The Atherton Family: Celebrate Art and Family Life (#139)
Our Guest Today: The Atherton Family
Andrew, Kevin and Gasya Atherton are a family of circus artists working at Cirque du Soleil.
After witnessing Varekai in the summer of 2015, I immediately reached out to identical twin brothers, Andrew and Kevin to join me on Feisworld. Since then, we’ve completed two projects together including the buildout of their website AthertonTwins.com (launched in 2015), and their brand new workout series called 10 for 10 (launched in 2018), the first gymnastics and circus-inspired workout series for busy professionals on the go. All you need is your own body weight, no partner, no equipment.
Andrew and Kevin Atherton were professional gymnasts in Britain before joining Cirque du Soleil at the age of 24. 18 years later, they have performed in major Cirque shows (Varekai, Zarkana, IRIS, Paramour) around the world, often as headliners with their one of a kind aerial strap performance.
Gasya Atherton is a Cirque hand-balancer, who has become an overnight internet sensation when she shared her workout videos with her children, Kamali and Kaysen, in early 2017. Since then Gasya has built a tribe of 200,000+ engaging fans, including many inspired parents, on her Instagram page.
The Atherton Family Was Featured in the Feisworld Documentary
(Available on Amazon Prime and Vimeo)
Watch the Video (Atherton’s New Workout Series: 10 for 10)
This workout series is now available on Amazon Prime. This project was a collaboration between me, the Atherton Twins, InColor Studios and Dan Cooper Creative back in late 2017
The Atherton Family Was Featured in Cirque du Soleil’s One Night for One Drop In 2020 During the Pandemic
My relationship with the Atherton family has transformed over the past 2.5 years ago. I was first a fan, then a consultant, an advocate, and today a family friend. I’ve travels thousands of miles to watch them perform in different cities, bringing my own family and friends too.
Also joining me on the show today is my Associate Producer, Adam Leffert, who asked the Atherton family “How do you create art?”
Learn more about Atherton Family by visiting their website, follow Andrew Atherton, Kevin Atherton, Gasya Atherton (on Instagram).
Learn more about my co-host, Adam Leffert, on his website.
If you enjoy this episode, make sure to check out the previous episodes with Andrew and Kevin Atherton, and this one with Gasya Atherton. Leave us a comment below, we want to hear from you!
The Atherton Family Gallery
Photography By the Andrew, Kevin and Gasya Atherton
- [07:00] How do you manage to celebrate your life with family and work at the same time?
- [08:00] Do you think your kids are going to be circus artists?
- [09:00] Kevin, tell us about the new addition to the Atherton Family!
- [11:30] What are some of your thoughts and recommendations for people struggling with wanting to be parents but not sacrificing/impacting their career?
- [14:00] Does being an uncle prepared you in any way to be a parent? Did you have any change in perspective towards kids and your career now that you know you are going to be a father?
[18:00] What is it like for the three of you to work together? How is your working dynamic?
- [20:00] You’ve managed to achieve a great work-life balance, not worrying about the non-important things and focusing on the essentials. What’s your secret formula?
- [24:00] How do you feel about your support network, including family and friends?
- [26:00] You are also responsible for your fans, in some way. What are some of your thoughts and things you’d like to say to your fans?
- [28:00] How do you keep extraordinary flexibility while developing strength?
- [29:00] What are some of the basics things you train for you?
- [31:00] What’s your workout routine? How hard and how often do you train?
- [36:00] What did you have to adapt or change after becoming public figures?
- [38:00] You mentioned being inspired by other art. How do you translate what inspires you to the stage? What is the creative process like?
- [41:00] When you try or see new moves from performing artists, what do you feel? Does it move you as an artist?
- [46:00] What are your recommendations for performing artists?
- [48:00] What would you say to young people that would like to be circus artists?
[10:00] We’ve all had such joys in our lives. To be on stage and to perform gives us such rich feelings. But where we’ve found most of the joy it has been through the eyes of the children. You see the little things that those precious people do and it gives you so much joy and so much love.
[13:00] Most people think it’s never the right time. I would always say, it’s always the perfect time. Because having a kid is such a magical thing in your life.
[18:00] For us it’s about family. And every choice we do now, as far as performing goes, where are we going to go, which show are we going to be in, it’s all about family. Is it the best thing for our family? Is it good for our children? Is it an adventure?
[20:00] I think as we’ve got older we just appreciate life. We appreciate everything we have. It’s not about money, for us it’s more about the freedom. We enjoy our job, we’ve never been to work not wanting to go to work. For us is almost not a job, because it’s a passion. It’s the same with having children.
[34:00] The training that we do now is a training with a purpose of training with a function. And that’s really to protect the joints and the muscles. We don’t wanna get hurt. It’s really technique specific. Especially with the performance that we do. So that when you go on stage and you perform your body and mind are in the best possible condition
[36:00] As long as we continue to work in our art and to touch them in certain ways, and hopefully to help people’s lives in a positive way, we are going to continue doing that.
the Atherton Family Celebrate Art and Family Life – Powered by Happy Scribe
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I think as we got older, we really appreciate life. You know, we appreciate life, we appreciate everything we have. And it’s not about money for us, it’s more about the freedom. You know, we love our job. We’ve never been to work, not wanting to go to work. It’s almost not a job because it’s a passion of ours.
