October 25, 2014 by synapticwolf
Teddy Petrosky has been spinning things around his body since he was 14 years old. 10 years later, he’s gotten pretty good at it.
Now Teddy is taking his inspiration full circle and bring it back to the community with a DVD that features top spinners flowing and teaching. He calls the project Momentum and it stars such luminaries as Ben Drexler, Matthew Sosticky, Aileen Lawlor, Charlie Cushing and Lux Luminous.
His kickstarter has 19 days left, so go check it out if you’re into that sort of thing. Here.
And here are a few questions I asked him:
How long have you been thinking about and planning Momentum?
Abstractly speaking, I’ve been trying to figure out what my big project was going to be for a few years. I wanted to create something that was going to be a push forward for the community while simultaneously giving back to it.
However, Momentum as a DVD project was first put into motion in late May of this year. Drex happened to be in NYC for a day, and after long talks with him in Bryant Park, the basic idea of Momentum was forged and from there we moved forward. About 2 weeks later, I was in DC with Drex and Tim Goddard filming for it, and I knew immediately that this was the project I’ve been looking to devote myself to.
How are you feeling now that the kickstarter is launched?
It’s been an absolute roller coaster for me! There were the initial first few days of “Holy crap, it’s public, holy crap holy crap” where I was pacing back and forth in my apartment for hours. I felt very vulnerable, because this project that I’ve been working on in secret for all these months was finally out in the open. I knew that there were going to be people who loved it! But I also knew there would be people who wouldn’t.
How did you decide which spinners to feature?
I looked for spinners and performers who were innovators – who pushed the limits of their props. Be it in tech, dance, or the scope of which their props can be used. I also looked for those who were excellent teachers, as the Tutorial section of this video project is equally as important as the Exhibition section.
Whether or not they are well-known in the community wasn’t so much of a factor. I didn’t want this to play into any kind of popularity contests – I wanted to showcase innovation and it’s innovators.
The biggest problem was that there are so many who do, and I can’t feature all of them. Not at once, at least. Which is why if this becomes successful I’m planning on doing this every year with a different cast every time.
What does it take to become an exceptional spinner?
In my opinion, it’s a matter of dedication to your craft. And that doesn’t necessarily mean 100% dedication to a single prop for 20 years. I’ve gone weeks at a time without spinning, because I got burnt out. I’d try picking up poi, and couldn’t spin for more than a few minutes before being bored of it. So I took to other props – it’s how I found contact staff and ultimately clubs. Learning to bring in other art forms into your practice is key; Cross-prop-pollination as some of us like to call it.
And taking time to practice by yourself rather than spending all your time practicing with others is pretty important (or at least I think so). Let yourself be the catalyst for creation.
How has your practice changed over the ten years that you’ve been spinning?
When I first started spinning, it was never practice for me. It was a chance to escape. When I started, I was 14 and a freshman in High School. I was pretty introverted, and didn’t really want to be around people. So I’d sneak into the school auditorium instead of going to classes and spin. It eventually became a matter of OCD for me, as my planes weren’t perfect, my BTB weaves weren’t perfect, and so on. After that came college, where I’d gone to my first fire festival. Upon returning home, I withdrew from all my classes and put all my time into spinning. That’s more or less the moment I started “training”, although I didn’t call it training until recently.
What keeps you motivated?
Simply put, my desire to create. I have so many creative outlets that allow me to take breaks from spinning without compromising my desire to create things. On days where I just don’t feel like practicing, I’ll manipulate photos, or write, or go out skating. Knowing that if I don’t want to spin or juggle I’ll always have something else I can put my energy into has made all the difference in motivation. I used to treat spinning like a race to the finish line, like I had to post a video of the ideas I came up with first before anyone else. That’s how I got burnt out. Now I know it as the journey with no real destination that it is, and have embraced days of stagnation as well as days with leaps forward.