Saturday, June 28, 2014

Bangor Pride Festival Art Walk

Holy. Crap. I almost went an entire month without posting! *Wraps arms around my blog* I have MISSED you!! This is sort of a long one...but worth the read.

My city of Bangor, Maine is celebrating Pride Festival this weekend! I had an opportunity to perform in two shows during the art walk last night. I was more than nervous...feeling unprepared and not so confident. I guess if you don't do something often enough it scares you. But I ended the night on a high, feeling inspired and encouraged by my little city.

The first show was at Nocturnem Draft Haus at 7pm. It went off without a hitch! It was 100% improvised and the crowd seemed to love it. I got a chance to speak and introduce myself. I made it a point to share with the audience that my hoops are a way for my to celebrate my own pride in myself, and that this is what Pride Festival is all about - Having pride for your own self not matter your age, your race, your gender or your preference. I could feel my voice start to shake. It's difficult to speak in front of a room full of strangers & put yourself out there...but this audience was lovely.

Now, my performance was not a choreographed routine in any sense, but I did plan a few things in my head before the show. I had two 15 minute slots to fill so I needed plenty of things to keep the audience's attention.

I wanted a gimmick. So I decided to hide a tube of lipstick in my bra. When I started the show and had the hoop spinning around my legs, I pulled out the lipstick and put it on. My friend caught this on video and I will try and steal it from her asap!

I knew that I wanted to demonstrate my evolution with the hoops. I started out with on-body hooping; around my waist, chest and legs mostly. And then I grabbed a mini hoop and did some off body stuff- hand spins and chest rolls. Then I moved onto my 5/8 lime green poly pro for some really fast breaks and sustained spinning. And I finished with doubles!! And the crowd was cheering for me and they seemed really enticed.

After a while I went to the mic again and asked if I had any volunteers! This was the best part of all. This young girl sitting front row jumped up immediately. It seemed to be her first time hooping but she gave it an incredible effort. My friend and former student got up and gave it a spin & one of the servers from the draft haus was actually a hooper and had some serious talent. I announced to the audience that there is always a hooper or two in every crowd!!

After my 15 minutes was finished, the young girl that got up to hoop first came up to me and actually apologized. Immediately, I felt horrible that she felt like she had to apologize for not being as good as the other two girls that got up and hooped. My intentions were for everyone to have fun & not feel bad. But somehow I immediately found the words to say to this girl. I said, "I think that because of you - those other girls had the courage to hoop. Without you being so brave nobody else would have got up and joined me." Her face lit up and she was so excited.

After talking to her for a while, I found out she had performed at the spoken word event earlier in the night. She told me that from a young age her parents were telling her that certain "things" she liked were inappropriate and that she can't like them. Her parents were sitting at the table with her and did not seem interested or engaged in our conversation at all. They were putting off these vibes that they might not even want to be there. They were probably uncomfortable.

After I walked away, a film crew approached me with a release to sign. Come to find out, they are a crew from Boston visiting Bangor to make a documentary about the above mentioned girl. I am so hopeful that I will find some information about the film. Who knows, maybe Hippy Go Lucky Hoops will make an appearance!!!

In all seriousness though, this was an incredible experience for me. I felt like I made an impact on people. So many fuller figured ladies came up to me, telling me that I rocked the hoop and that they were impressed that I could execute some of the moves I have up my sleeve. I tell everyone, I am living proof of the saying - "If I can do it, anyone can!" I got to pose for pictures with people, share my story and for that...I am so thankful.

Many thank-yous to Nocturnem Draft Haus for having me perform again for the second time, CaraSees Photography for organizing the art walk, providing me with music and being a great organizer, all my friends that came to support me at the show last night & to everyone that came out to watch all the performers!!

The ladies of Haus of Paradigm took the stage after me, so we crossed paths before I had to run off to the next venue. I was totally having a fan girl moment over their costumes. So full of sparkle and intricate detail. I'm thinking I need to do an interview to find out more....

I will try and scoop up some more pictures as they surface to Facebook land! I'm going to enjoy some time with the beard, my puppy dawg & the sunshine this weekend. happy hooping <3

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