We just want to be real, even if it’s social media, because now you see, like, the perfect pictures, right? Flawless pictures. You know, we do take photographs because we love doing that. For us, we’re creating some kind of art, right?
The three of us, we’ve all had such joys in our life, and to be on stage and to perform gives us such rich feeling. But if you ask the three of us what the most joys have been, it’s been through the eyes of the children, comeley and caysin. You see the little things that those precious people do and it gives you so much joy and so much love can’t recite us for more, really.
So there’s no secret ingredient? I think the only secret ingredient is we try not to take ourselves too seriously. You know, we don’t get upset with the trivial things. It’s more about the big picture.
As long as we continue to work on our art and to touch them in certain ways and hopefully change people’s lives in a positive way, then we’re going to continue doing that.
Welcome to another brand new episode of the Feisworld podcast. This is your host, Fei Wu. Today I have Andy and Kevin Atherton. Plus Andy’s lovely wife, also cirque du Soleil artist Gasya back on Feisworld after witnessing Verkai in summer 2015, I immediately reached out to Andy and Kevin Atherton To Face World. Since then, we have completed two projects together the buildout of Atherton twins.com and their brand new workout series called Ten for Ten. All eight videos are ten minute long, each with ten exercises for busy professionals on the go. All you need is you your own body weight, which makes it more accessible and cost effective as well. Andy and Kevin are identical twins. They were professional gymnasts in Britain before becoming SERP du Soleil artists at the age of 24. Now, 18 years later, they have performed in major circ shows around the world, often as petliners of the shows, Ten for Ten is their very first online course. It is also the first gymnastics and circusinspired workout series. Our relationship has changed drastically for the past two and a half years. I was first a fan, then a consultant, an advocate, and today a friend who would travel thousands of miles to watch them perform.
Bring my own family and friends to this conversation is for you. If you like to know what circus artists, in our case East Circus Family, do in their spare time and how they raise their children, how they continue to create content on a regular basis, my associate producer Adam Lefford was with me too, who asked a really good question. We understand that you seek inspirations from everywhere. You care about family life. You go to museums, you read books. But how do you assemble the experience, or perhaps distill from it to actually create art? Or perhaps what do you guys do when you get stuck? And how do you embrace the plateau? The African family takes so many photos to capture their precious moments. Those pictures are worth a thousand words, if not more. But somehow I find a different excitement in speaking with them directly, hearing in their own words of what this all means to them and where do they wish to go from here. The session was videotaped, but instead of creating a long conversational video, my producer Herman and I are working on a sizzle, a short teaser instead. So stay tuned on that.
After listening to this episode, please be sure to check out Ten for Ten again. That is at after tentwins.com tenFORten. Welcome to today’s show. With so many people, so much excitement. Andy, Kevin, Gaussia, afterton Adam Leffert and myself. Please enjoy. I love to hear from you.
Thank you so much for having us. To me, this is like a dream come true, that now we’re more than just fans and people who have been to the show, but we’re part of your life and we’re so thrilled to be in it. Because I was just thinking earlier today as I were flying 6 hours, like thinking in my head, you guys have challenged me and my creativity to the core, to a whole new level of what risk taking really is about to look at my life differently. So we’ve known each other for two years at this point and I feel like we’ve seen we’re now back in Vegas, we’ve seen Zarkana. So how’s life been? I know you guys have been writing about it and the fans are commenting, following, checking out your new email list and all that. How has it been for you guys?
Life has been great since obviously Paramore closed on Broadway, which was in April. Since that time we’ve taken so much time to we’ve been traveling a lot, haven’t we’ve? Kind of gone our separate ways. But we’ve also traveled together. It’s been mostly about spending time with the family and then ending up back in Las Vegas. So we’ve been having a great time. We’ve been great.
Yeah. Because I went travelling. As soon as Paramore closed, I went travelling. Our young nephew Jack, he was performing in Macau in a beautiful show there and he was getting ready to leave. So it was important. We’d never seen him. So the whole family flew across to China mainland China to see him in one of his final performances before he left that show and came to join Cetera. So he’s now in Cedar Sale Two.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t go up. We didn’t want to travel with the kid. It was just too far.
Yeah, we’re Gassy and I were just talking about what it’s like to be the parenthood of a Cirque du Slay artists and she sent such a positive message so people realize that you can celebrate your art and still celebrate your family life.
I mean, obviously when we joined So De Slay, for us it was about performing, about putting on a great show. And we love being on stage. It’s kind of shifted, obviously, since we had children. Now it becomes about wanting to show them what we do. So everything we do now is geared towards eventually them growing up, seeing us perform, seeing what we can do, and hopefully inspiring them to go on to do whatever they want to do.
Do you want them to be a circus artist?
