Everything I Need to Know, I Learned at Circus Mojo (Part 1)

It was about an hour before show time as we – Pauly and the majority of the show’s cast – nailed down the final details of the performance list. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s when everyone works together to determine who will go on stage when, making sure that everything has a nice flow for the audience.

For this particular set, I was on stage five times: juggling three rings with a partner, spinning glow poi during a poi/diabolo piece, juggling scarves, belly dancing and finally simply posing and looking pretty for the audience while several performers worked their magic during the big finale.

After a few minutes discussing the line-up, it was complete, with one exception.

While I’m not one to complain, but I  had a problem: the scarf juggling was to happen just prior to the belly dance set, which required a drastic costume change. The only time I had was during a brief and spectacular juggling routine from Donald, who amazingly worked his way up to juggling seven balls.

“Pauly, I really want to juggle scarves,” I said, somewhat sarcastically, as he’d been teasing me about trying to get out of that particular routine since the day before, “but I don’t have enough time to change costumes.”

He replied, “what do you mean, you don’t have enough time? How about if you wear the belly dance costume during the scarf routine?” Well, that was the last thing in the world that I was going to do, so I simply said that I couldn’t be in the scarf routine.

Lesson #1 was about to be learned: never say you can’t.

Pauly and I agreed that since I needed to be in the scarf routine, and I wasn’t going to wear a coin bra during it (if for no other reason, the scarves could’ve caught on my coins! Eek!), perhaps I could slowly transition the costume throughout the show. So the costuming went something like this:

Ring juggling and poi = Circus Mojo T-shirt, pink skirt, black tights, high socks with stripes, black boots
Scarf juggling = Circus Mojo T-shirt over a black belly dance choli (shirt) and coin bra, black flared belly dance pants, minus the boots
Belly dance = choli, coin bra, pants, camel belt, coin belt, bare feet
Finale = Bam! back to the original costume

What a difference it can make, to be flexible and work together to make things happen! Pauly and I were able to successfully meet each other halfway. And the costume changes couldn’t have been done without were made much smoother with help from Karen, who masterfully hung my tapestry in a corner so I could have some privacy, and Lauren and Sharon, who helped me tie (and untie) things here and there for the belly dance costume.

aerial silks, circus arts, Macy's Arts Sampler

Speaking of costumes, I loved the outfit that Sharon, Circus Mojo's resident aerialist, put together for this show.

This particular lesson was learned just in time for the Macy’s Arts Sampler 2012, during which Circus Mojo welcomed several hundred guests who not only enjoyed a free circus, but also got to try out the tight wire, spinning plates, aerial silks and more during the free workshop that followed. Check out pictures from the Macy’s Arts Sampler on our facebook page.

Til next time,
Cherie Dawn

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1 Comment

Filed under Backstage Stories

One response to “Everything I Need to Know, I Learned at Circus Mojo (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Backstage Lesson Number One Learned « Cherie Dawn Loves Fire

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