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Old 06-06-11, 02:34 AM   #1
EpitaphofSanity
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Default Pole acts?

Can someone explain to me how pole acts work?
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Old 06-06-11, 09:14 AM   #2
gav
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What kind of pole act ?
Traditional Chinese pole acts or street performers who do acrobatic or juggling tricks on a pole that has a platform on top ?

What part of the 'works' do you need explained ?
The rigging of the pole, the use of assistants, etc...
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Old 06-06-11, 03:45 PM   #3
EpitaphofSanity
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The street performer's platform kind. I see the basic idea. A ten foot pole four volunteers and some rope. I just don't fully understand it. Does the pole need a weighted base or is it just freestanding? Would the weight of the performer and the pole be evenly distributed to all four volunteers? ect.
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Old 06-06-11, 04:10 PM   #4
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You don't need a heavy base, just something about 30-40 cm in diameter. If you want the pole to stand by itself before you get the volunteers to hold the rope, then you'll need something bigger and heavier. In my case, I use my case.
Personally i only use 3 people to hold the ropes. 2 at the front (left and right) and one at the back. My pole is in 5 sections that are relatively loosely sleeved together so the pole actually looks to be bending at times. Most others I've seen are quite rigid looking, but I prefer the precarious look. The down side is that I need to issue fairly constant instructions to keep the pole relatively straight. It adds to the tension though.
Some people use stirrups to 'lock their legs in place, I just stand on the top. I feel it would be easier to avoid injury if something were to go wrong. So far in 16 or so years of doing a pole act, I've never had anything go wrong.
The real trick for me is choosing and trusting the right volunteers.

If you're considering doing a pole act, try to think of something original to do on it. There's a lot of pole acts around these days.
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Old 06-06-11, 05:16 PM   #5
EpitaphofSanity
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My main concern is I am 6'3 and 300 lbs. Your average audience member isn't going to be able to happily support me. Is this more of an act for the tiny guys? Or are the volunteers just there to add a bit more stability?
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Old 06-07-11, 05:17 AM   #6
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Well I'm 6' and about 185 pounds and it's no problem for 3 guys of my size to keep me balanced. The pole is taking most of the weight most of the time.
For a guy your size, I'd suggest 6 guys holding ropes, and a rigid and very strong pole with as few joints as possible.
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Old 06-08-11, 09:26 AM   #7
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I am familiar with Chinese pole acts, but not this platform/people holding ropes idea...It has my interest...
Any links to pics so I can have a look?
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