Hook Interview: Mike Coons

Mike Coons

HOOKED Suspension Team

Omaha, NE

MECCA host

What got you into hook suspension?

I remember seeing pictures of suspensions in the mid 90’s as I was going through my piercing apprenticeship. I was immediately intrigued. However, being from Omaha, it wasn’t something I ever thought I’d be able to actually do myself and, like a lot of people, assumed there was no way I’d be able to get through it if I did. Fast forward to 2004 and that all changed. The shop I was working for at the time was doing a grand-opening party for a new location and after plans started to come together , I heard there was going to be someone there doing suspensions and I jumped all over the chance. So I suspended 4pt suicide with 8g Mustads. And just like I’ve seen happen time and time again, I was immediately sure that this was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me. I remember walking back inside after coming down and just a blur of people congratulating me and friends/family standing there shaking their heads, and just feeling………, fuck, I don’t know how to say it to this day. Basically, “FUCK everything else, this is the most REAL thing I have ever done” One thing worth mentioning is, my brother Pat (my business partner in all things MECCA) was there for me the entire day. He was there keeping me calm before I took my hooks, walking me out to the stage, never leaving my side until he had to, but still right there for me to look at and right back at my side after coming down. I realized a lot that day and our relationship has never been stronger.

It was on that walk inside that I KNEW that I had to share this gift I’d been given was something that I had to share and tirelessly sought out education to become a practitioner. In 2004 this was not nearly as easy as it is today. After almost three years of searching I applied for and was approved for attendance to The Art of Human Suspension Seminar that was presented by Professional Piercing Information Systems (PPIS) and was taught by Allen Falkner, Erik Dakota and Jared Anderson. Upon completion of the 4 day course and attending the subsequent NorCal SusCon, I returned to Omaha and started the ball rolling on what would become HOOKED Suspension Team.

430088_375212972488860_363670574_n

 Are you part of a team?

I am the Founder and Director of HOOKED Suspension Team out of Omaha, NE. I am the host of MECCA SusCon with my partner (my brother Pat) in HOOKED Entertainment, LLC. I am an Executive Director of DisGraceLanD Entertainment. I am an extended member of CoRE. I would consider myself an “honorary” member of multiple other suspension teams. I am also on the workgroup tasked with the formation of the International Suspension Alliance (ISA)

What is your role?

As director I have found myself struggling with my role actually. When I started HOOKED, it was me and one other person, Monte. About once every two months, when we could talk someone into it, we throw hooks together, I would tie the rig, rig the person in and then run rope while coaching them, while Monte did bio and helped coach. I was involved in every aspect. That quickly grew out of our control, until I had to set regular meet dates and get some more help. Now HOOKED has 20+ members and we suspend 7-10+ people a day at our monthly meets. I have such an amazing team that one of my favorite things to do is to sit back and watch them do their jobs. But I do still enjoy throwing hooks and rigging and step in when needed. I find this bittersweet. I LOVE to watch my team work. They are so good at what they do and so passionate about it. I am more proud of them than almost anything else I have ever done. But watching them do their work means I get relegated to a more supervisory role and sometimes I long to just be worker bee. It’s not really a horrible problem to have, I know.Knees 2007

Tell me about your favorite suspension position?

To do myself, I would have to say my knees were my favorite to this day, although I was convinced that I was tearing and came down pretty much right away. My favorite to facilitate is a toss-up between a resurrection, which I feel is the single most aesthetically pleasing of all positions, and I first time suicide suspension. While I never dictate to a potential suspendee what they should try for their first time, I feel like a suicide is the best choice because of the freedom of movement that the position allows.

Nothing is better than watching that transformation from a normal human to someone who has flown. If you have never witnessed the change, watch a person’s eyes when they suspend for the first time. Something happens in their eyes at that exact moment that they “get it” that cannot be described, only witnessed.

Tell me about something you have struggled with?

With my weight, I have struggled with being comfortable on hooks. I have suspended multiple times and have never (even that first time) felt like I couldn’t have done more or stayed up longer. This is something that, more than anything, has made me change some lifelong habits and try to get myself into better shape.me 2011_edited-1

What do you enjoy about hook suspending?

