SILVER Member since Mar 2006


Location: Mission viejo CA, USA

Total posts: 75
Posted:So I was spinning in a park the other day when I started noticing that their was a growing number of people watching me. I was just swinging some sock poi, but I had a crowd of about fifteen people, one of whom had a camcorder, were watching me. I naturally took off my headphones, and started talking to them, and it wound up turning into a bit of a performance. Followed by a bit of a workshop.

This got me thinking as to when a practice session turns into a performance. The more people are watching me, the less im willing to try to learn new moves, its not that im self-conscious, its just that i realize that people are watching me for entertainment, and im becoming less part of the over all environment of the park, and more of an attraction in the park, which i have no means to be.

So when do you think a practice session really becomes a performance? is it dependant on the number of people watching you, your capability to mess up and not care, your overall attitude, your communication with them etc.

i did a search and nothing came up, so im hoping (ha hoping has HoP in it) that this isnt a duplicate.

There is nothing to be afraid of. Virtual reality will eventually rehabilitate your mind and eventually your body. Everything will be allright, i promise. Just concentrate. Try some music.

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BRONZE Member since Nov 2001


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Europe,Scotland,Both

Total posts: 3749
Posted:if im not in the mood i practice something i cant do continiously, they get boored and leave.

if i am in the mood then, yes i see what you mean.


This is a post by tom, all spelling is deleberate
-><- Kallisti


SILVER Member since Aug 2006


Location: Bradford *rolls eyes*, United ...

Total posts: 271
Posted:i know exactly what you mean. I rarely get to practice on my lunch hour any more as there is no-where quiet enough. if i do go play there are usually people who stop and watch. then i feel less like i want to learn something new, and smack myself with them and embarass myself in front of people.

i would rather stick to the stuff i know and looks good. that keeps them thinking it looks cool and impressed. they are more likely to ask questions and be interested if you do not emphasise the risk of getting smacked with them!


GOLD Member since Mar 2005


Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA

Total posts: 61
Posted:see, for me, I don't like trying new moves in front of people because of my increased likelihood of hitting myself and making poi seem a lot less cool. plus it's fun making it look so easy and then having them try. I have to remind people to take it slow at first, especially the guys, because they get so excited and want to do it really fast...so I agree with Toobie


SILVER Member since Jun 2006


Location: , USA

Total posts: 20
Posted:i had been embarassed to practice outside my apartment (with all the buildings around me, i felt like every window would be an "audience"!) but now that I've taken some classes, I managed to get outside on a freakishly warm day a week ago (just before the last snowstorm of the winter).

I was practicing my moves from class, but definitely when someone was walking by or coming home from work and parking near me, I went into the moves that I had down, so that I didn't look like a klutz :P But, considering before taking some classes, I was too scared to go out there at all (because I only knew like 2 things and it would get boring for me and anyone watching fast!) I consider it an improvement!

aka hunnybear in burning man circles
avatar: hunnybear - nj - 06/16/07 (c) abjectphoto


GOLD Member since Jul 2004


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 2895
Posted:Well, I suppose, as long as someone is watching you, its a performance. Usually when I start spinning I do the moves I'm more comfortable with until I feel a bit more comfortable and ready to mess around. But when I started learning, I remember the first time I went to my local park, I was trying to practise the weave and butterfly (it was my second day with poi) and there were a bunch of teenagers watching me smack myself in the nuts.

Surprisingly they didn't say anything, but that may constitute a comedy performance. These days, I find MP3/cd players are a wonderful way to insulate yourself from the rest of the world when you want to have a spin for its own sake..

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi




Total posts: 6650
Posted:Hmm, I'd say it depends upon you.

Unless you start "performing", you basically "practise", no matter how many ppl are watching.

Personally I regard it beneficial to practice in a park/ crowded/ public space, with ppl watching, as it takes away much of the nervousness when doing "the real thing".

For me "performance" starts when I start caring about the audience and do interact with them.