I don’t think we’re going to have a choice. At the end of the day, a child will grow up and just watch their parent or whatever their parents are doing. They’re going to be inspired by that. And I think our daughter especially is already showing Sign. She loves the stage. She’s been to see me and Kevin perform, I don’t know, many, many times. It was nearly once a week when we was on Zarkana. And then obviously when we were doing Paramount, she would come and see. She saw the premier, she saw the show up that many times. She met all the cash, she was backstage. You can’t compete with that. She’s been opened up to so many things in the arts. So now for her, it’s like home being on the stage.
She’s acting, she’s singing, she knows the show from the beginning and until the end, so she sings. It’s so beautiful and such a precious moment.
Wow. So there’s so many news floating around. I think many people who listen to this episode are already your fans and park come from Phase World who love especially the Performing Arts episode. So I want to definitely mention that even quickly, that Kevin has this exciting news to share with the world and has already been out there, suppose it has hundreds and thousands of likes. And tell us about your journey.
From as long as I can remember, from being probably quite young, 28, 30. I always wanted to be a father. That was always a dream of mine. And I never for 1 minute thought I would not do that. But circumstance for me, I wasn’t with the right person to do that with. And I found myself at 42 years old where I was, okay, that drive, that passion to be a father was still there. So I decided to do it on my own. So I’m having a baby boy in next month, in December. But this is something, I mean, I’ve worked so hard for this and there was a lot that went into it. The fertility treatment, obviously I’m doing it with a surrogate mother. Yeah. So I just cannot wait. And I love performing, I love all that. I love to give myself to the people, but for me just to have that precious little bundle of love in my arms and to be responsible for that, it’s been a dream and it’s a dream that’s finally coming true.
Yeah, it’s something I noticed. It comes so natural to you and it’s just so beautiful to watch you take care of Kamali and also Kasen. And there are times we met up very quickly in New York and I just see these two little babies and in such good care. And I wonder made me almost feel jealous to say I wish I was a twin because I would have the support, the understanding and as needless to say, as a performance partner, just so incredible.
We couldn’t be happier, the three of us. We’ve all had such joys in our life and to be on stage and to perform gives us such rich feeling. But if you ask the three of us what the most joys have been, it’s been through the eyes of the children, comeley and kayson. You see the little things that those precious people do and it gives you so much joy and so much love. We can’t ask for more. Really.
I’ve seen through your eyes and in a way that through many other artists I interviewed who don’t have children and it’s very different feedback that I’m getting and kind of the perspective they have and the fact that you guys could have kids and have a family life and just so incredible. I know you’re not the only one in the industry, but I constantly hear that, the fear and sort of the struggle, thinking about having the family for men and for women to kind of balance that, how would that interfere my career? How would it change my life? So what are some of your thoughts and advice for people maybe thinking about that, struggling with that?
I can answer that one. I’m one of those people. Kevin will tell you that from the beginning, me, I was petrified of being a father. I didn’t think I would be a good father, to be honest. I didn’t really like children because I was so much into. I love performing. Don’t tell Gassy of that. I love performing. I loved working, I loved my life, I loved everything about it. And for me, having a child, I felt that it was going to completely flip my life upside down. It did, but in a different way. I didn’t want to share my life with somebody. I didn’t want to have to commit everything to this person that needed all my time. And then once I met Gasia, then obviously we started to talk about it and there’s never a right time. I think we were working in Los Angeles doing Iris at the time and we decided we wanted to start that’s when we got engaged. We got married and we wanted to start a family straight away. There’s no time because I think the moment Gassy got pregnant but we were.
Kind of like thinking and we were like, okay, let’s start. Let’s try and see what happens. Maybe we’ll get pregnant from the first time or maybe not. And it all happened. We got pregnant right away and it was perfect time. You will always say it’s never perfect time, but I would always say it’s always a perfect time because having a kid, I think it’s such a magical thing in a life.
Yeah. And then obviously we’re planning for when we’re having a break during Irish, but then we find out, obviously we’re having a baby. And then they announced that the show would no longer be performing in Los Angeles. The show was going to close. Obviously, all our lives were thrown upside down, but it didn’t matter at that point for me. I was the worryer. I was the one that was thinking, what are we going to do if this, what are we going to do if that none of that mattered, then all I cared about then was we’re having a baby. When we’re having a baby and the show’s going to close, but we’re still going to be a family, then this person came the most important thing in life. Everything else didn’t matter. We were going to figure it out no matter what, and then we’re going to share it with this little like having said this little bundle of joy. And it’s crazy because that was the reaction that we got. Most people would say children can really not throw your life upside down and it can be a struggle with them. For me and for Gassy and I think for Kevin, it helped us.
It really helped us because this never changes now. This is our family and we have this child and we’re going to make it work no matter what. And our life became living through her eyes. So it was beautiful.
I love those posts, like diva. It’s just so beautiful what you can start doing with the kids, too, and make both of us dream about I want to have circus parents, believe me.
We get them letters and then comments.
So, Kevin, you talked about the continuousness of the love and the growing of the love. I wonder whether you’ve already kogan to feel any kind of a shift emotionally and in your thinking process from being an uncle and a brother in law to being a dad. Is there anything different or just more love and a deeper feeling, I think.
