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Stoned Love: Why Performing Aerials When You’re High Is Completely Moronic

Yup – you heard me! Tough love, Dear Danglers, but this needs to be said. Is it ever okay to perform drunk or high? What about just a little drunk or high? Is it anyone else’s business if you do? Let’s dive in.

Why Performing Stoned Is A Terrible, Terrible Idea

Unless you’re Charlie Sheen, the very idea of performing while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is so completely absurd, I’m not even sure where to start. Let’s talk quickly about what the effects on the body are:

  • depressants (alcohol, marijuana, prescription painkillers, etc.) –  temporarily slow down your central nervous system, which controls your bodily functions, blocking out some of the messages trying to get through to your brain. This results in slowed reaction time, impaired judgement, uncoordination, etc.
  • stimulants (cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, etc.) – increase heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure. This can result in confusion, heart attack, overheating, and brain damage.
  • hallucinogens (‘shrooms, LSD, etc.) – causes hallucinations. Nuff said.

So let me see…. why might this be a bad idea? Slowed reflexes, impaired judgement, confusion, hallucinations… sounds SUPER SEXY to me! Combine that with aerial performance, and you my friend are a Rock Star. Wait – I’m sorry – you are a Very Silly Individual Who Clearly Needs To Rethink Some Things.


What Constitutes “High” – The No Fly Zone

I myself am flying high after one beer (cheap date), and completely laid out by cold meds. Most professionals go by the Pregnancy Rule – if you can’t down it while pregnant, you shouldn’t consume it before hanging upside-down by one ankle twenty feet in the air. I personally like to save my partying for AFTER the show, when I can totally cut loose and have TWO beers (and hope nobody posts what happens next on YouTube. Priceless.)


Why It IS My Business, And Everyone Else’s

Let me be superty clear: I don’t particularly care what you choose to do to yourself, what you engage in during your free time, or whether you like to do trapeze stark nekkid with a lampshade on your head. I truly do not care. BUT, as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr once said, “Your right to swing your fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.” None of us live in a bubble (though some of us probably should), and our actions have consequences for our community at large. So, when you choose to endanger yourself and others by performing stoned, you betta believe I’m going to weigh in! Every time an accident occurs, professionals like myself face a barrage of new “safety” regulations, codes, permits, and other red tape that we have to slog through every time we want to perform in New York City – so much fun!

So snap out of it, Peter Pan! Time to put on your Big Girl Panties (or your Big Boy Banana Hammock), and come to the party as a pro. Save the drinkie-poos for after the show – we’ll both feel better. Love and pull-ups, Laura


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4 comments on “Stoned Love: Why Performing Aerials When You’re High Is Completely Moronic”

  1. Shannon Reply

    The thought of performing high (or drunk) is in fact SO moronic that I can’t believe it even required a blog post! But I’m glad you posted about it, because it can be a problem, and I agree with Amanda – the last section sums it up perfectly!

  2. donald beasley Reply

    Ms. Witwer, thank you for saying what needs to be said. While I believe that the laws criminalising narcotics use are too severe, it’s also true that what you do affects others to one degree or another. The more I learn about circus aerial disciplines, the more I admire what it takes to do them. And I can’t imagine doing them without your wits about you. There’s enough danger potential as it is. I praise the Lord for any circus aerialist who can go through an entire career without a single injury. I saw a series of films from 1904 A.D., taken inside the Westinghouse East Pittsburgh Works, and I can’t imagine any sane person working with a steam hammer, a mold furnace, or a heated molten metal container under the influence of booze or dope. So it goes with circus aerialism. P.S. I may finally be able to E-mail artwork for you and Angela to autograph.

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