Vladmir Lissouba and Connor Houlihan: How to Make a Living as Circus Artists (#211)
Our Guest Today: Vladimir Lissouba and Connor Houlihan
My guests today are Vladmir Lissouba (Instagram) and Connor Houlihan (Instagram) from the incredible circus show called “La Galerie” (The Gallery) from Machine de Cirque. Adam Leffert (Associate Producer of Feisworld Podcast) also joined us as a co-host after watching the show during the Montreal Circus Festival.
Vlad is a Montreal native and Connor is from the United States. They are currently performing in Edinburgh, Scotland (as of August 2019). To check out the show, go to: Calendar from the company Machine de Cirque.
“No one ever told me this [about circus arts]. ‘If you have a passion, and that’s what you want, there is a way to make a living out of it’.”
Connor knew circus arts was something he wanted to pursue since age 8. Vlad, on the other hand, was inspired while in college while studying computer science. Together, they shared their perspectives and work and life, and how they’ve been transformed by their experiences.
Circus arts aren’t just passion or passion projects for the two performers. To embrace the art form in the long run, they needed to learn how to make a living doing it as well.
What’s the Show About?
“White. A ploom of color suddenly appears. It is promptly cleaned up. The visitors at the exhibit are delighted to return to monochrome perfection. Little by little, something seems off, things go haywire. The visitors gradually penetrate another world: the set turns inside out. Color appears once again, but now it is indelible. Amused, intrigued, energized, will it absorb them? After the worldwide success of its namesake show, Cirque’s new production takes you to the boundaries of art. With enticing live music and breathtaking acrobatics, let yourself be drawn into this astounding and unusual exhibit.”
Fei / (Adam) as co-hosts
[07:00] How was your experience with paramour? And how did you get started in the circus world?
[12:00] Education as circus artists
[13:00] I always get worried about your acts and the risks behind them. How do you handle risk?
[15:00] I didn’t really know what to expect about the show. How would you describe the show to the listeners (without spoilers)? How did your perspective of the show change with time?
[18:00] (Adam) Circus was the same high-art that I actually understood and could connect with. How would you recommend circus to people? How would you compare it with other forms of art?
[23:00] How is the work behind the scenes distributed in your show (and circus in general)? You often do A LOT of things.
[25:00] How do you guys deal with injuries?
[30:00] (Adam) Has circus changed your perspective of life? For example, when you walk in the city, do you start thinking about all the things you could leap over or tricks you could do?
[31:00] (Adam) How has technology changed the way you learn and communicate tricks with the circus community?
[34:00] (Adam) Can you comment something about the costumes of your show?
[38:00] Do you have travel plans soon?
This can be my life. No one ever told me that. It’s not something people tell you in school, like, by the way, if you have a passion, and that’s what you want, there is a way to make a living out of it.
It is work but like you say at the end of the day, we mostly work for ourselves, we don’t really have a boss. I mean, take the connection is very human. And in circus no one can tell you what to do. You’re always your own master. At the end of the day, you decide whether or not you want to perform a trick because it’s your life that’s on the line, it’s your health.
Our show like La Galerie is on the very theatrical side of things. Seven fingers also usually create a very theatrical circus, other circus are closer to contemporary dance. Others will have a lot of live music. Our show also contains live music, there’s no rules. So we could be singing, we could be dancing, we could be walking through the audience, we could be involving the audience in it. We could be you know, working with a crane, or throwing plates breaking plates.
So we are definitely not also alone doing every alone. We have people helping us out a lot but I think circus would you seen it in the show, it’s not about like how every individual shines. It’s about how, as a team, we can build things together. We try to be good team players, because that’s just more fun.
Vladmir Lissouba and Connor Houlihan: How to Make a Living as Circus Artists – Powered by Happy Scribe
Hello. How are you? This is a show for everyone else. Instead of going after top one person of the world, we dedicate this podcast to celebrate the lives of the unsung heroes and self made artists.