Well, I’ve had great practice with Camel in case and handy gases too, because I’ve been with them pretty much from being born. I think I was with them the whole time. I’ve maybe spent a few months apart from them, so to say. The experience is already there. I already know what I’m letting myself into. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to react. As soon as I see him for the first time and I hold him in my arms, I’m pretty sure I will fall to pieces and I will be like an emotional wreck because this little guy is my own and he’s so precious and I wanted him for so long. I’m so looking forward to it. And just to have him and just to know that this person relies on me and I can give him all of myself, hopefully just the good stuff.
And then he will have definitely the biggest help. And I’m not talking about me. And it’s going to be Kamalie and Kasen because they are so ready to have his babysun. So you will have the best support because even when Casey was born, she was only like two years, two months old, and she was helping them waking up at night. And I can only imagine what she will be doing with this baby.
And we really made that choice, that conscious choice, because I knew how important this is and how precious those first few months with him will be, that we really made a conscious choice that the three of us, that we would take this time and stop performing. So they would allow me to enjoy this and they will enjoy this too, just to be with him for as long as I can be with him full time.
So when I wasn’t working and you started to work on Zirconia and those very special moments, they’re irreplaceable moments when she’s smiling to you. And the moments when I used to bust her every night so she will say, mama, I love you. Those moments you just know, okay, this is definitely worth to be with your child, because this moment’s, everything like in a life of being a parent.
Something that hit me when my mom met you for the first time, she was touched in so many ways because she’s kind of familiar with the traditional American family style in general. So families aren’t particularly close. They don’t spend a lot of time together and rarely what people work on projects together and work together. But there’s something so beautiful about the photographs that comes out of your Instagram accounts. Facebook accounts are such inspirations for us on a daily or weekly basis, it’s always there. I want to kind of hear from you guys in terms of what it’s like. What is it like for you guys to work with one another? What is that dynamic like?
I mean, we know nothing else, obviously. I met my wife on Varica. That’s where I was working with Kevin on Varicae. For us, it was new because during gymnastics, we were basically grown up. We grow up working as individuals and we were brought up as individuals. We were in separate classes when we were at school. Our parents didn’t want us to rely on each other, so we were brought up very separately. In gymnastics, we had to travel separately apart from when we were performing for the Great Britain team. It’s only when we came to sir du Soleil that they actually threw us in a room together and said go and go and work with each other. At first we didn’t like it, obviously. But no, it’s like we don’t know any different. You know, it is a big family, Kevin and myself performing together. Then obviously, I met my wife on Varicai. This is probably now we’ve done three shows together. We did Varricai together, then we worked on Iris, performed together, and then obviously beautiful show Paramour, where we performed together. For us, it is about family and every choice now that we make as far as performing goes, where are we going to go, which show it’s going to be in?
It’s all about family. Is it the best thing for our family? Is it good for our children? Is it an adventure for us? We try and weigh everything up. Obviously we’re not going to get it perfect every time, but we really try and focus on first forefront of all our man, his family, and especially with these precious ones. Like I said before, now it’s all about, what are these lots going to see? What are these two going to see? And then goblin kev’s baby, what is he going to see? What adventures? And we bring all them.
Hi, you’re listening to the Phase World podcast. This is your host, Fawu. Today on our show, you meet Andy, Kevin and Gottya African. They’re a circus family from Cirque du Soleil.
And at the same time, I’m sure there are people wondering that we hear a lot, that it’s really tough to work with family members and there are maybe some rules or guardrails. Then you know that dynamics can get also very tricky. I know that from personal experience of my friends not willing or trying to work with their mom dads at their company and typically fail miserably. So there’s some things secret ingredients you guys probably think you’ve overcon, potentially.
Well, no secret ingredient. But I think as we’ve got older, we really appreciate life. We appreciate life, we appreciate everything we have. And it’s not about money for us, it’s more about the freedom. We love our job. We’ve never been to work, not wanting to go to work. For us, it’s almost not like it’s almost not a job because it’s a passion of ours. And it’s the same with having children. People talk about it’s probably the hardest job in the world, having children. There’s no switch off button with these two, with any child. But we love it and we do it as a family. We’re great because we have such good support. Obviously with Kevin lengthy, we take it in turns, so there’s no secret ingredient. I think the only secret ingredient is we try not to take ourselves too seriously. We don’t get upset with the trivial things. The trivial things are not important to us anymore. It’s more about the big picture. So it’s things like that. Another big thing that people talk to us about is how do you stay so relaxed and calm? A big part of that for us also is our training.
People talk about us going to the gym. We go to the gym sometimes just to relieve stress, just to be in the gym, lift some weight. It’s not about then, you know, the technique and things like that. It’s just about releasing some energy in a positive, good way.
I think with Camilla and Casino with us all, we make everything so much fun and it’s all about that. If it’s not fun for us and then it’s not going to be fun for them. And so we never work with them, we just live life with them and that’s really all it is. So everything is an adventure from waking up, having breakfast, we make it all fun, we all laugh. It’s just precious, isn’t it?
