|Giving Thanks |
Posted on 11/01/2011 by Chelsea
"A person, however learned and qualified in his life's work, in whom gratitude is absent, is devoid of that beauty of character which makes personality fragrant."
- Hazrat Inayat Khan
We're pretty learned and qualified in our work. We are constantly sharpening our skills and refining our acts. But we're also making an effort to grow in gratitude. We know that the success of the past year has traveled to us on a busload of blessings from fans, clients and colleagues.
We're thankful for you. Happy Turkey Day!
The Aerial Angels
Circus Freaks went tricking at the Detroit Institute of Arts for Halloween this year. Our spooky nurses, creepy doctor, crazy ringmaster, and wind-up doll spooked and delighted - and we just can't stop. Next year, we plan to book the show in traditional theatrical venues.
The show featured silks and duo trapeze as well as lying on glass and razor-blade eating. And an organ transplant. Involving an alarm clock.
All In for Starfish Circus in Tennessee
In January, the coaches of our school program, Starfish Circus, head to Tennessee to put up our one-of-a-kind show at the Bartlett Performing Arts Center.
Usually, we come into a school and allow students to audition. This time, the whole town is welcome to come out and learn to do what we do! We'll rehearse for two weeks, then perform a variety of circus acts with a themed show created by our kids and teens!
Sign up now!
Friends in High Places
Aerial Angels' Artistic Director Allison 'Isabella' Williams visited backstage at Mystere in Las Vegas after receiving a special invitation from lead clown, Darren Pitura.
"Mystere is one of the classic Cirque shows," says Allison of the experience. "The first one with a permanent show room - while it's not as technically grand as some of their more recent shows, it was so beautifully done and the acts were really spectacular and a pleasure to watch! After seeing the stage mechanisms working from underneath, it was even more magical to see it happening from the theatre. And awesome job, Darren!"
Under the (Very Cold) Sea
Be sure to join the Angels at the Kalamazoo Public Library on December 28th for a swimmingly good time as they take this year's theme 20,000 leagues. Under the Sea, that is.
"We are so proud to offer this annual holiday show with KPL," says show director Zay Weaver. "We know a lot of kids here in my hometown look forward to the show every year, and their parents never have to worry: it will always be free."
The Angels welcomed friends and family to our traditional Canadian Thanksgiving feast, which was neither in Canada nor on Thanksgiving. Old friends and new joined us at Isabella's home in October - our tradition is that instead of grace, we each say something that we're thankful for - and this summer's wonderful tour involving old friends and new was high on most of our lists! We are also thankful for the new energy on our team. We have officially welcomed Associate Artist Sora Sol, who brings aerial sling, hula-hooping, and partner acro to the show, as well as a brand new duo trapeze routine with Mimi.
What are you thankful for? Click over to our FB page and tell us.
We Have to Break Up
But only because we've reached our Facebook friend limit! We are shutting down the Aerial Angels Facebook profile and moving to a fan page - please take a moment to 'like' us!
Six Questions With...Grant Goldie
We see a lot of great talent during our travels, but Grant Goldie was a standout. We were amazed by his diabolo routine at the Waterloo Busker Carnival. "You don't want it to end," says Senior Company Member M.A. "Mimi" Harrison. "Like the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, only better."
Grant Goldie grew up in a small village on the coast of rural England, Idyllic. He attended school in tourist seaside town, Trashy, and college in a decaying industrial dump, Grim, which he left with no qualifications to his name. Thankfully he moved to the former capital of England - Norwich. Norwich is a beautiful city which has a vibrant arts scene. A barman for many years, eventually he managed to escape the abuse of the patrons and toured with a local circus. Never having attended a Circus School, until he started teaching at one, the only thing he knew of was juggling and object manipulation, which he excelled at.
In the last 10 years Grant has worked in over 30 countries in 4 different Continents, gained critical acclaim from both his peers and his audiences,
continues to learn tricks, innovate style, and create works of technical juggling combined with movement and humour. For some reason he now lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and has a great collection of umbrellas.
1. Who is your favorite hero/heroine in literature? Lisbeth Salander from Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
2. What was your favorite toy as a child?
3. What three words would your friends use to describe you?
Organized, Hard-working and Fun.
4. What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Unorganized, Lazy...and Fun.
5. What item of clothing do you wear most often? My "Buff" - a piece of fleece that sits snuggly round the neck.
6. Do you have a motto to live by?
|On the Road Again|
Posted on 9/1/2011 by Chelsea
If you've heard this story before, don't stop me, because I'd like to hear it again.
We like collecting stories. Experiencing them. Telling them. Hearing them from colleagues, fans and friends. This summer was a wonderful few months, full of great stories and great shows from new audiences and old favorites.
Thanks for letting us be a part of your summer story.
The Aerial Angels
P.S.There is a story behind this photo of Spike. Go to our new Facebook fan page and post your best twitter-length story (140 characters) of what happened. The cleverest fan wins a Circus Freak tee!
The Angels returned to the Waterloo Busker Carnival this August. This annual tradition in our Canadian summer tour gifted Allison 'Isabella' Williams a career-defining moment: "We came to the pitch at 8:45 for our 9PM show, and a huge crowd was gathered. As we waited for the act before us to finish their finale, we noticed it was really quiet in the circle. I tapped an audience member on the shoulder and asked, 'What are you watching?' and he said, 'Nothing. We're waiting for the Aerial Angels.' So 600 people were there waiting for us to start! That was one of the best shows I've had in 20 years of performing--they were so ready to laugh, so smart, and our audience volunteers were particularly brave and funny themselves! I started tearing up during the hat pass, I was so moved by the spiritual generosity of our audience."
