Gasya Akhmetova-Atherton: Inspiration from My Children

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About Our Guest

One of the most requested episode is here with Cirque du Soleil hand balancer, instagram sensation, Gasya Akhmetova-Atherton (@Gasya on Instagram). 

This is not only one of the very few long form content with Gasya, it is also a rare podcast interview with her. 

The last name, Atherton, may sound familiar to you. Gasya is married to Andrew Atherton, one of the Atherton Twins from Cirque du Soleil. Andi and Kevin together have performed for Cirque for 18 years, and they have appeared on an earlier episode of Feisworld Podcast. Since then we’ve interviewed many more circus artists and Performing Arts sone of the most popular category on our show. 

Joining Cirque at the tender age of 17, Gasya is now mother to two beautiful and adorable children - Kamali and Kaysen. Over the past 2.5 years, I’ve grown much closer to the entire family and watch the kids grow up. In between that time, something magical happened. 

One day when Gasya was just practicing her handbalancing movements at home, Kamali, her 3-year old daughter, bravely jumped on her mom’s back and a short video was captured. Together they were having so much fun, not knowing that they would soon become an overnight Instagram sensation. 

With Gasya, Kamali and Kaysen in November 2017

With Gasya, Kamali and Kaysen in November 2017

I am always careful about the use of the words - overnight, viral success. It was true for Gasya. 

Within days, I saw Facebook feed updates from colleagues and friends with Gasya and Kamali’s videos. Then more stories were produced and widely shared on major channels from Cosmopolitan to Daily Mail, Mamamia, Shape, Life Buzz, etc. Most of the videos had over 1 million views. Gasya went from having a few thousand followers to today (February 2018) over 200K engaging fans on Instagram. 

I waited a long time for this recording, because Gasya said she’d more comfortable to do this in person. I traveled from Boston to their home in Vegas. Gasya went above and beyond what I had imagined her stories would take us. 

The hardships she endured while training as a young teenager in Kazakhstan to becoming the artist she is today. Andi (husband), Kevin (brother-in-law) and her two kids, have transformed her life, surrounded her with love, and fueled her creativity.

This episode is for those of you who want to learn more about Gasya as a person, a mother, a wife, a friend. 

If you like this episode, make sure to tune in the week after, when we invite Gasya, Andi and Kev Atherton to join us on a brand new episode of Feisworld Podcast - revealing the very exciting project we’ve collaborated on as a team.

To learn more about Gaysa, follow her on Instagram here, and Facebook here.

Subscribe to Feisworld Podcast with just one click! 

Photo Courtesy of Gasya Atherton

Show Notes

  • [06:00] How did those videos with your children became popular?

  • [09:00] This phenomenon wasn't long ago. How has this experience impacted your life and your family's life?

  • [10:00] How did your audience grow (Facebook, Instagram) after the video?

  • [11:00] Why do you think the public enjoy watching your videos with Kamali so much?

  • [13:00] How did you start in gymnastics and sports?

  • [15:00] Do you remember yourself practicing at 4-5 years old? What was it like?

  • [16:00] Tell us a bit more about your sports life and final competitions in 2006.

  • [18:00] How were you discovered by Cirque Du Soleil?

  • [19:00] How was your transition from Kazakhstan to Montreal?

  • [20:00] How much did you weight at the time you moved at Cirque Du Soleil? Is weight an issue for flyers?

  • [25:00] What are some of the mistakes or things you’ve learned?

  • [27:00] How do you balance your work and life? How do you achieve a good balance between being a mom and a performer?

  • [36:00] You live a quite minimalistic lifestyle. What are some of the essential things you can’t live without?

  • [38:00] Who takes your Instagram pictures? What's your strategy and brand messaging on Instagram?

 

Favorite Quotes

[08:00] Every time I practice I have to feel myself. That’s how I perfect my movements.

[12:00] I inspire her, and she also inspires me, and people enjoy watching those videos because it is so much of a good energy. There is something special that she gives.

[13:00] For me, it’s something where I spend time with my kids, but also I’m teaching them in a certain way, without being pushy.

[21:00] Circus is the big sport. It is a professional sport. It can kill you, but it can make you stronger.

[24:00] I know I am a very strong person. I’ve been struggling with this illness for quite a long time. I couldn’t share with anyone, with my mom or friends. I want people to not make the mistakes I did.