Even our Instagram post, it’s not fake. Most people will post something they know what people want to see. For us, what you see on our post is normally is generally 100% of the time is what we’re doing. Even when we go into a photo shoot, we take the kids with us and it’s hard, it’s hard to manage sometimes we miss some amazing opportunities. Don’t worry because we’re running after these kids saying, don’t do that, Jonathan. But at the same time they are seeing what we’re doing, they ask questions. If they get really annoying, like all over the place, all over Kevin, then we’ll take them to the park whilst one of us will shoot GASEA, kevin will take the kids to the park and then we’ll swap and we try and manage it that way. And for us, it would be easier to leave the kids at home and go and do a nice photo shoot. It would be so much more relaxing. But we wouldn’t enjoy it. We would be there wondering what the kids are doing and thinking what they’re missing out on. For them, it’s a learning experience and we’re trying to teach them as well as teach ourselves.
I was thinking of a question for Kevin and then I took it back. And then taking it back. I think I’m starting to appreciate what you’re saying. I was going to ask about the joy of fatherhood versus concerns and the thinking process and then what everybody was talking about, about we know no other way and I met my wife and there was no other way, and I met my relationship and there’s no other way. And I think maybe that’s kind of part of the love that as soon as you meet that person, as soon as you meet that person, it’s over. And now there’s this new life and it really isn’t the questioning process, it’s just you move forward with it. That the unit. And even in English, people say you’re single or you’re a single dad and that conjures up this sort of frightening situation. But that’s not really what it is. You’re not singular. You’re part of this almost like a group or matrix of interlocking love and support and respect.
There’s no doubt that I have definitely got the best support that I could possibly have from my close family and my extended family too. I have so much support there. There’s obviously those little bits of nerves in me or care what will I do in this situation or that situation? But I think all that will come because you have no choice. And I’m going to with a love every moment of those, even the hard moments and I’ve seen the hard moments, I’ve lived the hard moments too, and I’m looking forward to all that.
For me, some of the hardest moments of being a parent have been some of the most memorable and rewarding moments. Spending the whole night in a hospital with case and really it touches because, you know, at this point this person, it just needs you there and you just need to be there for him. So it’s the best moment, the most memorable moments, but the hardest moments. And I think that’s what makes it so rewarding.
You were talking about being responsible for children, but as I’ve learned in the past year or so, you’re also sort of responsible for your fans because they needed a lot of attention, because they’re also giving a lot to you. So I’ve never seen forgotten fans as well. For every moment, the new baby boy, every picture, they will write about it. I wonder what are some of your thoughts and things that you want to say to your fans and people who are listening? What’s your experience, relationships there?
We appreciate them so much. Obviously some of them have been with us from the day that we stepped into Dysalia. Especially because that moment was filmed on a documentary, flying the wall documentary called The Fire Within, which was shown all around America and I think, in some other countries around the world, wasn’t it? At that point, I think when they first started showing it, we were in New York, and the amount of people that would stop us on the street showed our names was unbelievable. But some of those have followed our career from joining Varacai in 2002 all the way up until now. And even when we decided to take some time off from performing, we like to show a little bit of ourselves, but we don’t show people everything. But people are still interested. They’re more interested in what we do outside of Service Lake because they see us perform on stage, but they see us as these superhuman, almost creatures that are in the scatter that they can’t really understand. But again, they so interested in what we do outside of Surlay, which for us was fascinating, but at the same time we appreciate, especially the ones that have been there from the beginning, because the support they’ve given us from the birth of Camilla to the birth of Casino and then no to, obviously, Kevin’s baby boy, that people just can’t wait.
They want to know what we do now and also they want to know what’s next for them. They want to know what’s next for us as far as our display careers going, our performing career, which we will in time, we’re going to share with them. Obviously, as Kevin said, at the moment, our focus is purely on the birth of Kevin’s baby boy. We want to all be there as a family for him to share these special first few months. And then after that, we’re going to keep people updated.
One just on a physical training level. So all three of you work at this very, very high level of strength and flexibility. And having been inspired by you guys a few years ago, I’m trying to move forward. I wonder, other than just the best of strength, the best of flexibility, is there any way, how do you keep extraordinary flexibility while still developing that level of strength?
We have taken our skill level to quite a high level and although we do perform these impressive feats and we always go back to the basics, always. And we learned that from being Jim NASA. Gasi was very young, she was three. And June, I started at seven. And we had some of the best coaches and they always instilled in us the basics and we always go back to that. So regardless of how hard our work is and the skill levels, how high they go, we will always go back to those exercises that we did at seven years old, all the way up to now. So it prevents the injuries. We very rarely get hurt through overuse and things like that. So this is what we continue to do and hopefully something that people can maybe learn from us.
What are some of the basics moves in the training?
There’s many, but the basics is, like you said, obviously we’ll go in the gym, we’ll lift weights. For us, it’s about getting your body ready. So we’ll always have a little warm up before we start lifting weights and then we’ll do weight training. But for us, it’s about technique. We see some people, obviously in the gyms that have worked, they’re just lifting heavy weights and they’re using every part of the body apart from the muscle that’s supposed to be working. And we try to it’s about balance, it’s everything in life. When we start to get bigger, if. We’re lifting weights the same. We always want to stay flexible. So we finish every training with a warm down and a stretch because you’ve tightened all up, you’re shot. And then muscles, you want to stretch them back out again so you’ll be stiff the next day. But you’re not going to grow, you’re not going to develop where you’re not flexible anymore, because that’s when you’re going to get injured and unite her muscles.