Growing up. People don’t really tell you that circus is possible.
This can be my life. No one ever told me that. It’s not something that people tell you at school, like, oh, by the way, definitely if you have a passion and that’s what you want, there is a way to make a living out of it. It is work. But like you say, at the end of the day, we mostly work for ourselves. We don’t really have a bus. The connection is very human. In the circus, no one can tell you what to do. You’re always your own master. At the end of the day, you decide whether or not you want to perform a trick because it’s your life that’s on the line or it’s your health. Our show, like Gallery, Arizona, is on the very theatrical side of things. Seven fingers also usually create a very theatrical looking circus. Other circuits are closer to contemporary dance. Others will have a lot of live music. Our show also contains live music. There’s no rules. So we could be singing, we could be dancing, we could be walking through the audience, we could be involving the audience in it. We could be working with a crane or throwing plates, breaking plates like Gandhini did.
So we are definitely not also alone, doing everything alone. We have people helping us out a lot. But I think circus, what you’ve seen it in the show, it’s not about how every individual shines. It’s about how, as a team, we can build things together. We try to be good team players because that’s just more fun anyway.
Hi there. This is Fei Wu and you’re listening to the Feisworld podcast. Thank you so much for joining us today. And on the show today, we have two guests, Vladmir Lissouba and Connor Houlihan. They’re super interesting. So Vlad and Connor are performers or slash acrobats for a show I completely fell in love with. It’s called the gallery. I watched the show with my associate producer Adam, during the Montreal Circus Festival. It was phenomenal. I know that we have a lot of circus actors, actresses on the show, and it’s just because I find their lives to be so fascinating. Imagine people who travel in cohorts around the world, risking their lives every single day. That is something that we often overlook in terms of what their experiences actually bring to their lives. And that’s why I want to talk to them and get that information firsthand. And I don’t seem to get tired of it after all. So Vlad is a Montreal native and Connor is from the US. I think hopefully by that alone, you’ll be able to tell them apart pretty easily after their performance in Montreal. Both of them are traveling to Edinburgh and Scotland next for most of August 2019.
So if you’re traveling in Europe, I think would be a fantastic idea to go check it out. Here’s a really interesting description of the show which doesn’t really give away anything, but I thought on the description of how these theaters cinemas decide to describe the galleries, quite fascinating. White. A plume of color suddenly appears. It is promptly cleaned up. The visitors at the exhibit are delighted to return to a monochrome perfection. Little by little, something seems off. Things go haywire. The visitors gradually penetrate another world. The set turns inside out. Color appears once again. But now it is indelible, amused, intrigued? Energized? Would it absorb them? After the worldwide success of its namesake show, cirque’s new production takes you to the boundaries of art with enticing light, music, and breathtaking acrobatics. Let yourself be drawn into this astounding and unusual exhibit. So, yeah, that is the description and I think it’s pretty accurate. But what you’ll expect at the end of the show is that you really start to reflect and learn more about yourself. So we had a deep conversation and discussion with Vlad and Connor about the show, of course, their own self discoveries as participants or more accurately, acrobats in the shows.
So Connor’s story was that he discovered circus arts and decided to pursue that when he was very young. I think he was only about eight years old. His parents said, figure out a way. So nobody in his family were circus artists themselves. Vlad, on the other hand, he was inspired while he was in college. So he dropped out as an engineering major and he began taking private lessons and literally spend every penny he had on these circus training, private lessons. And as we find out very quickly, it was all worth it. Working for the circus is another kind of what I think personal development or meditation for both artists. So their roles as part of the show, or in general is referred to as porters, and in French I believe it means transportation. And the role indicates that they have to be basically at the bottom while supporting one or multiple people on top of them, on their shoulders, on their hands and feet, and then flip them around and catching them all at the same time. So Conor and Vlad had to develop something that’s hard to put into words. So what do you call that?