Transcript of Interview with Gasya Akhmetova-Atherton

Fei Wu  0:01 

Hey, hello, how are you? This is the show for everyone else. Instead of going after top 1% of the world, we dedicate this podcast to celebrate the lives of the unsung heroes and self-made artists.

 

Gasya  0:35 

Every time I practice, I have to fill myself. That's how I perfect my movements.

I inspire her. So is she also inspiring me, you know, and those videos, I think people enjoy watching it, because it is so much of a good energy

for me. I'm spending time with my kids, but also I'm teaching them in certain way, you know, without pushing them.

 

This is the big sport, right? This is a professional sport, and you have to understand and people have to understand, it can kill you or it can make you stronger.

 

 

I know I am a very strong person, because I want people to not do those mistakes that I did. Because it's not easy. It's absolutely not easy to stop.

 

When I joined Cirque, I started with the touring show, you know, I had two suitcases. So two suitcases and you have to pack winter and some workloads, so it kind of like teaches you to not to buy many things or if you buy something, then you have to give away. And I never had a problem doing that I love, giving, I love sharing and this doesn’t change.

 

Fei Wu  2:19 

Hey, how are you guys? It's Fei Wu, our host from the Feisworld podcast. One of the most requested episode is here. Believe it or not, with Cirque du Soleil, a hand balancer, Instagram sensation. Gasya Akhmetova – Atherton. The last name may sound very familiar to you, because Gasya is married to Andrew Atherton, one of the Atherton twins from Cirque du Soleil. Andy and Kevin Atherton have both appeared on an earlier episode of Feisworld and also one of the most popular episodes we have ever created. Joining Cirque at the tender age of 17, Gasya is now a mother to two beautiful and adorable children. Over the past two and a half years I have grown much closer to the entire family and watch the kids grow up. In between that time something magical happened one day, when Gasya was just practicing her movements at home, Kamali, her daughter bravely jumped on her mom's back and a short video was captured. Kamali was having so much fun not knowing that they would later become an overnight Instagram sensation, everyone would be talking about, literally everyone. I had colleagues and friends forwarding me the videos on Facebook I didn't even know. Then more videos are produced and widely shared on major channels from Cosmopolitan, The Daily Mail, Mamma mia, you name it. Most of these videos had well over a million views. Gasya went from having a few thousand followers today over 200,000 engaging fans on Instagram. I waited a long time for this recording, because Gasya said she would be more comfortable recording it in person rather than via Skype. So I traveled from Boston to their home in Vegas. For the recording Gasya went above and beyond what I had imagined: her talking about her stories go all the way back to her training as a little girl. The hardships she endured to become the artist she is today, Andy and Kevin Atherton by her side having transformed her life, the fantastic three - or should I say fantastic six with Gasya’s children and the newest member of the family, Kevin's new son - together they're creating some serious footage of their live and workout images. This episode is for those of you who want to learn more about Gasya as a person, a mother, a wife and a friend, a woman who defied many hours to have the live she lives today, and she is grateful for the little things every day. If you liked this episode, make sure to tune in the week after as well, when we invite Gasya and the end Kevin Atherton back to join us on a brand new episode. It's a blast. Last but not least, it takes seconds to subscribe to Feisworld podcast. It's a single click on your mobile device and you have brand new episodes delivered right to your devices automatically. It's a gift to us when you choose to submit a review for the show as well. Always honest feedback. You might not know this, but it makes a huge difference. Without further ado, please welcome Gasya Atherton to the Feisworld podcast.

 

Fei Wu  5:59 

Yes, Gasya, I am so happy to be here and to be interviewing you! I've known your work for so long, you really become an artist on your own, and there's so many different stories you're telling. So tell me about the origin, like, how did those videos with Kamali even become a thing on the internet?

 

Gasya  6:22 

It's also nice to have you here. The video of me and Kamali kind of started unexpectedly, it just came out of pretty much nowhere. When they say, like, all you become famous overnight – that’s pretty much what happened on social media. So we were living in New York, my husband was working, obviously, I'm looking after the kids, and there was a time when they had to have a nap. Usually my daughter doesn't like to sleep, so she doesn't like to have a nap, but I always used to put her to bed so she can rest whilst my son is sleeping. So I did take that time just for myself, training and balancing, because that's what I do, that's what my passion always was, and just not to forget how to balance on my hands. I started to practice during that time, and then one of the day my daughter, she just she came while I was upside down doing a handstand. And she came, and she just hold on to the canes, and then lift her legs up, and I was shocked.