I enjoy the release of energy. A lot of the suspension I have done have come at a point in my life when I was overwhelmed with negative energy. I have found no better way to “wipe the slate clean” and expel that negative bullshit than suspending. Above and FAR beyond that, I have met and become lifelong friends with some of the most amazing people to ever walk this earth. I find it an honor to call myself a member of the suspension community. I have taken a lot from it and it is my goal to give it all back tenfold.

The second added benefit is the travel. I have been to more places on this earth through suspension, than I probably ever would have. I have been all over the United States, took my first trips to Ney York City, Dallas and San Francisco all through suspension. I have traveled abroad to Oslo for SusCon. If anyone ever gets the chance to make it over for that one, I highly recommend it. I will also get to take my first trip to New Zealand for Autralasia SusCon 2015, something I am greatly looking forward to.

The last thing I wanna say about this is, suspension has changed my life. But not only in a way that some of you may feel. It has made me a better person on a lot of levels. Suspension, being a part of this community, and the people I have met have forever changed and inspired my life. I have fought through social anxiety and an irrational fear of public speaking. I have opened myself up to new people. I have gained the respect of people who I looked up to and am proud to call them my friend. I have brought something amazing to some of the best people alive. And in my eyes, in doing so, have made my little corner of the world a better place to be.mik working rope mecca 2012

Tell me about some of your suspensions.

Well, as I mentioned, I have a hard time suspending. I have done multiple suicide suspensions, knees, crucifix and a chair.

All have meant something or been for a reason. Some reasons bigger than others. I have suspended to help with the loss of a sibling. I have suspended to celebrate the life of a fallen comrade. I have suspended just to feel better or to mark an occasion. Every time changed me and every time made me better.

What are some of your future goals?

My future goals are to continue on with this whole thing. To continue to travel, to facilitate, to fly, to be a better man and a better friend and to give back as much as I can by helping to teach the next generation. To share this beauty with the love of my life. To continue to follow my dreams and help fulfill the dreams of those that can no longer do that for themselves. To make Spliff proud. To make MECCA one of the best suspension events ever held. To cultivate new friendships and solidify existing ones. To get the ISA launched and hopefully see it become the amazing thing we have envisioned. If I may, I would like to throw out a few names of people I feel have helped me on this journey. I couldn’t have done this without any of you.trucking pat 2009_edited-1

Pat Coons

Arwen “Spliff” Rosa

Joe Amato

Allen Falkner

Jared Anderson

Steve Joyner

Monte Vogel

Can Alptuna (Orb)

Steve Easley

Zach Cohoe

Kevin Bright (Buddha)

Amity Hall

Havve Fjell

Matt Kirk

Misty Forsberg

Brett Taylor

Rick Pierceall

Neil Chakrabarti

Tim Taylor

Bradde Hamman

Everyone that was ever a member of HOOKED

My CoRE family

Anyone who’s suspension I had any part in facilitating. YOU, above all, are why I do this and you all have changed my life

I know I have to be forgetting a lot of people who feel they should be on this list. Truth be told, I could have made this list 10 pages long. There isn’t a single person I have met through suspension that didn’t help me in some way. I love all of you and appreciate everything you have done.

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

Ice Water Suspension

Many of us have suspended in the cold before, and talk about how crazy it was to be suspending when the temperatures were almost freezing. We might even have seen a snow flake or two floating down around us! Well, get ready for that to seem like a warm day on the beach compared to the incredible ice water suspension that Mikael Saarnisto decided to take on with the help of Jussi Paradise in Finland. For many people, I would feel that this would be a somewhat risky idea that could potentially lead to some issues such as passing out, shock, and mild to moderate hypothermia. Mikael, however, has an interesting history working with both extreme suspensions and extreme cold that better prepared him for this than most people would have been.

Read more

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

Body Suspension As Individual (R)evolution

This post was written submitted by Mike Perazzetti, and is reblogged from his website.

