Last Summer 2013 I had the challenging role of show rigger. Having worked on the ship for many years I am well versed in the various ropes, pulleys and winch systems that make up the majority of the ships rigging, however though I have many years experience working with rigging in and around my primary trade as a circus artist I must admit that I was more than a little nervous when the full responsibility of the ship and show rigging was handed to me. One of my many responsibilities in this role was to train several actors and singers to comfortably ascend to the upper platforms or trusses suspended from the masts of the ship. From these platforms or stages the artists would sing and deliver the text / content of the show. One of the artists I worked with had a terrible fear of heights, the first time he tried to climb up the ratlins he was shaking and perspiring with terror. To my surprise after several sessions one on one with him ascending together inch by inch and familiarising him with the technical aspects of safety equipment employed his confidence slowly grew. Eventually he was able to independently climb up to and perform relatively comfortably of the 15m platform. The experience of making the crew feel comfortable and 'in safe hands' with regards to the various flying systems and climbing exercises was truly invaluable to me boosting my personal confidence and also clarifying the extent of my practical and technical knowledge in the field of rigging and flying effects. Another memorable part of the production was our ship to shore zipline on which after much persuasion the captain / director Paul eventually allowed me to facilitate rides for the entire cast and crew. After all everybody wants a chance to fly :)
Thats all on caravan stage 2013 please do have a look at their website www.caravanstage.org This year 2014 they will be touring the east coast of America and Canada with a further developed version of the 2013 production. I will also be joining the tour as an aerial performer, about which i am thrilled.