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Old 12-02-04, 01:03 PM   #1
orestas1123
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Default help

I am 15 and thinking about entering the circus either through ecole in montreal or the san fransisco circus center, but Id like to be improving my skills now. I live in massachussets and I cant find any gymnasticcs places for boys my age. Does anyone know where I can get gymnastics training or any training that would improve my chances for a career. I am thinking of going into german wheel or hand to hand.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 12-02-04, 02:51 PM   #2
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Check for gymnastic clubs in your area - also look at the nearby universities. Any gymnastics foundation is going to help. Also look into dance, martial arts and theater training. Any of those subjects will make you more desirable for entry into circus schools.

I'm currently involved with a show sponsored by the SF Circus Center, and have been watching Master Lu Wi work with the acrobats in the cast. If you can get in with him, you will have your work cut out for you, but you will get a good foundation for your training. Be prepared to be poor for a while when you are in school! Happy, but poor...

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Old 12-02-04, 04:31 PM   #3
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thanks I have done tae kwon do for 2 years although I am no longer in it. But I dont know how likely it is for me to get into any reputable circus so Im afraid of dedicating myself to it.
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Old 12-02-04, 06:39 PM   #4
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Default I always wished . . .

I had learned to dance at your age. Can't hurt, and will very likly help.
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Old 12-02-04, 07:36 PM   #5
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Steven, do you know Chris Lashua, I know he's perfroming with the circus center. He was the one who got me thinking about the german wheel when I saw Quidam. And I went to your site, you have an amazing background. What Cirque du soleil show were you in?

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Old 12-02-04, 09:26 PM   #6
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Chris is directing and performing in the show I am doing at the moment. We've worked together on several productions over the past ten years. We are in the bay area until the first week of January at the Palace of Fine Arts. The show is called "Birdhouse Factory" and it opens the 15th.

He will be doing a version of his German Wheel act as the finale number.

Steve

BTW: I was in the original cast of Mystere and Quidam as well as a single episode of Solstrom and assorted corporate CdS shows.
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Old 12-02-04, 09:38 PM   #7
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Steven, do you know how chris learned the wheel and when he started? Also do you have to audition for SF circus center? And is it at all feasible that starting at 15 I could have a career in circus, I'd rather know now than when im rejected from all my auditions. Obivously Cirque du Soleil is near impossible to get in, but I dont know my options for other shows or ways to get into Cirque . Thanks for your help.
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Old 12-02-04, 10:22 PM   #8
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Trapeze School New York just opened an indoor facility in Boston.

http://boston.trapezeschool.com/
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Old 12-02-04, 10:23 PM   #9
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Chris talks about his wheel experience on his site: http://www.wheelworkbychris.com. He first started working with one while we were in Mystere (he was often on the stage before the show while I was warming up.) I know he trained with some experts in Germany for several months after the circus became interested in his proposal to bring the wheel to the stage. You can contact him with wheel related questions, but don't expect an answer. He is pretty tight lipped about the skill and helping others just to have them compete with him in the marketplace isn't high on his priority list right now.

Is fifteen too old? For some things, yes, but for others, no. You have to find out what you have to offer and then pursue that direction. Don't worry about success, just worry about being good. If you love the creative and training process, then doing shows is simply a way to make a little money to pay the rent.

Even if you are good and get into Cirque du Soleil you will get lots of rejection letters. FOL, so don't worry about it. I was described as one of the "old timers" by the director of all of the CdS shows the last time I talked with her. We discussed family and performing, and yet with all of my experience I would have to beat down their doors along side everyone else if I wanted another contract. Cirque isn't the be-all-and-end-all. There are lots of other venues to perform circus arts these days. I firmly believe that it isn't the who or the where, but the what that matters. Craft your act and skills, and if you focus on that, opportunity will present itself (usually in unpredictable ways!)

