It’s a crazy life, but it’s a life I choose.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
When we are seven years old we always have the answer. I want to be an astronaut. I want to be a vet. Or a personal favorite of mine; I want to eat dessert for a living. But after seeing my first Cirque Du Soleil show La Nouba when I was a child, I wanted in.
I met a circus recruiter when I was 12 and kept his card until I finished college. The day after I graduated I sent an email only to find out he retired 4 years prior. But with a stroke of luck at a gym one day, I scored an audition that punched my ticket to the circus life in China.
It’s a remarkable life but nobody tells you your cheeks get stained pink or you get sparkles stuck in places that don’t sparkle. Or for as long as you’re in this world you’ll be celebrating Christmas with your circus family. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But there’s a lot that happens before the makeup sets.
“If you’re gonna suck, at least be good at it.”
My first shot at clowning…
I didn’t come out of the womb hoping to some day perform as a genderless conniving manipulative servant. But I sure am happy to have had the chance!
I did however find an interest in clowning after my first audition for the role of the clown character, Iago, in The House of Dancing Water show in Macau (a role traditionally played by a male). It was a shot in a dark to be chosen. Unfortunately the first time it didn’t work out. But I had so much fun in that audition, I honed in on my own character for the following year. Fast forward a year and I had a workshop with a world renowned master clown; Philippe Gaulier under my belt. After that, I managed to get some character work done with the primary clown in our show, David Lebel. And with this experience and a lot of time spent making odd noises and faces in the mirror and I was chosen as the first female clown backup at then end of 2019. Holy cannoli!!
It was a moment in my life where I felt like I had uncovered a side of me that had been there the whole time. Truth be told, it’s a process to figure out how to expand upon this skill in pandemic times, but in the words of wiser people than I; “nothing worth having comes easy”.