Friday Five for December 6, 2019

A day late but worth the wait! Here’s your “Friday” Five.

1. WatchingAerialist proves it’s never too late to join the circus by John Tejada & Ruthie Darling In this short video interview, Fran Sperling, 62, talks about age in circus and how it is impacting her career and inspiring others in NYC. 

2. ListeningEpisode 57: Part 1 Talking Circus No One Talks About & Part 2 Circus Dreams Are Expensive with Joseph Pinzon by The Artist Athlete Podcast Joseph Pinzon, creator of the hit circus show Filament–which just came off of a successful Ediburgh Fringe run and Germany tour–sits down with Shannon McKenna to talk all things producing and performing circus in 2019, including the state of funding in the arts and the cost of circus. Joe frankly discusses the realities and progress in race and age-based in casting in circus. I know I am looking forward to what he does next both as a director and a performer.

3. ReadingAfter Misty Comes Marie: Breaking Barriers in ‘The Nutcracker’ by Gia Kourlas This year, for the first time, New York City Ballet’s “Nutcracker” has a black Marie, the young heroine whose life is charged with magic. I especially enjoyed reading the Q&A portion of the article with the young minority artists. Apparently they do “unspeakable things” when running around backstage. 

4. ReadingHeart Rate Variability (HRV) response to training and lifestyle: a case study by Marco Altini If you’re like me and have jumped on the HRV train, you will enjoy this deep dive into misconceptions about the relationship between training and HRV as well as the importance of lifestyle and psychological aspects. Spoiler Alert: HRV provides a feedback loop between training and lifestyle stressors and our body’s ability to cope with such stressors. So by providing the right stimulus at the right time, when the body can adapt best to the provided stimulus, we will be able to optimize training and improve performance. 

5. ReadingThe Zen of Weight Lifting by Brad Stulberg Decades of psychological research point to three basic needs that, when fulfilled, allow people to thrive. This article discusses how weight lifting offers all three in full, and arguably the same can be said of circus:

  • Autonomy: The ability to exert oneself independently and have control over one’s actions.
  • Mastery: A clear and ongoing path of progress that can be traced back to one’s efforts.
  • Belonging: Being part of a community, lineage or tradition that is working toward similar goals.

Getty Images.

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