6 Ways to Live a Playful Life


6 Ways to Live a Playful Life
How Big is Your Playground?

“Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” ~ Dr. Suess

Play is training for unconventional and creative living. One could say play is a radical act – for adults! When we allow ourselves to live as authentically playful beings, we stand out from the crowd, from the ways we, and others, are expected to be.

As we grow up, we lose our spontaneity and freedom. Look at how children behave. They twirl around street posts and skip over lines while the rest of us walk straight down the sidewalk. They dance carefree to a busker’s music while the rest of us stand and watch. They engage strangers like friends while we offer only a generic courtesy. They speak up fully and emotionally, while we keep our voices and emotions in check. They dream up ideas such as being a butterfly and flying across the sky, while we limit life to what’s “realistic” and practical. They colour monkies purple, when we only know brown. Clearly their playground is much bigger than ours!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain Continue reading

Co-op Street Fair Sat Aug 11th!

Co-op2012 Street Fair poster

Tomorrow (SATURDAY AUG 11!) Come Play with Us! FREE FAMILY EVENT! Mid Island Co-op Family Fun Fair! 11:00 to 3:00, VestaFire Entertainment, UnReality Magic .ca, Auntie Bobbie, Fire Trucks, Bouncy Castles, FacePainting, Kool and Child, and More! 2517 Bowen Road. Fire show 1:30 pm!

Circus Fun summer camp Aug 7-10

Hot off the heels of the super successful Brave Girls camp, VestaFire is excited to be offering another half day summer camp through Nanaimo Parks and Recreation! Wondering what we do in our classes?

Click here to see a video of our childrens’ circus class!!

We only need a few more registered in order to run the program! It runs Tues-Friday 1:00 to 4:00 reg # 108649

Circus Fun Childrens’ Camps
Children 8-12 yrs (Nanaimo)
Aug 7-10

Run away and join the circus and still be home for dinner! This fun-filled childrens’ circus camp teaches exciting skills which will motivate and challenge your child. Instruction focuses on non-competitive skill development and performance presence. Children ages 8-12 will learn to hoop, staff, juggle, and spin poi, all while having tremendous amounts of fun. Parents are invited to enjoy the show on the last class. All equipment necessary is provided.

Instructor: Karina

Registration through Nanaimo Parks and Recreation. 250-756-5200 Registration number 108649


Vancouver Island MusicFest July 6-8 2012

Greetings! VestaFire has been very busy with gigs and fire shows this season! We are currently performing fire shows at the Parksville Beach Festival throughout the summer- July 26, July 28th, Aug 4th, Aug 9th, and Aug 18th. We’ll also be down at the Nanaimo Marine Festival this Sat evening (July 21st) prior to the fireworks!

We are back from another fabulous year with Vancouver Island Music Festival! The festival completely sold out this year! We performed roving entertainment all three evenings, and hosted a circus workshop on Saturday morning.

Here are some pictures of our costumes: we brought the Elements series, The Checkered series, the Spirals, and the Banshee! Continue reading

Circus Summer Camps in Nanaimo!

VestaFire Entertainment is once again pleased to offer a number of Circus and Circus/Arts themed camps in Nanaimo this summer!

All Camps are for ages 8-13 yrs.

Summer Camps!


Aug 7-Aug 10 2012, 1:00- 4:00 pm

Half Day Circus Fun Summer Camp – Reg number 108649 in the Nanaimo Parks and Recreation guide!

Description:  Run away and join the circus and still be home for dinner! This camp is perfect for the performer in your family. Children will learn to juggle, spin poi and staff, and hoop it up. We’ll also create costumes and learn some basic acrobatics. All supplies included.

Continue reading

When you are three

Big steps
We had to walk up these HUGE steps. Up, up, up, up to get to our bungalo.  The wood steps at the end were almost as tall as me.   That was a place before, and now there are only little steps.
Odd bathrooms

In some bathrooms the whole room is like a shower with a drain in the corner of the wall.  The sink just drains onto the floor and the toilet doesn’t have a place to sit, just spots for your feet.

