By Admin | January 31, 2008
Peter Gold is a professional trapeze artist who has used his experiences “in the air” to coach thousands of people to reach their potential. He is the Director of Trapeze-Experience and Senior Manager of International Transition Services, LLC. We recently had a chance to talk with him.
Where are you from?
I’m born in New York City, but I’ve lived all around the world as a result of being in the circus.
I’ve toured in Canada, Asia, Mexico, South America, and I even lived in the Caribbean for four years back in the late 80ss when I was the “Chief of Circus” for Club Med Hotels.
Where did you go to college and what was your academic major?
I graduated in 1986 from the University of Massachusetts with a B.S. degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Travel Administration.
Do you come from a circus family?
Not at all. I come from a middle class family in New York City.
How did you get involved in the trapeze business?
I went down on holiday in 1985 with my family to Club Med and they had a trapeze set up for the guests. They were short on instructors, and I was the most enthusiastic guest that week, and I guess I showed talent, so they asked me to stay and work for them.
I told them sure, I just need to finish my last semester at UMASS, and then I’ll come down and work full time. Which I did for almost four years before going to a circus school in France.
When you were performing professionally, what was your training regimen?
When I finally became a professional trapeze artist, performing my act a couple or three times a day was a workout enough! When I was on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, I began to train in-between performances also. That included handstand pushups, situps, and work on gymnastic rings at a low height.
Do you still perform professionally?
I still enjoy trapeze and performing in our classes, but do not travel as a performer. I often just perform at our trapeze school shows. I’m mostly involved with training and coaching others now.
Did you ever lose the fear of performing or was it difficult every performance? How do you feel fear?
Fear … ah … one of my favorite subjects. If there were degrees for fear … I’d be a Fearologist!
Having worked with my own fears and those of over 55,000 people on the trapeze, I’m quite familiar with the nature of fear. Performing and fear is not a problem for me. If I’m confident with what I’m performing, fear doesn’t even come into. Excitement and a little “butterflies’ … maybe a little … but that’s really useful for generating a good performance.
Most people begin to have problems focusing and staying present in the moment when they feel fear — and trouble distinguishing between what’s happening outside their body and what’s imagined in their head when fear is present.
Trapeze is a great tool to learn how to stay focused and gain some leverage with one’s fears. Personally, when I try “tricks” that I create fear over, I notice it, but withdraw my attention on the fear, and focus on what’s important in the moment. Critical for a trapeze artist. Concentration is key.
Do you use nets when you perform or practice?
The big flying trapeze always uses a net. Only in the movies do they take away the net. Now, there are types of trapeze acts that do not need a net; many use an attached-wire to their belt. But, the big flying trapeze always uses a net!
What is the top trapeze act in the world today? Cirque du Soleil?
Oddly enough, the greateast flying trapeze acts are retireing as we speak. There are still some good ones, but the best existed in the 80s and 90ss and I was fortunate enough to work with several of them.
Flying trapeze artists exist and change shows all the time. Rarely are great flying trapeze artists on Cirque Du Soleil — although, Cirque Du Soleil is probably one of the best shows out there today.
Most great flying trapeze acts exist as a family or troupe and are not hired as a troupe by SDS. There are, however, fantastic performers on Cirque who do solo trapeze.
What attributes make for a good trapeze artist?
Confidence, strength, attitude, and your beliefs! It’s important to be the type of person that can keep yourself positive, and contextualize mistakes as evidence of progress toward greatness.
What does your trapeze experience class consist of?
A conversation, a warm up, and then actual flying on the trapeze while wearing the safety belt – with our supportive assistance and positive critique all during the class.
What type of student takes your trapeze-experience class?
We work with children in the summer at summer camps. We get a lot of “weekend warriors” … people who just want an adventure. Many professional working people. The largest percentage of our participants are women.
What do people get out of taking your trapeze-experience class? Why would someone do this?
You’ll discover how to master your emotional energy to stay operational in the face of fear, strengthen and re-orient your relationship with uncertainty, remove limiting belief structures that hold you back, reinterpret your mistakes as progress and evidence of your success, improve your self-esteem, confidence, and positive attitude, concentrate, stay present, and adjust your conscious focus at will
How have you applied the lessons of the trapeze to the other aspects of your life?
Trapeze is a powerful metaphor for life. How we navigate through the class and our experience provides clues on how to successfully navigate through life.
When one gets the fear out of the way and under control, one is able to most usefully make sense of and operate effectively in the world. When I have uncertainty or fear about something in my life … first I go to work on removing the fear .. and the issue works itself out.
Because, it was never an issue to begin with. It’s that I made it an issue is what made it an issue. No fear no issue. Works for me and others every time.
What other non-circus/trapeze professional interests are you involved in?
I’m passionate about assisting people in their own evolving and personal development. I love networking marketing because like trapeze many people are frightened of it! Except with network marketing when you transcend the fear you get paid well for life.
And, I’m interested in assisting people being better off spiritually and materially. Of course you have to find that one right company (vehicle) to be aligned with. Which I have (www.feelgoodtravel.org.)
The opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the person being interviewed and are not attributable to DailyInterview.com or the editors.
Copyright 2008 DailyInterview.com
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