If you’re a Simpsons fan, you’ll undoubtedly recall the episode when Bart and Homer go to work at a carnival and learn about the “Carny Code”. I understand it; there’s something about sitting in the audience and marveling at something that seems to have no explanation.
This past weekend was the Uncommon Festival in Amherstburg. We went for part of every one of the three days. The culminating headline event was an aerialist performance.
We don’t have a town square but if we did, it would probably be at the corner of Dalhousie and Richmond Streets. For this performance, they had a big tripod setup with ribbons and lyras. Look at me using big words; if it wasn’t for the announcer, I would just call them hoops.
The cast of the show took us through a collection of amazing acrobatics including two ladies on a trapeze. Each performer kept upping the ante in terms of difficulty and doing things that I know that my body was not built to do.
It was the final event that had everyone gasping, even behind masks. She was Aerialist Deanna. She did a hair suspension routine. I captured this picture.
From her YouTube channel, you can see this interview with her and a movie of her in action.
It was the first time my wife and I had witnessed something like this. We enjoy shows like this and have seen many but none like this. It hurt just watching her as she pulled herself up into the air, hanging by her hair, and then began her routine.
And of course, as skeptics, we started to try to figure out how it was done. Unless the previous acrobats where the routine was clearly flexibility, strength, practice, practice, and more practice, this one had us completely amazed and looking for hidden wires or bands or something. If they were there, we should be able to see it because the sun was setting behind her.
By the end, we had come to our conclusion. We had nothing. We were just in awe.
Now, of course, we couldn’t just go up to her or any of the crew and ask. We knew about the Carny Code and how secrets are kept to ensure that there is an audience for their future. You had to respect that. So, we just went by their tent prep area and congratulated them on a great show.
Later, I had a hard time getting to sleep trying to figure this out. If it had been on television or social media, I’d easily write it off as a trick. But I’d seen it live. I’m an analytical type of guy; I should be able to figure it out..
This morning, I turned to our old friend, the internet. Surely, there was an answer. With an single Duck search with the right search terms, I had my answer. I won’t reveal it here; if you’re so inclined, do it yourself. The answer is there and the explanation seems to make sense. Had I not witnessed the show myself, I might still be skeptic.
If Aerialist Deanna ever comes to your town, you’ve got to check her out. You won’t be disappointed.