 

Fei Wu  7:41 

How old was Kamali at the time?

 

Gasya  7:43 

She was three years old. So whilst I was practicing - because every time I practice, I have to see myself, because one thing is feeling, how you doing it, but on the video it looks different - so I every time I practice I have to film myself. That's how I perfect my movements. And that's how it happened. So it was filmed, and I shared this video with my husband and others, and instead of sending messages separately, I just posted on social media, on my Instagram page. So my mom, my family back in Kazakhstan could see. So this video got, you know, reposted by so many different channels and yeah. I mean, I was shocked what my daughter showed me.

 

Fei Wu  8:42 

Well, what I can't believe, in terms of timeline it wasn't even that long ago. Because Kamali is only four and a half. And this happened about a year ago.

 

Gasya  8:54 

It happened in April. So that video really gone viral. After that video, I decided, why not? Maybe I can start practice with my daughter. Because she obviously enjoys it. And I'm not pushing. So I asked, would you like to try. So she said yes. And for me it was fun, you know, and something that this way she can learn without being pushed. We know what to do, and how to do, so she enjoys it. And she started to be a part of my trainings. And obviously our favorite part is to film as well. And to look at ourselves. And the second video going viral was where Kaysen was standing and watching us from the side. You could see on that video. Like, you know, a little part of his body. And then at the end of the video, he just sits down. And you see it's him. So that's the second video that's gone viral on Instagram.

 

Fei Wu  9:57 

So I noticed you had an Instagram page. You had a Facebook page way before this happened. How big of a jump you still recall? Like, how many people did you have prior to these videos versus immediately after?

 

Gasya  10:13 

Yeah, well, it's kind of hard to remember. But I think I used to have probably like, 5000-6000 followers before, but then, after the first video and after second video. Like it started to pick up, it did kind of bring me quite a lot, now I have 199,000. So I'm close to 200,000 followers. So I mean it goes naturally. You know, I'm not pushing, but people seems enjoying our video.

 

Fei Wu 10:56

Why do you think they enjoy watching those videos?

 

Gasya 11:00

Well, because definitely they're such an amazing kids. And you know what I do, I'm not the only person who can and balance with somebody on the back. So I never really liked telling that I am special or something like that. It comes from my kids. Now I see that my daughter is talented. I'm not pushing. I know she's very flexible. I want her to just slowly kind of develop what she wants to do. If she enjoys it. Obviously she's very enjoying to be a part of the trainings and it's amazing. I inspire her so she also inspiring me. And those videos - I think people enjoy watching it because it has a good energy, I think there is something special that she gives because, obviously, I always enjoy watching her, it's amazing what she can do. And I guess also the fact that it's a mother and kids bond, together in this. For me it's something that I'm spending time with my kids, but also I'm teaching them in certain way without pushing them.

 

 

Yeah, my mom tried to give everything she could, I started to do gymnastics when I was four years old. And once again, it was all for my mom intention, but I wasn’t into gymnastics or into sport at such an early age. But, I have an older sister, and she's one and a half year older. So she took my sister  to gymnastics, and whilst they were testing my sister, the coach asked if I can go and play, whilst they test my sister. But I was that kind of person, whatever my sister was doing, I always wanted to copy her, to do everything she's doing. And even although she's older, we were like twins. I copied everything she was doing, you know, splits, flexibilities. And after that, as the coach came, she said: “You know, this girl, she's definitely talented. And she's got this kind of athletic character in her. So why not? You should bring her from now on to the domestic classes”.

 

Fei Wu  14:00 

Do you remember? Do you remember when you were practicing at the age of four or five at the time?