Cold showers
The water for the shower is REALLY REALLY cold.  I scream a lot so Daddy will turn off the water.   The shower we have now has hot water and I don’t scream so much. 
Being called Chicken
On Koh Phangan, some people there started calling me Chicken because Dad says my name sort of sounds like that to them.  At first it made me mad and I growled at them, but later I think they just got confused, so I set them straight by continually telling them that “no, I’m just a kid!”.  Grown- ups get confused easily so reminders help. 
Digging in the beach
At the beach I like to dig.  I make a pile and the waves wash it away.  I make another pile and the waves wash that away.  I do this for hours until its time to go for dinner. 
There are many VERY BIG and many bugs here so Mommy and Daddy spray me with bug juice to keep them away.  It makes me stink so the bugs don’t eat me.   Sometimes they bite me anyway and I get itchy. 
I take a pill because some of the flying bugs have germs that could make me sick.  I don’t know what the big deal is with swallowing a pill.   It’s kind of like food, except you’re not supposed to chew it first.  Then it’s yucky.
Mom and Dad say there are lots of germs here.  Germs are little bugs that you can’t see.  If you can’t see them, I have noidea how the grown-ups can tell they are there, but sometimes grown-ups are weird.  Anyway, they want to give me hand sanitizer all the time and it stings my cuts but gets the little bugs I can’t see.

Is this Thailand or are we on earth?
I keep asking Dad if this is Thailand or if this is earth.  He keeps saying that Thailand is on earth, just like Canada, but it’s so different I don’t really believe him.  Plus, we’ve been traveling so long, this can’t be earth any more.

Where we are now there’s a place we walk passed that smells really bad.  I call it the Dump, but Dad says it’s just a garbage can.  Sometimes there is a dog standing on the top eating part of it.  We need to walk really fast to make the smell go away.
At the market where we get veggies some of the spots sell meat and other things.  I hold my breath or squeeze my nose to keep the smell out because it smells kind of like the Dump. 
Talking about anything
Sometimes nobody else is talking so I tell them stories about what I did earlier or explain to them that we’re in Thailand which is NOT Canada.  It’s so different I’m not sure it’s the same planet.  Or I make up a cool story about my toys and it’s really exciting.  The grown-ups think so too.
“now THIS is Thailand!”
When we’re walking around, I see things that look like Thailand so I shout out “now, THIS is Thailand!” so my parents and Jenna know we are finally here.   I’ve been on planes and cars and boats and trains and buses and song-towels [pick-ups with bench seats in the back] and tuk-tuks [motorcycle trikes] and long walks and every so often I think we finally get to where we are going.  This is a very long trip. 
Eggs and toast and pickles and ham
For breakfast I keep asking for eggs and toast and pickles and ham.  So far it hasn’t happened yet.  I don’t think Thailand has pickles.   Now I just ask for porridge, because they seem to know what that is.
Strangers touching my face
When we walk around town, a lot of the people here want to touch my face.  They reach down (seemingly out of nowhere) and feel my cheeks or my chin.  I don’t like it, and since they don’t speak English, I just growl at them and try to turn away.  My parents ask me to try to be nice and use my words, but I don’t like strangers touching my face.  And besides, they don’t speak English, and I don’t speak Thai.  Growling works.
Taking everything in stride
There are lots of changes because “this is Thailand, not Canada”, so I need to do things differently.   So far I think I’m doing pretty well. 

