Last year Halloween was a bust. I rushed home from work to dress up for our trick-or-treaters and sat around waiting. And waiting. And waiting. We didn’t get a single doorbell ring. I even had a carved pumpkin glowing outside to show my Halloween friendliness! This year I didn’t even bother with trick-or-treaters. We had circus class, so wouldn’t be home anyway. Yet somehow, I managed to wear three costumes over the course of Halloween celebration. I finally made myself a Princess Leia on Endor costume.

Leia_Endor_02

I should have spray painted the blaster black…

The costume itself is pretty simple- I bought some blue pants, sewed a yellow stripe up the side and bought a tan button up that I altered (cut the sleeves in half and used the extra to make pockets). I tried to make a costume-appropriate vest, but ended up grabbing something from one of the cheap clothing stores in town. Wore the costume out to a party, barely anyone got it. What a drag. I even braided my hair over my head, but I guess it wasn’t enough of the look. Oh well. On actual halloween, the lizard dress made another appearance.

Halloween Handstands

I was getting work done at home, but wore it around all day, and to a brief jaunt to the coffee shop. Low stress costuming is the way to go! Then last night my fire troupe had a performance, and what better theme than Day of the Dead? We all looked different but there were enough thematic similarities that it all pulled together. The Halloween weekend isn’t over yet, but I don’t anticipate much costuming ahead.Instead I’m going to take a crack at some vegan baking with an interesting pumpkin bread recipe I found… we shall see.

Day of The Dead

Day of The Dead

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PEX Summer Fest

Wow. My last post was in June. Where has the time gone? I’d love to say I spent the summer traveling and was just never near my computer, but that wasn’t the case. Sadly, I think it was mostly work. Which is funny to say, coming from a freelancer. But now that the upstairs second bedroom is my office, if I’m not booked for a client, work is just a step away all the time. Working on a feature length documentary requires a slow and steady progress. I guess I did get away a few times, though. We had a great show at PEX Summer Fest, one of our best- for Thursday night anyway. We had some technical difficulties for the Friday night show but the overall reaction was amazing. This was the first year I actually had FUN at PEX, too! Camping with the Luxie ladies made a huge difference, and I ended up wrangled into helping in various ways- including being a safety for the conclave right before the burn. Wow, did I get some good practice putting out huge flaming props.

Beachy Skeleton!

Lets see, what else? We had one brief vacation, to Rehoboth beach. Good people, but terribly humid and hot weather. Lots of swimming. We also went to Boston, which was a lot of fun. We rented kayaks and hung out with Chris’ sister, and then drove all the way home. Long day. My sister came to visit from Seattle for quite a whirl-wind trip.

Performing in AC

Performing in AC

Lux Arati had an on-going gig in Atlantic City over the summer that started out a little crazy, but turned out to be a ton of fun. I was rather anxious about going, not sure what I would do to entertain the crowd for 2 hours without fire (the venue found out that they needed to have a fire marshal on scene the whole time if we preformed with fire, which was out of the budget for the event). I bought some long veil fans, practiced with my sword and dug out my silk veil that I think I’d used once previously. It was awesome. The gig included 3 dancers a night from 9 to 11 on every other Friday and Saturday night for about 6 weeks. We rotated the schedule, filling in around everyone’s availability. I think it was pretty well received. We had everything from glow hooping to feather fans and belly dance. Fun fun!

And now? Fall is upon us. Everything moves along, working some days on location, some days at home, trying to practice with my sword and my fans and maybe even through the staff in there. Working on my cable-full sweater is progressing slowly, and I have another monster in the queue…. everything keeps going.

Monster! The family I gave him to named him Scaramino Mingo

On location again with #bmcc #blackmagic. Felt like I was on set for #gameofthrones ! pic.twitter.com/c0tsGFcXiX (stolen image and tweet from Craig)

Well, its official. My work/professional life and fire spinning have completely collided. One of the companies I work with a lot recently got a new Black Magic Cinema Camera. I had shared some of the footage from our recent shoot with them (we also shot on the Black Magic, as well as a Red) and had previously babbled on and on about fire stuff… Well turns out we’re going to be featured in their upcoming project. From what I gather, its all about celebrating the spirit of Independence in Philadelphia through various independent people. My favorite bartender Clark (who also happens to be good friends with one of the guys at the company) is featured in it, as well as Philadanco and various other small business owners and artists. We’d been trying to get the ladies together with the crew, and scheduling was a nightmare. When we finally got everything locked, massive thunderstorms and tornado warnings cancelled our first go-around. We rescheduled for this past Monday. Beautiful weather, four dancers, solid location.

Showing up in full costume to see folks who hire me pretty regularly as a normal person waiting on the sidewalk was rather amusing. Wave “Hi”, grab my fire dump box, costume bag, speaker and extra fuel and tromp over to shake hands. We did some portraits first (UG I’m awful in front of the camera being told to smile) and then lit up. I always love the reactions people have when they first see fans on fire. Photos and videos don’t really do it justice. There’s something primal about the flame, and the fact that decked-out ladies are manipulating it and drawing shapes in the air is fascinating. In this world of instagramming everything, I’m always pleased when people take out their phones to try to capture the moment. Yup, we’re one of those “OMG can’t believe where I am right now” experiences.

We’ve got some stills from the footage up over on our site, www.luxarati.com. I can’t wait for the final piece to see how they work us into the rest of the stuff they shot.

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!

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!

So glad that Lindsey got these photos. Its rare for us to all end up in the same costume at the end of the night, with a beautiful location, to boot! What’s not to like? (Click the link above or here to see the post over at our Lux Arati website.)

Turkish vest back patch

I’ve been meaning to make more patches for a while. I made the original one pretty easily. I wanted the letters to be green, so used the inside part of the stencils. I’m pretty happy with how it came out. So were the rest of the girls. Cue- more patch requests! Its been on my to-do list, and the theme of this week is cross-off, cross-off. After some website coding this morning (sent out some cover letters with a link that changed when I updated my site… OOPS!) and some work emailing, off to make patches. Hours later… still making patches. So here’s the thing. The first patch was done with fresh stencils that lay quite nicely against the fabric. Not so much the second time around. I did two rounds of not-so-great results before I decided to cut the letters out of tape. Yup, cause I use my skills in the best way possible. Let me tell you, cutting some packing tape with kitchen scissors is probably not the most clever way to do this project. Perhaps contact paper? Or laminate stencils with some spray glue? Lately I’m all about using what is on hand, though, and I wanted to bring the patches with me to practice tonight.

An absurd amount of patches

So, stencils done, and I have at least one good patch for each girl, plus a few dodgy extras. Now, off to pick up some extra lamp oil before practice and to the b-ball courts I go!