Jeremy Ten

Jeremy Ten: Skater from Cirque du Soleil’s AXEL (#238)

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Our guest today: Jeremy Ten

Jeremy Ten is a Canadian figure skater, a three-time Canadian national medallist (silver in 2015, bronze in 2009 and 2012). He competed in the free skate at seven ISU Championships. Jeremy strikes me as someone who’s highly skilled and yet incredibly humble. After being interviewed by at least 5-6 reporters just before our conversation, he pleasantly accepted my invite to join Feisworld as part of a Facebook Live series, where I interview performers as I travel with my partner Adam Leffert.

AXEL is a different kind of Cirque show. After CRYSTAL (the very first ice show from Cirque), AXEL became the second success story of attempting something so out of the ordinary for Cirque. Artistic director Shana Carroll has been interviewed on Feisworld once before when CRYSTAL was in production.

Jeremy and I talked about AXEL, what it’s like to be a traveling artist at the age of 30, transitioning from a professional, competing skater to a circus performer, plus Jeremy’s skincare routine that keeps him looking young and refreshed.

Transcript

Jeremy Ten Skater from Cirque du Soleil’s AXEL.m4a – powered by Happy Scribe

Feisworld podcast helps independent creators live their creative and financial freedom. I’m your host, Fei Wu, and I’ll be taking you through a series of interviews with creators from around the world who are living life on their own terms. Show notes, links and ways to connect with the guests are at available on phaserald.com. Now onto the show. Hey, guys, this is Fei Wu, and welcome to another episode of the Feisworld podcast. Every week, I go behind the scenes and record live videos on YouTube alongside other tools and tips for independent creators, and we convert some of those audio content to be podcasts right here on Feisworld. My associate producer, Adam, and I live in Boston. My producer and audio engineer, Herman, is based in Sweden, and my virtual assistant, Rose lives in the Philippines. I’m not quite the one woman show, because without my team support, I won’t be able to share these stories with you. Well, today we’re meeting Jeremy backstage at Serve du Soleil Axel during their performance in Worcester, Massachusetts. By the way, this is a very short interview. Only about eight to ten minutes with Jeremy Ten. He is a Canadian figure skater, a threetime Canadian national medalist, silver in 2015, bronze in 2009 and 2012.

He competed it in the free skate at seven ISU Championships. And Jeremy strikes me as someone who’s highly skilled and yet incredibly humble. After being interviewed on that same afternoon by at least five to six reporters just before our conversation and right before their performance later that evening, he pleasantly accepted my invite to join Face World as part of a Facebook. Live series where I interview performers as I travel with my partner, Adam Luffford all around Massachusetts, but mainly in or around the theater district in downtown Boston. Axel is a different kind of Cirque show after Crystal, the very first ice show from Cirque, axel is a second success story of attempting something so out of the ordinary for Cirque artistic director Shayna Carroll, for both Crystal and Axel has been the interview previously on Face World and we absolutely love her. Jeremy and I talked about Axel, the show, of course, what it’s like to be a traveling artist at the age of 30, transitioning from a professional competing skater to a circus performer. Plus Jeremy’s skincare routine that keeps him looking young and refreshed while traveling. Let me tell the intro a bit short here, so it’s not longer than the interview itself, you know, but to learn more about Face World and to support our show, please subscribe and share this episode or any other episode you love with your feedback, comments on social media.

That act means so much to us and goes a long way to support our creative network. Thank you so much on behalf of Phase World, and welcome to the show. So you’re Jeremy Ten?

Yes, I am.

Your last name is T-E-N?

Yes. Like the number.

Great. I’m curious what type of last name is that?

So I’m actually of Chinese descent, but my parents are actually from Brunei, and the story that I was told is that their parents were grew up in China, got immigrated to Brunei, and then through the paperwork, my last name was supposed to be T-H-E-N but somehow the age got dropped and I became ten.

Whoa. First time? That was like the first question that you got to answer. That’s awesome. So I heard that you were a professional skater first.

I was, yes.

Wow.

So I began skating at the age of nine back in Vancouver, BC. Which is where I’m from. And then I represented Canada for eleven years, and I’m a three time national medalist and two time World Team member for Canada.

Okay. What age was that, by the way? Eleven years.

Eleven years. So I started competing for Canada when I was about 1314 and did that all the way up until I was 25.

Wow. Incredible. Okay. Cirque du Soleil must feel a lot easier than the national stage, right? Or international stage.

For me, I’m always going to be I’ve always been a nervous performer just because I’m such a perfectionist. And when I go out there and hit the ice in front of the audience, I just want to be perfect and share that passion and that creative ability with the audience. So, I mean, it is less pressure competing, but there’s still a little bit of pressure, you know what I mean?

Yeah, definitely. We happen to be I love Cirque du Soleil. I put three of the Acrobats, so the afterton family in my latest documentary.

Very cool. Yeah.

