Shiny, Dangerous, New Toys

I got new toys Thursday. Shiny new toys. Sharp, dangerous, shiny, new toys. And I’m so giddy I may throw up 🙂

I bought the swords I need for my Ladder of Blades act. I’m building the ladder from scratch. I like this idea because in the process of building it not only will I learn a lot, about the blades and the construct of the ladder, but I will gain a stronger connection to my gear. I’m hoping it’ll end up feeling like an extension of myself. This is really important because I’m stepping it up with this act, it’ll officially be the most dangerous act we do. Let me reprise a part of an earlier blog where I mentioned injuries I normally only associate with shark attacks. And then Thursday I was additionally cautioned against loosing my acheles tendon. So this is where I say “Don’t Try This At Home,” there is no please about it. As if filleting my calf wasn’t caution enough, or repeatedly cutting my feet; but for some reason I am still gung-ho about this act. Thank you Mom for the ballet lessons, they are about to come in very handy. I need to work out, build my muscle strength up so I don’t wibble wobble. My center of balance has to be true. I can’t make a mistake. Which is why I was insistent about spending my own money to build the ladder so it would be mine, so I could connect with it. Any blood will be my own. Slightly grotesque, maybe, I prefer to think of it more as ritualistic. Like tearing down and rebuilding your first motorcycle engine.

First thing I did was to go to someone who knew what the hell they were talking about, our trusted Mike Todd. Sideshow, sword-swallower, weapons-master extraordinaire, he has even defied death in the name of Circus Sideshow. A wealth of facts and a library of history, he takes our art with an air of respect and glee. Needless to say I trust him. So I called him up, 6 months ago, just to get info and the specs of the ladder, what I would need and the like. He took the time to expand on the info and give me more information I would need, cautions, etc. He even went so far as to say that when I was ready he would go with me to help pick out the blades. Disco! Because you know I don’t know what I’m doing with it comes to swords you step on. Besides, I’m a knife girl, short blades I understand, but long blades escape me.

Thank you Dad! He’s the one who insisted on giving me an American Express gift card for my X-mas present. He said that if he gave me cash it wouldn’t feel like a present and besides I’d just spend it on bills anyway. Dang you Father and your generosity! (shaking fist in the air) What am I going to do with a gift card? Bing! My dad totally solved a problem for me, because all those blades were not going to come cheap and I had been saving up – sorta. I called up Mike and he was a bright ray of sunshine on the phone, I nearly fell off my chair. Hey I live in LA, no one is that happy on the telephone here, we think you want something. But it’s Mike, so I was okay. We went last night to a couple of shops, turns out military supply shops are a good place to start, but apparently they had a run on their machetes – which makes me concerned on a few levels – so we went to the mall. You know those Oriental stores in the mall full of things you can get in Little Tokyo for cheaper? Well as it turns out in the back there’s weaponry, who knew? Oh what a plethora of swords, knives, axes, and blades they had; but I had criteria to stick to. The blades had to be of stainless or carbon-steel, preferably shiny and wide because it reads better from stage. Some blades are harder to walk on than others while they might seem easier to the audience, and other turns of thought. But no matter what it’s still a blade that can cripple me, there’s no faking it, so no matter how giddy I was I had to take this seriously. Fake or cast metal ran the chance of breaking under my weight and that’s when I lose a body part. I took a few deep breaths while I was there. I was nervous no matter what.

But I found four beautiful blades, I want one more. I think an odd number is more pleasing to the eye. I am happy. I picked out four different shapes and looks to go with an aspect in the show we are working on. Since the ladder itself is being custom-made this is not as big an issue as we can design the recesses in the ladder to match the blades to make them as level as possible. I’m going to help with the design and the building so that I know my ladder that much better. The way I figure it, the better I know it the better off I will be. But for now I’m enjoying being giddy over my new swords. The simitar is awesome, I finally have a pirate sword, one is super ornate – which I think is good for stage, and one is a down and dirty machete – though it may need to be prettied up just a bit. You gotta just love new toys!