Mental awareness? To watch a 150 pound person perform a flip and then land on your shoulders without stepping away. And, oh, we also talked about diet as well, and you’ll be surprised to find out how they do it and how they approach life’s many challenges. Without further ado, I’m so glad to be introducing two new acrobats on Feisworld podcast, Vladmir Lu Supa and Connor Huluhan. Thanks so much for listening and please connect with us at Face World. F-E-I-S-W-O-R-L-D. Everyone on social media, and while you’re there, maybe you want to check out who we are and how we build the business around Face World as well. You can learn all about that on our website. Feisworld.com. I’ll see you at the end of the show.
So tell us about your experience working on Paramore.
It was fun. New York is a huge city, and it was fun. It was a big show. It was a big production. You know, as an American, I grew up loving musical theater, so that was definitely a cool experience.
So my story my story as a circus artist started I was I grew up in Montreal, actually, which really exactly. It helps if you weren’t born into the circus to discover the circus, because we have circus here, which is not true of all other cities. And for me, it started with the Circus Festival, actually, nine years ago. So actually, ten years ago, I heard of it, and I heard of people working on that outdoor show. You’ve probably seen it named, and at the time, I was just a normal guy. I was studying software engineering. Oh, yeah, exactly. I have a degree in computer science from a stage here, like a technical school, and I was studying software engineering, kind of like, well, this is the thing that I hate the least, right? So that’s where I should go. And also, of course, the prestige that comes with being an engineer, thinking being an engineer is something that’s quite high social value. So this is definitely what I ought to be doing. And on the side, my passion was parkour. A little bit of acrobatics in the parks with my friends. We were very much self thought, and then we discovered some of our friends actually worked at the festival the first year, and I thought, oh, that sounds like a really cool summer thing to do.
And I auditioned for it, got in, met up with all the students that were the students from the National Circuit School and the Quebec City Circuit School that were performing in the festival, and I decided, like, wait a minute, I can make a living. This can be my life. No one ever told me that. It’s not something that people tell you at school, like, oh, by the way, definitely if you have a passion and that’s what you want, there is a way to make a living out of it. There are even schools you can go to that’ll teach you everything you need to learn to make this dream a reality. So I then started training for it. I hired the private coach from Cirque du Soleil, and I was spending all my money on that. More than on rent, more than everything. I was working with that guy three times a week. I love him to this day. I remember the first thing he told me. His name is Sergei Villadin. Yeah, he’s a really lovely guy, and he’s like, list. I don’t think he can make it. But then we’ll do my disk. All my stars for you, Russian guy.
And he did.
And it worked surprisingly. I don’t know how. For the first three years out of Ford School, I had an incredible imposter syndrome. I was like, I don’t belong here. They probably got the wrong Glad. But then I guess it did end up working. The director of the Minute Compared Monsieur actually offered me my first gig, which was a cabaret in Germany. He introduced me to three other guys who all went to Quebec City School. And during the show yeah, these three guys were like, at the end of the day, were like, hey, do you want to stay with us? We’re doing the street show. We’re going to tour it all over the world. Do you want to join us? And so I joined them on the street show. We’ve toured that show for three years, and then Machine got together, and we’re like, hey, do you guys want to create a show with Also Congress group? Yeah.
Like Glad said, growing up, people don’t really tell you that circus is possible. And for me, I’m from Minnesota and went to a Catholic military all boys high school. So it’s very like, college prep. You go to the school, you go to university, get a good job. But I don’t know, maybe sophomore junior year, you start looking at where you want to go to school. And I was like, this isn’t for me. And there’s a youth circus program in Minnesota that I had been a part of since I was eight. At that time, there were some older kids that were like, oh, yeah, I’m going to go audition for this school in Cubic City or Montreal. So I was like, okay, so this is, like, a real thing. And I told my parents, I was like, yeah, I don’t want to go to real college.
Like, I want to go to circuit school.
And my dad looked right at me, and he was like, you know what? If you can find a school, if you audition, you get in. And if you think you can make a living off of it, then go for it, man. Yeah. And I made it work. I got into school, trained for three years, and I thankfully haven’t really stopped working since then, so I’ve been pretty lucky.