 

Gasya  14:07 

I do. Because I remember, we started to do gymnastic classes. And in a week time I was already a flyer which is, you know, like the calling a little jealous because I used to work with the partners. And I started with this girl because for some reason I was felt more comfortable with two partners. So two base, as we calling it, and I was always competitive. And I always wanted to be the best. Even then I started to realize and, my mom, she started to see that more and more. But for my mom education was important, sport is the sport, but you still have to study, education is really important. So we were always like going through. But it was the time my mom she started to realize that this girl, this is the only thing she is thinking though. Yeah, when there were important works at school we had to do, my mom was like, one day before, she will be like having a chat with me. And she will say: “Okay, so, this and this. This is how we have to do this, this is what you have to do tomorrow. Do you know?” And then, at the end, she was like: “Do you understand what I was just talking to you about?” And I will say “Oh mom, I have this element I'm doing tomorrow in acrobatics”. She just said “Okay. This girl was thinking about sport”. So I started to show definitely that I am really enjoying this is, and it is something important in my life. I was probably eight, nine years old that time. But I enjoy like I loved from I guess the start until pretty much the last day of my sport life. Which never has, you know, come to an end. My last competition was 2006, one week before I joined Cirque. So that was really big, fast transition for me being an athlete, to become an artist. So and yes, it's slightly different. You know, like, I could do everything they asked me, but you have to become an artist. You have to be on stage. And you know, to be a character. So it was amazing experiences.

 

Fei Wu  16:29 

So tell me a bit more about you in 2006. You were still very young back then. And you were competing. What type of competition were you doing at the time? I guess what were your skill sets?

 

Gasya  16:44 

Oh, well. 2006. That was my final competition. It was middle of May. And that was the World Cup Championship sports acrobatics. Yeah. So gymnastic acrobatics. That was my last competitions. But yeah, I mean, my dedication to the sport was really long. It was from four until I was 17. So at that time, I was 17, then I joined Cirque and within two months I turned 18.

 

Fei Wu  17:18 

How are you discovered by Cirque du Solei?

 

Gasya  17:22 

So every international competitions, either World Championship, World Cup or World Games, on each of those international competition, we always have representatives from du Solei, and like this, showing you what Cirque du Soleil is all about. And that you can continue being an athlete, but in different kind of genre. So yeah, and then they ask if you would like to participate and be a part of such a team, then you have to apply online, and obviously they also are watching you, they see you a lot, what kind of athlete you are. And someone actually contacted me from Cirque du Soleil. So they wanted me to send a video. It's like a demo video of your possibilities, so I sent a video and then within a few weeks, I got the contract to do training in Montreal for four months. And I signed up right away. I was like: “Yes, I would love to go and do that”.

 

Fei Wu  18:35 

From Kazakhstan. directly to Montreal!

 

 

 

Gasya  18:38 

Yeah, so I did sign that contract for four months, but then, maybe not even a month later, I'm receiving another contract to join already existing show, which was very cool. So I got the contract for one and a half year, and it's to go to Australia. So for me it was like either four months or one and a half year, and I was like: well I'm finished with sport, with acrobatics, now at least I can relax, I have one and a half year contract, a job to do. And yes, plus, to be a flyer was like trio, and that's what I did in sport for pretty much all my life.

 

Fei Wu 19:25

You don't mind me asking how much did you weigh as a flyer? I see men and women they're really tiny.

 

Gasya 19:34

Well, it is kind of a long story. But now I started to open up more and more. And actually, yeah, you always have to be light and especially where I come from. It's Kazakhstan. Right? So or if we will take any of this or ex-Soviet Union countries – Russia, Ukraine, it's not like being in America. In America you can get sued, if you will say something wrong, physically abuse someone. In our countries it's not like, that's the different way of teaching. So every day my partners used to weigh me before the trainings, so the heaviest I was there was 33 kilos, and I was 17 years old. So by the end of my sports career I was 33 kilos at 17. I think, when I joined Cirque, I was like 93 pounds. I started to say this and I started to share this, like this is the big sport, right? This is a professional sport, and you have to understand and people have to understand that it can kill you, and it can make you stronger.

 

Fei Wu  21:03 

But, I mean, 33 kilos it's very, very little.

