Category: circus

Such a long day

By , February 20, 2011 8:10 pm

Something like this...

Yesterday was rather epic, and rather exhausting. I was at Noyes (the arts center where I work) beginning at 10AM, and didn’t leave until 11:30PM. From ten thirty to noon I co-taught a class of seventh and eighth graders, which actually went pretty well. It’s a great group, and I enjoy working with them and my co-teacher. Except, while demonstrating physicality, I over-demonstrated and really banged my knee. It hurt for the rest of the day, and sort of set the tone…

I had a brief break from noon to one thirty, where I got lunch and relaxed for a bit. It was lovely, and short-lived.

At one thirty I went into technical rehearsals for my high school class (focusing lights, checking sounds, etc). I really like this group of kids, it was just seven hours of tech, and of managing antsy high schoolers. And, midway through, one of the members of my cast had to leave for a “personal emergency.” I don’t like doubting my students, but she’d already spoken with me, two other teachers, and the theatre office about leaving early to go to a dance. Not even a dance, photos for the dance. So when her dad showed up for a really poorly defined “emergency,” I”m sorry. I didn’t believe him. (She was near tears, and I actually believe she didn’t know what was going on, which is even more fucked up.)

She’s back today, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but it really pisses me off. I assume my students and their parents are honest with me, and I really dislike doubting that honesty.

Continue reading 'Such a long day'»

Pool antics

By , June 12, 2010 7:17 pm


Don’t worry, I work at a circus school. 😉 (And I’m basing, which I’ll pretend somehow makes it safer.)

Laser Tag and Pole Dancing as gendered behavior

By , February 22, 2010 7:30 pm

This past weekend was pretty busy. I saw a friend’s dance recital, another friend’s show, had my final high school class (finally!) and, of course, went to play laser tag and went to an introductory pole dancing class. (What, you didn’t do laser tag and pole dancing this weekend?) Both were a lot of fun, but both were interesting examples of gendered behavior and – more surprisingly – brought up some unexpected gendered expectations I have for myself.

Laser tag brought up feelings of inadequacy as a man, even though I don’t want to be a man or to think of myself as ‘one of the boys.’

Pole dancing brought up major feelings of inadequacy as a woman, coupled with an unexpected desire to be sexy and eagerness to go along with instructions toward that end.

Continue reading 'Laser Tag and Pole Dancing as gendered behavior'»

One Step Back, One Step Forward

By , October 16, 2009 12:35 am

I work in a city-owned building, where artists and arts organizations rent out rooms. This morning, I went to the building office to pick up a replacement key for a door whose locks had changed. (Because the city is master of all locks, and in charge of keys.) I’m friendly with the building secretary, JS, and when I went to pick up the key she said she was annoyed with EU, a friend of mine who also works in the building and had put in the replacement key request for me. (Isn’t  bureaucracy awesome?)

I asked why, and she showed me the key request EU had put in. Specifically, my name.

“(Old name)/Rebecca”

That’s right, EU had put my male name -slash- Rebecca.

Continue reading 'One Step Back, One Step Forward'»

Mixed blessings

By , April 2, 2009 11:50 pm

It’s been almost exactly a year since I posted about feeling frustrated during rehearsals for the show I was in because I no longer had the muscle mass I was used to. Well, I’m finally registering for another circus class at work, a full year since I last had a free enough schedule to take a class. The class starts in a few weeks, and I’m a little nervous about it –  I’ve gained zero pounds in the last 12 months, but have made gains in the T-n-A department (wink wink, nudge nudge). And, as I’m well aware, that fat (unfortunately) isn’t just magically taking plumpness from my belly, it’s also taking muscle mass. I haven’t been doing circus recently, so won’t have the “oh shit, I just did this last week and now can’t” experience I had a year ago, but while working on rigging stuff I have noticed it’s harder to haul myself up to the grid and such.

That said, I do take some consolation in the fact that I haven’t gained weight. (Indeed, I’m down from my max weight sometime in college.) I’d still like to lose about 10 pounds, but hopefully with the regular exercise from class and finally being able to bike to work, that’ll be achievable. We’ll see.