Wow. So I remember one of you graduated in 2014 and the other 2016. Around that time.
Yeah, I was 2014.
Yeah, I’m 16. Exactly.
I remember just watching the show that you guys are in. It’s called the gallery or legality. And it was just the whole time. I always get really worried about you guys because we whisper to each other. I saw you both carrying two other guys on your shoulders, and I thought to myself, adam was like, they’re former pounds of dudes on their shoulders, and it’s very scary. I was like, okay, do you worry about each other? Do you worry about yourself? How do you get used to that?
Yeah, it’s training. We all take calculated risks. Do we take risks? Yes. But we train. We go step by step to be able to do anything. We don’t just do something out of hash, like recklessly. It’s very much step by step.
Yeah, exactly. That’s like a question that we get asked all the time. And I think it comes from the fact maybe that what we do is very far away from everyday things. But I like to give the example of using a knife. You don’t give a sharp knife to a kid because you know that he could hurt himself. But you don’t think twice about cutting your food with a knife because you’re so used to it. It became part of your everyday life. It’s something you know how to handle the risk. And it still happens sometimes that you cut yourself while cutting vegetables, but the risk is very little, and you know that you won’t hurt yourself that much. We’ve just decided that there’s this physiotherapist I follow that talks about acquiring new motor skills. And he says most people stop acquiring motor skills when they’re when they’re kids. The last thing you learn to do might be using calories or tying your shoelets. And then from then on, most people, that’s like a limited set of motor skills they have, and that’s what they use throughout their whole life. We’ve decided instead of studying nuclear science alchemy yeah.
We’ve decided to dedicate our lives to coming up with new motor skills and mastering them. And so the thing you also don’t see when you watch the show is all the skills we’re currently working on that we don’t feel are solid enough or safe enough to be put in the show. And there’s a lot when I started.
Watching the gallery and not really knowing all the details about the show because the website truly tells you very little. So I didn’t quite know what to expect, especially at the beginning of the show with people leaning different directions and the gallery canvases are all white. This is without giving away anything, right? And the next day, we’re at this modern museum of Montreal, and I found myself just leaning and looking at each other. It’s just like, what is going on? I mean, I finally reached an age, I was like, I’m not going to pretend I know what I’m looking at anymore because I have no clue. I don’t know whether this is done by a child or someone who’s 180 years old. And he’s just like, what is your feeling or interpretation? Now you’ve been in the show versus when you first entered the show.
That’s pretty cool that you say that. I mean, that’s what I hope that people can take away from seeing our show. I would hope that everybody has access to seeing a museum at least once in their life. But just like you said, you went to a museum and you were asking yourself questions about what we presented because we’re proposing questions to the audience. And that’s awesome.
Yeah, I think it’s pretty cool. I know that we do it too, now, and we will send each other photos of, like, look at what we found, like this exhibit. And our intention was never with the show to poke fun at the contemporary art world, nor was it to pretend that we were experts in contemporary visual arts. I think it was more like we’ve all had this experience of being in a gallery and not getting it. For example, you tell yourself the reason why this piece is on the wall is because it has value somehow. Why is it that I can’t get to it? And so I think we were poking fun at that a little bit. So not necessarily the art world, but more of how it makes us feel sometimes. And also in the show, there’s the character of Pauline. So Pullen’s character, and she’s the one who doesn’t pretend. She never does. I think all of our characters sometimes, most of the times, actually pretend. But Pauline is always being very true to herself and ends up at the.
End going through it, going through the.
Creative process or maybe and so maybe also understanding by doing is something that the show could be about. You hear that a lot when you go to a gallery and people say, oh, I could have done that. And the thing is that you didn’t. And if you did, maybe it would change your appreciation of that thing. So that’s one of the things the show is about. A lot of things.
