By day, I’m a corporate auditor at a national bank. I wear button-down shirts and heels. I go to meetings. I drink coffee. I sit in traffic and then I come home. I’ve done this for years now, and I will presumably continue to do it for many more years to come. Even though I enjoy my job and I feel thankful to have it, it doesn’t exactly give me a lot of room to stretch my legs and breathe.
When I heard about the chance to perform at an AerialCLTshowcase, a tiny little seed planted in my brain. That seed had a simple message: “?” As in, me? Now? Can I? Am I good enough? Where would I even start? And for a while, that seed stayed put right where it was.
The funny thing about seeds is that given the right set of circumstances, eventually something will start to emerge. I started to picture myself in the air under lights. I started to daydream about costumes. I started listening to songs and placing where I’d put a spin or drop. Eventually, the seed popped open. And when it did, the flower that sprung forth was far too big and beautiful to ignore.
For the first time in my adult life, I had found a creative outlet that I could explore to the extent of my heart’s ability. I was able to take a talent that I had cultivated over many months and turn it into a vessel for telling a story; upon some self-examination, I found that I had many stories that I wanted to tell. Whereas I may not necessarily have the words or way to express a sentiment in my life, a perfect moment, reach, or facial expression within an aerial piece can capture an incredible feeling. I felt lucky to have found such a way to share something so profoundly yet non-verbally with an audience.
I have since performed twice, and my favorite aspect of performing by far is the opportunity to make a character materialize with nothing more than movement and sound. Each time that I perform, I try to create a different persona. My first one was dripping with sass and scorn. My second volleyed quickly back and forth between love and madness, thanks in part to the perfect song. Performing allows me to pair life experience with my favorite aerial moves and share them with the world. Really, is anything better than that?
Ever since that first seed was planted, it has grown into countless blooms with even more in the works. I now have a list of half-developed pieces floating around in my head in varying stages of development, some no farther than an inkling or a whim. I’ve become a whiz with a glue gun and now have a much wider array of leotards, ribbons, and makeup at my disposal. And I can’t wait for the next time that I get to put them all into action.
I saw a quote once that read: “art allows us to wash the dust of daily life off of our souls.” I find it to be absolutely true. I still enjoy my current desk job during the day, but at night I get to weave tales of love, sadness, anger, joy, and intrigue by sharing my passion for aerial arts with the world. That, alone, has made all the difference for me.