While on one level the entire continuum of experiencing body suspension immediately incorporates IndividualEvolution.org’s (IE) heart, head, and hand, the wholeness of it also profoundly and radically transcends individual evolution and becomes an individual revolution, as I like to call it. It incorporates IE’s scientific method of inquiry, reaches beyond its body, mind, and spirit, and grasps through centuries to an ancient universal personal quest. Such exploration can only happen with subsequent suspensions and their reflections. This is infinitely more about exploring spirituality, exploring zones of safety and personal comfort, and transforming personal space. It is also about eclipsing the logic of the mundane. It is about, what Baba Ram Dass aptly manifested not so long ago: being here now.

When I decide to actively approach a challenge, it isn’t analyzed as much as it is pondered as a spiritual challenge to enhance practice and even emotional fitness, rather than a physical one. This same mindset was tapped into when I decided to overcome my fear of public speaking and join a college speech team, when I decided to learn tango dancing, and even when I decided to pursue masters and doctorate degrees. That same font of spiritual power was consulted when I decided to body suspend several months ago and when I actually suspended a few weekends ago at Skindicate’s DisgraceGiving in Atlanta. I plan to access that spiritual energy often because it needs replenishment often to increase its ability to transcend the mundane obstacles that I am faced with daily.

skindicate-2 Read more

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

FIVE

Skindependent Suspension is a team that most people in the suspension community are familiar with. Their dedication to high standards and education and the beautiful suspension photos that come from their team have gained them quite a bit of international attention over the last few years. In celebration of their five year anniversary, the team has published their first book which is now available, appropriately titled FIVE. Between publishing a book, running a suspension team, body piercing, planning the first Australasian Suscon, family life, and a hundred other things that Eden Thomson somehow manages to juggle, he took a moment out to talk with me about his team, the book, and their upcoming 2015 suscon.

1395850_622085457833729_1510433347_n Read more

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

Hook Interview: Priscilla Pincushion

Priscilla is a performance artist for Ritual Flesh Suspension Team, The Beggar’s Carnivale, The Randy Dandies, Grit Boy Productions (also a producer there), Hung Like a Martyr, Subversion, and many more. She is in love with the fun, cheeky art of human pincushion. Her typical performances include piercings, crowd participation, the bed of nails and other mayhem. She regularly hook suspends for performances. I’ve always loved her work, and recently I got a chance to chat with her about her work with suspension specifically. She had the following to say:

1461528_2646901694197_1486071500_n Read more

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

The Adventures of Jared Anderson

Tell me about your journey into hook suspension in general; why you got into it, and how long have you been in the industry personally and professionally. 

I became fascinated with suspension, as cliché as it sounds, from the Discovery Channel. It was 1992 and I was around the age of twelve. I can’t recall the specific title for the show, but what I saw were people bearing Kavadi, marching through the streets with hooks in their back as they lunged forward only to be pulled back equally as hard by a group following… as well as a couple suspended from poles being carried through the procession. That was the first time I felt what could be described as desire. Not long after I was able to find a copy of Modern Primitives (at the Clark County Library in Las Vegas). I read the book till the glued in binding split in multiple areas. About 4 years later I was able to get into a horrible apprenticeship for piercing. I spent the next 5 years repairing all the improper training I was given while still in search of someone to grant me my first suspension. It was not as easy to find people back then. It wasn’t until late 2000 that I was able to get in contact with someone near me, Brandon Bond. I suspended in a superman position for my 21st b-day in a now defunct dungeon in Las Vegas. 10 hooks thrown one at a time. The flight time was around 3 hours. And to be honest, I was quite disappointed. I did not get any visions, no euphoria, not a damn thing I had read about from others experiences. But it did give me something, and I have still not been able to explain it in words. It’s been 18 years since that I have worked on and off as a piercer now and nearly 14 years since my first suspension.

vo6j67fm Read more

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

Dallas Suscon 2014

Most people in the suspension community may have heard of, or in many cases attended, the Dallas Suscon. If you haven’t, you are certainly missing out on one of the year’s best suspension events. The Dallas Suspension Practitioners Convention brings together suspension teams and practitioners of all experience levels to exchange information through classes, workshops, and roundtable discussions and to gain hands-on experience working alongside one another. As usual the Dallas Suscon will be held Easter weekend, April 18-20, and registration is currently open for teams and individuals interested in furthering their education.