"The festival was an incredible assembly of talent - all the performers were totes skilled!" says Zay 'Spike' Weaver, Angel since 2006. "At the group show, Grant Goldie did a diabolo act that had all the performers stunned with his moves. He did catches we've never seen before, and we've seen a lot of diabolo! Props, Grant."
Traverse City Starfish
Our coaches had a wonderful time in Michigan with the students of Traverse City West Senior High School.'TC WEST UNPLUGGED' was an absolute hit last weekend. Missed it? Check out some awesome photos.
Community Service - Busker Style
We "dropped in" at the Edmonton Fringe Festival to work the first weekend and got sucked into the Fringe vortex for the whole run. Not only was it an awesome performance experience, it reminded us again how much we love the street performer community. Another busker broke his ankle--the first day--and we all assembled a group show as a benefit performance. All the performers readily surrendered the best time slot, and Daniel Craig from The Street Circus did a great job as emcee. Former Angel Kimberly "Luna" Craig, now married to Daniel and performing with her husband, jumped up on silks in the finale--it was a lovely reunion!
Angels Get Naughty at InterPLAY
We loved doing our Naughty No-No Show at InterPLAY - we seldom do it more than once, and with three nights, the audience really got involved. People came more than once, and some of them started wearing costumes to the show! We had a guy in a full-body spandex suit, who was actually surprised when we pulled him on stage. Really, sir? Because that suit just screams, 'take it off!'
Six Questions With... Martin Ewen
Stilt mime Martin Ewan performed with us at Chrysler's Big Top Family Day back in June. He's also the author of newly-released PantoDamascus: One Clown's Alphabet. Angel Isabella edited much of this book, and recommends it - crazy street performing stories from one of the best! If you're a performer, it's a must-read from one of the grandfathers of the business. If you're an audience member, it's an incredibly unique look at venues from New Orleans Mardi Gras to the Nagasaki Circus. Clickhere to purchase the book in paper, and here to purchase a digital copy.
1. What do you do?
I am a clown - fairly unique and only mildly popular. I'm a pretentious, self-conscious, 11-foot, disgruntled pantomime.
2. What was your favorite toy as a child?
The only things I didn't break were my two bunnies and my teddy. They lived on my bed and I knew they were stuffed animals but sometimes I'd get carried away and love them anyway.
3. What was your most embarrassing career moment?
I have an inverted pride in failure as a human being and performer so the triggerpoint for embarrassment is set pretty high. I've vomited a liter of orange juice over applauding an applauding Japanese audience, while dancing ballet to Mozart. I've mulched my face dancing into an overhead fan. And there was one instance when three teens walked past me in Perth, Australia and one turned to the other and smirked, "Look, dick on a stick." That hurt.
4. When you're on the road, what do you miss the most?
I try not to dwell on it, but I miss not having anything to miss. For me, home is what I create when I work.
5. What item of clothing do you wear most often?
Items associated with my costume - like a flying helmet or tank helmet - would be the most constant. On a personal level, I mourn the loss of my uncomfortably-synthetic but colorfast Tweety Bird t-shirt that I had for 20 years.
6. Do you have a motto to live by?
Who dares? [Grins.]
|Summer Soaring! |
Posted on 6/01/2011 by Chelsea
"One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."
-Henry Miller, American novelist and painter
Like many of you, summer is our busiest travel season. We began in Alaska, started our Canadian tour, and are currently in Germany! Travel has taught us lots of lessons over the years - gratitude, communication, and how to handle the unexpected. But the biggest lesson we've learned: this globe is absolutely teeming with people, and we can't get enough of them. We remember a few of the delicious meals, but all of our talented colleagues. We remember a beautiful vista here and there, but it's the energy of our audiences that we can't forget. We hope to see you on the road this summer!
The Aerial Angels
Standing-Room Only for Our Naughtiest Show
Earlier this month, we performed our super-hot Naughty No-No Show to a sold-out house at the Wildberry Theatre in Anchorage, Alaska. And when we say sold-out, we mean SOLD OUT. We added folding chairs to a 123 seat theatre to make it a 190 seat theatre, and had standing room and floor sitters, too!
"We love the show - it's as exciting for us as it is for the audience," says Artistic Director Allison Williams. "It's naughty without being dirty - it's a show that's all about skill and comedy and fun, but it also involves some risque moments and the removal of a LOT of clothing (not all of it Angels')."
We're looking forward to performing our Naughty show along with our signature outdoor show at the upcoming interPLAY festival.
Postcards From The Road
In: Victoria, British Columbia
At the Victoria Busker Festival, in the middle of a huge show, an older Japanese couple walked into the show, under the rig, into the circle of audience, where they stopped and waved to find their teenage grandson in the audience. Spike was upside-down on a volunteer onstage, and Mimi was spotting, so I ushered them into the middle of the stage and started posing for pictures. Their grandson pulled out a huge camera, Spike got down, and we ushered our tall, large-bellied volunteer to the center of the photo. I whipped up his shirt, he made the Buddha pose, and I put the Japanese grandmother's hand on his belly like she was rubbing for luck. They've got the best vacation photos ever--though they probably still don't know what happened--and I'd call it one of my Top Three Funniest Show Moments of all time!
Starfish Circus Returns to Florida for a Third Summer
The young people of Ocala proved they were circus stars for the third year in a row as we made the trip down to Florida for our annual week-long camp!
"Ocala Starfish reminded me why I love teaching," says Alex Kahler, Starfish Coach. "The kids were amazing and hard-working, and after only a few days they put together a show that deserved every moment of applause."
Angels Across Canada, Eh?
We began our Canadian tour last week at the Victoria International Busker Festival in beautiful British Columbia. Of Victoria, MA 'Mimi' Harrison says, "I love the small world of performing--two of our audience members came because they do roller derby with a fan we just met in Alaska the week before! And Victoria was beautiful--the festival was awesome, and we could see dolphins and epic pirate battles from our balcony! We totally recommend The Victoria Regent--thank you for sponsoring our stay and the Victoria Busker Festival!"
What exactly is a busker festival? This video featuring the Angels and our busker friends at the Victoria Busker Festival sums it up pretty well.
In August, we return to interPLAY in Alberta and the Waterloo Busker Carnival.
Angels Fliegen To and In Germany
Isabella, Mimi and Spike are currently in Germany for their first appearance at the Kulturufer Festival!
Spike's learning to speak German. So far she's got "Please", "Thank you", "Bellybutton" and "Kittens."
We can't wait to meet up with street performers from across the globe, as well as make our annual pilgrimage to the baths at Baden-Baden. The sauna wonderland at Caracella Therme includes saunas from 55-95C, steam rooms, waterfalls, hot tubs, a giant outdoor pool with a strong current, and vielen nackten Deutschen! Bombig!
Six Questions With... Christina 'Kiwi' Conger
Born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, Christina 'Kiwi' Conger earned her BS in Exercise Physiology from Montana State. She was a competitive figure skater and has been a dancer for 22 years. She traveled to China and Japan as the lead dancer in the Magic of Jay Owenhouse. 'Kiwi' graduated in May 2011 from the Professional Track Training Program at the New England Center for Circus Arts.
1. What do you do?
Aerial silks, trapeze, skating trapeze, duo-trapeze, partner acro, fire-eating, dancer, Zumba instructor, go-go dancer, lead dancer for magic show, server, book-keeping for European Auto Shop, girlfriend, and the cool, circus auntie.
2. Who is your favorite hero/heroine in literature?
Jane Eyre. She is realistic, but also possesses a wild imagination; she is decent and sincere, both rational and passionate, innocent, self-confident, but shy and reserved before strangers; outspoken, fearless, ethical, enduring, dynamic, but affectionate, entirely likable to me.
3. What was your favorite toy as a child?
G.I. Joe helicopter.
4. How do you feel when you're up in the air? Nervous, but excited and happy. I've had to overcome a fear of heights for this job! It's definitely gotten better.
5. What item of clothing do you wear most often?
My sequined jeans!
6. Do you have a motto to live by?
"I will not die an unlived life."
|Seasons of Love|
Posted on 5/1/2011 by Chelsea
A life without love is like a year without summer.
We like this Swedish proverb because we can't imagine a year without a summer. This one brings some our favorite hometown shows, participation in the Victoria International Buskers Festival, and a trip to Germany for the Kulturufer Festival, a menagerie of street performers from across the world!
We also like this proverb because we can't imagine a life without the people we love - our fellow Angels, the talented colleagues we meet along the way, and our loyal fans.
Have a love-filled season,
The Aerial Angels
Starfish Circus in North Carolina and Tennessee
We spent the month of April with budding circus stars in North Carolina and Tennessee. Check out this video of a double...triple...quadruple trapeze in Germantown, Tennessee in March. Or this clip of ground skills and acrobatics from the same incredible show. Or read about our North Carolina school break camp in an
*Angels' buddy Dion Graham opens at Arena Stage in Washington, DC in A Time To Kill, an adaptation of the John Grisham novel, adapted for the stage by Rupert Holmes, who also wrote Drood, Curtains, and the 'Pina Colada' song.
*Aerial Angels co-founder Beth Browning has tied the knot and is now Beth Mugavero. She has climbed down from the silk and is now Community Outreach Coordinator for Refugee Services at St. Vincent Catholic Charities and is fulfilling her lifelong dream to work in social advocacy.
*Jessica Jacob, director of the Alaska Theatre of Youth in Anchorage and an aerialist and stunt woman has just opened Tommy to rave reviews. She packed a 70's acid-rock musical into a bar--not a big bar--without losing the impact and psychedelia of the classic musical. Congratulations Jessica!
Our Fearless Leader
Want to read more from Allison, our fearless leader? Check out this piece about marketing one's creative work and achieving success over at literary agent Rachelle Gardner's blog. The amazing Rachelle has fantastic writing advice and her blog is always worth reading!
Six Questions With...Zay 'Spike' Weaver
Born and raised in Bay City, Michigan, Zay 'Spike' Weaver is a Senior Company member who has performed with the Aerial Angels for over seven years. She is an entertainer, director, actor, model, former TV Host, and hat and bikini-maker.
1. What do you do?
Everything. At least twice. That way I can be sure to know if I like it.
2. Who is your favorite hero/heroine in literature?
Hands. Down. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games and Rachel Morgan from the Hollows Series by Kim Harrison. Admittedly, Rachel is a guilty pleasure, and lately I'm a little annoyed with her. It's complicated. I take guilty pleasures very seriously.
3. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Art supplies. When I wasn't stuck in my imagination I was putting it down on paper or gluing it together, which leads me to my beloved side hustle - Zay the Happy Hatter- I crochet awesome hats. Be cool. Stay warm. Get hooked. And check it out. Right now.
4. What was your most embarrassing performance moment?
Picking my father to tie me up for straitjacket because my audience options were limited and I knew he'd be an interesting personality to have onstage... and then realizing all the 'off-color' jokes I was about to make about my audience volunteer being really good at tying me up... Ugh. Eat your heart out, Electra.
5. Do you have a hidden talent?
Hidden? Where would I be hiding it? I wear Spandex for a living!
6. When you're on the road, what do you miss the most?
My phenomenal North Carolina support system! And NC BBQ; they make it different down here - the sauce is vinegar based with a wicked kick to the back of the throat. AND Espiga Bakery's Ecuadorian Guava Cake. AND Loco Pops - the most unique and yummy popsicles EVER. Long live the delicious small business!
|Off Season, Scmoff Season! |
Posted on 3/01/2011 by Chelsea
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it."
-Henry David Thoreau
The winter months are generally considered the 'off-season' for circus performers.
Not us. We haven't seen our bathrobes since Christmas morning.
We've been performing and teaching from Florida to Alaska, Iceland to Western Michigan. We couldn't be more grateful to our clients, fans and students for keeping us busy this winter!
See you down the road (and probably on a plane),
Stand Up 8 Returns to Western Michigan!
Fall down seven times, Stand Up 8.
Meet the new American Circus.
No, seriously, come meet the new American circus.
Stand Up 8 comes to Grand Valley State University on Thursday, March 24th at 7pm for FREE (my favorite word). And if you can't get out to campus, visit the Paw Paw Performing Arts Center on Saturday, March 26th at 6:30pm. Tickets are $10. Our May 2010 show at the PPAC sold out, so be sure and purchase your tickets before you arrive.
And visit our Stand Up 8 goodies store to purchase VIP packs for either the Grand Valley State or PPPAC shows. VIP packs include priority seating, a Stand Up 8 shirt, Stand Up 8 DVD, a poster signed by the cast, and a backstage tour.
And a chance to slap Sam on the face (you'll see).
(Just kidding, Sam.)
Off Season, Schmoff Season!
The Aerial Angels spent the month of January at the Tennessee Thespian Festival, the Utah Theatre Association Annual Conference, and Arkansas Thespians. In February, Mimi and Isabella flew to Iceland for the Angels' second-annual residency at Sirkus Island. (Thanks to Lee Nelson for inviting us and Katla Thor for housing.)
From Iceland, the pair took an epic journey to Alaska, which included two six-hour flights, a fourteen-hour car trip, and an overnight stop at the Mall of America. The destination? A tour of workshops and residencies from Anchorage to Sitka. (Thanks to John Breyer for transportation and Warren Weinstein for housing.)
Isabella also guest-starred with the Scared Scriptless Improv Troupe, playing a tumbleweed, a dogsled musher, and Siegfried and Roy's tiger.
Then, it was on to the Florida Thespian Festival in Tampa. "You know, you think I'd be tired," says Mimi. "But sharing what I love is invigorating. I've had the opportunity to introduce hundreds of students to the confidence, discipline and fun of circus. I can sleep later."
"Friends" to Perform World Premiere of "Hunchback"
The students of Friends Meeting School (FMS) in Ijamsville are preparing for a world premiere.
On April 3rd and 4th, FMS will perform Allison Williams' original musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Hunchback will premiere as part of the "Students Acting for the Community" outreach program, an annual tradition of service and creativity held each year by FMS.
Brenda Yankaskas, Performing Arts teacher at FMS, has worked hard to bring the community together around the premiere. Yankaskas chose Williams' text because it tells a timeless story in a dynamic and thought-provoking way. "Hunchback of Notre Dame brings up issues of discrimination and learning to see the true worth of an individual," says Yankaskas. "It reminds us that through difficult times we can find solace through kindness, friendship and acceptance."
Shows are 2pm on Sunday, April 3rd and 10am on Monday, April 4th at the Weinberg Center for The Arts in Frederick. Proceeds benefit the Frederick Food Bank.
The Urbans Love Their Angels Loot
In our 2010 holiday newsletter, we welcomed our fans to write about a deserving loved one - someone who made the season sweeter. The winner of the contest was Vivi Urban, who eloquently wrote about her brother, Dean Urban.
Vivi told us, "Despite his cognitive disability, he overcomes everyday obstacles with fearless determination and an inner strength that radiates to others. I have taken him to watch your show at the Busker Festival in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, several times. He thinks you ladies are great (and strong too) - and he's right! Dean has taught me the value of all things others take for granted... the simple act of buying your own clothes, going to the hair dresser or driving a car - all things he cannot do or needs assistance to do. Dean has taught me so many things- the most important of these is total acceptance & gratitude for the simple things. And I love him forever for it."
Thank you, Vivi and Dean. We're looking forward to seeing you again at the Waterloo Busker Carnival again in 2011, where we'll perform our one-of-a-kind, adult Naughty No-No Show.
Angels Featured as 'Agile Entrepreneurs' on Inc.com
The Aerial Angels' fearless leader, Artistic Director Allison 'Isabella' Williams, was interviewed for an article on circus entrepreneurship on inc.com.
