1 December 2014back

Creative Internships Blog Week 10

Olivia Richardson, Nofit State Circus

I’ve had a go – with scarves, at my first Circus Mish Mash class and I won’t lie to you, I wasn’t very good at it. 

At first it didn’t happen at all, less ‘juggling’, more ‘raining handkerchiefs’. It would’ve probably looked better if I’d just thrown all three scarves up in the air at once. At least then I wouldn’t have been erratically trying to catch them all one by one, arms flailing, too much sweat to mention - as if one bright yellow scarf delicately resting upon the crash mat below me would end life, as we know it.

I had pretty much made up my mind before the juggling balls were placed into my (now rather sticky!) hands that I wasn’t a juggler. I never would be. And this momentary rush of defeatist attitude got me thinking about metaphors…

To master juggling, you have to start with just one ball. The most important thing to learn primarily is how to throw and catch one ball correctly. It’s the same with fundraising, and working in general. There are lot of individual tasks to undertake simultaneously and all to be done to the highest standard. So if you can’t handle one, how on earth will you juggle three?

Previously having had no experience in development, over my first two months at NoFit State it was important to steadily build up my autonomy. Starting off slowly by making sure I could keep one task in the air successfully on my own, we gradually added one ball at a time - to a point where I now feel comfortable juggling a number of tasks confidently and independently.

Another massive part of learning to juggle is knowing that you are going to drop some balls. It’s inevitable. Starting with 2 balls, clubs, scarves…knives – whatever you fancy, you simply throw each in the air, one after the other and let them fall. One, two, drop, drop. Watching how they fall is a massive part of learning how to catch them, but this exercise also teaches lessons in resilience.

• You are learning. 
• You are new to this. 
• You are going to drop things. 
• You aren’t Superwoman.

Everyone has to start somewhere and so getting to a point where you can accept that you aren’t going to be able to do everything straight away is a really important thing.

Where am I now? I am juggling. I might not be the most elegant or graceful or doing it whilst tight wiring on a unicycle over the Niagara Falls but I am juggling all the same – a multitude of tasks all in the air simultaneously. Be it juggling or fundraising, I have a long way to go and a lot of balls still to drop – but then I’m also a lot better at both than when I started 2 months ago, so that’s okay with me!

(Cue shameless plug! 12th/13th December, NoFit State Christmas Cabaret. There is also a stupendous raffle with some amazing prizes organised by yours truly. Cabaret/Raffle tickets available at NFS John Street or online. Be there.)

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