(As a side note, on the topic of being able to bike to work, what the fuck were the two inches of snow doing falling from the sky on Monday?)


Transitioning at work

By , December 4, 2008 11:30 pm

I’ve been thinking about transitioning at work. I’m out to everyone where I work, but the situation is made slightly more complicated because I work full time in one office which is down the hall from the office running the organization where I teach part time, both of which are in a building filled with other offices of people I’m on a first-name basis with.

I’ve been talking with the teacher I’m assisting at the Workshop, SB, about coming out to our high school class, which we both think will be smooth because they’re pretty awesome. As part of that process, I talked with the artistic director of the Workshop for a while today, JG, and she basically said, “We support you 100%, so lets figure out the best/smoothest way to do this.”

Continue reading 'Transitioning at work'»

More tiring that expected

By , August 21, 2008 12:31 pm

Whoo! I just took the silks and spanish webs over to the laundromat to clean and hung them in the gym to dry. My gods, hauling wet fabric up 18 feet is exhausting.


More thoughts on confidence

By , June 27, 2008 4:13 am

Last night I went to the latest Cirque show with a trans youth group I attend.

(Circus Sidenote: the show was good, but I was a little disapointed. I only learned later that it was intentionally acrobatic- and clown-focused, which is awesome, but I feel a little spoiled working at a circus organization. Cirque’s performers were undeniably top-notch, but I sort of feel like the difference between a very good aerialist and an amazing aerialist is larger than the difference between a very good juggler and an amazing juggler (or magician or contortionist). I did, inevitably, see one thing – a crazy trapeze acrobatics act – that I’d love to try with a mechanized winch and a gooood safety harness.)


On the El ride back up north (the long El ride back up north; gods is the United Center public-transit-inaccessible) I ended up being the last person from the group on the train with two of the facilitators. As I’ve said before, I like them a lot, so was kind of interested to see how they behaved in a more informal setting, as by that point we were all too tired to really be in ‘groupleader/groupmember’ mentalities. Likewise, as I’m one of the older memebrs of the group so sometimes feel more alligned with the facilitators than the other group members anyway.

So we were sitting and chatting, and T started talking to V about how someone at the last station had come up to her and someone else and said to the other woman, “You look fine,” but then turned to T and said, “Man, why you dress that way?” T continued, talking about how shit like that really hurts her confidence and makes her doubt herself. Now I’ve been very jealous of how both T and V look and how they hold and carry themselves, so it was interesting to hear someone I look up to express such worry over what other people are thinking of themselves. I think in some ways it was good, in that it made her seem more approachable and understandable, but in another way it was disapointing to see anyway – especially someone I’m looking up to – brough down like that.


I have to perform, like, in public?

By , June 12, 2008 3:26 am

I was recently accepted into a mentorship program with a gay performance artist (he’s the mentor) and two other mentees, with the goal of developing queer solo performance. (As the title indicates, I’m excited about this, but also somewhat terrified…) Anyway, I thought I’d share my application, somewhat edited to remove some identifying information

Why Solo Performance?
When I was thirteen I crept into my parent’s room and tried on my mom’s black one-piece bathing suit, inflating my flat chest with socks and tucking my penis between my legs. Had I been asked, had a surprised family member burst in and wondered what the hell I thought I was doing, I could not have provided a good answer. Ten years later, now one year into hormone replacement therapy and exploring the identities of ‘transgender,’ ‘transsexual,’ ‘lesbian,’ and ‘queer,’ I no longer need to stuff my bra with socks but I am still searching for an answer to that most powerful of questions: What the hell do I think I am doing? Continue reading 'I have to perform, like, in public?'»

Show photos!

By , May 1, 2008 6:19 pm

I’m currently in a production of Neverwhere, adapted from the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name. Some show photos are up on Flikr and look great! Even more exciting, the photographer emailed the link to Neil Gaiman who posted about it on his blog! (Scroll down a tad.) Even-better-even-better, Gaiman is supposed to be in Chicago in May and (fingers crossed) may come to see the show!



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