Creative Artist Spotlight Interview with Ben Weston

by Kim on July 12, 2010

Ben Weston

Creativity comes in many colors, shapes, sizes, and forms. Creativity can involve a single medium and creativity can blend a variety of means and methods in art. Today, I’m pleased to Spotlight creative artist, Ben Weston.  Ben is trained in martial arts, dance and acrobatics.  He is in the process of creating his dream performance group and I look forward to having front row seats!

Kim: Please tell our readers a little about yourself…

Ben: I am an aspiring circus acrobat. I graduated from college one year ago with a degree in philosophy and thought it might be fun to literally run away and join the circus for a bit. I now work full-time at the nation’s second largest circus school and spend the rest of my time training in dance and acrobatics.

Kim: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue your creative talents professionally?

Ben: There was never a precise moment in which I decided I would! Right before graduating, a friend who introduced me to the circus told me that she was working at this wonderful circus school in Seattle. She encouraged me to apply to work there. I sent in my resume, and two weeks after graduation I was living in Seattle. At first, I just thought it was a ton of fun and then I got paid $50 to perform a short 2-minute act. I thought it was absolutely insane that I was getting paid to do something so much fun, something that I would gladly do for free. I think that’s when it slowly dawned on me that I could turn my Jackie Chan / Spiderman childhood fantasies into a reality.

Kim: Do you have any formal training or are you self-taught?

Ben: My background is a little funky. My formal physical training is 10 years of Tai Chi and several years of tennis. As for actual acrobatics training, I didn’t start until I was in college.  Some college students were teaching a beginning class in gymnastics and from there it has been a combination of peer support, the occasional recreational adult class, YouTube, and private coaching from professional acrobats.

Kim: What has been your biggest obstacle to success?

Ben: Believing in my abilities to turn my childhood fantasies into reality. Even now I still struggle with confidence issues: “What if it’s too late for me?” “What if I’m too tall (I’m 6′)?” “Am I disproportionately weighted?” “Am I not strong or flexible enough?”

Despite relative success in learning acrobatics quickly and well, because this is something so close to my heart, I naturally have fears concerning whether I’ll be good enough. In sum, I struggle with the fear that even if I try my best, I still may not be as good as I want to be.

Kim: How do you overcome challenges and de-stress?

Ben: I have two approaches that I like. The first, is knowing that my limiting thoughts and beliefs are just that  — thoughts. I can choose to accept them or not. Once I have a clear understanding of what my limiting belief is, I usually like to talk it out with someone. Many times, the belief comes from particular incidents that I haven’t let go of. I then choose the belief that I want to replace it with.

My second and all time favorite approach is to go and flat out prove the belief wrong. Instead of spending time thinking about all the ways I doubt myself, I’ll do something that scares me and pushes my comfort level. I usually get an incredible thrill from proving to myself that I can improve and reach my aspirations.

As for de-stressing, that usually involves the very un-athletic practice of eating some Ben & Jerry’s, spending time with my girlfriend, and watching some stand-up comedy together.

Kim: Do you have any favorite hobbies outside your creative endeavors?

Ben: Haha, my creative endeavors are my hobbies. If I’m not dancing, tumbling, or rollerblading, it usually means I’m recovering physically until I can get back to dancing, tumbling, or rollerblading. I do; however, like to make a mean smoothie and watch the occasional Spiderman cartoon.

Kim: What advice do you have for people just starting out?

Ben: Don’t wait for circumstances to line up perfectly in your favor. If you want it badly enough and have the courage to take action despite the uncertainty, the Universe will often conspire in your favor. Know what you want, believe you can have it, and start now.

Also, find a mentor in the field. This will help immensely in not only navigating your field but also in the emotional support of knowing that you have someone that believes in you.

Kim: Do you have a positive experience with a Coach or Instructor that you can share with others?

Ben: As far as tumbling / acrobatics coaches go, my first ones were the best ones. Alex Daves and Marta Brown were the first ones to teach me how to do a forward roll and cartwheel. They were extremely supportive and encouraging. In fact, I consider Alex as one of the main reasons why I am pursuing my circus dreams right now. Just knowing that I have her support and that she believes in me has made all the difference.

Kim: What’s up next for you?

Ben: My girlfriend (a fellow circus artist) has challenged me to create a solo act and perform it in two months! I have never done a solo act before so this is definitely pushing my creative and physical comfort levels. I am also in the process of creating my dream performance group. It’s going to be about synthesizing different movement forms such as capoeira, tango, martial arts, funk dancing, and acrobatics.

Kim: Where can our readers find out more about your activities?

Ben: You can find me at CreativeCourage.org Or, if you are in Seattle, I’m at the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA). If you happen to be in the greater Seattle area September 4th 2010, stop by the school to see me perform. I would love to meet you!

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan Biddulph July 12, 2010 at 5:47 am

Thanks for sharing the interview Kim. Ben is an inspiring individual.

I release limiting beliefs in a similar manner. Noting, feeling, releasing and replacing. With practice it becomes easier to see what you can do and forget what you can’t do.

Ryan Biddulph
Ryan Biddulph´s last blog post ..Relax Let Go And Grow

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Kim July 12, 2010 at 9:48 am

Sort of apropos with your video post, Ryan 😉

I’m glad you enjoyed Ben’s interview. He’s illustrated the power of manifesting dreams through authenticity and focus. Check out his blog if you have a chance.

Thank you for your comment about releasing limiting beliefs. Everyone has an internal judge to contend with and it’s helpful to have a step-by-step reminder to quiet that voice.

Appreciate you stopping by!

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Ben Weston July 12, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Thanks Ryan!

I think you described the process really well “noting, feeling, releasing, and replacing.” And with practice, it almost becomes easy to systematically let go of limiting beliefs.