Not to toot our own horn or anything, but author Lauren Cannon thinks we've got our act together - and our business. "Williams [...] and other circus entrepreneurs are doing quite well for themselves both creatively and financially, and see plenty of room for growth in the future."
Williams, still dressed in her sweats from a Florida Thespians workshop, laughs as she shuffles through a stuffed receipt organizer as she finishes up the Angels 2010 taxes. "She's right. We're growing. How long until I can hire a full-time accountant?"
A History Lesson
The Aerial Angels are proud to be featured in the Covent Garden Street Performers video alongside a number of other legendary performers from London and around the world.
Covent Garden is one of the world's most famous venues for street performance. Street entertainment at Covent Garden was first recorded in 1662 by Samuel Pepys, a diary-keeping MP who dished about the arts and gossiped about socialites in the pages of his famous journals.
|Happy New Year! - "Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." Hal Borland
Happy New Year! As we celebrate experience gained and wisdom waiting to happen, we're looking forward to exciting new p||1/08/2011|
|'Twas the end of oh-ten... - 'Twas the end of oh-ten and up in the sky,
The Aerial Angels were saying goodbye
To a year filled with friends, fans and clients we love,
Tours, fests, and students we're very proud of.
In the winter we showed Stand Up Eight in Fort Mac.
The show w||12/01/2010|
|We Turn On the Lights in the Afternoon - In November
Dark comes soon.
We turn on the lights
In the afternoon.
2010 is coming to a close, and so is another year of news and letters. For the Aerial Angels' final promenade into poetry (our theme for 2010 in case you haven't been paying||11/22/2010|
|Autumn Leaves - Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, lie strewn around he here;
Autumn leaves, autumn leaves, how sad, how cold, how drear!
Here at the Aerial Angels, we think Charles Dickens was kind of a downer. For us, autumn leaves mean a trip to Florida for tw||09/19/2010|
|Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer's Day? - Shakespeare asked, "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Here at the Aerial Angels, we have trouble comparing most anything to a summer's day. What can compare to skinny-dipping in a Croatian national park? Turning fifty-three Floridians into cir||07/29/2010|
|Shows That Won't Be Touring the USA - Todd Various says, "Have you seen the German fire show? It kicks ass." There's no good place in my schedule, so when I see them start up, I walk away in mid-conversation and start pushing to the front I'll sit on the ground, which Macedonians won't||6/8/2010|
|Chai Make You Cool - Here, it's Macedonian. It's very Macedonian. Which means, maybe we have a show and maybe we don't. Maybe it's on this pitch, maybe it's over there, maybe a giant stage with folkdancers moves into the plaza. Maybe we should run up hill to make it to a||6/7/2010|
|Older Than Keeping Time - Ahhh, Eastern Europe. Where time is fluid, indoor plumbing still in the pre-mastery stages, girls are girls (don't lift that suitcase) and toilet paper a rare and precious resource. Always check before you sit.
The trip, after only two hours crying ||6/5/2010|
|The Lusty Month of May - Here at the Aerial Angels, we like the finer things in life: librarian salads and nerf gun fights, standing ovations and Home Depot. (See below.) And poetry. We found this one, written by Sir Thomas Malory in 1485, about the month of May:
|The Winds of March - The poet William Wordsworth once said, "Up from the sea, the wild north wind is blowing. Under the sky's gray arch; Smiling I watch the shaken elm boughs, knowing it is the wind of March."
The Aerial Angels can feel the wind blowing, too, Mr. Words||3/16/2010|
|January is the Month That Cares - From the beaches of Belize to the stages of Fort McMurray, Canada, the Aerial Angels are embracing our mission: We are personally involved with our audience, and we entertain them regardless of their ability to pay. We can't wait to see you in 2010!
|Happy New Year! - In 2009, Aerial Angels performed across the globe. But with the luxury of travel comes the difficulty of throwing a company holiday party! With Angels wintering in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Winnipeg, Connecticut and onboard a Caribbean cruis||1/4/2010|
|We're Blogging - We facebooked. We myspaced. We twittered.
We even sent a letter or two.
We wanted a way to stay connected with YOU, and we found it. Welcome to the Aerial Angels' blog.
