First Run-Through: Dangerous Diabolo ROutine

Well, it’s just six weeks until the Lone Star Circus School’s big end of school year shows at the Granville Arts Center in Garland, Texas.  And I just got assigned my music:  Michael Jackson’s Dangerous from the “Immortal” album.

This video is my very first attempt at a run-through of the first part of the act.  Fanny Kerwich, the artistic director and founder of the Lone Star Circus Arts Foundation, is teaching me the choreography for it.  The tricks are easy — the choreography isn’t.  I know the video isn’t great, but it will be PERFECT by the time I go on stage on May 17…Fanny will make sure of that!

One of the things about working with Fanny and the other coaches at Lone Star Circus School is that they are really patient. You can hear Fanny telling me what to do — but she doesn’t yell at you if you drop your juggling props or make a mistake. She just shows you how to do it right. She says that if you are just doing stuff you don’t make mistakes on, you’ll never learn anything new. She also teaches us what to do if we do screw up on stage — like if I drop the diabolo in the middle of a show, she tells me to smile at the audience, shrug, and get the act going again as quickly as possible.

The other thing I like when we’re putting together a new act is that if I make a suggestion, she listens. Like after this video was shot, I showed her a trick I wanted to add, she she said that was fine. That doesn’t mean she lets me do what I want. She’s the director, and she makes the final decision. So no matter how much I like something, it doesn’t go into the show unless it fits in with the show’s theme, and looks the way Fanny wants it to look.

One time, I was working on a TV pilot, and this director asked me why I was so good at following directions. I told her that any kid who performed for Fanny Kerwich at the Lone Star Circus had better be good at taking directions if they wanted to keep performing. On the silks or the trapeze, not paying attention to the coaches can get your hurt pretty seriously — there’s no net, and just a thin pad, underneath us most of the time when we perform. (We use thick pads at the gym when we’re learning new stuff — they really make it as safe as they can.) Even when you’re juggling, not paying attention can be painful. (You only need a juggling club to hit you in the head once before you learn to do it the way that Logan says to do it.)

This is just one of three routines I’m doing in the show.  I’m doing a tandem juggling routine with Gracie and Zoe, and a silks duet with Rosemary and will be in the closing number with everyone else in the ensemble.  Can’t wait!

If you’re in Dallas, come and see our shows.  Check out the details on the Lone Star Circus website!

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