Monday, September 26, 2016

Stunt man classes $$ 🎓 💪💪

Ever want to  learn how to do a stunt fall - falling 20+ ft onto a giant air bag?   Or how to survive a staged hit by a car?  Perhaps you want to look fly though the air (on or off a wire) just like your favorite kung fu movie?

Then a stunt man class is for you.  The High Falls class is the reasonably priced, but if you want the really cool stuff it gets expensive.   It's pretty easy to do, and while physical, it doesn't require you to be in good shape.   Very interesting and fun.

They also do trampoline classes - perfect if you want to learn how to do a flip.  Note, many of these classes are more athletic, the high falls class is the only 💪💪 one.  The other stuff is often very tiring, takes a lot of muscle.  Consider them 💪💪💪

High Falls is not as scare as it sounds, after all, all you do is jump/fall, so it is hard for you to screw things up as long as the bag is properly inflated.   The Trampoline is a bit less safe - a bad bounce could send you off the trampoline or into something or someone - don't have two people on it at the same time.

I did not take the 'get hit by car' class.

It's fun and something most people never actually do.

This tends toward male, but a lot of women like it as well.   You have to be older than 10 years old (at least for the cool stuff).  They do parties for kids / business events.

Is this going to make you the next Heidi Moneymaker? (Google her IMDB page, very impressive) Probably not.  But you can have a lot of fun doing it.

You want sneakers.  No sandals.

I took classes in Brooklyn here:

Monday, September 19, 2016

Blacksmithing $$ 🎓 💪💪

You can take blacksmithing classes in Brooklyn.    Full forge, you can make everything from jewelry to knives.  Welding, furniture, sculpture, tools, and all sorts of practical stuff.

I made some art, a small axe head, and an ice cream spoon that WILL NOT BEND no matter how cold and hard the ice cream.   The spoon is by far my favorite - I use it all the time.

It's fairly easy to do, if a bit expensive if you want more than one day workshop.  But you can get single lessons for less than $100.   It takes some muscle, but not a huge amount.

Gender at the female taught school I attended was balanced, but I could see a more masculine group via a more masculine teacher.  Especially if it focused on weapons or armor - so if you find your teacher at a Ren Faire, don't be surprised if it is mostly men.   It was more of an older crowd, with most people in their 40s but a few younger people as well.  They teach kids as young as 12.
Clothing is important - there will be hot sparks flying places and you don't want it to land on a bare toe, arm, or worse a flamable piece of clothing. 

I was taught by Marsha Trattner, of "She-Weld", in Red Hook Brooklyn.   I found her via The School of Visual Arts.

Here is some information about her classes:

Monday, September 12, 2016

Trapeze $ 🎓🎓 💪💪💪

There are two types of trapeze - the 'flying' one which involves multiple trapezes and large swings, and the static trapeze that is more acrobatic.  This post is mostly about the flying Trapeze.

The static trapeze is similar to doing yoga while in the air.   It's fun, but everything get's better when you start swinging.
Everyone knows about "The Daring Young Men on the Flying Trapeze".  You climb up a rope ladder, grab hold of a swing, swing out then get grabbed by a more experienced person, stronger person on another trapeze.  Then they let you go and you fall into a hammock like net.  I think of it as a more grown up version of the playground equipment.

They start you out with a safety harness.   In my opinion, it's safer than being driven somewhere in a NYC taxi.

It takes some muscle, takes a bit of work to learn how, but it is cheap - if still on the high side of cheap to try.  If you weigh more than 205 lbs or so, it becomes more problematic but not impossible to do.

It tends toward a younger crowd - mostly 20's and 30's.  They take kids as young as 6 - they even offer birthday parties.  It trends a bit more female than male, but there are plenty of men.

The scariest part is actually climbing up the ladder to the platform for the flying trapeze.  Once you actually get on the trapeze, everything happens so fast that you don't have time to be scared.  If you are nervous but not terrified of heights, this is a good intermediate step to cure you.  I came away with less fear of heights than I had after.

I had a lot of fun.

My first flying trapeze lessons were taken at:
 They have schools in four other major cities, so check out the link even if you don't live in NYC.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Watch Making $$$ 🎓🎓🎓 💪

I am talking about the old style analog, mechanical gear watches here, not the electronic versions.

Analog watches are complex arrangements of gears, springs, and an escapement to slow down the transfer of energy from the spring to the gears.

They get built by hand.  You can learn how to do it.  It's very finicky work, but you come away with a really nice watch.  It's not easy, can be very frustrating, nor is it cheap.  But it doesn't take much muscle.

You get to pick what the watch looks like - skeleton versions that show 'the action' are popular - and what gems to use as friction-less pivots.

You also come away with a whole set of interesting tools for micro work.  For me, that was a plus.

My class was small (3 people) 100% male, and all adults, no senior citizens.  It's a nerdy hobby.   Kids could do it, except it's expensive.

Even fifty years ago, NYC was a major center for watch making.  It's still cheaper to buy a watch on the streets of NYC than most places, but few people are making them by hand anymore.   It's a great hobby if you can deal with the extremely delicate, fussy bits.

I took classes here: