I think the marketing is wrong, it's always been wrong since I've been there. Wrong meaning the marketing has taken the wrong angle. That they undercut themselves in the marketing. That's one reason, another reason is that they were for a long time thought of as a hippie, and they were, a hippie circus. They are transitioning out of that now, almost fully transitioned out of that at this point arguably. But their audience is still that hippie audience and their reputation is that. And they haven't overcome that. They have to do that with marketing as well as the show itself. I think the show itself does almost conquer that goal. Currently they have, I'm a guest artist with them right now, and so it's the first time I've performed there for four years. They just opened in Santa Cruz this past weekend, a couple of days ago, and the show went over very very well. Personally though, I think there are some artistic choices that Tandy has made that will keep them back. That's just on a personal level, I think they are, again even with the show itself, the artistic aspect of the show itself. They are undercutting themselves with what I call too much wholesomeness, it's a little bit false. Its a little bit middle, not middle America, it's a little bit you know whatever this symbol is, sticking your finger in your cheek, and aren't we cute? The validity of what they are doing, I mean what they are doing is valid enough they don't need to support it artificially with the style they are performing in now. That's my opinion. And then there's other things, should I go on about this, or have you heard enough about that one?
And after about half the audition, they pulled us all together and said, OK we're split you into two groups now. We'll take some of the people over there. And the actors over there will work on acting. And at the beginning of the audition I'd said I was more of an actor than a dancer. And the dancers will stay here. And I was like, oh, great I've gotten through the dance part and I felt OK about that. Cool, now we go to acting, I'm ready. And they said OK, George, Linda and Jenny go over there for acting and the rest of you stay here. And I was like, wait a second, and my hand shot up. And I said wait a second, you want me to go over to the actors, right? They say no, no, no, we want you to stay here with the dancers. So, I had to go for another hour and half of that dancing crap.
And they put us on the fast track which is this long trampoline and I fell flat on my face, you know. But again I was having a fun time. They kept me afterwards, after three hours, they kept me afterwards asking questions and stuff. So that was the beginning of our relationship which continued throughout the year. And we continued to talk and continued to keep in contact throughout the year. They kept saying, OK we'll have an answer, you know, April. And I would call in April and they would say, well yeah, we'll have an answer in June. And this went on, and then finally they said, well we'll know in September. October 1st came and they hadn't called and I said well, forget that. And I started pursuing these other leads for next year '96.
Well, middle of October the casting director calls me and says, we're having a little, we're bringing together for an etage, a workshop, a few of the people we are considering for the principle personage in Montreal. And this is something I had suggested to her before, that we do. If the director was having so much trouble deciding, why doesn't he just bring us all together and look at us together and decide. So now they were gonna do that. Unfortunately, of course, I had a gig. So, I could only make it to the last of three days, but that turns out OK, no problem, that's better than nothing.
So they flew me out there, and it was pretty fun. We did, you know, three hours in the afternoon. They basically put us in, seven of us in, to what was essentially a rehearsal of maybe an opening scene so they had the acrobats there, the house crew, the core group. And they sort of had us do stuff, you know, be goofy, whatever. And it was pretty fun. I didn't feel like I was brilliant. I felt like I did OK. Although, the main thing relative to the other people that were there I thought, myself and one other guy were doing probably what they wanted to see. Where as the other five people were, I thought, not the right style for what they were looking for. Well that night I got back to my hotel room after we'd been out with among other people the Artistic Director who hadn't talked to me all night long. And I thought, oh this is a bad sign. And he talked to me for like one, he asked me like one question. I answered and he says, can I sit over there? He wanted to switch seats with me because he wanted to talk to this other woman. So I thought OK, there's no way I got this if he's talking to me like this. Well that night there's a message from the Casting Director at the hotel for me. And I called him the next morning and he offered me the job.
And so now we are negotiating a contract. And it would be, I must say, a dream come true. Ever since I first saw their show, in 1987 when they first came to the states, it's before they made it big. It was when they made it big, in Los Angeles in 1987 at the Los Angeles Theatre Festival, it was the best show they ever did. They've gone downhill ever since in my opinion. Well it was an incredible show, it was the best show of anything I'd ever seen. And it just blew me away.
And one of the main roles was performed by a man named Marc Proulx. And he defined the role of principle personage for Cirque de Soleil, which they continued to have in every show thereafter. Which is sort of a character that weaves in and out of the show, eccentric dance, comic, not the main clown, or anything like that but, a role really you can't see anywhere else. Nowhere else that I've seen a role like this. A role into which you can put this much energy, into which you can be this wild, this controlled. In which you can have such a relationship to the audience and to the performers. The really, the conduit between the performers and the audience, this character, when it's done well. And they've done it well in some shows and not so well in others. And it's been a dream for me to play something like this ever since I saw Mark in 1987 do this. And I had a chance to work with him in the Pickles. He came and I learned a great deal from him, I worked with him for only three months, four months, but learned an incredible amount from him. And when Cirque offered me the role of one of two principle personage for the new show, you know, I just about freaked. Course I'm trying to get as much money as I can from them. But it is, it's a non juggling role. I won't be juggling, they are going to be doing a little bit of acrobatics, who knows. But I think it is, oh I could go on and on about it.
Now with acrobatics I've found and with acting and with this character even more so. Because I'll get to do dance, eccentric dance, which I've never been able to do but, I've had inside me. When I'm hanging out in the middle of the night in my room and got the radio turned up all the way and I'm just freakin' out. I mean I could just go hog wild and I'm gonna get paid to do that now. And I think it's going to be able to..
I wanna be a rock and roll star. Not necessarily a rock and roll star but, a singer but I can't do that. But what appeals to me about that is the unconstrained, the abandoned emotion that goes into rock and roll singing. That goes into rock and roll singing by a good performance group. I mean you see it in good dance. Just totally giving of yourself, all your energy going into the dance, occasionally you see it. I can't put that much energy, all the energy I have for a performance, I can't put into a juggling act without dropping. It takes controlled energy to do a juggling act. And this role, as I'm imaging and hoping it's going to be for Cirque, depending on how the director directs me. I will be able to let loose. And be able to just, pow! I hope that's true, I hope it comes out that way. It could be just really cool. And the other cool things, it's gonna be so cool man. You're gonna get me, you're gonna have to stop me because you're the first person I've really talked to about this. I've only been rehearsing this for weeks in my mind for when I get to tell people.
Not only that but, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get to keep this image. Cirque de Soleil has the, usually they'll put people in all these costumes, cover their faces in masks, or other stuff. And one of the neat things about this is that, I'm pretty sure I'm being hired for my look. So it will be me out there. It'll be me, this haircut and this face. And they don't usually have that. And to be able to perform for 2500 people who are an easy audience granted. Because of all the lights and all the stuff that Cirque has, I mean it's an easy audience and it really makes my job easy.
Its just going to be great. Its gonna be totally great. A dream come true literally. And I just can't wait, I can't wait. It comes back to that sudden bout of confidence I had in the audition. I've never had this much confidence about a job in my life. I mean here it is, it's Cirque de Soleil, it's big exposure, big time, you know. You better know what you are doing. But I know this is something that I can do. And I know I'll do it well, I've never felt that way about any job before. I'm so glad I don' t have to worry about dropping. I think that's what it is, after juggling anything is easy. I mean I go on, I go on commercial auditions and stuff and it's just easy. That doesn't mean I get the jobs but, it's easy because man, juggling is just too hard. So that's some of why I'm so excited about Cirque, and I hope we can come to an agreement. I hope so.
© 1996 Juggling Information Service. All Rights Reserved.