We've gathered our posts from years back, and what a ride it's been. So read||12/23/2009|
|Sweet November - Dear Friends of Aerial Angels,
As the fall Renaissance Festival season draws to a close, we are celebrating an incredible 2009! We developed Fallen at the University of Alaska, had our first audience for the indoor touring show Stand Up||11/13/2009|
|September Mornings Still Can Make Me Feel That Way - Dear Friends of Aerial Angels,
After finishing up a whirlwind Canadian summer tour (read on to find out the naughty way we made $3000), the Angels will spend the fall in New England performing at King Richard's, Maryland, and the Pennsylvania Renais||09/14/2009|
|August Rush - Dear Friends of Aerial Angels and Starfish Circus,
We have had an exhilarating summer! Our tour of central Europe was a success: learning to sputter out our hat line in the tongue of Alexander the Great, enjoying unique theatre (a castle was actuall||08/15/2009|
|Summer Loving - We hope you are eating lots of watermelon and wearing lots of sunscreen! Summer is a busy season, as always, for the Aerial Angels. If you are joining our newsletter, welcome! If you've been with us this year, you'll notice this one looks a lot coole||06/20/2009|
|Macedonia: The Language Bridge - Macedonian is more difficult than any language I have ever encountered, and I m including Czech and Japanese. For starters, it s written with the Cyrillic alphabet, like Russian, and there s just enough letters that look like the Roman alphabet to ma||06/02/2009|
|Macedonia: The Language Bridge - Macedonian is more difficult than any language I have ever encountered, and I'm including Czech and Japanese. For starters, it's written with the Cyrillic alphabet, like Russian, and there's just enough letters that look like the Roman alphabet to ma||06/02/2009|
|Night. Eastern Europe. Yes, the Toilet Paper is Still Communist. - We landed in Amsterdam this morning and Sofia this afternoon, where we meet Charlie, who is to drive us the four hours through Bulgaria to Macedonia. After claiming our two bundles of eight foot pipes, bundle of four foot pipes, hoop, and gear bags, ||06/02/2009|
|And Now There's An Audience... - How did the past month go so fast? Where did the time go? Here we are. Tonight there will be an audience. Tonight there will be reaction (hopefully) gasps (hopefully) and applause (would be nice). It was almost a year ago that Allison and Zay went on||05/21/2009|
|Everybody Eats Fire Now! - In a moment of insanity, Lindsay the dramaturg bet the cast that when they got the tongue to tongue to tongue fire transfer for the Fire Party Act, SHE would learn how to eat fire.
So they did, and she did.
(Pssssst, she always knew they'd get it)
|Not Every Day Goes According to Plan - Today was supposed to be a flying day. It wasn't.
Flying is the finale. The big deal. The big picture. The thing that's never been done. Never been staged. Never been worked on. The thing we should have started working with way back on Thursday. Did||05/18/2009|
|We Are in the Building - Stand Up Eight has traveled to Dekalb where the show will be performed next week. We are in the theatre.
The next step in the adventure begins. The lights are being hung and focused. The magnitude of the trampoline and tramp wall is being dis||05/15/2009|
|Stand Up Eight Is Ready For An Audience! - After years of dreaming, developing, begging, and rehearsing, Stand Up Eight is ready for an audience. We would love to see you, our loyal friends, in the house. If you know others in the Chicago area who'd enjoy the show, pass this email along to th||05/14/2009|
|Warming Up - Everyone warms up in their own way before a run. Except the stage manager who looks askance at being on camera....
|Whip Boy and Whip Girl - Allison and Brett work on their whip routine.||05/12/2009|
|All Hail Brett - So today's post was going to be about silks. But someone (Brett) thinks there are too many pictures of silks and someone (Brett) thinks there's not enough pictures of others (Brett).
So today, we offer you a tribute of other people in Stand Up Eight||05/11/2009|
|Something Worth Watching - And another week begins at Stand Up Eight rehearsals. We have four days left in Grand Rapids and then the whole troupe moves to Dekalb. We work for a full week in the theatre the show will be in, which is awesome.
There are many pieces to this puzzl||05/10/2009|
|More Tramp Wall - A unique view of Brett on the Tramp Wall.
|And then the piano rolls in - Kim and Richard worked all day long on their acro routine for Act Two in Stand Up Eight.
It's going to take place around and ON a grand piano.
Very cool. Even without the piano and in the middle of the gym, the moves the two were practising looked ||05/07/2009|
|The Stuntman and The Comedian - So the comedian makes it look funny.....
And the stuntman makes it look painful....
Or is it always funny?||05/06/2009|
|Richard and the Splinter - ||05/06/2009|
|Que Pasa? - What does this picture mean? What is happening? Why is everyone gathered around? Hmmm, if only there were a video to explain the situation! Stay tuned.... ||05/05/2009|
|Fire! - Not everyone in Stand Up Eight has worked with fire before. There are some fire newbies.
In the show, everyone will have to extinguish a torch in their mouth.
And the finale of the act is a tongue, to tongue, to tongue transfer.
|Lyra..... AND skates? -
|Brett and Richard Play with the Trampoline Wall - ||05/03/2009|
|Rehearsal Strap Video for Stand Up Eight Finale - ||05/02/2009|
|What do you mean it's only been THREE days??? - Three days can feel like ninety when you're working your butt off. But, ha, it's all paying off.
There would have been pictures of newbie fire eaters Brett, Misti and Sam swallowing fire for the first time (YAY) ..... if we hadn't spent so much tim||05/01/2009|
|Tramp Wall, Tramp Wall, Tramp Wall! - Day Two.
It's amazing to see how in just one day those working on the tramp wall have improved.
After their time on the wall, Richard talked about the tramp wall becoming less of a work out and more fun.
We can't wait to see where they are in a we||04/30/2009|
|And Stand Up Eight begins! - There's nothing like diving into the deep end of the pool! Today marks the first day of rehearsal for Stand Up Eight - and the first act we worked on was the Aerial Silks Party.
The aerial silks section of the show is going to be fun, fun, fun.
|April Showers - NEWS:
Cirque du K, Kalamazoo College's circus club, debuted their second main stage performance on March 15th in the Dalton Theatre. MAERD (dream spelled backwards!) incorporated a cast of ten student performers and was a great success. Skill||04/23/2009|
|Young Hearts Be Free Tonight - Happy Valentine's Day! We hope this finds you wading into 2009 with fun and excitement!