Koh Samui

Well, We’re on a boat.. a passenger ferry between koh samui and the mainland, where we’ll be be catching a bus to the train station, then overnight train to bangkok. What a busy past few days we have had!
We were up bright and early on Thursday morning and said goodbye to the rustic bungalow where we had been staying for the past weeks. Our hosts Min and Eck took such good care of us, and loved the kids to bits. The Muay Thai boxing training camp at Horizon was a great place for us- up above the heat and mugginess of the valley and coconut grove, it often had a breeze off the ocean and the mozzies were not as bad as down below. Plus, there was the view! 🙂
The whole troupe (including all our stuff!) loaded onto two speedboats and zipped across the water, leaving Koh Phangan behind and arriving on Koh Samui about a half an hour later. Much better than the 5 or 6 hours it would have taken by public transportation- worth the 1000 bht in time saved.
We arrived safely and was met at the docks by Ruth, a friend of andrea’s who works for a posh hotel. We were delivered via van to the staff accommodation for the hotel, were we were delighted to be issued rooms for free. They were basic but clean and well kept, with hard beds but showers and toilettes and air conditioning, horray!
I was feeling ill (travellers) so stayed with Caden, while the rest of the troupe had a quick change into their day clown costumed and headed out to Temple School to teach workshops with the kids and perform the day show. Kevin went with them and a great time was had by all, and Jenna is writing her blog about the day as I type. 🙂
After a long day for the troupe, they came back to the dorms and we were delivered food, from the hotel. I was feeling better as well, so after we all showered and had a quick relax, we then dressed in our black and reds and were picked up and brought to the Posh resort to perform a fire show.

Hello Thailand,

Blog entry #1
We’ve had such an interesting week full of adventure and culture shock- lots of things are very different here from what we are used to!

Our time in Phuket was filled with hanging at the pool, getting our sleeping patterns adjusted, and a few touristy activities such as visiting the Big Buddha and riding elephants. We had a great time staying at a posh hotel for a few days!

We then flew to Ko Samui and spent a night there. It rained quite hard but we had a great time exploring the markets and jumping in puddles.
We caught the Catamaran passenger ferry to Ko Phangan, taxied to Haad Rin and then by long tail to Haad Tien, which his where we are now.

Haad Tien is a pink coral beach with a few restraunts and resorts nestled around the beach and up into the hills. The bungalow that was available for us was a bit sketchy by western standards- holes in the thatch roof, thai style squat toilet, no hot water, etc. and it was pouring rain. We were able to secure a much nicer bungalow for the same price two days later, and we are happy to stay here for the next week.

The family that runs this resort (the Horizon Muay Thai Boxing camp) is very friendly and loves the kids- in fact, all the Thai people have been incredible with the kids! They always come up and ask their names, how old they are, etc. Caden has decided that he loves the attention (most of the time) and will give them his “cute look” which always causes a reaction.
We assumed the kids would be the most adaptable, but the heat is getting to us all a little bit. It’s also muggy, and though most times there is a nice breeze at our hillside bungalow, it is still very humid and we are all feeling very sticky. Swimming at dusk seems to be a recurring theme for us. The water feels warmer then and it is less busy. Also refreshes us from the hot days.

Kevin has made a run into town today to grab some essentials, including a data plan for the iPad (and thus the first blog entry) and talc which the Thai people use many times a day to keep fresh. The overland road is a 4×4 only affair, and due to the sandy soil, gets washed out quite regularly. The owner of our resort needed to do a supply run of his own so didn’t mind the extra baggage.

Caden has a bit of a cold and so hasn’t been his normal chipper self and there has been lots of whining. 😦 But we are hoping! he’s on the mend and have been letting him sleep in the hammock as much as possible. Jenna also hasn’t been functioning at 100%, but did do a good practice burn with her (2 wick) fire hoop yesterday. She will continue using LED for performances for the next while until she gets more experience with the fire hoop.

The highlight of the trip had been hooking up with the SparkCircus team! We have been super busy choreoing our individual and group routines. Our first show is on Thursday, so we’ve only had 3 days to prepare. I’m excited to be working with such a diverse bunch of talent- all are amazing!

See me in action!

I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with electronic DJ/Producer John Straathof for the past season. We’ve been collecting footage of some of my live performances and he’s edited together a short video with one of his original songs from his upcoming CD. I’m so excited to share this with you all!

Swing by his website for a listen to a full set. He’s planning an amazing CD release party of brand new material in March and you know that VestaFire will be there!


John (aka Notch 21) is also in the middle of filming his first video! He’s incorporating VestaFire’s Banshee costume, (which we unveiled this Halloween), into some inspiring animation to produce a video of unique creative vision. I’m so excited to be working with him on this project. Stay tuned for a sneak peak of the Banshee footage- I can’t wait to see the finished project!

We’re off to Thailand early next week, I look forward to sharing my experience with you all via this blog. And please do share! 🙂