Yeah. So I have a huge amount of respect for people who do what you do. And I feel like the story is a little bit similar because for them, they were national gymnasts representing the UK and retired at the age of, I think 23, 24, and then became circus actor. So what was that transition like for you? Was it easy? Was it challenging?

For me, it was just I mean, if I had it my way, I would have been able to compete my whole life. I really loved it, but obviously all good things do come to an end. And I just realized that I came to a point in my career where I was a silver medalist in Canada. I had gone back for my second World Championships, and I just knew at that point in time it was ready to move on. And I also was graduating from university that year, getting the cubes in my own apartment. So I was really becoming an adult, and I really wanted to just go in a different route. And then I found show skating, and I did that for two years on cruise ships and then found myself here.

Wow. So a lot of people don’t know what it’s like to be a traveling artist. So for me as a woman to imagine that it’s basically one suitcase. Have your life in there. What is it like for you to be traveling all the time?

Well, for me, it’s two suitcases and two carry ons. We’re constantly on the road, so I think the hardest thing about that is just learning to adapt each week in a new surrounding. But it’s easy because we really create a family here at Cirque du Soleil in your cast and with the touring company. So that makes it a little bit easier. But life on the road is actually quite fun. It’s cool to be in a new place every week and to kind of meet new people and perform for new audiences. And it’s not going to be like that for everybody. It might be hard for somebody who likes that routine, a different or a more stable routine, but I love it.

I feel like you already build a relationship with the audience because you trust everybody on stage. And I’m curious. There’s something I learned as an artist, even though most of what I do is kind of behind closed doors podcasting and I hear feedback every once in a while. How do you kind of condition yourself, position yourself where you have a job to do, you do it and honestly not be too affected by people who are watching.

I think for me, it’s just whenever I get on the ice for my practices and my warmups, just like when I was an athlete, I just make sure I make the most use out of my time, and then I’m doing everything in my power off the ice to prepare for my performances on the ice, whether that’s eating the right foods or going to the gym and doing my workouts and staying in shape. And that makes me more comfortable before I get out from an audience to do my job and just remembering that the audience is there and they want to see you do your best, they’re there to support you, and I’m there doing what I love. So when I think about all those things, it makes it a lot easier to be in front of the audience and just absorb their energy.

Awesome. I love that. Well, the last thing I’ll ask is you say you have two luggages, two carry on. What are the things that you love traveling with? And then I love to find out what you cannot live without and what you keep on it.

For me, I like having a lot of very options when it comes to clothing. When we are out with the cast or just out exploring the city, I like to look my best. I’m always in my grungy clothes. And then I also travel with my skincare routine and my neutral bullet. I got to have my neutral bullet when I’m traveling.

What is the NutriBullet?

NutriBullet is like a little juicer, so there’s a magic bullet. The neutral bullet, and then there’s, like, the Vitamixes. I carry it just because it’s the perfect size, a little bit easier to travel with.

Okay.

So that when we’re not experiencing the fantastic catering that circuitly provides us on the earlier days of the week when we’re resting, I have I can make my smoothies in the morning and still feel like I’m getting my nutrition.

Whoa.

Yeah.

How are you going to source all the fresh fruits when you’re on the road?

So, Monday, when we arrive in our new city, we usually go grocery shopping, my friends and I, and we just pick up the things that we need for the first few days before we have our shows, before we have our access to catering, and that’s how we kind of get by. Yeah.

Wow. Okay, what is your skin care routine?

Some products that I swear by I love. Keels serum is amazing. As well as Nivia Cream lotion, which I use for my face after I’ve done exfoliating with the Keel products. Those are basically my necessities that I got to have my oils and my creams.

It’s important. You got to take care of yourself.

I’m 30 now, so you got to kind of think about those things. Yeah, for sure.

Okay, last last question. You love clothing, and, like, what are your style? Because when I see your hoodies, obviously this is not what you travel with all day.

This is comfort. 100% comfort.

Yeah.

My favorite brands are top man. I’m a small guy, so for me, it’s about finding clothes that fit properly. And Top Man has a great size selection. They make extra smalls, which is kind of more catered towards my body type as well as Our Man. I love Zara and H and M has some great cheap fines, affordable fines. And, yeah, I love trying new things. I’ll walk into any store and see what I can find.

Cool. Amazing. Okay, we might have to compare notes.

Sure.

Thank you so much for talking about all these things that you’re comfortable talking about.

I love it a pleasure. Thank you for your time.

All right. Thank you so much. This episode of the Face World Podcast is brought to you by Phase World LLC, our marketing service agency created for independent creators and businesses. We offer website development, video production, marketing, mentorship to people who want to tell better stories, level up, and create a profitable brand. Face Feisworld Podcast Team our chief editor and producer, Herman Sevillos. Associate Producer Adam Laffert. Social media and content manager, Rose De Leon. Transcript editor, Alina Ahmedova. And lastly, myself, the creator and host of Phase World. Thank you so much for listening.

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