We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Giesbrecht and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Megan, how do you think about risk?
Risk taking really defines one’s priorities. Every decision we make sits on a scale and each of our internal scales is unique to our lives: personality, family values, personal history, and our own sense of self all sit on the scale. We take each new choice and we set it on the scale to see if the risk of doing outweighs the risk of not. I think sometimes we forget that inaction is a choice, with its own consequences as well. Often things that weigh heavy on my scale are the health and safety of my daughter, trying to look at the decision as if from my future self, and the joy it will bring in the present and future. Things like money (or rather money in excess of basic needs) and prestige hold very little weight for me. For example, I’ll gladly be thrown many meters into the air only to be caught by a small group of humans across a stage, but will not sky dive. Both are risky, yes, but one holds joy while the other does not. Therefore the risk of doing acrobatics is balanced by the happiness it brings to my life, unlike skydiving. I think of this in terms of my business as well. Money is not a goal but a tool. Depending on what other tools I have at my disposal, as well as the fluctuating needs of my family, may mean at any given moment I can be more or less risky. As soon as you accept that money holds no inherent value, it becomes a lot less scary to use as a means to create your future.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a 31 year old, single mom, touring circus artist. I remember being scared. My life scared me. I scared me.
By 25 I had graduated from university, was married, was mother to a beautiful toddler, owned a home, and had everything else one is told to strive for. The thing I lacked was any sense of self. I remember one day it dawned on me that I couldn’t remember the last time I was happy. I couldn’t even remember anything that made me feel joy. I did many things and loved none of them. A therapist asked me where the last place I felt I belonged was and almost immediately my mind was brought back to my younger days, covered in chalk and sweat in a hot gym. I hadn’t moved much after stopping acrobatics as a young teen and certainly not much after graduating college, but that day I arranged to go and train with a local acrobatics group. I began to move and my body began to remember its strength. That question from my therapist changed the course of my life. It marked the beginning of the most challenging years of my life. But each hardship overcome added to the slowly growing list of strengths I possessed that I had no idea existed within me: the ability to ask for help, to weather stressors, to cut living costs, to work hard when tired, to parent more presently, to find peace within even in chaos. These challenges revealed to me that I am a capable navigator of my life. This is something I always keep in mind as I make life choices for my daughter and myself. There are many things we (especially women, especially mothers, especially single mothers) are told we *can’t* do. But regardless of who says these things, it is my choice to heed the advice of others over my own understanding of my abilities. At 25 I never imagined that I would have worked two jobs to move to LA with my two year old daughter to pursue a career in circus, that I’d work for years to get noticed by my dream company, that we would survive a golbal pandemic and a shattered foot by opening an online teaching business, that I would perform on some of the biggest contemporaty arts stages in the world, that I could homeschool my daughter while touring the world while running my company. I never imagined them because I did not think I was capable. I know now that I am. I wish I could say that I was no longer afraid, but that would be a lie. I still suffer from self doubts, anxiety, and worries about the future. The difference is now I know that I am capable of navigating through all the crazy things life throws our way.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Are we in Los Angeles? Our home is a suitcase now! If I was in Los Angeles I would sleep with the curtains open and get woken up by the sun. I’m not sure why this is such a good memory of LA for me, but I swear the sun shines brighter and happier there! I’d then meet up with my freind and bike to Cogniscenti Coffee on Washington. It’s the best coffee in the city (fight me on this one) and the people who work there are fantastic. After being apropriately caffinated I’d head over to MV Grab and Go on Venice and get a breakfast quesadilla. It is the supreme leader of breakfast foods. All others must bow down to the perfectly spicy cilantro creama of this quesadilla. Then I’d need a walk. I love to walk down Venice. Next to MV Grab and Go is a cool vintage shop, local grocery, and a bike shop run by a woman who has a daughter the same age as mine. If you’re walking West down Venice you’ll also come across Alana’s Coffee Roastery. Another gem. The coffee and stickers are fab and sometimes you can see the owner (a way too cool, tattooed, vintage Volgswagon driving, coffee lover) roasting the beans fresh! After a walk, and likely a little park play with my daughter down Wade (which south of Venice has…you guessed it…a great coffee place, Bear & Boy, near by) We’d bike to Santa Monica and sit out on The Green (Original Muscle Beach). Here you can find all kinds of movement people doing their thing. My daughter likes to balance on the balance beam and swing on the rings but for me (and probably my friend) it’s handstands and partner acro. If I’m being realistic we would probably stay all afternoon to watch the sun start to set. Then I’d walk to Lincoln and head South to get a burrito (from the guys in front of Whole Foods) or tacos from the guys across from Rite Aide. Eating phenomenal Mexican food on the filthy streets of Los Angeles while an influencer takes selfies on your right and someone talks loudly of their chakra misalignment on your left is a must. After that, we’d probably head over to a friend’s house to listen to strumming on the ukalale and play board games. This makes me miss LA.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The person I owe the most to in this life is my daughter. She has been the greatest catalyst in building the person I am and will become.

Website: acromegan.com

Instagram: @acromegan

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megan.vaughan2

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChiv0IZpwVpZc4QXmCIwe8w

Image Credits
Renee Choi David Tufino Darcy Grant Gravity and Other Myths Mireia Sala

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.