[started writing this 3 weeks ago, finally finished]
Most of the time I come to by blog, it’s to delete the 4 million spam comments I get… most of which are about online poker ( and online poke-her… yikes!). I blame Matt DeCoster, as a major poker enthusiast, for this. I also blame him for BLOWING MY FUCKING MIND by doing insane trapeze stunts in the back of a Williamsburg bar last night.
Matt DeCoster, four years ago or maybe more at this point, signed up for improv classes and trapeze lessons on the same day. He is a master of both now. I was invited to his last annual recital while on the improv team MONKEYDICK with him. He made it clear that he was severely disappointed that none of us came out. So, I made up for it and came this year despite having no inter-team-ial obligations to come. Kirk came with me, for he does have team-ial loyalty to think of and also, I won’t go to Brooklyn alone at night anymore.
It’s at a bar in outer Williamsburg—Union Pool—which used to be either a swimming pool supply store or a storage facility for billiards tables or an actual swimmingpool that magically now looks like a shitty Williamsburg bar. Who knows. I went to this place like two years ago when I was out looking to get drunk and hooked up but Union Pool did neither of those things for me then. I never went back.
We got there bright and early since it was first-come-first-trapezed and Will Hines, a trapezey veteran, said it gets mad crowded. The earlier DeCoster-less show was still going on when we got there so we positioned ourselves out of the way of the exitting crowd but in a prime “we were here first” area. One couple in the courtyard seemed to be practicing a Vaudeville routine; I highly anticipated seeing it 1000 feet up in the air.
Will forgot to mention the shows regularly start VERY LATE. Like Jonathan Richman concert late. We waited over an hour before the house was open and even then there were no chairs… one row was set aside for the elderly parents of some of the performers and the injured (trapeze casualties!?) and a crazy woman who was yammering to herself. No one wanted to take the seats so we crammed in close to the back room… a garage-like space connected to the main bar with maybe 25’ ceilings and a hard cement floor with a 2” gymnastics mat in the center of the room above which hung 3 jerry-rigged trapezes. The show was undecorated… no “theme” this year unlike previous “Under the Sea” and “Card Sharks (the TV Game Show)” themed events I had seen photos and costume scraps of.
The show was hosted by what Kirk said was a bearded lady and I thought was a preternaturally high-voiced hippie man who was involved in some other fringe circus/burlesque waste of time. Time management was a little off at the event, as if the endless wait to get in hadn’t tipped their hand, as between each act trapezes were raised, lowered, adjusted, secured, etc. for 10 minutes.
Most of the acts were impressive enough… an ironic 80s hit played and various tattooed woment dangled and twisted on the ropes and bars of the slightly swaying trapeze. One girl did a little bit of flair and took a shot hanging upside down and then lit a cigarette while perch on the bar. One had a slightly Belly-dance themed bit. There were two girls who had feathery tops and did a bit of a chickeny head-bob and some flappy wing motions to a techno mix with “turkey in the straw” as played by Mr. Softee as a predominant sample.
Then came DeCoster… no frills, black unitard, Bowie’s “Under Pressure” comes on and he procedes to demonstrate without a doubt he’s the strongest man in the room by supporting his entire weight by his arm, foot, back of ankle, nape of neck, wrist as he dangles and sometimes FREE FALLS from the top of the ropes to within an inch of the rubber mat (the pompadour touching it). He had a death-stare of intensity and sometimes the labored look of a man having his arms ripped out of the sockets… no winking to the audience… this shit is HARD. You can hear a pin drop during the stunts, except for Crazy Woman in the seats who says “It’s HIM It’s HIM It’s HIM” over and over again like she’s just seen Christ’s face manifest in a three-bean salad . “Under Pressure” is crescendoing, Matt makes his final insane dismount onto the mat and the crowd EXPLODES. Non-stop chearing. The Man-Woman hosting breathlessly emotes, “Usually I’m pretty happy with who I am but right now I want to be MATT DECOSTER.”