Archive for the ‘Exploring The Path’ Category
At the tail end of 2015, I found myself feeling depressed, unhealthy, unmotivated. Hooping has been in my life since 2009 but it had lost its shine. I’ve been stuck in a rut, mostly self-induced, and my brain has been processing what my next step should be.
The odd thing is, I KNOW hooping makes me feel good. Perhaps it boils down to feeling good about myself first and foremost, which I haven’t. I’ve been testing the waters on what makes me respond with positivity and right now it’s eating mac & cheese and binge watching Mythbusters. Hmmmmm….
I did make a conscious choice to be a hoop student again. I took workshops with Baxter and Gail O’Brien and although I was giddy from them, my hoop habits did not return. I have not given up hoop! uh, I mean hope!
Have you ever fallen into a hoop funk? I’m sure I’m not the only one. As I make other positive choices I’m sure my faith in the hoop shall return!
Here’s to hooping and happiness in 2016!
Well, where do I start?!!
First off, YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! Congratulations, Mr. President.
The First Family will be hooping in the White House for another 4 years. *happy sigh* Yeah, I know. Lots of work to do. Hopefully he’ll be kicking ass and taking names this term. No more non-partisan shit. That didn’t work so well. But I digress…
Hooping! yes, I’ve been hooping and have reached a strange crossroad. It’s been the one thing I do that makes me happy and has kept me sane through the unemployment, the financial disaster that is about to become my life. Folks are always amazed that I’ve remained so calm. Since I haven’t missed a mortgage payment, I haven’t hit full on panic – yet. But I am not making money doing what I love and I’m starting to struggle with that. If I end up counting on my hoop classes and hoop sales won’t that make my passion a burden? I’ve been feeling like removing the hoop making aspect of my business – getting the tapes and tubing out of my home and enlist someone else to make all of my hoops. It feels good when I think about it but if I don’t make them myself, are they really HulaHoopla hoops?
I took a couple of workshops recently with Brecken and Luna Breeze and it felt SOOOOO good to be the student again. I want to grow and pass that one to my students. My classes are still fun and rewarding. The rent is killing me but I know I actually have a good deal on the place where I teach. I think I need to ramp up the promotions.
And then there’s performing. I’d love to do more of that. Maybe get some corporate gigs with The Spinnerettes. Hmmmmmm….
I can’t be the only hoop business owner who has struggled with this. Maybe I need to start a collective where we can brainstorm, share our stories, help each other out.
I know I need to write more on this blog – I’m starting to feel better already!!!
Summer took its sweet time getting to the Pacific Northwest and now we’re already heading into Fall. Great hooping experiences throughout the summer though from amazing workshops (both taught and taken), performances (with PAY!!), and of course Burning Man. *sigh*
I find myself once again unemployed but I’m heading to HoopCamp in a few days and that certainly ain’t a bad thing. Looking forward to connecting with the hoopers I met last year, catching up with friends and making new ones. I’m sleeping in a tent vs. a VW bus so that ought to be interesting. I promised myself to rein in the spending – always so much cool clothing, jewelry and hoop stuff – and just absorb. I feel like I’m on the cusp of a creative breakthrough. Can’t explain it but I just feel something coming my way. I guess without a job, I have a little more time to pay attention.
Woo hoo(p)! Had a great time performing on April 30th. Dr. Spin and I did two numbers between bands at a reunion show. Tons of fun.
So while I was writing my last post, I got an email from my hoop sista, eS-Bot. I wrote to her about where I was in my hooping life and after reading what she had to say, I called her. We talked for about an hour and the more I talked and voiced my thoughts out loud, the better I felt. She understands what I’m going through, offered advice based on her own experiences. I think I know what direction I need to steer myself toward. My energy, although well-intentioned, has been focused on things that have not served me and I need to move on and focus on things that fill me, not drain me. Thank you, my beloved hoop sister.
Well, I actually got a part-time job doing what I used to do. Floor directing for a live show. I love it! Right now I can teach my morning and night classes and still work at the job. The income will go down because of more driving, downtown parking, montyly fees associated with my job. I still have unemployment for a while longer and I will receive some benefits to sort of make up the difference between what I make at my new job and what I used to make. whew! Good thing I worked crazy hours all those years!
Of course, with new things, come new challenges. Balancing a mid-day job with morning and night classes, the commute, trying to drive less yet haul hoops and being away from home and keeping up with hoop biz related emails, web things, updating classes, etc. And right now my VW Bus is having major issues and I am hemorrhaging money between fixing her, paying rent on studios, etc.
I’m at this crossroad – where to I put my energy? I had a complete meltdown as I was trying to leave to teach a class. Couldn’t find the keys that I just had in my hands not two minutes before. I was going to be late for class. Totally lost it, yelled, kicked over my cute little black leather foot stool (no damage!), heaved a cookie sheet out the door (that felt good!) but I must’ve sounded like a crazed screech owl to my neighbors and I certainly scared my cats. WTF? That isn’t how I want to be as a person. But I just lost it! It seems like my energy is so closely tied to money – probably because I’m always on the verge of not quite being able to pay my bills. I’m forgoing many of the hooping events that I attended last year because of the lack of funds and knowing I need to rebuild my engine. But those are choices I had to make and it’s not like I can’t go next year. Maybe not being among all the other hoopers is what’s making me so unnerved.
