YOU, BEFORE AND AFTER

Hello, dear Internet.

I’m having one of those mornings where I feel compelled to check in with you all, to peek out from behind the computer screen and wave, “hey! Hi! How ya doin’?” And then I’d share a little story with you, and maybe we’d talk about it in the comments section, and we’d both get up from our computers thinking, “that was nice.”

But…the muse just hasn’t descended yet today, I suppose. I’ll start writing a post in my head, and then just as quickly scratch it out in my head, going “no, that’s stupid!” And I’m right. I almost wrote you a post today, for example, about watching Puppy Bowl on Sunday. (Then again, that might have been an awesome post.)

So instead, I thought I’d be creative in a different way today, by sharing a video from my latest silks performance. Especially since I just dug up the video of my very first silks “performance,” two years ago!

Remember this gem?:

HA.

First of all — that’s some chemically-treated red hair. Damn.

Secondly, look at that nervous face! I must have been, what, a foot and a half off the ground? And clearly scared out of my mind. I remember my heart racing at the end of that dance, and also thinking, welp! That’s good enough! I’ll just stay here at this level, thanks.

Now, here is the video I was talking about — this is a performance I did with my friends Kari and Susan at the George Carver Center last December, using a dance we choreographed together.

I’m the one on the left.

Yay!

God, I know it’s egotistical, but I fell in love so hard with our dance that I can’t stop watching it two whole months later. Right before we went on stage, I remember thinking, “I AM SHAKING SO BAD AND MY HEART IS BEATING SO BAD AND I AM GOING TO SLIP OFF THE SILK AND I AM GOING TO DIE.” (I now think this is not entirely an uncommon thing for aerialists to feel.)

I still have so much more to learn and so much flexibility and strength to gain and so many performance jitters to quell, but holding up these two videos side by side makes me happy. It also makes me laugh. I wish I could go back in time and hug that nervous little redhead and say, “dude! Chill out! You’re going to be fine.”

Have you ever gone back and studied earlier versions of yourself doing…whatever? Dancing? Writing? Wood working? French horn playing?  Knitting?  Gardening? (Sigh. Gardening. Unlike silks, my skills there have not markedly improved and may, in fact, have worsened over time.)

I recommend it. I mean, I recommend hobbies in general, but especially hanging onto your earliest prototypes and then dusting them off every once in a while to remind yourself of progress. (And also to giggle.)

If the Internet existed back then, I would have YouTubed my dance team performances in high school and then we’d REALLY have something to laugh at — but it’s probably better for everyone if my 16 year-old dancing atrocities abilities aren’t made public.

  • Kathlyne

    Wow! Awesome! What a change! Last night I watched the Sky Candy special that was on PBS last Thursday. I immediately recognized Poet, from Amy’s Ice Cream.
    Anyway, Ross and I need to get back to silks. He’s got school right now, so hopefully we can do it this summer. In the meantime I’ll work on my conditioning so I’m not out of breath for 2 minutes after just climbing up the silks.
    Thanks for posting this. It is good to look back and remind ourselves how far we have come.

    • http://www.austineavesdropper.com Tolly Moseley

      Thanks Kathlyn! And “Poet”…you know, it’s so funny. I taught a little kid dance at Dougherty Arts School YEARS ago (like, 9 years ago) named Poet. Is this Poet you speak of, from Amy’s Ice Cream, a dude? Is he…in his teens?

      Anyway, hell yeah on getting back into silks. Go for it! And yeah, even though it’s embarrassing, I’m glad I kept beginner videos of me on the cloth. These days whenever I get mad at myself for not getting a new piece of choreography right away, I can always haul those old vids out and remember that this thing is a process — a long one. :)

      • Kathlyne

        Poet is a guy, but not a teen–he helped choreograph and performed in the aerial theater show Land Without Evil. He works at Amy’s on 6th to supplement his income.

        Also, when we have had setbacks it helps to look back and see what we have been able to accomplish. We can look back and see that if we did it before, we can do it again. I sooooo wish I had a recording of me playing cello. I’m starting all over again, and it would be kind of encouraging to not just know that I did it before, but be able to hear it.

  • http://www.spangledparaphernalia.com/ Chelle Lynn

    hah! I watched your first video back when I started reading your blog (also, not at all coincidentally, around when I started silks) and thought, “Shit, son, I’m never gonna be able to do all those things!” Now I’m all, “Oh, Pretzel? I can totally do that. Teardrop? No problem.”

    So, by the time you’re laughing at your second video, that’s about where I’ll be. ;)

  • EliSpark

    I would love to do this unfortunately I really can’t afford it. Probably insurance + good instructors. Really wish I could. :(