Last Tuesday I spent three hours on stilts. Not only was it super hot but it has been a while since I had spent much time on stilts. I forgot the trick of wearing long socks so that the straps don’t dig into my legs. I regret this. I have a pretty awesome blister on my leg. It isn’t super painful but it also isn’t awesome.
I have been entertaining for 15+ years now. When I was just starting I could do anything. I would spend a couple hours on my stilts and not even feel it the next day. Now three hours on stilts requires about three days to recover. Three years ago I did another job where I was on my stilts for 5+ hours and I was fine the next day. Tired but fine. Now I am not so lucky.
Part of this is that I am out of shape. When I was 18 I did gymnastics and dance four to five days a week. I was able to force my way through things. I had the physical ability to recover fast and work for long hours. Now I walk about 10,ooo steps a day and do yoga a couple times a week, unless I don’t.
I also don’t practice enough anymore. This is more of a cocky thing then any other reason. I know that I need to practice but I have become comfortable with my abilities and I am still able to make people laugh with all of my current skills, so why learn anything new. Starting next week I am setting aside time to practice. Since I still can’t idle on my unicycle I am going to start with that skill. Juggling 5 balls is after that.
The other problem I have with physical side of entertaining is that a lot of it hurts. I have broken my body. I have crappy knees, a crappy elbow, bad shoulders and weak ankles. While none of these affect my performance it means that it takes me longer and longer to recover from each job. I would have a hard time doing multiple shows in one day.
It doesn’t help that I will do anything for a laugh. I continue to abuse my body which, strangely enough, doesn’t make my joints feel better. Since I don’t have any desire to stop I have to figure out a way to make my body better. I need to work on getting back into shape. Probably not the same shape I was in when I did gymnastics and dance but at least have the muscle endurance that I can do a 45 minute juggling show without my shoulders trying to kill me.
Wish my luck. Hopefully this will get me learning new tricks and make me a better entertainer. I will try to post progress.