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On Being a Good Circus Student: An Ode to Teach-ability

What makes a “good” student? IS there such a thing? Is your crappy attitude getting in the way of your training and making your teacher crazy, or are you the student your coach can’t wait to work with? Take my little quiz and find out!

Deep, Dark Circus Confessions

Oh, Dear Danglers, I have a confession to make (savor this moment, because it won’t come often). Remember that little post I wrote about circus being hard and not expecting instant results? Yes. Well. Ahem…. I may or may not have disregarded my own advice, and pitched a crying, screaming hissy fit in German wheel class when I felt I wasn’t progressing fast enough. BUT, in my defense, my mojo had fled about half an hour before (it was scared), and I’d been working really hard and I hadn’t eaten because I’m on a diet and….. yeah, you’re not buying it either. So what should I have done when I hit that wall of frustration and was ready to spit nails and start a bar fight? (Hint: it wasn’t swear, snap at my coach, or bitch slap somebody. I did a lot of the first and a little of the second, but only thought about the third – that’s gotta count for something, right?)

So, are you a superty awesome student, or a giant pain in the ass? Let’s find out!

True or False

  1.  I accept instruction and critiques graciously and enthusiastically.
  2.  I take the work seriously, but almost wet my pants laughing when so-and-so’s pants fell off while doing the Full Monty (that was funny, yo).
  3.  I understand that mojo comes and goes. It’s elusive, like a ninja.
  4.  I try to leave my crappy day/crazypants/BO at the door.
  5.  I smile and laugh, laugh and smile. When I do it while twitching, people back away and I get more silk time.
  6.  I take myself super seriously. I tell myself that I will DIE if I don’t get this trick today. Because I will. I know I will. And I’m NEVER GOING TO GET THIS, AM I?  YOU CAN TELL ME THE TRUTH! I CAN TAKE IT! I SUCK, DON’T I?
  7.  I often infer that there’s some secret that my teacher is not telling me that’s preventing me from getting that trick – it has nothing to do with practice. (Tell me, bitch! Before I cut you!)
  8.  I often cry, get really mad, and sulk. I do my best work when I’m really pissed off.
  9.  I frequently argue with my coach when he /she give me corrections. They love that.
  10.  I find complaining to be an excellent mode of expression.

If you answered TRUE to 1-5, congrats! You are a superty awesome student. If you answered TRUE to 6-10, there’s room for improvement. Get on that.

The Nekkid Truth

At the end of the day, it’s really about an Attitude of Gratitude, isn’t it? I am so grateful to be learning so much from someone so skilled. I get to use (and break) my body in unexpected ways, play with others who are just as “eccentric” as myself (that’s the nice way of putting it), and roll around in a giant hamster wheel and call it art.

There’s freedom in allowing yourself to suck, even when you want so badly to be good. From here on out, my only response to correction will be “thank you”. When I want to scream, I will throw up my hands (or maybe just throw up) and laugh instead. I will love this flippin’ apparatus wastefully and extravagantly, and put my focus squarely on the work where it belongs, instead of on me (where I really want to put it). Join me, won’t you? Everybody wins. I’ll see you and your awesome self in the air! Big love and pull-ups, Laura


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4 comments on “On Being a Good Circus Student: An Ode to Teach-ability”

  1. Picante Jones Reply

    #2 was the glorious moment we all met Sophia Petrillo… le sigh…

    • Lewitwer Reply

      Oh sweet heavens, I had forgotten about Sophia!!!!!!!!!!! Lawzy, I miss my Funions.

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