Artist, General Training
I first became interested in performing for Cirque du Soleil after going to the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, Australia the summer before my junior year at Penn State. I was then in touch with a talent scout whom I subsequently met at the 2009 NCAA Championships banquet. We spoke about the different opportunities that Cirque has to offer, and she explained the details about getting in. I met with her once more at the USA Championships and I introduced her to my parents.
I was told to send in a demo tape and I worked for part of the summer to pay my way to the Las Vegas audition. Though not considered mandatory, I would recommend going to the Vegas audition - it’s a lot of fun and a great atmosphere to show the talent scouts more personality. After Vegas, it was just a waiting game.
I remember checking my email every day after the audition in September, to see if that would be the day I found out about my possible first job. Any restricted number that called me I would answer hoping it was Cirque du Soleil. Right before the 2010 NCAA Championships I got the call: Cirque wanted me to come to Montreal for a General Training contract.
After going through the experience of waiting an entire school year for a reply from Cirque everything eventually worked out. Initially it was hard to understand that even though the casting department is not in constant contact with the perspective artists, they are working hard to find a spot for us in the company. But I was patient and I love how things turned out - seven months after auditioning and just six weeks after graduation.
My advice to any gymnast considering a career with Cirque is to start early! Get to know the talent scouts, let them get to know you, make a demo video, go to the audition and lastly be patient and let it happen.
Artist, General Training
My journey with Cirque du Soleil began when my former teammate auditioned and then told me about it and suggested I try it. I was very interested and made plans to attend the Vegas auditions in September of 2009.
Prior to trying out, I had recently graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Communications. I quickly got a job as a gymnastics coach back in my hometown, but really wanted to explore what else was out there for me.
I had been to one audition prior to Cirque du Soleil so I kind of had an idea of what to expect. After getting to Vegas, I had a goal of not holding anything back and really trying to get across who I was as a performer. I went out there with confidence knowing I had worked for many years at what I do.
I was home for about two months before receiving a phone call that would make my dream into a reality!