Expressive Dangler, Fantastic Light Tripper

Show biz, artist life, teaching, mothering, small business ownership, and circus every damn day.

On the Fly: show biz, artist life, teaching, mothering, small business ownership, and circus every damn day.

Fly Circus Space - D Day is here.

Well, today is THE day.

My LLC officially goes into effect, my lease begins, and the studio that I've been teaching at for the last 2.5 years becomes...mine. New classes start this week. You can find all the info on the Fly Circus Space website.   

It is a really weird new chapter in my life. 

I never really wanted to be a studio owner. I just want to make the work. That's my favorite thing about what I do -- the creation process. It's just that at this point, I have to have my own studio to make the work, so I had to put on my big girl panties and make that work. Five years ago, I would have been completely overwhelmed by the paperwork, the computer work, the little things. But now, it doesn't seem that big at all. It's all just... paper. The big deal is making the community. The infrastructure. Since I've been here, I've worked nonstop to make a circus community in New Orleans that is safe, supportive, and functioning at high artistic and technical levels. Today, it feels like we're getting there. That part, I have always been comfortable with. It's the other side, the business side, that I felt I had no handle on.

As I began the process of going legit with this studio and putting all the systems in place to run it, I found out, to my surprise, that I knew just what to do. I only had to ask myself one question: "What would Bev do?" My friend and ex-boss Beverly Sobelman is the owner of Versatile Arts in Seattle. I watched the studio open, and was on staff there for 3 years while it grew and flourished. Bev is an excellent manager. She is detail oriented, analytical, and extremely organized. She thinks ahead, and she does it herself -- or finds the most qualified professional to do it for her. She also knows that the people really make the small business. She will accept a proposal from any teacher for any class at VA, and most of the time, they make the class a reality. She has visiting artists working and training at VA constantly, helping to build connections and expand the global community. She allowed us as employees and artists to have a home where we could flourish creatively, and have a job. She doesn't let anyone get away with any shenanigans (hello, CCTV!), but she encourages learning and play. Us fruity, flighty artists need the Beverlys of the world. Circus (indeed, any form of theatre) simply doesn't work without space, training, or money -- a structure for the art. Working at VA while I was in Seattle gave me all those things, and indeed, I expanded artistically because of it. But while I was teaching there, she was really teaching me. And I didn't even know it until now. I'm sure I'll keep on having moments of "WWBD?" as this new thing unfolds. I'm so grateful to have her voice in the back of my head. I would not be doing any of this without her. Thanks, Bev. 

I wanted a place to make my work, and to help others make work. I wanted a place to teach, because I believe in circus.

I've got one now. Come play with me. 

 

ELIZABETH ROSE