Leap of faith
Chinese-American trapeze artist Will Hsu, 31, says his favorite quote is about taking risks: “Leap and the net will appear.” Indeed, it’s his leap of faith that’s allowed him to open the first trapeze school in the country.
Born and raised in the United States, Hsu learned about the art of trapeze performance from summer camps he attended when he was 7 years old.
“I learned how to unicycle first and the next year, when I returned, I started flying,” he recalls. “I would often travel to Los Angeles and other places during the winters to train. When I left for college, I managed a few flying trapezes which helped me pay for school.”
He now calls Manila home, actively teaching at his school, Flying Trapeze Philippines.
He attests that trapeze training is one of the best workouts one could have—not only does it increase upper body and core strength, but it also boosts flexibility.
But its biggest appeal is the thrill of flying. Hsu has coached students as young as 4 and as old as 80.
“Backstage Pass” asks Hsu how he keeps looking fresh on and off the rigs.
The right partners
I thought of opening a trapeze school here because… it’s always been my main hobby, and I love to fly. When I moved to Asia, I searched around but there weren’t any rigs around. It took a while to find the right place and partners, but Bonifacio Global City and Avida were very supportive of my vision and eager to introduce something new.
My goal is to… allow everyone to experience what it’s like to fly on the trapeze. It’s my love and passion and brings me so much joy that I just want everyone to experience it.
If I have to describe myself in three words… organized, passionate, determined.
My training ground for flying started… at Independent Lake Camp with trapeze legend Jackie Tan.
What I love most about flying is… forgetting about everything for that brief moment when you’re up in the air.
Most interesting people
The most interesting people I’ve encountered at the flying trapeze are… a group of elderly students (ages 50+) that would come regularly to the trapeze in Boston. They would always share funny stories with me at 25 ft up in the air before they took off.
My favorite reaction from guests after trying the trapeze is… either “That was so much fun!” or “Can I do that again?”
When I’m not teaching… I’m still working. I own a few other companies including a PR and digital marketing agency.
My shower staples are… generic soap and shampoo. I’m using Dove bar soap at the moment. My shampoo and conditioner is TreSemmé.
My fail-safe grooming products are… Clinique Men’s Shaving Gel. I’m very particular about that because my skin is really sensitive. Old Spice roll-on deodorant, though I’ve recently run out of it so I’ve been using Dove Men. Bench Fix Clay Doh for hair, Paula’s Choice face lotion (my sister insists that I use this) and any sunblock I can find. I’m currently using Coppertone Sport. Shaving razors are all Gillette Mach 3, though I don’t shave that often and tend to use electric trimmers instead. Toothpaste is Colgate Total. Nothing else, really, besides an old bottle of Armani Acqua Di Gio cologne.
When grooming myself, I spend the most time… shaving. I shave maybe once or twice a week and often wear hats so I don’t really fix my hair.
My grooming regimen… isn’t that complicated. I normally just hop into the shower, use whatever is there, dry off, toss on some face lotion, Pond’s Men, and put on either a hat or wax my hair. If I’m going to be outside, I’ll put on sunblock, either Coppertone or Nivea.
At night, no matter how late I get home… I always have to take a shower and brush my teeth.
It’s easy enough to find a scent that smells good, and less easy to choose one that actually fits your style. Try Will’s favorite fragrance, Acqua Di Gio Homme. It is light and clean, with a
hint of satinwood that’ll turn heads even in the daytime.
Acqua Di Gio Homme 100 ml retails at P5,000, and P4,000 for 50 ml. For the latest in Armani fragrances, you might want to try Giorgio Armani Code Ice. It’s a cool and icy interpretation of the original men’s fragrance Armani Code from 2006. “Backstage Pass” loves its perky, clean freshness of cotton-crisp notes. Giorgio Armani Code Ice 75 ml retails at 4,700, and 50 ml for P3,800. Sold in Rustan’s, SM, Landmark and Metro Gaisano Department Stores.
Follow Will Hsu and Flying Trapeze Philippines on Instagram @willysneakz and @trapezeph. Flying Trapeze Philippines is at 34th St. and 9th Ave. (just behind the soccer turf in Ayala’s new Active Zone), Bonifacio Global City; 0917-2420331; trapeze.ph; facebook.com/trapezeph.
Will’s choice products are available at Watsons and Rustan’s Department stores.