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


BRONZE Member since Nov 2005


HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North, New Zealand

Total posts: 1965
Posted:I'd say that your only perfoming if you stick to your good tricks no matter how many are ppl are watching. You only start practicing when you grit your teeth and hope that you don't hit yourself in the nuts however an exception can be made for the repetion of a single trick that you are trying to refine.

May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil


faith enfire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2006

faith enfire

wandering thru the woods of WI
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Total posts: 3556
Posted:it can be practice when there are people watching (rehersals)
i think the difference is in the mindset

Nay, whatever comes one hour was sunlit and the most high gods may not make boast of any better thing than to have watched that hour as it passed


BRONZE Member since Dec 2006

Location: , USA

Total posts: 4
Posted:I always find myself practicing, even if people are watching. No matter what, I need to work on all of my moves to get more of a flow going and to keep it up. If people decide to watch, then great! I usually find them quite intrigued. As for learning new moves in front of people, I don't mind at all, smacking myself in the face and whatnot. I actually think it's good for people to see, because it pushes them to learn if they really like it. If they're constantly seeing people doing these 'perfect moves' then they get frustrated and don't even want to try (or ask about it). I just explain to people (if headphones aren't on), that I'm practicing and it requires a lot for me, but I'm passionate about it ... so, I'm determined and it's a lot of fun. People usually enjoy the honesty rather than a cocky show off. Admiration is nice, but connection is better. I like when people want to learn right then and there and try something new! That inspires me! That's just my view on things. If you can give them a great show, than awesome! However, I think the imperfections of a human being are extremely beautiful, and it inspires people more than someone who is '100% perfect', because no one really is. wink


GOLD Member since Mar 2006


Do you do the poiz?
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 530
Posted:I find it depends which sort of crowd im with. Around other spinners I feel comfortable to try and learn a completly new move because I ultimately know that

a) They went through the learning stage at some point to
b) They may have some great advice to save me alot of time and pain wink

Around complete strangers it can be daunting to try and take up something new. It really depends on the crowd and what sort of interest they have. Have brought out my juggling balls at a couple of work bbq's in the park just to occupy myself, normally have to stop after a couple of minutes because suddenly people have expectations for me to be performing for them (To the extent i have had my boss walk over to me and put a hat on the ground in front of me for donations before i noticed they were watching). That really takes the fun out of it

Often go to doofs and have a bit of a play with the glow poi, if people want to watch so be it, but if i discover something new or something i find interesting then I'm going to explore it. Thats normally when people get bored and go back to something else.

Only exception to that is people filming, normally have a bit of a play with some stuff im comfortable im with then just really slow it down and be really boring until they leave then continue on with other stuff.

When you start worrying about how you are presenting yourself to particular people, making sure they have a good view, making sure you are keeping interest etc... then you are performing. Otherwise they are just getting a fun show of you practising

As said though, Mp3 players are a great way to remove yourself from outside distractions wink

I love watching people practise personally, nice to see how the mind works and processes you go through to learn new moves.

"In the end there is only fire and a waterfall"


SILVER Member since Jun 2004


your new best enemy
Location: over the river, through the wo...

Total posts: 246
Posted:in the end, really, no matter how many eyes are cast upon you; it's only you and your poi. I practice for performances, I perform for practice. whether it's one or the other is only in your head. unless of course you were hired... then it's on paper too. but, all in all, no matter who else is "involved" it is still just you and your poi.

I'll get there too late if I shorten my stride, I'll get there too soon if I find me a ride, I'll never move forward if I try to hide this path that I've troden one step at a time.


GOLD Member since Mar 2007


Lv15 Ranger
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 1489
Posted:I do the vast majority of my practise in the backyard, or between classes at uni, so when I'm at those places I'm going over my techniques, sorting them out etc.

I usually perform at the meets, parties or whenever someone wants to come and watch - thats when I try to go through as many routines as I can, or just freestyle.

I suppose it depends on your lifestyle - I don't like showing off new tricks until I'm competent at them, so you won't see me practising much in front of large crowds unless its at a meet.



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