Friday Five for November 8, 2019

Starting this week, I’ve added a new Friday Five roundup of what I have been watching, listening, and reading related to circus, mobility, and creativity. I’d love to get a discussion going. Let me know what you think!

1. READING Neck and Shoulder Pain? The answer may be in your collarbones by Redefining Strength and Fitness I’ve known Theresa Racicot and Mike Denton for a long time (we all lived in DC once upon a time), and they continue to put out great content for amateur and professional circus artists alike. In this blog, Theresa discusses how shoulder blades that stay relatively depressed (i.e., perma-“down and back”) stretch out the upper traps and some other neck muscles. This leads to neck and shoulder muscles that feel “tight,” but that feeling isn’t tension from muscles in a shortened position, it’s tension from overstretched muscles just trying to hold your arms and shoulders onto your body. Eeek. Read the full article to get a better explanation and exercises to combat the problem.

2. LISTENING Instagram’s War on Nipples by Today, Explained This podcast episode is all about Instagram’s female nipple ban policy and its impact on freedom of expression, art, and gender identity. I have had so so many friends, especially pole artists and photographers, who have had their work taken down, been shadowbanned, or had their accounts closed without warning. It is easy to say, “then don’t use Facebook/IG,” but when your livelihood relies on the platform (and due to lax antitrust laws in the US, there are no other comparable platforms), what ends up happening is that people self-censor and then their art changes. Later in the episode, model/actor/activist Rain Dove talks about the misgendering of people who are trans and non-binary as a direct result of the “female nipple policy.” It is a fascinating discussion.

3. LISTENINGEdward Norton on Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard In this podcast, Edward Norton sits down with his old friend Dax Shepard to discuss his new film Motherless Brooklyn (on my must-see list), his relationship to privacy, and his thoughts on storytelling. I did not know much about Edward Norton before listening to this episode–in part because he covets his privacy, which he feels is important in maintaining value in his brand as a shapeshifting actor. I am so glad I gave it a listen. In fact, I am re-listening to it right now to take notes. Their discussion of creation, direction, and imposter syndrome is inspiring.

4. LISTENINGThe 3 Pillars Needed To Achieve Greatness: Community, Coaching & Consistency by On Purpose with Jay Shetty In this podcast, former monk Jay Shetty discusses the three C’s of achieving your goals: consistency, community, and coaching from a mentor. You may have one of the three down, but you’ll learn why no longterm growth is sustainable without them all. This has been so true in my own practice. 

5. WATCHINGANIMA by Thom Yorke and Paul Thomas Anderson Say what you will about Netflix, but the fact that they greenlit a 15-minute dance film is a-ok in my book. Thom Yorke of Radiohead stars in this dance phantasmagoria set to his own tracks. Netflix, if you’re listening, more please.

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