As someone who often complains that January-March feels as though it takes 6 months and the rest of the year rushes past at twice the speed, I actually am quite surprised it is already April. I think it is definitely partly to do with the fact I went away in January for a week skiing and we have been fairly consistently busy with events. I have also been keeping up with various other projects such as teaching on the Emerging Producers course at the Roundhouse producing Full Circle and working a lot on my aerial silks progress.
With Easter weekend on the horizon and a trip to Sicily only a week away I am genuinely slightly concerned at how quickly the year is flying and how close we are to another amazing Fringe in Edinburgh in August. Being busy is always something I have aspired to be, which sounds a little odd for someone who is complaining that the year is moving too fast. However, secretly I am really glad we got through the Winter so quickly and I’m looking forward to new opportunities on the horizon.
After moving our office, Black Sheep Coffee are receiving even more of my business and my busy schedule is both motivating me and making me slightly delirious. This is the time of year where everyone is really holding in there for the end of Lent, when they can finally stuff their faces with chocolate/crisps/takeaways/coffee, however Lent is just not something I put myself through. So here I am still blissfully eating a chocolate bar a day, searching through foil wrappers for a white creme egg and generally not preparing my body for any kind of beach. However, I do really want to spend a bit of time thinking about the New Year’s resolutions made back in January and seeing how far I am with them.
Read 1 non-fiction book a month
Now I can read fiction incredibly quickly. An example of this is when my housemate only lent me the book for last month’s book club 48hrs before the the meeting and this coincided with 2 days of 12hr events which meant I was averaging at a page every 30 seconds up until 5 minutes before the book club started. However, I really struggle with non-fiction, maybe because I like escaping into another world as often as possible, but nevertheless it is something I really want to work on in 2019. I started January with reading The One Thing by Gary Keller. February I cheated with The Tattooist of Auschwitz, but I also read Put the Cat in the Oven Before You Describe the Kitchen and March was Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton. April is Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge.
Any ideas for future non-fiction books would be hugely helpful, on my list I have the Six Tudor Queens series by Alison Weir (inspired by my obsession with Six the Musical) and One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson. Ideally I am looking for independent books instead of series’, as I think it would be cheating slightly to finish 6 months by reading the Six Tudor Queens series.
Straddle climb on both sides (Aerial)
This is an aerial silks goal based on my current total lack of ability to straddle climb on either side. Very much still in progress, but I have started documenting my aerial journey on my Instagram account @kayls.upsidedown if you’re interested on where I am at. I am doing an intensive course in May, where I will get to perform my first routine (ah!) so really looking forward to improving over that week.
Generally this resolution has expanded to include overall flexibility and fitness and I’m really enjoying looking for new opportunities to stay fit and healthy in London. Recently I have signed up to attend Balance Festival in May and I’m really looking forward to a full day of yoga, fitness and delicious healthy food and drink.
Aerial silks has been such a great way for me to regain my passion for fitness since stopping dance altogether when I left University. I can’t wait till I’m at a high enough standard to start choreographing routines and performing again. Watch this space!
(Blogging right now counts right?!)
Like many resolutions, this one is pretty vague and generic across a lot of people. I have a few books that exist at various stages but I have never had the time or capacity to actually finish them. I love writing poetry, lyrics and blog posts and this year is about setting myself small challenges with smaller bodies of work to complete regularly. Starting this blog became a way for me to put my thoughts out there and meet people. It is also a beautiful online diary of my favourite moments throughout living in London. As someone who absolutely loves to plan events, I really enjoy documenting everything from my favourite restaurants to what I did that weekend as a tool for future planning and experiences. I have always thought I would enjoy working for somewhere like TimeOut London or starting my own weekend planning services for people visiting London, however here we are with baby steps to put out there what I’m interested in and record my experiences cohesively. Although I actively have to map out time to write, I’m really making a conscious effort to do it more as it is such a stress relief for me to actually do.
I always appreciate feedback on what I post, and if there is anything particular you would love to read about then let me know. I really enjoy researching things to do and places to visit, then planning out my month to include the latest shows, restaurants and bars.
Watch more circus and new theatre
I am constantly overwhelmed by how much I want to see on and off the West End in London. I have always absolutely loved Circus, but since starting aerial silks I am even more desperate to see more. Similarly with straight theatre and musicals, I know I am pretty bad for seeing mostly West End, but I am making a definite effort to scout out new work and inspiration for my own practice and interests.
Watching A Simple Space at Underbelly London last weekend was such a great reminder of the total joy watching circus performers brings. The show was a playful tribute to trust and friendship and I would definitely try and see it before it closes on the 5th May. This weekend, ILINX is in my diary to visit, fingers crossed for great weather! I have also recently booked to see 9 Minutes at Jacksons Lane in June, which I’m so excited for already. Please let me know if there are any new Circus productions I should add to the diary. I really enjoy work such as Justice in Motion and Chivaree Circus. Dark immersive circus I find particularly inspiring, specifically those that weave narrative, dance and circus in interesting ways. I think I’m doing okay at this, but I am anxiously waiting the Fringe 2019 programme to scout out the circus shows I want to see this year (Underbelly Circus Hub I’m looking at you).
In terms of new theatre outside of circus, I am so excited to see Downstate at the National and Inua Ellams’ new show The Half God of Rainfall at Kiln Theatre. I actually have a busy couple months of theatre, as I also have tickets to see Noughts & Crosses at Stratford East and then I’m heading to Brighton Fringe for the last weekend of the festival.
As New Year’s resolutions go, I appreciate that these are all fairly fun. I do have a couple others, such as *please try and save some money* and *stop eating Pret for lunch*, but I really see these as much more ambitious than practical.
Generally, I feel pretty confident that these resolutions involve doing things that make me happy and that is a really nice balance for me to have projects and hobbies outside of my normal job(s). When every other aspect of my life and work as a freelancer and someone who is full time employed is about planning, managing and orchestrating events, I try to actively enjoy other areas that aren’t about that. During my last session on a recent project at the Roundhouse we were discussing best practice for emerging professionals in the theatre and events industry and it was so nice to think about the advice I would share with others looking to work in this industry. However, it also made me remember advice I was given years ago about how recruiters like people who have lives outside of their job. In short – have hobbies. In the space of a year, Circus has become such a passion of mine, whether it’s performing it, watching it, reading about it, or researching it and I’m so happy to have found something I love just as much as I loved dancing.
I appreciate this blog may have felt a little more personal than my usual posts, apologies if that isn’t really for you, but you have made it to the last paragraph so hopefully that’s a good sign. I suspect the next post at least will be filled with images of Italian food, wine and blissful holiday smiles.