This year, more than most and less than some, has been a year of letting things go and allowing new things in. In that vein, it seems another identifying aspect of my life has come to a close.

Once first recognizing mixed feelings regarding how to credit my aerial acts in “Embodied”, and after months of knowing the time was drawing closer, I have decided to retire Zita the Aerialist, and allow the domain (which now redirects here) to expire.

There is an air of sadness and loss here, alongside a sense that this is the right thing to do. The persona and the theatrically engineered aspect of what Zita has represented for me, along with the dreams I once had of sharing her with the world, performing in a circus or ongoing show like Zinzanni, has run its course. I know those things are not in the cards for me. It’s time to leave that game, officially, to the people who actually play it.

Courtnee – There's Something in the Air from Paul Hawxhurst on Vimeo.

Instead, I want to continue to work and focus through the sense of failure to the other side; The side which allows me to integrate aerial into my life with no pressures or expectations, and see what happens. Keeping Zita around, having the website around with no one calling for years, was like a thorn in my sole, a reminder of what I wanted her to be, irritating and distracting me.

But Zita, it turns out, was the mask that allowed for me to be, well, me.

I still teach aerial, more than I ever have in the past really, and consider aerial to be a big part of my life. I may also occasionally perform one-off aerial acts like the level 1 demonstration I did for the “Show and Tell” event at Versatile Arts, or a party now and then, though I don’t know what will come of my signature act. I suppose, honestly, with how few opportunities I’ve managed to create to perform it since the Little Red Studio dissolved, it doesn’t really matter very much.

Zita, you were great to me. At one time, I thought we might see the world together. I thought you might flesh out into your own little person, your own character. I thought maybe you’d be my ticket out of this country and to a place where we’d be appreciated more. Regardless of the thinness of your veil, you helped me find my strength when I thought I had none left. You allowed for me to express myself in ways that would have been hopelessly difficult to have achieved without your shield as I bled in the air for our audiences.

Thank you for being there for me.

I can do it myself, now.

Rest in Power, Zita.

You may have seen Zita at:

I have trained with the following teachers and institutions:

  • Versatile Arts (Silks, Rope, Trapeze, Sling, Duo Trapeze and Duo Silks)
  • School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (Everything!)
  • Bobby Hedglin-taylor (Silks)
  • The Toronto School of Circus Arts (Static trapeze, Silks, Corde Lisse)
  • The Cabiri (Fire eating, Character Portrayal, Static Trapeze, Aerial Sling)
  • Trapezius (Corde Lisse, Static Trapeze, Aerial Hoop, Silks)
  • The UMO Ensemble (Aerial Hoop, Low Flying Trapeze)
  • Donia Love, formally of Ignis Devoco (Fire Spinning)


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