Thought Residency: Erin Ball

Thought Residency: Erin Ball


Hi. I am in my car, ah, so this might sound horrible but if I don’t do this now I am not sure when I will have time. I am heading to the airport and then off for busy several days. Umm, and I think that this is my last,  umm, thought for the Spiderweb Show, ah, so I have been thinking about the benefits and why this has been so great, ahh, sharing my thoughts and recording my thoughts this month. It has helped me to realize that I say ahh and umm a lot (laughing). Umm, it’s helped me with confidence. Umm, today I gave a talk in front of a fairly large group of people and I did it pretty much unscripted which, I don’t know if I have ever done. Umm, this month sharing my thoughts in this way I’ve done it all unscripted and I think that’s just been really good practice. In addition, having the time to check in, to notice what my thoughts are, to process my thoughts. It’s been really helpful and it’s been a wonderful experience and I want to thank everybody who has listened and thank you so much to the Spiderweb Show for having me. Bye.


Tonight I am thinking about an experience that I had today with a young child, ah, about a year and a half old. And watching the moment of realization, umm, when that child, ahh, noticed that I have prosthetic legs. And just, ahh, observing the sheer non-judgemental curiosity is so interesting to me and it’s an experience that I have had a few times with, umm, young children. And I always love the interactions with children. And then it always brings me to thinking about how opposite it with adults and how many behaviours we have learned and picked up along the way. And, ahh, it’s such a contrast. That’s what I am thinking about.


Hi. This morning I am thinking about how I used to really value being early, for myself. It was something that was really important to me. And over the last few years, having 4 or 5 days a week that are 12-15 hour work days (laughing) has shifted me into a person that is late and I am trying to wrap my head around this. (Laughing) Again I am late with my thoughts. Ah, I am also thinking about how this is preparing me for a new project that I am taking on that involves me being onstage with umm, many lines. So that’s great. And that’s what I am thinking about.


I am thinking about how my life is extremely full, ahh, of really great things but I actually don’t have thirty seconds (laughing) to, ahh, process and record and think about my thoughts sometimes and I am almost a full twenty four hours late with my thoughts. And that’s what I am thinking about.


Today I am thinking about the contrast between a long weekend and time not working and over scheduling myself, uhh, 13, 14 hour days. No space for umm a lot of processing thoughts, ahh, and that is what I am thinking about.


Hi, it’s a long weekend and I am thinking about how I almost forgot, ah, to do this. I am also thinking about how wonderful it’s been to have sun for most of the weekend and I am thinking about why people need to be such jerks. When given the opportunity and the space to be honest, I don’t understand why some people opt not to. And I know I am being vague but I guess what it comes down to is when you have the opportunity to not hurt somebody, I don’t understand why you would make the opposite choice. And that is what I am thinking about.


Today I am thinking about how taking one morning off each week has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself. Uhh, giving myself time to organize my schedule, catch up on emails, umm, just organize myself mentally, wrap my head around all of the different projects that are coming up, umm, it’s been really great. And that’s what I am thinking about.


I have been thinking a lot about thoughts since I’ve been doing this project. And it’s interesting how much they change throughout the day and how much they are influenced by my feelings. This morning I was thinking about how nice it was to be up so early and how quiet it was and calm. And then in the middle of the day I was consumed with sadness and heartache. And then tonight I was thinking, uhh, about excitement and new projects and umm, yeah, how great it is to be involved in an awesome community.


Hi again. Today I am thinking about when I was on the TV set last week, umm, and how interesting it is to be a beginner and new. Ah, I don’t think I have heard ever in (laughing) my life as many times in a few hours “Erin don’t ever do that again” Uhh, I felt like I just kept making mistake after mistake. Umm, it was a great experience but in my regular life I am kind of the boss and, ah, that was quite the contrast. So that’s what I am thinking about today.


Erin again. Today I am thinking about sun and spring, business, deep tiredness. I’m thinking a lot about the vulnerability of recording my voice. I write a lot, I put it out there a lot and for some reason this feels much more vulnerable and I can’t quite place it just yet.


Hi it’s Erin again. I know that there are a lot of really horrible things, ah, in life and the world and just for this moment I am, umm, not focusing on those. And I am thinking about the randomness and awesomeness that sometimes is life. Umm, this week I am going to be on my first TV set and I have also been asked to write about an adaptive sailing event. Two completely different scenarios that I feel pretty unqualified for, umm, but I am super excited…to experience.


Hi it’s Erin. Today I am thinking about paying Disabled people. When a non-disabled person and a Disabled person do the same amount of work for the same amount of time, and one person gets paid quite well and the Disabled person gets paid next-to-nothing, as if, like ah, I don’t know, ” here you go, thanks so much for volunteering your time, of-course-you-don’t-work” kind of way, this is bullshit. That’s all.


Hi, it’s Erin. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. I am thinking about nervousness at doing something new. And excitement and how similar they are, yet one, I seek, and the other feels icky. I’m also thinking about how movement helps with nervousness and particularly being upside down. And I am currently in a handstand trying to think (a bit of giggling)



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About the Author

Erin Ball is a circus artist and coach based in Kingston, Ontario and she is the owner of Kingston Circus Arts. She is mainly an aerialist but also does some hand balancing and ground acrobatics. She took a year off in March 2014 due to life changing events that resulted in the loss of her lower legs. She has since returned to her passion of training, coaching and performing. She loves adapting and creating new/different ways of executing skills. Erin loves to move and to connect with others through movement. She has worked with many diverse groups of people. She developed a workshop and manual in 2017, called Flying Footless, a course for aerial coaches working with amputees and aimed at increasing accessibility in circus arts in general. She travels internationally to teach workshops to the Disability community and to coaches who want to work adaptively. Erin also hosts yearly amputee circus camps in Kingston, Ontario. Erin has many current artistic projects, including her company LEGacy Circus with Vanessa Furlong, various aerial and ground works, and experimental audio description projects (to make circus more accessible to the blind community). Erin regularly collaborates with artists from across Canada and the US, including Femmes du Feu, Heidi Latsky Dance, Anandam Dance, Alex Bulmer, Michele Frances, and many more. Find out more about Erin’s classes and performances at and