 

Gasya  21:09 

I did go through illness. I went through that. Yeah, so it’s kind of normal for me now to talk, there for a long time I tried to hide as much as I could, even a new people are guessing even when I joined Cirque I still had this illness. And I think this is definitely one of the hardest part of my life that I had to go through. I'm saying it's mental illness. Because when you go into sport, right, you have someone always checking your way, always. So it becomes a problem. It's like “Oh my god, I can't get this. I cannot eat that. If I will drink a glass of water, I'm going to get bigger”. And it was like that. So it definitely affected my mental health. Yes. And I have today problems. I did have the health problems through my sport life, where I had nothing. It was bones and the skin. But I needed energy. And at some point, my arm started to get really like, you know, I had cramps and had to work, I had to continue. And that's the thing. I couldn't say this to my mom even, also I'm sure she probably saw that, you know, I eat, but then I lose weight. You know, I can say that I am very strong person. Not maybe physically. I am strong. I might be physically strong, but this type of thing could have killed. And it lasted for quite a several years. Probably four or five years.

 

Fei Wu  22:47 

I really appreciate you saying this. But it's so important. I've met so many women in my life from ballet to even high school, high school and college sports on even national level. You know. And then, in the US most girls are participating in sports, soccer, field hockey and so many of them have gone through such a traumatic experience, not nearly as severe as yours, and they're going out there and looking for women who share that voice, and to realize that you come through all that… So there's a future, you know, you overcame that.

 

Gasya  23:20 

It is, yeah. And that. That's what I said, that I know I am a very strong person. Because I've been struggling with this illness for quite a long time. I couldn't share with anyone, I couldn't share with my mom. I couldn’t share with my friends, with my family. And then I started today, with, you know, Andy, because I want people to not do those mistakes that I did. Because it's not easy, it absolutely is not easy to stop.

 

Fei Wu  23:54 

So what are some of the advice or what are some of the mistakes that you feel like you made by not sharing?

 

Gasya  24:02 

I guess yeah, by not sharing, by trying to hide everything inside of me. And now I know what it's like. And I can see this kind of person who's doing that, but it's kind of normal for those countries. Like it's so normal, because you being physically and mentally abused. So for me now my life is gym. Like, I would eat whatever I want. Where before I would be so afraid. You know, that even if I drink water, I was afraid to gain weight, water weight.

You know, like that. But now I have two kids. I eat whatever I want. If I want a piece of cake, I will eat, because I know I will go to the gym. And my lifestyle is a healthy lifestyle. So I try to eat healthy most of the time. It doesn't mean that I'm not eating or I'm cutting completely everything from my life, it will never be a case.

 

Fei Wu  24:58 

Yeah, your life isn’t only yours anymore, you have have kids and... And then I think, that really goes back to what you said about the way that you work with Kamali, you look at her as this young baby girl. She's your life. And I think when you look at her and her engagement, her love for the sports, for Cirque, for working out with you. You don't want to change any of that. You don't want to make it into what you had to go through.

 

Gasya  25:27 

I want her to enjoy everything she's doing whatever she will decide to do in life. We will only support her, once again, she will be the only person who will decide what she wants to do in life. You know, we will only support and will only share with her our knowledge.

 

Fei Wu  26:25 

So one thing you said the first time we met and sat down in New York, there's something you said that hit me. And that made me realize I have to do this. Today you gave me so much more than what I had. Even though so little I knew about you and the journey that you went through. But one thing you said to me which was - on Instagram, it's really easy to gain new fans for you, and simple to record more videos, and we love watching them, no question. But at the same time you are an artist. You are not just a mom (no disrespect to moms who work at home, if this is something they enjoy doing), deep down, you are an artist at the core. So you said something, that you're not only having Instagram just to post mom and daughter videos, even though this may seem like precisely what the world would wanted. And that's all they want. But you want to try other things. So tell me what you're thinking about that.

 

Gasya  27:28 

Well, it's absolutely right. I started this page just to have a family to share some moments of my family, of my life. And then this boom happen where, you know, me and my daughter, we became sort of stars on social media on Instagram. And people do want to watch what I do, I do get so many comments and so many messages, you know, “We want to see more and more”. And I know, people love that. And I know what can make a really successful page. It's doing those videos with my kids. And I know that absolutely. But my page is still about my personal life. So I share every  moments, you know, when families try to start to do dance. So when Kaysen was born, you know, like the moment of, you know, me and my husband, like, we are doing something. So it's that page, and plus I got back to work, I got back on stage, because, you know, I'm not finished. Even all these five years, I decided just to dedicate this time only to the family. And that was really important for me to do. And yeah, my kids are kind of grown up a little. So I decided it's time for me to go back. And same thing was my page. Instagram is my life. I want to share all the moments from my life. And I know this video is, I guess, the most successful, but also see that there's so many women that want to do those videos. And for me, that's not the case. I don't want just to get followers, it's still it's my life, and I want to show everyone that this is my personal life. This is my performing life. This is my life with the kids. So all those moments, I still want to continue to bring it on. You know, on my social media account.

