This past year has been very rough for me because I am a single mother and I lost my job last September. I was fed up with my job anyway, so I looked at the situation as positively as I could and decided that I was going to pursue something that I had been wanting to do, but was unable to because of my job.  I decided to focus on teaching and performing.  The teaching aspect came easily and I have no issues with that, but the performance aspect is severely lagging.  After a lot of thought, I realized why.  As a single mother, I don't have the time to devote to performing that is necessary.  I've begun to wonder if it is at all possible for a single mom to become a successful hoop performer.  My daughter is 4 and the only person who helps me with her is my mother, but it is only when I really her help.  It is not the same as if I had help from her father or a similar figure who would share the parental responsibilities (financial and otherwise). Because of my situation, I lack the time to choreograph, practice routines, travel for performances, ability to go to music festivals, and all of the other hard work that is required of a performer. When I pondered this for a while, I couldn't think of any successful performers I am aware of who are single mothers.  So my question is... Are there any successful single mother performers out there? If so, do you have any advice for me?

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...Anybody??

I have wondered if there are many mothers period. This is however a world of "first's" ha is that a word? So be the first. You can make it happen..be a hoopie mamma! Start with what you know...kids...birthday parties...get to know people. She is at an age where you could almost bring her to a lot of events...so, ya know, do it up momma style!

Hello! I feel ya sister... single mom of two here.  Been hooping for only 6 mos, but I have had a lot of people ask me if I teach, so that is something I've been pondering... what's holding me back is that I don't yet feel confident enough in my skills (even though I guess I could teach beginners).  Performing sounds so exciting and if you can find a way to make that happen Go For It!!  I do know how it is, though, to be held back from going to festivals and stuff.  Even though my kids are older (16 and 8) the expense would be too outrageous to bring them with!

My friend Lyne has been a circus performer for years and she has a 4 year old now. She's still training and doing aerials and acro balancing acts with her husband.  I say go for it!  You'll have to find the time to train in smaller chunks and in between moments. Maybe you can find a gym or studio that has a daycare center in it as well. 

If hooping is important, you will find a way. I guarantee there are more out there in similar situations. 

Look on the bright side...your daughter is at an age where she could be an asset/ a part of your hoop act. You have your mom's help, and that is something. 

Going to festivals is not a requirement to be a performer....I'm totally anti-camping and can't tolerate loud music, but I'm still a performer. 

Try volunteering to do some community based performances to get some experience under your belt...maybe your mom can take pictures/video. 

Good for you for following your dreams! :) 

I'm a mom of two so I can relate to you in quite a few ways.  I do, however, have a very supportive partner and I understand what you mean about it being different than having your mom help.  

What you definitely need to do is schedule time to practice.  You can't wait for the time to appear (as I'm sure you know) because that does not happen with children.  You mention that you teach classes, what if you put your daughter into child care one hour earlier so you can spend one hour working on performance and then teach your class?  What about working out a babysitting co-op with a friend or another mom.  You take her child for three hours a week and vice versa.  

I began performing in the past year and I did it in a way that I didn't have to practice a lot ahead of time.  My first two performances were essentially roving, so I just did what I wanted.. no need to have anything scripted.  My third performance was a bit different... I did a routine, but I made it a funny one and I actually included both of my children in it (and they loved it!).  The crowd loved meeting them and laughed really hard at some of our joke routines.  My husband works 10+ hours per day, five days per week, so I actually hired a babysitter to bring my kids to the festival I was performing at.  

Also, I recently read a post by a hooper that I really admire.  She performs at some pretty big music festivals and I thought she was very successful.  In her blog post, she admits that she has barely any funds and in fact, she often has to pay a discounted ticket to get into the festival.  One of the other festivals, she *only* needed to cover her travel expenses.  To me, it would not be a feasible job.  I need a job where I make good money for my time.  I always thought that these hoopers would be make great money, but apparently they don't.  Now, I'm not talking about all performances, but just those of festivals.  So, I guess she was successful if you define success as hooping with your favourite bands, but she was not financially successful through hooping at festivals. 
It sounds like you want to make this work, so I don't doubt that you will!  :)

I am a single mom with no help with my kiddies, except for the every other weekend that they are with their dad to which I am grateful.  But, I completely understand where you are coming from with this.  I do still have a full-time job and 95% full-time parenting responsibilities.  I'm also a musician and used to gig, but found as they got older and homework/projects more complex I had less time to book, rehearse, promote and all that other stuff that comes along with performing.  I just try to stay focused on the positive that I can still write & record my music because it is something I can do from home.  And, as far as hooping goes..I just try to squeeze in a free moment here and there and go WAY overboard on practice when they are at their dads.  LoL.  I know this isn't much help, but the only advice I can offer is that do your best to establish yourself while your daughter is young and her school work and school social life are minimal...that way as she grows up and her life becomes more complex you'll have already established yourself as a performer and will have progressed as a hooper in your skills as well.  I had to make a choice between performing or still writing/recording and being creative due to lack of time.  The creative side won.  And, I still perform in the form of youtube video's since it is something I can do from home.  :-)

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