My very first flow festival, I bumped into my biggest flow crush and celebrity literally within the first few hours of being there. I consider myself spoiled because my very first festival was FAI’s Kinetic Fire & it is a huge fest. I was still so new to Flow, that I hardly knew that I was bumping into ridiculously talented people left and right. Yet, I did still have a couple of celebrities at this stage & I did make a mess of my first time meeting one of them!
I was a mess guys! 😂
I stumbled on my words and probably seemed a little goofy at first. The next day when I ran into this celebrity again, things were not much better. I mixed ‘good morning’ and ‘hello’ up into one weird word combo and then quickly kept walking on to my first workshop of the day, an embarrassed mess!
My flow celebrity was April Choi and looking back, I was so silly for having been such a ball of nervousness because she is one of the the kindest people I have met. I did push my weird nervousness aside at Kinetic and connected to a couple of really incredible mentors, April included!
Which is why I felt it was important to write this post. Since Kinetic, I have run into more ‘celebrities’ and ‘flow/aerial crushes’ & my eventual positive beginning experience meeting April really made a difference for my future in connecting to other mentors and artists.
I really want to express that, even as obvious as this may seem, your celebrity is honestly,
j u s t a p e r s o n.
They are just a person who has become very talented at a skill because of determination and practice.
We sometimes get ourselves so nervous & riled up with celebrity jitters, that we miss out on getting to know the people we look up to most. I have known people who are too intimidated by celebrity instructors that they will not talk to them at all let alone muster up the courage to ask questions about tech or flow. A few have refused to even take workshops because they are fearful of embarrassment. This kind of fear is really holding people back in a major way!
What I have experienced in my time as a flow artist in this community is, we do a pretty good job fostering vulnerability. There is still work to be done of course, just like there is with Consent, but I think the community does try to encourage vulnerability in learning.
Let’s be real, It’s pretty hard to not practice vulnerability at a flow art or aerial art workshop. You are going to drop your clubs, smack yourself in the face with your hoop/poi/staff, forget which hand is your left or right, and fling your fans on accident. It is just part of the process of learning and fostering a growth mindset! Instructors absolutely know & honor this because they too have been beginners.
Now, I have another blog post about Vulnerability, Growth Mindset, & Flow Arts, so I won’t delve too deep into this concept on this post, but I want to highlight how it can help you connect to mentors.
When we approach our flow celebrities, we are actively practicing vulnerability. This is why it seems so daunting to some artists.
They think, ‘Oh, I would LOVE to get to know so & so better….. but what if they think I’m stupid? What if I ask something dumb? What if? What if?’
& this cascade of ‘what ifs’ makes them change their mind and prevents them from opening up a dialogue with someone they could potentially learn a lot from.
A quick minute to gush,
Three of my flow celebrities, Bethany Burns, April Jennifer Choi & Larry ‘Dragoonis’ Garland, have made an amazing impact on my practice and my life. If I had not gathered my courage to be vulnerable & trust in them as a student, I would have lost out majorly as an artist and as a friend. I was a massive introvert prior to diving into the flow arts world. Mentors and friends like these three really encouraged me to get out of my shell and live it up, because really, you lose more and miss out by not even trying!
I don’t want you to lose out.
I want to encourage you
to take a breath,
forget the ‘what ifs’
& remember, they are just a person.
Most likely, they are a really great person who is willing to answer your questions, encourage your practice, and cheer you on as you grow.