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Old 12-03-04, 12:00 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by orestas1123
Steven, do you know how chris learned the wheel and when he started? Also do you have to audition for SF circus center? And is it at all feasible that starting at 15 I could have a career in circus, I'd rather know now than when im rejected from all my auditions. Obivously Cirque du Soleil is near impossible to get in, but I dont know my options for other shows or ways to get into Cirque . Thanks for your help.
I knew Chris Lashua when he was 15 and I know exactly what he was doing... He was riding his freestyle BMX bike several hours a day, practicing like a madman and performing and competing on a regular basis with the Mountain Dew/GT Trick Team. I know this because he always used to kick my ass at those same competitions. (This was back in 1985, before you were born!)

I was not super close to Chris, but I did know him well enough to know that he was always working harder than everyone else at his craft. And he was always a super nice person. He just seemed totally dedicated to everything he did and it showed when he performed. His success is well deserved.

It sounds like you know what you want to do and you're already working at it. Don't think it's going to happen overnight. You're young and you have many years to work on your talents. Keep asking questions, keep practicing, and keep your eyes open for opportunities.
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Old 12-03-04, 06:33 AM   #11
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Thanks for all these posts, does anyone know if there are any age limitations for the german wheel like there are for some acrobatic acts and contortion? And Steven did you know Olga Pikhienko?
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Old 12-03-04, 09:42 AM   #12
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There are different size wheels for different body sizes. I don't think that there is any age distinction however. Do a web search and look overseas where the GW is done as a competative event for more information.

Yes, I know Olga. Did a gig in Miami with her just last month.

Steve
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Old 12-03-04, 10:46 AM   #13
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Does anyone know what age you generally retire from using the wheel in shows, like do I have any time constraints, or could I join a show at age 30. Also can you self-train on the wheel, because I dont want to waste 700 dollars for something that I cant train on by myself.I dont even know if Id be good at it. Also is there( or was there) a male singer in quidam, you could always hear him but he was never on the stage.

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Old 12-03-04, 10:15 PM   #14
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JHC, you're only fifteen! Don't worry about what age you will be when you 'retire'. Training in a German Wheel is more greatly constrained by having a sufficient training space with a large enough floor. That is probably your biggest obstacle.

Yes there is a male singer in Quidam. He's back with the band.

Steve
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Old 12-03-04, 11:12 PM   #15
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I know I'm asking alot of questions, and thanks for all the replies, especially steven, Im sure you must be busy. Is it worth the money to buy a wheel even without formal wheel training or is it a waste of 700 dollars. Also, what are the most important traits for someone interested and how can I practice at home( if I can at all). Thanks again.
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Old 12-04-04, 12:49 AM   #16
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Couldn't tell you one way or another, but if it is like most things, having guided training will certainly be more efficient and beneficial in the long run.

A question you should ask yourself is even if you get a wheel and learn to roll a bit in it, what are you going to do with it? There aren't too many opportunities for GW outside of having an established act. You might be better off taking your circus training in a stepwise manner and first study the fundamentals (gymnastics, dance, acting, acro, etc.)

Sorry I can't help you out with GW specifics. Been around them for years but have never wanted to get in one.

Steve
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Old 12-09-04, 09:23 AM   #17
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you can train alone on the wheel but without someone explaining the more complex stuff i don't think progress will be too quick. in the states i don't know how to go about learning but i know in germany and in valencia, spain there are teachers. first thing i would do is get in shape... i worked with one for about a month last year and if ya ain't got the physique its tough.
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Old 12-09-04, 10:57 AM   #18
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Default A question of the ages

A performer who I respect very much told me when I was first starting out in my early 20's that everything comes in stages.

If you are interested in performing and are commited to the art, use as much time as you can in your younger years learning your skills.

your teens are the preschool years...
your 20's are your main learning years
and your 30's are the magic years...

By the time you reach 30 imagine all of your training and learning from your past mistakes as well as what other people are teaching you...it will gel and WOW, what a foundation you will have.


just my 2 cents.

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Old 12-09-04, 12:06 PM   #19
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Default death where is thy sting ...

and your 40's are your pathetic years ...

your 50's ... pitiable.

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Old 12-13-04, 06:22 AM   #20
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Thanks everyone for all these posts. My plan as of now is this, when I turn 18 or 19, fly out to San Fransisco, live in some crappy apartment and work 40 hours a day, and train 30 at the SF circus center. Then, go to montreal and auditon for Ecole. Any suggestions of good things to do would be appreciated.
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