Confessions of a HulahoopStar
Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Kate Ryan. I am a professional street performer, circus artist, corporate entertainer, festival shaker, hula hoop maker, among many other quirks of the "oddball" trade. I am not much different then you. I have my hopes and dreams, and I aspire to be the best version of myself daily. Some days I fall short, some days I don't. Some days I find myself in quite the pickle. Thankfully, there is an abundance of good-will and lucky charms in my life, as there is in yours. I am surrounded by beautiful people everyday, as are you. I listen to what the world around me is saying, and try my best to be what we considered a "good person". I have my shadows and my flaws. These are the things that make us unique. When I was 19 years old I visited my childhood dream of traveling the world. I left with a measly $800 and traveled 2 countries for 15 months. I had some help during my travels, in which I am forever grateful for. I studied traditional circus hula hoops and social circus overseas and returned home to Canada this summer to solidified my career as a Hulahoop-Star (like a Hulahoop-ster with more glitter and glitz). I am currently in the beginning stage of my North American tour, this is my third tour funded and supported by the art in which I create.
It has been anything but easy.
This November I was named the first Canadian Ambassador of the respectable Hoop-Everything company, Hoopologie. In this moment, I realized I had many unanswered questions about myself and my work. So I began asking what it really meant to be an Ambassador for this well-rounded (see what I did there!) community. I knew being named an Ambassador was more then just a title, so what was it?
"How did I get here?"
"What does it mean to represent a global network of HulahoopStars?"
"What do I want to manifest out of this career?"
"What ideologies will I chose to represent and live by?", and most importantly "In what ways will I use my voice to contribute to the hoop community?"
I began to summarized a list of experiences I have lived through and set apart the good from the bad, what has worked and what has not? What have I learned that has brought me here today, and how will I pass this knowledge on? ***Sidenote; this is not only for Hulahoop-Stars, you can apply these lessons in any practice, any play, any way in life!
Below is a collection of two life lessons I have experiment with during my global travels teaching and performing in the industry of circus. This is not the ONLY way to succeed in manifesting your dreams. Allow me to clarify, this is only a collection of ideologies that has worked for me and my work. This is a collection of guidelines I will embody to my very best. If it helps in any way then my part is done, if not - then my part is still done. Take what you wish from these lessons, and always... PLAY!
HulahoopStars Code of Conduct
1. Community & Competition
Community: "a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common." Competition: "the activity or condition of competing: rivalry"
I was 6 months a hula hooper when I moved to Asia and performed my first ever solo piece. It was magical, I was praised for my talents and devotion to such a practice. I held my head high, it was the first glimpse of a woman whom could make something of her life. It was the first glimpse of personal potential and power. Up until this point I had lived my life with insecurities and self - destructive patterns. In this practice I was able to see myself from a different perspective, and before I knew it I developed an ego greater then the secret love of James Franco (who am I kidding, that's no secret). I figured that I was some kind of Hoop Goddess (and the only one there ever was) meditating and yogaing in this magic circle.... I put myself on my pedestal and frowned upon the so-called communities around me....
What I actually did was remove myself from like-minded individuals and artists entirely.
This became apparent upon my travels to the land down under.
I brought with me an ego bigger than the Buddha's belly himself.
Because I had done this thing, I held my head higher then ever before. I was on the other side of the world, chasing my dreams and making them my reality. I was interesting, and my ego was apparent in my work. I noticed that I had zero "flow friends", I struggled in admitting I had no real idea of what I was doing. To be vulnerable was to be weak, and my ego wasn't about to let that happen.
It wasn't until I met the humble and sophisticate (and really human) Deanne Love that I was quickly removed from this place.
If Deanne Love (of HoopLovers) would want to be my friend and supporter who the hell was I on this lonely pedestal?
When I arrived in Australia I was greeted with open arms by best of the best in the Hoop world, my ego took a beating. It became apparent to me that this was my ego, my problem. I thought I was special, the very best there could be. I was defiantly not the best, and today I don't want to be the best. I want to be me. In meeting these inspiring individuals I realized that we ALL have a gift that deserves to be enjoyed by others.
This experience, the one in which I hoarded and ate all the cake to myself.... overly indulging in self - love.... created a not so humbled, competitive version of me. I secretly spewed hate at anyone who was living and breathing the life I so desperately wanted. I ignored the magic that was my life.
I found myself constantly comparing me to them.
I initially robbed myself of learning and being inspired by these HoopStars. I was intimidated by the HulahoopStars around me, I saw them as competition.
Negative perception only harmed me as an individual performer and artist. It only harmed me. Thankfully, my ego was eventually bruised and slightly broken. Without my ego driving in the front seat, I was able to see the hard work and devotion that each and every artist puts into their work. I began to appreciate the individual for their gifts and what we could co create as a community, together. I learned more from my community then I ever would have myself. This will forever be a reminder. And something that I am constantly working towards. Just last month I was greeted in Canada by another like-minded artist, she had hopes and dreams very similar to my own. You would think this would make us stronger, two heads better then one. I spent a day or two feeling disrupted by this presence. To move through this feeling I had created for myself.....
I had to move forward WITH her....
I would not remove myself from her and her gifts. I would not challenge her, or separate our levels of work. No, I would do the thing I was most scared of... I would include her as if she was the only friend I ever had. And shockingly I was comforted to be surrounded by such a woman. I extended my hand in support and gratitude, and received very much the same back. We were living very similar lives, had many things in common, and we able to share with each other the magic in our lives. We each learned something new, and were grateful for our short time together.
If you chose to view your communities as competition, you will very well live your life on a different level, your level. You will take away the thing in which you crave the most. Removing yourself from support, skill sharing, and the occasional partner butt hoop - which is one of the most bonding experiences I have ever had. On that note, Competition CAN be a healthy outlet in creative aspirations. But only when you include others in your sometimes dangerous - sometimes vulnerable safety circle. Competition can challenge us to try new things and enlighten us to a feeling of endless possibilities.
Remember, you are the BEST version of yourself....and so is Jimmy, Timmy, and Kimmy...
We are in this together. Forever, Play.