OK, so I love teaching, I love my students and want to keep doing it. Problem is that I don’t have enough students to cover the expense of running the classes. I assume that is typical when you’re starting out. I’m sort of paying money to teach. I know spring is coming and I can see that it is bringing out more hoop students. I feel I need to keep going until at least June. Maybe take a break over the summer (last summer was very slow for students) then push again in the fall. Not sure. I feel my personal practice has suffered tremendously because, frankly, I don’t make time for it. I’m teaching 5 classes a week and host a hoop jam. That’s a lot of being responsible for someone else’s hooping.
Now back to the money. I barely make rent on the studios. I do teach two classes that pay well per hour and I don’t have to rent the space but they are very unreliable. I feel like I should step away from one because of poor communication within the community center (where I teach) and it reflects bad on my hoop biz. And the two spaces I rent for evening classes are not attracting students like I had hoped. But if I drop them, I will likely lose those spaces at those times indefinitely. So the question is here, who am I renting them for? Do I keep plugging along and hope that all my flyer passing, web postings, twittering, marketing (such as it is) will eventually get to my audience? What key element am I missing? If I give up my studio space only because of money, what would that say about me? That I’m a smart business woman who knows when to cut her losses? or a quitter? YIKES!
So right now, I’m drowning in debt, am struggling with whether I should continue to teach, gaining weight through stress eating. Yep, my life is not balanced.
Gotta do some more soul searching and path exploration.
Wow! Still recovering from the adrenaline crash. The night was a blur but what I know is that the whole experience was exhilarating. I didn’t get to see my classmates perform. I guess I was scared to be seen beforehand. Why? Who knows. It was thrilling to listen to the music and the crowd roar for them.
As for my performance, I can see the lights and hear the cheering and remember thinking about the prop and clothing malfunctions but rather than berating myself, I smile. I did it! Hoop Burlesque! And I loved it!!!
Now it’s time to start on the second number and polish the first. Hauling a metal clothing wardrobe to support a shower curtain is a lot of work!
Thank you for all the love and support. And to my Rose City School of Burlesque classmates, you are amazing and I am so grateful to have met you and shared this amazing experience with you. Also, my instructors kicked ass! Holly Dai, Meghan Mayhem, Zora Phoenix and Tana the Tattooed Lady.
Tonight is the night and I just saw video of me at dress rehearsal. How can a performance that, in your mind, has so much more energy in your head look so blah? I did a second run and I know it went better. Being on stage and NOT in my hoop is so foreign to me. Maybe I should’ve gotten a little coaching. Again, in my mind it was working out. Well, it’ll be over before I know it.
Dress rehearsal was a blast! My Rose City School of Burlesque classmates kicked ass. The hair and costumes were amazing and we helped each other work out the kinks. It was nerve racking but thrilling. I fucked up a lot and with the help of another student, I will have it on video.
I’m working on timing, interacting and trying to get more time in my hoop because once I’m there, oh man, I’m in my element and it feels so good. I am getting caught up in a costume change and I forgot two pieces for my shower curtain. However, the other girls helped me by holding up the the curtain during the performance and I kinda like that! It made the curtain move and dance. Maybe I’ll enlist a handsome man dressed in mechanic’s coveralls to hold it up during the performance. It’ll save me from having to haul all that gear!
It’s a learning process none-the-less. And it’s another supportive community. My classmates were so inspiring.
So I’ve decided to take a Burlesque class to improve my hoop performance. It’s working! I’m having a blast and am interacting with my audience more.
Why Burlesque? Well, at HoopCamp this past year, Valentina Unity did a workshop on Burlesque hooping. Holy Crap! It was amazing! She was amazing!
I looked into Burlesque classes and really wanted to go to Seattle and immerse myself in classes up there. Luckily I found the Rose City School of Burlesque in town. I was able to shift all my classes in January and open up Tuesday in February just in time to start taking classes. Manifestation, big time!
We’ve learned history, make-up, hair, dance moves, created our names and developed personas and I’ve been working on a removable and hoopable costume for weeks. eeeeee!!!! I haven’t even told my mom. Not sure that I’m gonna. Hmmm….
Next week I get to do a solo performance…watch our for Chica Vroom!!!
- Hooping Funk
- Episode 16 – Bex Burton: Tuning in to the Universe
- Episode 15 – Philo Hagen: Hooping.org, Blogging and Modern Hooping Origins
- Episode 14 – Valentina Martin: Fusion in Life and Love
- Episode 13 – Carolyn Mabry: Caroleeena, YouTube, Putting the Dance into Hoopdance
- Exploring The Path
- Hooping Hub
- Hooping Video
- The Hoops – Of Course
- The Spinnerettes
- Astral Hoops
- Brecken Rivara – YouTube
- Burning Man
- Caroleeena – YouTube
- Caroleeena's Circles of Joy
- Caterina Suttin – YouTube
- eS-Bot HoopDance
- Fire Groove
- Hero Hoops
- Hoop City
- Hoop Convergence
- Hoop Dazzle
- Hoopcamp Retreat
- Hoopdrum Music & Dance
- Ipseity Designs
- Juicy Hoops
- LED Heady Hoops
- Luna Breeze Performance Art
- Onyx's Closet
- Rose City School of Burlesque
- Sparkle Movement
- The Hooping Body
- The HoopPath
- The Spinsterz
- Trick Concepts
- Unity Hoops
- World Hoop Day
- ZigZag Hoops
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