I've been looking forward to the Clockwork Wonderland event for months, ever since my friend Becky pointed out its existence. The date finally arrived last Saturday, and I was not at all disappointed. This was by far the biggest steampunk event I have attended to date (admittedly, it is only my third in total). For those unfamiliar with steampunk, it is a genre typically involving a Victorian-era timeframe with anachronistic steam- and clockwork-powered technology. It has become popular with the costuming crowd, and events seem to be becoming more frequent.
The Clockwork Wonderland event, in particular, was anchored by a concert by local alternative band Marquis of Vaudeville. Supporting the concert, though, were circus sideshow performers, burlesque dancers, fire eaters, musicians, costume and prop vendors, and the amazing costumes of the attending crowd. Steampunk fandom groups (or "Airships") from all over Texas were in attendance. Massive thanks to Marquis of Vaudeville, Circus della Morte, Femme Vivre LaRouge, Jai L'Bait, The Steampunk Illumination Society, Amanda Terese, and everyone else who contributed toward putting this together.
And speaking of the "everyone else," after the event, I got an invite to attend a gathering of "Creative Motion," a group dedicated to learning, practicing, and teaching various "circus skills." Many of the members of this group had been performers, on- and off-stage, at the show as part of their performing troupe The Circus Freaks. My curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to check it out. Jugglers, poi-spinners, and hoopers were all represented, as well as enthusiasts of other "skill toys." After meeting a lot of the group, I tried out the poi spinning. Let's just say I won't be ready to run off and join the circus anytime soon. I repeatedly got them tangled up, hit myself in the face a couple times, and overall just had a fantastic time failing miserably at it. I can see a lot of practice in my future.
Hooping, surprisingly, went a little bit better. Given the larger, heavier hula hoops used by the group, I was actually able to keep the thing spinning for a while, both on my hands and my torso. I'm sure I looked ridiculous, but it was fun, and I can imagine it is good exercise for working my core and arms... I'm certainly feeling it today.
Anyway, if anyone out there would be interested in learning any of these "circus skills," the group meets every Tuesday in Richardson. For more details, you can visit http://www.circusfreaks.org/. I know I'll be going back.