2008 saw the Angels travel farther than ever, with exceptionally notable events and festivals at home and abroad and incredible people along the way. We were tou||02/14/2009|
|Midsummer in Florida! - To kick off 2009, Isabella and Todd Espeland of Commedia Zuppa are in Winter Park, Florida avoiding truly cold weather and directing twenty-four Rollins College theatre students in William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. And, as can b||02/12/2009|
|Aerial Angels on Dragon's Den Online Now! - Hey there all - our episode of Dragons' Den airs Monday night on CBC. However, we have access to a "sneak peek" and you can watch the episode online now! We are at the very end of the episode, and I recommend watching the opening credits so that you ||10/06/2008|
|Splish Splash in Maryland - This Sunday at the Maryland Renaissance Festival the Aerial Angels found themselves in awe of some other worthy performers. They gave an adorable, unexpected performance of splash-tacular proportions.
This performance was made possible because, at||09/30/2008|
|Merry in Maryland - Greetings all!
It has been three weeks since Tincelle, Peanut, Sparkle and Mimi began our performances at the Maryland Renaissance festival. So far it has been a pretty exciting run. The show is different, it's more of an artistic nature than the ||09/24/2008|
|How to Survive the Eastside of NYC in a traffic jam in the driving rain - So imagine this: You've just had your FIRST DAY OFF in 43 days. In fact, you've just had 5 consecutive days off, and you've spent your treasured time with your blooming romance in NC. 5 blissful days of vaca and now you're en route to KRF where a bea||09/16/2008|
|Halifax Champs! - We were so pleased to be runners-up for the Audience Choice Award at the Halifax Busker Festival! The largest (and one of the most prestigious) busker festival in North America, Halifax had a terrific line-up this year - we were honored to come secon||09/05/2008|
|A Blue Team Summer - Hello Aerial Angels' fans! Flame here. You may remember me from such events as King Richard's Faire 2007, the Alaska 2008 extravanganza and the Spring 2008 Southeastern Tour de Force. Up until now, you have known me as the number 3 - the shadow, t||08/27/2008|
|London - Every gig has a schedule. In Dublin, we headed down to the pitch around noon to warm up for a 1PM show, got some yogurt along the way, said hello to fellow performers at the festival, threw down three shows hour-on-hour-off, then took the minibus to ||07/19/2008|
|Singapore: Signs and Portents - Here's what makes Spike nervous:
Here's what makes Isabella nervous:
Meals without napkins
The death penalty
...let's go to Singapore!
Spike and I roamed London Heathrow preflight, changing the 2kg||07/09/2008|
|Mimi the Brilliant! - Aerial Angels congratulates Company Member MA Harrison (Mimi) on graduating with high honors from Kalamazoo College. MA has been working really, really hard on her Senior Individual Project (big deal at K-College) and has a 90 page thesis paper writt||06/30/2008|
|Postcard from Ireland - After the Street Performer World Championships in Dublin, Spike and I have fetched up in Camden, London, at the flat of Sparky Mark (Senor Chainsaw I realize these stage names mean nothing to most of you, but if you keep a picture in your head of a||06/21/2008|
|No-One Can Smell You On TV - Dragon's Den Day. The Triple D. Aerial Angels Spike and Isabella are headed into Toronto to pitch our Big Show idea in front of a panel of Canadian multi-millionaire investors who will decide then and there whether to shower us with buckets of cash, ||06/10/2008|
|Overheard/Overseen at the Dundas Busker Festival - ...Star, Isabella, Spike and Rachel Peters (pavement artist and the graphic designer of our lovely new website) learning to say "Spike is a small grapefruit!" and "Star wants to know where is the library of my aunt!" in French, for the sake of having||06/08/2008|
|How to Have a Good, no, Great, no, FANTASTIC Show! - As the head Aerial Angel, newer performers often ask me for advice on how to turn their shows from "ok" to "FANTASTIC!" I'd like to share some of those little tricks that work for myself and the other Senior Company Members, in hopes that they will h||06/07/2008|
|New Site, New Show, New Summer - Exciting News from Aerial Angels!
The new website is up - check it out at www.angelsintheair.com!
* * *
Aerial Angels will be on the Canadian reality TV show Dragon's Den! The show features entrepreneurs ||05/31/2008|
|Chains don't love you back - Aerial fabric is hurty. Rope burns, wrapping up so tight you can't breath, sliding down too fast for your hands.
But hey, nothing says fun like a challenge. So I get a set of aerial chains. I've seen them around, tried Silea's in Germany, watched so||05/15/2008|
|On the Road, On the Road, and On the Road Some More... - ~Also from Isabella and Spike
Six states, two countries, several flights and 24 hours of driving in four days - a snapshot of the Aerial Angels Southeastern Tour 2008.
Friday and Saturday found Spike, Isabella, Star, Flame and guest hamster Rikki t||05/07/2008|
|Alaska Take Three! - So the first day of our Alaksa Adventure, take 3, was greatly influenced by the wind. 12 hours of travel and 4 time zones post birthday celebrations, we arrive in Anchorage, which is a lot like Michigan's weather, but with less sun. Exhausted, giddy,||02/28/2008|
|Short Video of Starfish Circus - Click here!
Made by a local newspaper - this shows a bit of what we are doing!
"(Not so) high wire" my behind :)||01/16/2008|
|I've Seen A Lot of Circuses... - All my conditioning has to get done in the hotel room, at this point in the process the kids are good enough to lead each other in abs and arms while I sort out the costume dispute, send the stage manager to call the welding guy and find out why we d||01/15/2008|
|What I Did On My Day Off - Performing in St. Augustine
|In Praise of Dance Belts...Day Four. - The boys have mostly all had to buy dance belts. It's like thong underwear crossed with an athletic supporter. They are always surprising to the first-time wearer ("Wait a minute, that thing goes where?").