I think it’s very important is to have a consistency. So if you’re going to the gym, then you have to go. Not like once I used to do that before I started to get injured on Tour, I used to hate running. Absolutely, because in sport, we had to do the things that they were pushing you to do. So what you did is like, oh, I don’t like that, but running. So on Tour, I will try and then I will run one day and then like for like a year, I’m not running, but not for me. It’s a consistent my workout always starts with the running. Like, they know that this is my schedule, running or electrical or the step machine.
You are getting into a segment, people are listening, especially people want to say the more tactical ones want to hear about your workout routine. And so I’m going to have you answer this first and then have Andy and kept jumping as well, like on a weekly basis. How many days a week? What time would you do?
Five to six days a week to the gym. So for me, my schedule, my workout schedule is starting always with the running ten to 20 minutes. And then I’ve been injured pretty bad on my shoulders was 2011. So for me, I need to always keep my shoulders strong and the postures, right? So, yes, it’s always shoulders. It’s kind of like very most important, but also now every day I do different because I used to hate to work out my legs because since I was born, I had pretty big muscle up calves and as soon as I worked them out, they do get bigger. I never liked that, but now I cannot neglect so certain parts of my body once again, to prevent the injury, I’m doing it. So I’m working out and it’s always different. So chin ups, arms back ups, and finishing my training is stretching.
You asked. Obviously, when we work out, we always go as a family, but I say our regular routine is we go to the gym every day, maybe six times a week, normally 10:00 in the morning. We’ll do like an hour and 15 minutes, and we do that every day. And even the people in the gym, because when we take the we take the kids with us, they come to the gym with us and they say to us, do you ever take a day off? And for us, we do, we don’t have to go to the gym. Suddenly if one day we don’t go, we don’t feel guilty. The fact we’ve not been to the gym, and I think that’s got to do with age as well. We really listen to our bodies. Now before, when we were younger, there’s certain things we could do, there were certain ways we could train. We can’t get away with that anymore. And us, we’re very smart now about our training. If we feel sore, if we feel tired, then we’ll change what we do. So we don’t have a complete structured plan that we do. We don’t have our book and we follow, okay, Monday, this is what we’re doing.
Yeah, you’ve got to listen to your body and that’s the most important thing. But we do, obviously, we’ll try and work out our chest one day, then we’ll work our arms the next, then our legs, then we focus on the smaller muscle shoulders. And like Kevin said, we have a sequence of exercises that we do which is about injury prevention to our shoulders, which we’ve learned very early on. And we’ve been performing in Serdulano for 17 years. Four shows. Probably done the act, our strap act, maybe over five, 6000 times. We’ve never missed a show of through injury. Never. I missed the show. Obviously for the birth, I wanted to be there. I wanted to be there for the birth of my children. But other than that, we’ve never been injured. And we put that down to the fact that obviously we’re very smart about the way we do. And like, as you said, we have a habit. Our lifestyle is about being able to keep doing what we’re doing.
We really train the training that we do now, obviously with our age, and it always has been, really is a training with a purpose of training with a function. And that’s really to protect the joints and really the muscles. The muscles that we build are really just to protect the joints of the skeleton. We don’t want to get hurt, we don’t want to do things like that. So it’s really technique specific. It’s really kind of light resistance training. We don’t want to over exert the body or something like that, especially with the performance that we do. It’s putting your body under controlled resistance in the gym. So when you go on stage and you perform, the body’s ready, the body’s used to it and it’s in the best possible physical condition and your mental condition, really, that you can be in order to preserve yourself for as long as you can go, we want to still be performing at 70 years old.
Hi, you’re listening to the Faze World podcast. This is your host, FAI Woo. Today on our show, you meet Andy, Kevin and Gaussia after ten. Andy and Kevin, after Ten, just developed and launched their very first online workout series called Ten for Ten.
There’s so much to learn. Take notes and then it’s so beautiful that all three of you think the same way, so that not one person can be so gung ho about it one of the brothers, and say, you know what? I’m totally different from you and I will break my body up. So it’s really cool. Adam and I went to see absent yesterday. And just to change the subject for a second, I don’t think about this very often, the fact that the wave, the way that you look, you’re blonde, you’re blue eyed, and this whole time you’ve been in circus. People who don’t know you might think that they’re very good looking, they’re handsome, they’re sex symbols. But because we know you, we know you’re completely opposite of that. You’re not the type of guys who like to need to be front and centered, need to be talked about, posing and such. How does that sound to you guys? What did you have to adapt to or change?
When we were performing, we were always conscious of what people were looking at, but for us, it was more important of what people felt, not necessarily what they saw is what impression they left the theater or the big top, having watched the performance that we have done. And that’s what’s always driven us and that’s what’s always been important to us. So it really doesn’t matter whether we get old or not as good looking as we used to be. As long as we continue to work on our art and to touch them in certain ways and hopefully change people’s lives in a positive way, then we’re going to continue doing that.
