DrexFactor Poi Blog

How to handle creative plateaus

You’ve been rocking out your prop for weeks or even months. You’ve picked up so many tricks that amaze both you and your friends. You’ve worked hard and have seen so many results from that effort.

But then it all comes to a grinding halt.

Suddenly practice feels like a slog--hard work with little benefit seen. You either can’t find any new tricks you want to learn or those you do seem maddeningly out of reach. Your passion and energy are starting to ebb...it can be only one thing. You’ve hit the dreaded plateau!

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When am I ready to spin fire?

You’ve seen those rock stars out on the burn field, dancing with fire like they were born to it. You’ve gotten ahold of your own tool and you’ve had your first lesson--now the important question: when are you ready to spin fire?

For so many of us, the fire is the hook that draws us in. It is a primal element that makes us stand up and go: Wow, I want to do that! Many of us, when we first light up, want to look like the people who inspired us--spinning effortlessly and beautifully to an adoring crowd.

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Keeping your practice on track with Proxy Goals

“If you want to become a great writer, write every day.”

The origins of this quote are so deeply shrouded in the past for me that I can’t remember where I first heard it. A cursory search suggests that Stephen King may be the source of it, but there’s no way for me to be sure that’s where I first heard it.

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Ghost Trails Part 1: Luminancer

Ghost trails are a great tool for visualizing many of the tricks we play with as flow artists, regardless of the prop. Over the past few years, I've become acquainted with 5 different approaches for creating these trails using video post-production and I'm starting a video series exploring all these options. The first one is the Luminancer app for iOS--a useful app for creating LED or fire trails but one that comes with some pretty severe limitations. See my full video on the topic below:

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MLK Day Flow 2016

My annual tradition returns! Free flowing in Washington, DC's beautiful Dupont Circle park with the fountain behind me as I play around with one-handed flow, dance/poi fusion, and frankly just trying to stay warm! It was 10 degrees out as I spun and the camera kept dying because the batteries wouldn't work in the cold.

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Top 10 Favorite Poi Spinners of 2015 Voting Rundown

When the Top 10 list launched in 2012, it was intended to be a way to celebrate the work of poi spinners all over the world, a method for acknowledging those who'd made an impact in the community. Since then I've come to think of it just as much as a historical document or time capsule of what the poi spinning community was like each year.

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LA Double Style: Collaboration with Casey Houle

Last weekend I was lucky enough to have my path cross a gentleman whose work in the double staff world has been super inspiring to me in the past year. Casey Houle (JaFfi Tech on YouTube) and I ran around LA for a day trading ideas and filming what came out of it. Fun to work with a like mind--check out what we came up with :)

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Profiles in Poi: Zan Moore

Zan Moore is one of the most talented and prolific spinners leading into the social media era of the Flow Arts. He has been a performer, teacher, festival organizer, and driver of ideas and information. In this interview, he shares the stories of his career milestones, how his outlook has changed over the years, and why the flow arts needs dedicated hobbyists.

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Vulcan Tech Gospel (VTG) Explained

Vulcan Tech Gospel is one of the most popular frameworks for understanding prop movement and transitions between tricks. It was created by residents of the Vulcan Lofts in Oakland, CA and has gone on to inspire countless studies, works of art, and even a smart phone app! In an effort to demystify this approach to studying prop movement, I put together this video that includes some awesome computer simulations and visual aids. Please note: this video only just scratches the surface of what's possible!

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Why Teachers will never get a fair wage at Fire Festivals

The flow arts community has seen an explosion in popularity in within the past 5 years and perhaps no metric is more telling of this expansion than the proliferation of festivals devoted to spinning and fire arts. As recently as 5 years ago, there were only 4 options to attend in the United States and this year there were nearly 50. As this aspect of our culture has continued to proliferate, however, it has generated with it a great deal of controversy as to what type of compensation those who contribute to it are entitled to.

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