2013dallassusconfri176 Read more

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

Hook Interview: Tiana Marie

Everyone hook suspends for their own reasons. Some people suspend because it’s bad ass, others because of spirituality and some just for the fun of it. Whatever the reason, I personally always get chills watching videos and looking at photos of suspendees. Energy from hook suspension is pure, loud and beautiful. I came across the photos of Tiana suspending earlier in 2013 and I loved what she had to say about her experience and I loved the energy that came from her photos. I instantly wanted to chat with her about her experiences. So I sent her a message and here’s a bit of what she had to say:

What got you into hook suspension?

I knew what suspension was growing up by what TV shows on National Geographic showed me. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I spent a lot of time on IAM/BME where I was exposed to a completely different world. I read so many experiences and ogled at photos and videos on the site. I knew I had to try it. There were no doubts in my mind, I knew it would be exactly what I needed.

In 2008 I was able to suspend for the first time when my friend Evan (who I met through BME) let me know there would be private suspension sign ups with CoRE. I did a 4 point suicide and had two of my friends come with me for support. I fell in love instantly. I stayed up for about an hour and didn’t even realize it. Time had just flown by and it didn’t even matter. I had such a positive first time that I’ll never forget. Then of course when I came down, I already wanted to go back up.

IMG_5777 Read more

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

Flesh Hook

For people outside of the suspension community, the idea of marking a very large portion of the front of your body with some tool you use in your hobby might seem absurd. For those who have had the experience of falling in love with suspension, I am sure this beautiful scarification piece makes perfect sense. The passion and enthusiasm that many of us feel for suspension often results in it working its way into the other artistic outlets in our lives; for Trevor Sanders that came in the form of scarification. Trevor sought out scarification artist Yann Brënyàk during his guest spot at Fura Bodyworks with Aerik Martin for his Gilson hook cutting, and has documented the weekly progress of the scar over the first 8 weeks of healing. Anyone who has or has seen scars heal will know that this is just the first stages of how the cutting will ultimately look when it is well healed. Trevor is going to continue to document the progress of his cutting as it develops so that we can check back in after it has had time to mature and heal.

Those that haven’t seen the work of Yann Brënyàk before should definitely take a moment to browse through his work. He has two studios that he calls home in London, The Lacemakers Sweatshop and Sang Bleu London, and has worked with this style of design before with ‘portrait’ cuttings that have a pretty incredible healed result.

Thank you so much for keeping us up to date with your healing Trevor! I look forward to seeing more updates of it in the future.

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print

The Midwest Suspension Connection

Written by Stephie Von Hutter Thomas, with contributions from attendees and practitioners of the The Midwest Suspension Connections 1st Annual Hooker Harvest:

After working several events together, it became clear to the members of Mercury Suspension, Urban Rituals, and C.A.T. Flesh Suspension that there was something special about their group dynamic. Not only did everyone love working together, they worked together well and without inflated egos, infighting or competition. They were just a group of friends who love body modification, share a passion for suspension, mutual respect and a desire to learn from others. It seems that they discovered what they have come to see as true teamwork. Working together has never been seen as a chore and things just seemed to “flow” naturally no matter the situation.

When close friend Mathew Borsa humorously stated that the group should call themselves “The Midwest Suspension Connection” the idea stuck. These three suspension teams, varying in experience levels, decided to embrace the concept and begin what most would define as a “suspension collaboration” or “co-op”. This concept basically entails the three teams working together as often as possible in order to promote learning, build experience and pool resources. Anytime one team found themselves invited to host or participate in an event the natural inclination is to call the other teams to invite them along for the ride.

6

Photo by Jenica Bowman

Read more

Share:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MySpace
  • Tumblr
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Fark
  • email
  • Add to favorites
  • PDF
  • Print
Return top

Disclaimer

Suspension.org is a website for those interested in the art and technical aspects of body suspension and the responsible dissemination of information pertaining to such. It is not designed to encourage people to attempt any dangerous activities.