And our parents brought us up in a way, obviously, as Kevin said, we have had that what people would almost call stardom, where we’ve been on stage and people recognize you. But again, that’s not important to us. As Kevin said, what’s the most important thing is the impression we leave people with. And that’s not just after what they’ve seen us do on stage. If they meet us after the show or they meet us on the street, we want them to leave thinking, oh, you know what, they’re generally nice people and that’s always will be the most important thing for us. We don’t need the fame, we don’t want the stardom. And even now that’s even more prevalent with social media.
I think you just want to stay. But that’s what we keep saying to each other, we just want to be real, even if it’s social media. Because now you see the perfect pictures, right? Flawless pictures. And you know, like after this flowless picture will be another flawless picture. So where for us, we want to show that we’re real. We do take photographs because we love doing that. For us, we’re creating some kind of art, right? We just want to be real. Because nowadays you don’t meet quite a lot of people that are real.
We’ve seen that. So I say when we had this extraordinary opportunity to meet you, get to know you better. And we’ve seen that at the stage door where people have come up and just enjoyed that moment. So in those same areas you’re talking about, I said a couple more questions in that same realm. I’d heard you guys talk in an earlier conversation about being inspired by other art, maybe painting, maybe sculpture. I don’t know if you remember that. How do you do something like that? How do you bring that to your performance?
We can take it right back to the beginning when we were creating the app for Varica, the one that you still see now on Varica on the DVD. When we were creating that, we were given the mandate by Gee, the owner of Sir Delay, to create a strap act that had never been seen before in sir de Soleil, and obviously had these traditional strap acts, which were strong men flying, just looking strong and beautiful. For Kevin and myself, we took that and we basically went back and we said, okay, we need to look at everything apart from a scrap act. So we looked at other performances in Circus, and we looked at dance pieces and we looked at art. And I think most of the work, most of the elements and choreography that we came up with for that act came from artwork and came from sculptures. And one of the most iconic parts of the act, which is a part of the act that’s probably been copied so many times by which flatteringly by so many people because it’s so beautiful. Came from kev found this from a performer that was working in a variety show, and he just came across this DVD, saw something that is on Keynes, which is what Gassy does, balancing on Keynes.
He did an element there, and Kevin said, let’s try and do that on straps. So we came up with this from something completely was away from straps. And then again after that, we did another part at the end of our act where we hang on one arm that came from a piece of art. Again, Kevin saw it in Montreal and came in the studio and said, let’s try this. Even though our inspirations come from so many places, and even though we’re not performing, we try and do a lot of photography, a lot of and we’re constantly trying to create something new. I think that’s one of the beauty things with Instagram now is you can’t just sit back and do nothing. At some point, if you want to keep doing new things, you have to recreate yourself. You have to say, you take an inspiration from a picture that somebody’s posting yourself. That’s beautiful. And then you try and take what you’ve seen from that picture and recreate it, or better it in a certain way. And that’s one thing I love about social media.
Every time I look at your photos, I think I represent a lot of the fans today. I just remember that feeling. I had a fear. I’m a pretty good swimmer now, but there’s something I remember in every sport I did, such as how to stop when I was ice skating. Like when you go skate really fast and you just turn your body that way and you stop. It just looked like a really stupid idea. When I did it, that moment kind of became very real. And same thing happened with swimming. I was never on the team, but when I did the flip turn for the first time, I swear to God, my day was so different. I felt like a different person. I was that fear that my head is going to hit the ground or hit the wall, but it actually never happens. So I want to know, when you see a painting, see something, see something so impossible because you really defy gravity. People have to I need to post the photos. It looks humanly impossible, right? It’s not a flip turn. So what is that? Do you still get that sensation, that sort of like do you giggles when you do that?
Do you feel that electricity go through your body?
Yeah, we’ve done things like that where we’ve seen something and you’re not quite sure in your own mind whether it’s possible that it’s going to work, but, you know, you want to give it a try. And to be honest, some do not work. 95% probably do not work. You’re like, Nice try, but as long at least we know how to fall, which I think is gymnastics, one of the most important things you need to learn, how to fall. But those precious moments, that 5%, that element, the impossible skill, does work. There’s no better feeling than that. And it works. And you’re the one that’s done it and you’re the one that’s created it, is pretty special.
So I wonder whether your specific arts, whether hand balancing, whether straps bring with it, that total commitment in the sense that you’re holding your whole body weight, you’re so finely balanced, that informs that feeling because of exactly what you do.
Jessie is quite a special one. She’s a crossover artist, so she can take a lot of her skills that she’s learned and she’s developed and she can bring them to something completely new that no one’s ever done before. That’s what’s special about her. So the possibilities are endless for someone like Gaseous, because there’s so many moves and so many skills that you can do and you can learn that people would never imagine could be done by this human body.