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Karen July 12, 2010 at 11:36 am

What a wonderful interview Ben and Kim!

I had no idea that you were an ‘aspiring’ circus performer because from what I’ve read at your site, I thought that you had been doing it all of your life. I think it’s fantastic that you took such a risk and ran off to Seattle to join a circus school. Not quite the same as traveling around the world with a circus, but that can happen, too 🙂 You never know what the future brings and it definitely sounds like you’ve found your passion.

Very inspirational!
Karen´s last blog post ..100 Things That Make Me Happy

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Ben Weston July 12, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Thanks so much Karen! Haha, I’m a relative newcomer to the world of circus. Yup, I did join the circus, just not the traveling kind. I will, however, be traveling with my performance group when it comes together.

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Kim July 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Hi Karen,

Isn’t it fun to discover and learn more about each other? Not unlike your list of 100 Things That Make You Happy, I feel posts like these bring us closer together. Sometimes I feel a personal email and conversation over coffee is in order 😉

Thank you for stopping by. Much Love!
Kim

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rob white July 12, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Hi Ben,

You are definitely doing things right. From reading and talking with you I do see you are wise beyond your years. I can see that you have immovably decided to succeed in your circus endeavor. Your immovable decision empowers you to direct your thoughts so they flow where you aim to go. Challenge any fear going forward with your decision in mind, even if you do not fully understand what steps to take. Simply go forward. You will arrive.

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Kim July 12, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Hi Rob,

It’s so kind of you to share your wisdom and time. I value this for both Ben and myself! Your experience in challenging fears and overcoming obstacles is truly inspirational. Thank you so much for stopping by!

In Gratitude,
Kim

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Ben Weston July 13, 2010 at 12:23 am

Rob,

Thank you. I may very well have to paste what you said somewhere on my wall to look at everyday!

Honestly, coming from someone that has succeeding in so many different ways, what you said means a lot to me.

Take care

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ayo July 13, 2010 at 1:27 pm

hi ben,
how are you?
it seems we have one thing in common ‘ jackie chan/spiderman fantasies’ lol!!!
you cant be too tall at 6ft??
on a serious note you’ve given sound advice that’s applicable to every individual in any field.
i wish you all the best in your solo act and the creation of your dream performance group. Go for it!!!
take care and enjoy the rest of the day.
@kim,
how are you?
how’s the american idol project coming on?
thanks for all the encouraging words you leave on my blog.
take care of yourself and enjoy the rest of the day.
ayo´s last blog post ..The Sixth Edition Of The Life Skills Magazine Is Out Now-

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Kim Maglinti July 13, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Likewise Ayo, it’s always great to have your support and encouragement!
I’m working on the ‘Being’ and ‘Doing’ — you know how it goes 😉 Manifesting is wonderful!

Take care!

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Ben Weston July 14, 2010 at 10:27 am

Hey Ayo,

Good to hear from you! And thanks so much for the support and encouragement! I really appreciate it.

Take care

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Hulbert Lee July 14, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Whoa, you have a pretty crazy background Ben. It’s awesome that your pursuing your dreams in acrobatics. Heck, I can’t even do a cartwheel, haha. Thanks for sharing your biggest obstacle for success and tips on how to overcome challenges. Like you say, our thoughts are only thoughts in the mind and there’s always ways to overcome our limiting beliefs. Great job Kim and Ben!

P.S. You’re tall. I wish I was 6 feet!

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Ben Weston July 15, 2010 at 11:40 am

Haha, thanks Hulbert! And this is only a small fraction of my background.

And don’t worry about cartwheels, they’re a really hard move! One of my coaches had me working on them for four months before he considered them “adequate”.

Absolutely, there’s no reason we have to give a limiting-belief more weight or attention. It could be a silly as the thought that we are all monkeys.

Take it easy Hulbert!

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Kim Maglinti July 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm

That means a lot coming from the ‘master interviewer.’ Thanks Hulbert!

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Greg Blencoe July 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Kim,

I REALLY enjoyed this interview with Ben. I learned several new things about him. It’s so inspiring to read about how he is following his dreams and overcoming any adversity that comes his way. I look forward to also being in the front row at one of the events when his performance group is touring the country!!!

Greg

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Ben Weston July 15, 2010 at 7:32 pm

Greg,

You and Kim have tickets on me, to any show that you guys come to. =)

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Kim Maglinti July 15, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Ben,

I’m going to take you up on it!

Greg – I’m happy you enjoyed. I welcome your support 🙂

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Therese Miu July 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Kudus to Yu Ben for following your passion. You sound very excited for it I can’t wait to see you solo act WOW!!! I was thinking of going to Seattle around september..maybe I can make it sournd the 4th so i can see you perform that would be epic. It is good to get to know you all over again through this interview.

Your life is so rich and full of colors 🙂

ps. Thanks Kim for putting it together

Love to you both
Have a beautiful week :)))
Therese Miu´s last blog post ..Communication Breakdown- Is your FILTER Clogged

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Ben Weston July 19, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Ahh, that would be wonderful to meet you in person Therese!! Please do let me know if you can make it as I will reserve tickets for you.

Thank you for the warm words Therese. Have a great week!

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Michael July 24, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Hi Kim,

I found your site through a post you left on “The Fun Lifestyle”…and I’m glad I did.

As a professional sales rep/BDM a positive mindset is paramount to my success. Ditto releasing limiting beliefs. This blog is another great resource I can draw on. Thanks. Great writing and very inspirational. Cred!

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Kim July 26, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Welcome Michael!

I appreciate your comment and how it can be applied to fatherhood, your creative work, and business development.

Thank you for stopping by!
Kim

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