 

Unknown  29:40 

I think it's a not every artist out there, including successful ones, who  have that level of awareness. They’re saying like you disappear, kind of up in yourself, you know, and you kind of go after and create things only the public will approve. So for you, as a young artist, you are still with a level of consciousness and awareness to who you are and what you want to do. I found that to be really refreshing. And you know, this is not just a compliment, but I really wish artists and musicians out there see that as well. When you produce an album, you know, are you designing that for for all your current fans? But what if they decide to like something else or someone else? And you are stuck with that image, that profile of you. But you mentioned something else, I realized I want to talk about just now. We're jumping around because there's so so much to your story. Which is you as a mom, I know that’s a lot. There are a lot of circus artists out there really fear having a family, having children, making travel difficult, making their career about not just themselves anymore. So could you tell me about the transition? Because I knew you're working with two very young children, four and two, what was that decision making? Like, how did you make it work? Because there are other artists out there not want to know, how you do it?

 

Gasya  31:05 

Well, it was pretty easy for me to to make this decision. Because I am with Andy, right. And for me, he was such a star, like the first show I ever worked - he was there. I didn't speak any English in 2006. I didn't speak any English. And he's British. So I was so determined to learn the language. And once it happened, I mean, it's gradually was like growing, you know, better and better and stronger. And like, I just love very simple life. I was never looking for something, you know it's just out of this world. Kind of. So Andy is the first men in my life. And I'm so glad you know, this guy now is my husband. And we're both kind of the same and respect each other. We were best friends. You know. And just to make this decision to our families, since he proposed to me, I was just thinking out, you know, I've worked on the second show, which was in Los Angeles, so worked one year and then we got married. And I thought it's good time to have, you know, kids, to start your other family. And it was amazing. Like, everything was planned, because we started to plan when we should have a baby. And then we were supposed to have a vacation for like, one and a half months because of the Oscar awards, the Academy Awards. So we're taking places iin the theater that we was working and so on. By this time, every everything was just perfect. It was like a fairy tale, to be honest. So and then after that, I always knew I want to have another baby, because of me and my sister. I know that, you know, the closer age, the closer they will be to each other. So I wanted to have another baby. And that's why I decided not to go back to work, decided to take some time and just to have another baby. And after that I knew it will be easy for me to recover, because I'm still pretty young. So I was like, I can have babies. And I knew I wasn't finished with my performing life. Because I still want to perform.

 

Fei Wu  33:32 

So we talked briefly about traveling and minimalism. So I want to talk about that. I often wonder, I mean, it's a popular subject these days, talking about minimalism, how to minimize your belonging. And for the past two years, I personally have worked very hard on it. Sometimes without much success. I buy more things.

 

Gasya 33:53 

It’s so easy. Especially being a woman. Much temptation. But growing up, my mom, she always used to say “We don't hold on to things”, you know, we always give, and even though we went through hard times back in Kazakhstan, where my dad just couldn't get any money. He wasn't get paid for months and months or so. And we had to like it, just the cheapest things, you know, maybe whatever grows in our backyard. So, things like that. And my mom, she still managed to give cloths to kids or to family, who needed the most, you know, so for us, it was always a privilege to do that. When I joined Cirque, I started with the touring show, you know, I had two suitcases. So two suitcases and you have to pack winter and some workloads, so it kind of like teaches you to not to buy many things or if you buy something, then you have to give away. And I never had a problem doing that I love, giving, I love sharing and this doesn’t change.

Yeah. So for five years, I've been traveling and then, my husband is also the same, wouldn’t buy many things. So we enjoy whatever we have. And very simple, like, super simple. Same thing here in house. Because we were living in Los Angeles for two years. And then, unfortunately, the show got closed, so we had to move. And we came here, to Las Vegas, and my husband got a job here for two years, he worked in the show. And after that we got another contract, that was in New York. So we know that we're constantly will be moving, you know, and it also helps you not to buy many things, because then you having a trouble dealing with those things.