I think I’ve been born with a really good I’ve been born with not knowing what the fear is. I was very fearless. That’s why I was really good at the sport. Right. And I always had the trust to people, even although some of them failed, but I always trust people. This is what I can like, even I’ve been hurt by people that I thought that I could trust. But in sport, seriously, I used to fly upside down doing like a trick, and because I wasn’t doing it right, but I would still for me, the main thing was to do it, how to do it, I don’t care, but I will do it now. I was like, oh my God, I really used to do that. And the girls used to catch me upside down and then turn me, like touching the floor with my feet. So. Same thing in cirque. I have no fear. But I also learned, definitely in sport, I learned big time how to fall. So for me, even my latest show, Paramour, I never done trapeze before, but because I stayed in shape and I was working on certain chin ups that I always hated, and my muscles were never developed for that.
Hence, then yes, chin ups, no. And after they’re giving a birth, I was like, telling Angie, I want to work on those muscles that are weaker in my body. And because of that, it was easy for me to learn that act. And there was one specific element that we just couldn’t do it, and launch is just not going right. And then I was like, well, let’s take the safety belt off and let’s do it without everyone was like, Are you crazy? If I’m going to fall, I’m going to fall, you know? So, like, for me, it’s that simple. I’ll be fine. At least I know how to fall, so don’t worry, but let’s do it without the belt. So it ended up being even better. So we should have done that without the safe safety belt. But the hand balancing is something that it comes with, obviously, I don’t get that feeling when I do Hansen unless I’m somewhere like high above. But yeah, I don’t get that kind of feeling. I enjoy this is definitely passion since I was born, pretty much. So for me, with the years come, I try to develop and create something that I never seen before, because that’s what I really love.
It’s to create that I haven’t seen before.
You brought up how not to fall. And when we’re watching them, whenever I see a show, literally am I. And spiritual, I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual. But I swear to God, whenever I watch a show, I’m praying and thinking like, god, like, bless these people. It’s okay if it’s not perfect. It’s okay if they look bored. Just don’t let anybody fall off. Because yesterday’s a stage is like the size of the table. I mean, so what are some of the techniques or tricks kind of not to get injured? And I know this is not a lesson or video series for that, but.
Not to get it like, well, we’ve already spoke about that is to be prepared. Be prepared as best you can be. Prepared if ever anything happens, which is going to happen. So if you can mentally prepare, physically prepare your body to be in the fittest way it can be. And it’s to also expect something to happen. In Kevin and myself, when we perform the strap act, so much has gone into that act. And it’s not just creating the act. We have to work on emergency drills. If something goes wrong, there’s always a way out of it. And it happens because it’s a technical act. So we have to rely on technology. So sometimes we’ve been stuck in the air for 45 seconds, no way coming down. We have to make sure we safe at that point. So I guess that’s the thing. As you said, you need to be prepared that something’s going to happen. And we train to fall. We train to fall. We train it as a mistake. And that means if it does happen, then we’re not going to freak out. And again, most people, it’s happened for us, where we’ve been on stage and something like that has happened.
And when we come back, people say, oh, you stayed so calm. It’s because we’ve already been through it 100 times, you know, in our head and in training. So we’re used to it.
Wow. What saddens me sometimes is I know that there are many forms of arts that are disappearing forever in this world. I think about people like my mom, who paints meticulous paintings. I think about our martial art instructors who was 16 and would turn off the light in the middle of the night and start practicing forms for 8 hours straight, who was probably the first American, but also the first Caucasian who won world championship. But these skills, a lot of them are not here anymore because kids on their smartphones. I wonder if there’s a message to those out there in their late teens, early 20s, they’re thinking, I want to be a circus artist, or I want to be doing something similar to what you’re doing. What is your message? And what are some of the things that you want them to kind of keep in mind?
It won’t be a message to the 16 year olds. For us, it’s a message to the parents because yet we see it all the time. And for us, it’s a fear of ours where, you know, you do see children now all the time, the heads in the smartphone, the heads in the computer, and that’s all they know. And for us, it’s dangerous. Whereas we will constantly do everything. We spend our day doing as many things as possible. It doesn’t matter what it is. We’re outside with the kids and taking Camille and Kasin to see shows. It doesn’t matter what kind of show it is. We’re introducing them to the arts, so they’re going to be inspired by that. So the message would be for the parents, be active, take your children to see shows. Take them to see now it’s Christmas. Take them to a Christmas show. Because that one show can change your child’s life forever. And if you don’t do that, if you let your child keep his head in a smartphone or her head in a smartphone, then it could have consequences that you don’t want to think about.
Wow. I’m going to correct.
So touching. Yeah. Thank you so much for your time. I know that there’s so much more to the journey that we’ll be sharing together and we’re always learning when we are looking up from our phone, like you said, and being able to have a real conversation. I’m just feeling so blessed for that.
Thank you very much for listening to this episode and I hope you were able to learn a few things. If you enjoyed what you heard, it would be hugely helpful if you could subscribe to the Phase Role Podcast. It literally takes seconds. If you’re on your mobile phone, just search for Phase Role Podcast in the Podcast app on iPhone or an Android app such as Podcast Addict and click subscribe. All new episodes will be delivered to you automatically. Thanks so much for your support.
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