Hi there, it’s Faye, and you’re listening to my podcast called Face World. Today on our show, we welcome Vladimir Le Suba and Connor Hoolahan to our interview. They are circuit performers currently performing a show called The Gallery, created by machine, the Cirque. It’s a show that has truly changed and transformed my life. I hope you enjoy it.
It’s many things over the I guess, only five years that we’ve been spectators are getting to be friends with people in the circus world. It was the first high art that I actually got. You know, when parents do so, we have these very close friends who we work with who are in phase documentary, who worked 40 years in the upper world. So I do absolutely respect that. That said, I don’t get it. And it was sort of forced on me as a kid, and I’m like, oh my God, please just make us stop. As much as we love them like brothers. So Cirque through Circulate first and then Seven fingers, and then your show and the other shows we’ve become aware of. It was the first meaningful art thing. It’s like, oh my God, finally I get it and open up that world to us.
I’m glad you’re calling. Circus of High arts. I think we want to deserve that label. I don’t know if we’re being given that label all the time. And at the same time, the circus used to be a very popular art. It used to be where the everyday people would go. Which is why there is still today a little bit of a stigma around and against circus. The stigma that we’re trying to fight. But at the same time, we also don’t want to get too far away from that popular aspect of arts. I think that people who don’t like opera and who don’t like contemporary dance or theater should come watch a circus show because that might be the form of art. They like the people who are a little bit like Attention Deficits or Hyperactive, come watch a circus show. We’re all hyperactive and attention deficit.
And you get that. You can take it for what it is. You can enjoy it. I saw it. There was cool stuff, great. But if you want to go deeper, there’s also a place for that as well.
Yeah. Or at least in contemporary circus, we try to. I think our art is also very ephemeral. You watch a show that was the show, you’ll never see the same show again. Even though we’re going to play that show hopefully hundreds of time, we’ll never play the same show again. So there’s this, I find, adds value to what we do because of the scarcity of it. The fact that it’s not something you can own and put on your wall. It’s not something that you can play back again and again even if you film it. It’s really, you know, the difference between watching a video of a circus show and watching the show live. There’s something you feel when you are in contact with the humans, when you have a doubt as to whether or not they will end. Trick. That’s pretty cool. And then the work aspect, it’s not a nine to five, but there’s like schedule. It does take. I don’t know about you, Connor, but for me, when I have a show, especially the show is quite new. It’s very hard for me to do other things in my day. It’s not like I’ll be going to the water slides first.
No, I have to focus. I usually get in a little bit of like prehab training, stretching in the morning. Then you’ll need to focus. Get to theater early because we discuss.
Notes and notes, small changes, things like that.
Rehearsals. There is the makeup, there is the costumes. There’s a huge aspect of logistics, too. We always have to take care of things break. Got to get them fixed. The costumes don’t break. The set will have to be cleaned. So it is work. But like you say, at the end of the day, we mostly work for ourselves. We don’t really have a bus. Technically we have a bus, but the connection is very human and circus. No one can tell you what to do. You’re always your own master. At the end of the day, you decide whether or not you want to perform a trick because it’s your life that’s on the line or it’s your health, it’s your future. I guess for that, we’re very lucky.
Not a lot of people see that you come to see a show and for that hour and a half, that’s cool. For us, we’re there three, 4 hours before the show and we have to kind of arrange a whole day around that hour and a half that we’re on stage.
I find that to be very different than what people perceive as the entertainment world. We are using someone like Bernie Spears or I’m not really following a pop culture anymore, but someone famous, Madonna getting on stage. They do a lot of work behind the scenes as well, but essentially all the logistical stuff, it’s already taken care of, paid by them. And they walk on stage to walk offstage into a limo, whatever. And what I have witnessed at PO and many other shows is that it’s so close to my heart to see people getting ready. I’ve seen people getting ready and people standing behind stage and I’ve seen we’re like a long day. The show ends at 1030. Now we got to go back to the parking lot and drive home. That’s a lot of work. And I see everyone coming back on stage, all the trench and sweat, and they’re like cleaning and wiring. It just goes on exactly like you said.