 

Fei Wu  36:19 

Yeah. So what are some of the things you can’t live without, other than your family and your children? Like, what are some of your favorite items and things that you do use regularly? I mean, you could pack your life, you could go hiking or live somewhere. Probably the small luggage.

 

Gasye  36:34 

I think they are the only thing for me that is really, really important. And I cannot lose them. And when we had the robber in the house, I didn't care. I absolutely didn't care. Because these are just things, because you understand, sometimes computer can break or you can spill the water. So, my daughter one time threw up on my computer. I mean, you get upset, but it's just the thing. That's all like, whatever. Like for me, family - this is the thing that is most important. Even if I will lose something, I'm not gonna like cry. Yes, it will be upsetting. But I'm not gonna cry. Everything is with me. And this is the family, for sure. Because we travel, we make memories, and for us, it's definitely the same thing. Nothing is forever, right? Like, there're certain pictures, that are kind of important to us. So we all have, like, several hard drive to back up, in case something happens. But once again, it’s in our mind. It's the way living the life we’re making memories and, and all of these things will never be you know, I’ll never be sitting and praying like “Nothing please happen”.

 

Fei Wu 38:02

Thank you so much for for sharing kind of your inner thoughts. Things that people may or may not see or hear about, you know, on a picture or on the video. So, talk about photography real quick, because you take these beautiful photographs of yourself on Instagram. They're stunning. So are they mostly taken by Andy or Kevin?

 

Gasya  38:24 

Yes. So, you know, obviously when all this social media craziness happened to me, it was in New York. So there's so many photographers, and they started to contact me to do photoshoot here. You know, like so many different photo shoots on which I always would agree to do, and it was such an amazing experience to be honest, because there's so many different people, so many different styles. And it was beautiful. And also, I started to understand “Oh, my goodness, I learned so much”. And also I started to learn what looks good, what doesn't look good. And I know that what was this, and things like that. But Andy and Kevin, we all fell in love with the picture. So we bought the camera and we started to play with that. And it getting more and more serious. Now, of course, they have an object and subject to work with. And it's amazing, because it's three of us. So we all into photography, and it's so much easier. When it's not just one person, looking for something, but it's three. So we do enjoy it. Like all those moments when we try to create and to do once again. Something simple, but unusual. So it's a very amazing way to be creative, to show certain things through photography, which inspires us. Like so much. And t's beautiful. It's actually beautiful. And it's so easy to work with your husband. So you can spend as much time as you want. And sometimes I will have something in my head, some kind of imagination and I will try to do that. But then you know, he will say, okay, you are doing that. But can you do that? So we become just one big team, that makes this magic photography.

 

Fei Wu  40:27 

What a wonderful experience! Just watching you guys work together is something that I can relate to. Because my parents, one is calligrapher, the other an artist, so my mom finishes painting something, and he would write on her painting. That's just like… that partnership is there and I never thought about, yeah, you could rent equipment or schedule time with other people. But then they might not show up or it’ll be too long.

 

Gasya  40:54 

Yeah, that does the thing. All these photographers say “It's so beautiful, you have your husband and your brother in law, who are into photography”. So whatever, I can go shoot anytime, I'll just have to ask. Because one of them will sit with the kids and other one will go with me. And then, whenever I want to, like post that photo, or do anything, you know, it's just so easy, because there's so many photographers who I worked, and sometimes you just not gonna get any images back, and you just sitting and waiting. And you kind of want to see them, but you still don't see. So everyone has their own different roles. Some of them are very disappointing. Some of them are really nice.

 

Fei Wu  41:41 

I think when you love each other, right, that love is there. And that's when you create art that's irreplaceable. And when you look through the camera, you look so beautiful! I mean, I couldn't think of ending in a more positive note. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

Gasya  41:58 

Oh, thank you! It was amazing to talk to you.

 

Fei Wu  42:53 

Hi there. It's me again, I want to thank you very much for listening to this episode. And I hope you were able to learn a few things, and if you enjoyed what you heard, you'll be hugely helpful if you could subscribe to the Feisworld podcast. It literally takes seconds if you're on your mobile phone. Just search for Feisworld 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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