Caikachu | Casey Gottlieb
My name is Casey Gottlieb. I was born in Los Angeles, CA and currently reside in Appleton, WI. I’m a hooper, a business-man, and a ‘metalhead’ all wrapped into one. I enjoy the little things in life – like coffee, sunshine & sarcasm. My hobbies include binge-watching nature documentaries, crafting pointless nicknacks, and being over-the-top. I also love swimming in the ocean, long-boarding and playing the ukulele.
When did you begin your journey into the flow arts, and how were you inspired to start?
- I went to my first festival about 4 years ago and I saw a girl hooping in the crowd. I was immediately captivated & mesmerized by her flow, so I decided I’d give it a shot. I bought a couple hoops from Walmart, emptied the water, & duct-taped them together. I spent a year or so practicing with it, but not as often as I would have hoped. About 2 years ago, I made a commitment to enhance my skills and practice on a more regular basis. I believe that is when I started to develop a flow – and since then, the flow arts have consumed my life in all the best ways!
Why do you love the experience of performing?
- Firstly I love to hoop! Performing is a way I could make Hooping into a career! Plus I love being on stage showing off my talent that I have worked very hard to polish. I love to jam out and bring a different kind of energy to the crowd! Plus all the amazing people you get to encounter along the way.
How has being a part of the flow community touched your life? How can the flow community make an impact and how do you see yourself being a part of it?
- As a child, I struggled with accepting myself for who I am. I was always the kid picked last in gym class & picked on for not being the traditional ‘manly’ man. I also struggled, and continue to struggle with depression, anxiety, and self-confidence. I believe that the flow arts has completely changed my life for the better. I’m no longer afraid to put myself out there, accepting myself for who I am, and my confidence has increased significantly. Specifically, I believe the positive feedback I’ve received has changed my mindset and makes me an all-around better person. I think the flow community can impact any and every person what wants to be a part of it, in a positive way. When you involve yourself in the flow arts, you automatically gain friendships and allies that you would never expect. Kids especially, can be impacted the most. I’m always so happy to see that children are my biggest fans at performances, and I like to think that I inspire the next generation to become the best people that they can be, and open their minds to believe they can be whoever they want to be.
In a nutshell, how would you describe your unique style of flow? Are there artists or dance styles that you take inspiration from?
- Energetic and powerful, yet graceful and windy. I like to use tech, but I also like to get glitchy & squiggly. I’ve recently been trying to draw my inspiration from hip hop dance, circus arts & belly dancing.
What are your main props/specialties?
- I bought my first hula hoop almost 4 years ago, but didn’t really dedicate my time to it until about 2 years ago. So when I’m asked, I always tell people I’ve been hooping for 2 years on a consistent basis. I also enjoy using other props, such as the wand, buugeng, or anything that I can set on fire! My passion, however, is within my circles. I specialize in single hoop flow, whether it’s with a day hoop, LED hoop, or fire hoop. I’ve started to expand my interest into multiple hoop flow as well.
Where do you like to practice the most?
- Living in the Midwest, I’m obviously limited to certain spaces during the cold Winter months. I also tend to work a lot – making my living room my favorite flow space. I’ve essentially converted my living room & backyard to my personal hoop areas! During the warmer months, I really enjoy bringing my props to local parks, downtown, and really anywhere with inspiring surroundings.
Are you a part of a flow community or flow meet-up? Are there any local flow gatherings near you?
- Yes, I participate in a monthly flow jam near the Madison area. Unfortunately, this is the closest flow meet-up I’ve been able to find. However, I also try to meet up with flow artists in my area as much as possible. I’m a part of several groups on Facebook, where people (including myself) will often try spur-of-the-moment flow meet-ups at local parks or downtown public areas. Not to mention, most of my friends are involved with some type of flow art. So, I’m constantly learning, teaching, and inspiring others whenever possible. I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by such awesome flowmies!
What has 2016 been for you in terms of going to festivals, retreats, workshops, events, burns, etc?
- Just this year, I was accepted as an on-stage performer at UpNorth Festival – where I met a TON of amazing performers, DJ’s, and artists. Another one of my favorites – I performed in a fire circle for Ganja White Night earlier this year along side one of your sponsored artists – Sophie Spakowicz and many other local flow ‘celebs.’ I was a featured performance artist at 2 local art and farmers markets, with plans to make it a monthly gig in 2017. I also have several more opportunities in the next coming weeks to perform at local venues including: a burlesque show next weekend, an on-stage performer at Bogtrotter, a fire performer for an overnight electronic show, and an on-stage performer for a New Years Eve show.
At which festivals/events/retreats can you be found in 2017?
- You can catch me at many local events in the Fox Cities. I’ll be performing at The Draw in Appleton for various weekly/monthly events such as Dark Arts, Ladies Night, and hopefully others that are in the works. I’ll also be performing at several Appleton Farmers Markets, Mile Of Music Festival in Appleton, and again at Bazaar After Dark. Several performances are coming up in the Milwaukee area as part of Faceless Future Collective including the monthly psychedelic bass event, Ubuntu Experience, hosted by DeerSkin. In addition, I’ll be applying to several festivals this year including UpNorth Music & Arts Festival, Summer Camp, Infrasound, Imagine Festival, and any others that catch my eye.
Are you an active performer?
- I am a relatively active performer. Any opportunity I can find to perform, I will take it – regardless of payment. Just this year, I was accepted as an on-stage performer at UpNorth Festival, I performed in a fire circle for Ganja White Night, and participated in several local performances. I was a featured performance artist at 2 local art and farmers markets, even making the local news! I also have several more opportunities in the next coming weeks to perform at local venues including: a burlesque show next weekend, an on-stage performer at Bogtrotter, and a fire performer for an overnight electronic show. Please see below for a few links:
Where do you aim to hone your skills in 2017? Have you taken on any new props or specialties recently?
- I would definitely like to improve my abilities with multiple hoop flow and levi wand. I’ve also begun to gain interest in buugeng and I’m hoping to experiment with fans in the very near future.