if they do get one. I’m going to spend all my money and spare time learning how to fly.
April 14, 2013
The weather has been beautiful, and with every tree coming into blossom, I’ve been counting down the days till the Sakura festival. Honestly, though, I’m not really sure why I like the event so much. Parking is a bloody nightmare. There isn’t really any good way to see the stage unless you get there super early. The booths are crowded, and the food is okay… but I love it anyway. This year we got there early and caught one of the first tours of the Shofusu House.
I can’t wait to got back on a less crowded day, so that we can check out the tea house and the grounds a little bit more.
The whole weekend was beautiful. This is the literally the weather that everyone dreams of all winter, and longs for all hot humid summer.
We also got some location scouting done for our upcoming Lux Arati promo shoot. We’ll be using the great Liberty Lands park as one of our locations, and thought it would be a good idea to get some actual reference shots of the stage. Location scout a beautiful park in spring? Sure! Why not??
April 7, 2013
Okay, so I didn’t really spend a lot of time outside this weekend enjoying the beautiful weather. Perhaps I’ll regret that, but I still got a ton of random stuff done. I made peroshkis! I got an ottoman! I planted new flowers! I finally made fan covers! I re-wired a lamp! Watched a bunch of cheesy movies, got a ton of boring-but-important errands done and caught up with some new friends. Not a bad way to spend the first real nice weekend.
March 24, 2013
Lovely Luxie crew after our fire-alarm-setting show
The past few weeks have been upheaval. The long discussed transition for the smaller upstairs room from bedroom to office is underway. Stuff is everywhere. We’ve consolidated furniture, thrown out my old ikea dressers that I got as hand-me-downs (read: they’ve been held together with duct tape for years) and moved all the large furniture into the “master’ bedroom. I’m getting rid of stuff that I’ve held on to mostly because I had no idea I even still had it. All of this is good- but I wish our trash man came on Mondays because right now there are so many things queued up for the garbage and I hate having to walk around all of it.
The nice part of all of this is that the office is turning into a really nice place to work. Its the one room in the house that actually gets sunlight! Next weekend we’re going to peruse Ikea for a comfortable but affordable couch/chair that can work as a client space as well as a little reading area. Any suggestions for what to get are welcome!
Now the challenge will be that I need to figure out a good way to get all my costuming pieces under control. And my sweaters. Why do I have such bulky hobbies? Ugh. I’ve already completely filled on of the huge bins with yarn and roving. Seeing it all in one place is terrifying. I’m definitely not allowed to buy ANY WOOL until I make a serious dent in that stash. I’ve got some friends with babies coming up, so looks like they’ll be getting some monsters!
Oh, and about that photo up there… yeah, we set off the fire alarm at our recent gig. Oops! The event hall was literally attached to the fire department, but they said it was all fine… the alarm was a deep “wooooop wooooop” kind of thing, not a terrifying screeching, so if anything it just added more drama to our set. The whole thing was kind of hilarious. I’m keeping an eye on the event page for some photos, once I get them I’ll be putting up a post over on the Lux Arati site about the night.
March 4, 2013
Big Apple Circus, in Bridgewater
We went to the circus! Mom picked up three groupon circus tickets so I drove to NJ for a really fun circus date. We were joined by her friend Nancy, and the three of us had a fantastic time. The last time Mom and I went to the circus it was a very strange affair- we sat in the bleachers of some high school gymnasium and although neither of us could really remember the show, we have vague recollections of a sad trained monkey and some rather lack-luster performances. Honestly I think the whole thing was so disappointing and creepy that we’ve both blocked it out of our memories. What a delightful difference the Big Apple Circus was! As soon as we saw the big top tent and all the performers’ trailers, we knew we’d be in for at least a bigger show.
Our seats were great. We were at the top row, but happened to be seated right at the top of the stairs, so we had plenty of room to stretch out and no one blocking our views. When we were walking into our seats, Mom spotted the blinky flashy toys that kids were playing with and wanted to buy three of them. I talked her out of it, but once we sat down and she saw how fun they looked in the dark tent, she went back out and came back with one for each of us. I’m glad she did, they were ridiculously fun.
The show was great. A good trapeze act, an AMAZING contortionist and a really cool double aerial straps routine were my favorite acts. Its funny, I think that I am even more impressed with those kinds of acts now that I’m an adult then when I was a kid. Perhaps it is because now I know how much strength it takes. The performers make it look so easy! But I know from my aerial classes that it definitely is not. I have no idea how that contortionist bent her body that way… so amazing. If the Big Apple Circus is in town, check out groupon and get yourself tickets. You’ll have a great time!