They run down the hall, first upright, the||01/09/2008|
|Day One - We work in two rehearsal periods, each two hours long, each with about 35 kids. They're in groups - first we see acrobats, poi spinners and clowns, the clowns departing to another space with Todd to learn rolling globe and rolla bolla and balancing o||01/05/2008|
|Seventy Six Children - No, really. SEVENTY SIX children in the latest incarnation of Starfish Circus, down here at Douglas Anderson School for the Arts in Jacksonville. And we still turned away fifty more - sorry, guys.
We're down here in sunny-yet-freezing Florida, havin||01/03/2008|
|First Show - We conditioned during the carols at the end of the show, and then joined everyone on stage for Silent Night. Quite moving when the piano dropped out and the soloists went off mic and everyone just sang, the audience to us and we to them, casual cloth||12/23/2007|
|Easy/Hard - The scary part is not performing at 35 feet. Or flying around the room on the silks while the winch takes me to 45 feet and back down again, which is in fact incredible and easy and fun.
The scary part is climbing through and over the catwalk raili||12/16/2007|
|Getting It - Bela Karolyi was famous for his little nicknames. Betty Okino was a "fat spider". Mary Lou Retton was a "fat dwarf". He carried Kerri Strug in his arms off the floor, he urged her to make the second vault that (we sort of overlook) didn't actually ma||12/10/2007|
|Honoring Michael Carl O'Neil - We were saddened to hear that Canadian busker Michael Carl O'Neil passed away in October.
Luna, Spike and I met Michael at the St John's Busker Festival in New Brunswick this summer. He was a fantastic performer - an amazing human statue and a hilar||12/09/2007|
|Better than alone at the drive-in - I go to the gym. It's the day after Thanksgiving, haven't gained anything yet, but it's never to early to anticipate...I'm meeting Miss Pussycat and there's an insane open gym filled with the children of Black Friday shoppers.
Instead, all is dark a||11/23/2007|
|Cue James Bond Theme... - So after dropping in on a rope class, I go home to shower before flying out while Spike and Luna take a straps class. Rope class was great - I got a bunch of new moves and worked on fine-tuning bascule climb, dive, and a big rotating drop that's lik||11/14/2007|
|Run for the Border... - So in contrast with last week's adventure...
I was xing into Canada. Had the ole passport open and ready. The guard didn't even look up at me.
"And where do you live?"
"And what's your business in Cananda?"
Spike: Passing through||09/06/2007|
|Fruit vs. Customs - SO... (Insert apology for lack of blogging here) ... I'm crossing the border into the US, having dropped off Luna at the airport, the rig at Rachel Peters, and my garbage into the proper duty-free provided receptacle.
Rewind to Orangeville: the gig||09/04/2007|
|We love the Canadian Border! - Ahhh.clearly Max and Lady used up all the Angels' border-crossing karma. Luna, Spike and I made our way towards New Brunswick, crossing into Canada once at Detroit/Windsor, where we were stopped briefly for the usual "Hi, this is who we are, this is ||07/27/2007|
|Canada- A brief in notation form. - "It's like French Toast, foreign French Toast." -Max on his first encounter with tofu
Crossed the border seven times in five days and were not sent to customs once.
Total time crossing border, less than 30min.
Cannot avoid belligerent drunken Amer||07/09/2007|
|CANADA, CASTLES, and ALLERGIES - Things we've learned so far:
-You must change your voice mail BEFORE you hit the border to Canada... it only took Luna four or five tries.
-One must bring a cargo net and duct tape to get a rolling globe on top of a car
-Everyone made fun of Flip'||03/12/2007|
|Oh, Toronto Nothing Punny. - So Isabella and I have journeyed to our neighbor to the North to "audition" before Ag Fairs of Ontario. Once again we got stopped at the border, but it was a relatively painless visit. We're getting to know the border office officers, and they are st||02/17/2007|
|Strange Dream - The adventures of Super Spike-
I had a very peculiar dream last night involving a New Years Eve gig in a big city and some has-been actress going to maybe or maybe not blow up a part of the city. I happened to be in the room where she was recording ||02/13/2007|
|Boot camp kicks my BOOTY - AHHHHHH is all I can really say about boot camp. It was hard, hurty, sweet, fun, and absolutely amazing. It was fun to have new people join us Angels at camp this time. I enjoyed watching them learn and try new things as we did the same. It was also ||01/06/2007|
|Oh God It's Day Four - Friday. Or as I like to think of it, the LONG day. We went until 6:30 today instead of 4:30 because we had the gym and tomorrow is a short day. So it was great, and by great I mean exhausting and painful. But still great!
We spent the morning stret||01/05/2007|
|Training Camp Day Three - Today was a bit of a take-it-easy day - it's the middle day, we're all tired and full of stiff muscles! Focused on hoop/lyra this morning, with some free aerial time, then after lunch we tumbled and had more aerial and ground skills time, then ate fi||01/04/2007|
|Training Camp Day Two - Well, they're all in bed tonight...9PM and the house was dark and silent except for little old me - so tired I was weeping in the shower. Fortunately, my dear one will be slathering me with Tiger Balm before bed.
Great aerial time this morning - eve||01/03/2007|