Yeah, I think superstars sure they get it. Maybe they have the composition it takes, and the ego it takes to actually believe that people ought to do their bidding. I don’t feel that way. I always feel very grateful for the technicians that we have that help us out. That’s like you talk about unsung heroes. Technicians.
They put in, they’re there before us, they leave after us.
Exactly. Yeah. And they were there before we arrived and they’ll be there after we’re gone, setting up everything, tearing everything down, making sure every light works. The smoke machine is a one, the.
Place is ready, there’s a new coat of paint. Cool. We don’t notice it, but they’re there and they’re doing these work.
They do an amazing amount of work. It’s ridiculous. And so for me, anything I can do that’s going to help them a little bit, make their life a little bit easier, I try to do. And usually it’s just like a Karmic thing. Then they see that you care about them and you see them and they care about you and they see you.
It’s give and take.
Yeah. Mutual benefit give and take. Exactly. So we are definitely not also alone, doing everything alone. We have people helping us out a lot. But I think circus, what you’ve seen it in the show, it’s not about how every individual shines. It’s about how, as a team, we can build things together. So we try, and I think it’s a code that we live by, and we also try and take that into the company with smashing the CX, with the technicians that are around us. We try to be good team players because that’s just more fun.
Anyway, how do you guys deal with injuries? I mean, this has nothing to do with a company. It just happens because it happens. When I reach for a towel at the gym, I was like, oh, what just happened? Welcome to 30. So what do you guys do doing.
Such an extreme I mean, warming up, definitely. Injury prevention is important. You got to do what you can and take the necessary steps to not get injured in the movements that you’re doing. But at the end of the day, we’re humans, we do make mistakes, and we can get injured, whether it’s just a little bruise or something a little bit more drastic. But yeah, stretching. And we have a little physio kit with us on tour.
Well, my view with injury, first of all, every single circus artist is different. Everyone is different in their way of dealing with pain. You’ll have someone like Antoine, he can withstand so much. Antoine is the other flyer who crazy. Flips off the board. He can withdraw so much. His tolerance for pain is incredible. Yeah, I remember the cat. Yeah, he’s like a cats around. The first public showing we did, he twisted his ankles day before he did this tape and was like, I’ll be all right, and he was all right. And that’s when you realize there’s a lot of mental there’s a lot of mental involved in how you feel and react with pain. And so before the stretching, before everything, I think, first of all, being ready to be injured, a lot of people how many times have you guys heard I know I’ve heard it thousands of times. Like, yeah, I used to do this fourth, but then I got injured, and so I stuffed any sport on the whole thing. That, for us, is crazy. William just recovered from an ACL meniscus tear. I mean, everything in his knee. He had surgery six months ago.
And you’ve seen him on the stage doing all these crazy things. You need to be prepared and ready. And there’s a little bit of, like, self destructive urge, maybe, but it’s controlled.
Measured risk, for sure. And then, of course, doing everything to prevent it. Of course, doing everything you can to prevent injuries means getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, stretching. What I’ve noticed about injury, for me is if I have an area that’s painful, trying to avoid the pain is not going to be what helps. Actually. It helps me to go into the pain slowly, cheerfully and negotiate with my buddy. Be like, how much are you allowing me right now? Okay, this is how much. Cool. I hear you. I’m not going to go further than that. But the next day, asking it again and again and like this, I found miracle happens.
I mean, it’s just like training step by step will hurt his knee last summer. And you’re not just going to get out of a surgery and start walking and put all your weight on it because I want to get back faster. I don’t know. Take it slow. You do your physio, then you start to put a little weight.
You’re walking with crutchers up. Next week you’re walking with a cane day by day and find out how to push that limit a little bit more and more and see what your body can handle. And then eventually you’ll be able to come back and maybe not 100%, but you’ll be able to manage that a little better.
