Performance: “When the Party’s Over” by Billie Eilish on Aerial Silks

So, I went a little outside my comfort zone.

Historically, I haven’t been that much of a performer. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been performing since I was old enough to walk and talk. The first time I can remember going on stage was in a community production of Guys and Dolls. I had a walk-on role as a small child visiting New York City and pointing at a landmark that wasn’t actually present.

(This was also the first time I’d ever understood that acting means being somebody you’re not and also being okay with other people pretending to also be other people that they aren’t. I had to walk-on with my dad, who wasn’t my dad. This blew my four-year-old mind.) 

My second time on stage was in a community production of Little Shop of Horrors. I don’t remember what I played. I think I was seven.

Then, when I was 11, I joined winterguard, which is like colorguard, but indoors, and in a competition setting. It’s kind of a thing in the south. I don’t think it’s a thing anywhere else. My first year, we performed to Matchbox 20’s You Won’t Be Mine. This was how I learned to dance. I wore holes through the toes of my socks doing jazz walks. I learned how to spin a rifle.

I squeezed my pudgy body into a bedazzled, black unitard.

And immediately before my group went on for the first time, while we were on deck, listening to some song from Harry Potter, I almost threw up from sheer nervousness.

I’ve performed a decent amount since then and have never felt as nervous since. I’ve learned to handle nerves through using a stage name, adopting a character, strapping on as much costuming as possible as a form of body armor, and trying my damnedest to leave my body.

This performance wasn’t that.

It was raw and emotional. It came from a vulnerable place. I chose the song because I related to it on a deep and intuitive and soul-wrenching level.

It was my first aerial silks performance.

I was wearing short shorts and a tank top – something I wouldn’t have been caught dead in just a few years ago because of my relationship with my body.

And it felt fucking fantastic.

So enjoy. Enjoy and look forward to more from me. This performance cemented in my love for aerial silks, circus arts, performing, dancing, defying gravity, and conquering my nerves.

You can count on it.

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