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Gratitude: Aerial Adventures

The three best Christmas presents I’ve ever received, in no particular order, are as follows: my life (my birthday is December 23), my drum kit, and a fateful gift certificate. Five Christmases ago, my sisters bought me a package of aerial silks classes at Iron City Circus Arts (@ironcitycircusarts). It took me seven months to finally get myself to the studio, but once I did, I fell absolutely in love. I wanted to try everything. Hoop. Trapeze. Straps. “Why not?” I said. “I’ll take that juggling workshop, too.” Little did I know… And, so help me God, I was going to learn to walk a tightwire, a secret dream I had since I was sixteen. Before I knew it, I was reaching out to welders asking “Can you build me a portable wire walking rig?” and planning trips to Birds Eye View Circus (@birdseyeviewcircus) in Toledo, OH where I took lessons. Now, here I am writing about these aerial adventures on my quirky juggler-punk-clown-percussionist website while developing and marketing an educational outreach initiative that teaches kids science and literacy through circus arts. I think I’m in this for the long haul…

The gifts circus has given me are too many to name, but these are my favorites: 1). It’s put me in the best shape of my life. I did my first pull-up at thirty years old, and when I look in the mirror now, I see The Little Six Pack That Could. 2). It’s refocused my career. I was never going to be happy being just one thing when I grew up (actor, writer, musician, educator, and so on). Through circus, I have found my point of confluence where I can combine my passions in an elegant way. 3). My circus family. Words aren’t adequate, and volumes aren’t enough for me to express how lucky I am to be part of this community in which we have each other’s backs literally and figuratively. The last segment of this slideshow features a duo act my Circsis, Samantha Bergman (, and I did a few years ago. All I’ll say is that these are the moments that result in matching tattoos.

What are the three holiday gifts you’re most grateful for, Punks? Side note: if you’re still shopping, consider a gift certificate to your local circus studio!


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