Yeah. And how many times have I seen friends that got injured and their injuries were actually a blessing for them because they kept on training. Let’s say they couldn’t use their wrists, so they started using their elbow to grab onto their apparatus and then developed. Amazing.
It allows even creative process.
Yeah, creative process, exactly. The obstacle is the way.
Hi there. It’s Faye and you’re listening to my podcast called Space World Today. On our show. We welcome Vladimir Le Suba and Connor Hoolahan to our interview. They are circus performers currently performing the show called The Gallery, created by machine, the Cirque. It’s a show that has truly changed and transformed my life. I hope you enjoy it.
A couple of things I’m wondering is as you guys go through your daily lives, so getting through martial arts, we have some experience with that. But you’re walking down the street or you see a ledge or a distance, is your life different as you say, oh, I could leap over that, or I could catch this. Or is it like regular life and circus performance are separate? Or do you actually see the world as like a different place now?
Walking through airports gives us a whole new meaning after doing this show.
Every one of the time we go to an airport, of course you’re going to walk to the line and our minds just explode. We’re like, look at the possibilities.
It definitely affects my daily life. Oh, yeah, for sure. Just riding my bike, for example. It’s such a pleasure because what we learn is to play with anything and everything. But then also there’s such a thing as like work and sometimes like, oh, no, I don’t feel like it. I’m not going to take the stairs. I mean, let the elevator take me up.
Well, this is a cool bench. Could I do a backflip off of it? Sure, but I’m going to stay.
Our energy is. Pretty exhausted from the show. But then, especially for what we do, physical strength is always something I just take for granted. I don’t mind carrying heavy things for.
A long time where everybody’s best friend when they need to move.
Exactly. Notice when it’s moving season. But it does become part of your life. Of course, not at a high level.
But I did like low level competitive billiards and when I started in the everyone’s style was different because you were a certain kind of person, you trained a certain way. By the time I went in the mid, late 90s, there was nothing to watch anymore. Because if you were video cameras, everyone had exactly the same stroke. And I’m like, why even be here? There’s really nothing to see. And I’ve heard that in the circus world or any kind of world where there’s like these amazing tricks, it goes both ways. And it’s going to experience in skateboarding where it used to be that if you didn’t go see him perform, you wouldn’t see that trick.
It’s on YouTube. Somebody halfway on the globe, some kid who’s got nothing else to do all day sees it. So that must press the level. And at the same time, I’ve already seen that. I’ve already seen the 17 flips of who can do 18. That’s got to push both ways, too.
And also, though, you raised an interesting question, which is circus all about the tricks, or is there something else that’s worth seeing when you watch a show? Our show is packed with tricks, but I like to think that that’s not the thing that touches people the most. There’s also how we approach the tricks in our show, for example, we tried to break it. The formula, the mold is like, here’s a number. Here’s a little thing we do while we get ready for the next number, which is here. And then we’re going to try to.
Our director likes to tell us that it’s one movement mid, one long piece.
Show how you felt.
It’s not jazz hands while somebody sets up an app.
Exactly. And we’ve really tried. I think that’s why, if you ask me, why should someone who’s seen a lot of struggle show come watch our show? I think just to watch that process, actually, to be surprised with like, oh, wait, the set changed. I didn’t notice. Or like, oh wait, I thought we watched the hand to hand number already. But there’s still okay, maybe there’s no hand to hand number. I think that’s what we’ve tried to do. And people will say for them, that Billiard example. Well, I want to see where’s that person who tried and developed a better technique, could that be done? But someone must be trying to do it. It’s constantly challenging ourselves. And it’s true. Things are going fast. And we posted a video of a move, and I felt flattered that in the next day, I started seeing videos of people attempting it because I was like, you started here first. All right. I think it’s cool.
It makes things more accessible, which is a good thing. But at the same time, should we kind of focus on ourselves and what we’re doing a little more to recommend.
