Falling in love with Cirque du Soleil: my first gig with them, as an Usher when "Alegria" came to my town. 2002.  What a great job!

Cirque du Soleil...

The shows by Cirque du Soleil are the most amazing, magical, transformative spectacles I have ever witnessed! I love this company and have worked for them several times, in various capacities:

* I taught Yoga to the performers & staff from Corteo;
* I was an Usher for Alegria, working and watching every single show of their entire 10-week run in my town;
* I worked in Casting in the Las Vegas office, and got to organize last-minute auditions and see fabulous acrobats and dancers do their thing for the panel;
* I was an Usher for Varekai, and then continued on the road with them to the next city - and the next!;
* I even did the laundry "officially", washing the Usher Vests (uniforms) each week so that we Ushers could have a clean uniform;
* I swept up the popcorn, painted the office walls, mopped the dance studio floor, spoke & read emails in French, stayed up late at night talking with the performers about their life on stage, got on a plane to audition (three times!) and drove long distances - just to go be with Cirque du Soleil!

It all started when I first saw Alegria in 2002. I was working the show as an Usher, and could barely focus on my job duties as I was so shocked and humbled by what I was seeing on the stage. Instantly I wondered where I had been hiding and knew I wanted to be a part of this magical, powerful, colorful, surreal company!

So I manifested the real job with them, (Usher-ing is only through a Temp agency) in Vegas, in the Casting Department. I learned a lot about the company, how they operate, their "culture", (French-Canadian!), and even got to the paint the walls of my office. (Deep red, earthy-green with faux-marble effect in gold, sunshine yellow...). It was a hugely impacting experience (especially witnessing those last-minute auditions!) and I would be thrilled to work for them again. Next time I prefer to be "on tour", travelling Europe, Brazil and Australia/ New Zealand.

Meanwhile, here's a short story of what it was like teaching Yoga to Corteo-

In the spring of 2008, I spearheaded the project of teaching yoga to a Cirque du Soleil show during its 6-week run in my city. They don't typically have yoga classes with the touring shows. We had a mix of performers ("artists"), musicians, staff and crew at our classes, rangng from 18 to 65 years old and speaking countless native tongues.

This was definitely not your usual setting for yoga. All sorts of wacky circus stuff was going on all around us during class! Juggling, hand balancing, intentionally bad theatre, trampoline practice, straps act practice and other circus-type shenanigans.
We gave these folks a lot of special attention. They seemed pretty happy to see us each time. I don't think they minded all the massages and foot rubs they received from us!
We enjoyed our time with Corteo immensely. 

  • Teaching Yoga to Corteo (2008)!
  • The cast & crew in triangle pose...
  • Half moon pose...
  • Ahhhh... relaxation pose!