The show without giving away? I found a real smooth transition first, asking about the costumes. Right. It’s almost like street clothes, foam clothes, jackets and suit pants and almost a scifi world that was created. So if you know what I’m saying, without giving it away, I want to ask anything you want to say about that or how it was created or how it was, like, the rules of that world that we’re discovering as we watch the show, if you know what I’m talking about.
The costumes were in a gallery. We’re chic it’s the cocktail hour. We’re a little snobby, if you will. And then we take you somewhere completely different.
Yeah. I like to think it’s like David Lynch’s Alice in Wonderland universe where yeah. Things start to get a bit strange, which makes I think it’s a good contrast with the sterile atmosphere, the gallery of white and immaculate. So it is a metaphor for, I guess, what it takes also to create these places. Our idea was to have this parallel universe or through glass kind of experience where these people live.
Yeah. I just couldn’t recommend the show more because I was so different than beginning. I was like, oh, interesting. And part of me was thinking, I need to see shows like this more honestly as opposed to have a great relationship with Cirque du Soleil. But I would love to see more of these different shows now as opposed to shows that are similar to each other or there’s a box that there has to be a certain budget. There has to be certain colors. Everybody has to be in costumes.
There are so many circus companies out there. There are so many different shows. Are they better or worse than each other? I think that it’s up to whoever sees them. But one thing about Machine Disk and what we do, I think, is there’s a part of us, like, very personal part of us on stage that’s giving it to you guys in the audience.
That’s true. Yeah. What you see is actually who we are. You didn’t mention it. But there’s also a difference of price in the ticket. Even usually as smaller as this company is affordable, the shows, most of the times are amazing anyway. And like you say, you really feel a kind of intimacy. You really feel like you’re close to people. You can almost touch them. Sometimes you can even touch them. Circus doesn’t really mean much. We haven’t tried to define it. I’m glad you didn’t answer that question because it’s a really difficult question to answer. But what I know, you can tell our show, like Ellery, Arizona, the very theatrical side of things. Seven fingers also usually create a very theatrical looking circus. Other circuits are closer to contemporary dense. Others will have a lot of life. Music. Our show also contains live music. So circus today really is just a word that means it’s live performance. There’s a very high amount of chance that you’ll see some impressive buddy tricks. But apart from that, there’s no rules. So we could be singing, we could be dancing, we could be walking through the audience, we could be involving the audience in it.
We could be working with a crane or throwing plates, breaking plates like Gandini did. We could be cross dressing and covering ourselves with paint. Or there’s no rules, so you never really know what you’re going to see, but you know for sure it’s going.
To be something extraordinary, which, yeah, I encourage everybody just go. If you have access to it and you’re able go see a show, take a chance. Permission to say, if you don’t know who we are, take a chance. Whatever company, whatever show if you see a photo. Oh, that might look interesting. Awesome.
Are you guys traveling to very soon? To other cities?
Yeah. We go to Scotland.
We’re heading to Edinburgh for the French festival. Yeah, we’ll be spending the month of August there. And there is an option for us to be going to the States actually in May, end of June 2020.
Well, I have to ask this question because every time after I interview circus artists or performing artists, people are like, why didn’t you ask them about their diet? Because you have to be health conscious. You have to make sure your flyer doesn’t go over.
What I noticed is the most important kind of hygiene is just like basic body hygiene and basic mind hygiene, doing things not in excess. Well, I just hope that whoever listens to this is inspired to go watch some live performance. Doesn’t really have to be circus, any live performance, because there’s something about watching other human beings doing amazing things that is so inspiring. And sometimes that’s what you need to feel inspired and then to give you that motivation to, like you said, start being physical or tackle this thing you’ve wanted to do for a while, anything. Sometimes motivation comes from watching other people do things, do things. That’s why I think what we do is cool, too.
Wow. I can’t find a better place to end this. And thank you so much out of your schedule.
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. If you enjoyed what you heard, it would be hugely helpful if you could subscribe to the Phase Feisworld podcast. It literally takes seconds. If you’re on your mobile phone, just search for Phase 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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