Marissa King, acrobat
The 24-year-old tells us about her life as a performer with Cirque du Soleil Cwake up around 11am or, sometimes even I midday. It might sound late, but because of I our performances for Amaluna [Cirque du J. Soleil’s latest show], I do not get to bed until 2am – so I’m very much a night owl. I will have cereal for breakfast; usually Weetabix or Cornflakes, then I will make my way on site. We move from country to country for each run of the show, so the tent area is like home. We
After two high-energy shows a day, it takes a while to unwindhave a backstage kitchen facility, make-up and costume areas, plus training zones. I’m pretty much there all day!
Depending on the day, I might need to train, practise my act or just turn up half an hour before the show starts. Strength and conditioning work is tailored to the individual acrobat – some people are constantly training while others, such as the jugglers, do not do as much. My job is very physical. I’m part of the gymnastics-based Uneven Bars act, so I have to stay strong and work on my flexibility.
THE STARTING POIN
I’ve been a gymnast since I was eight and competed at an elite representing team GB at the Bwjing Olympics – until I was 17 years old, when I went to university on a full America and competed for University of Florida. Gymnastics and performing has always been something I have loved. As a sophomore in college in 2011, I unexpectedly auditioned for Cirque Du Soleil after I met a group of friends who were off to try out. I got to the last round and was added to their database and I kept in touch with the scouts and casting crew. After I graduated, I was lucky and a spot on Amaluna opened up for me.
THE CIRCUS PREP
Before I started the tour, I went to Montreal for six weeks to work on my performance. I had martial arts classes, vocal lessons and character-building and improvisation workshops. It was an insight into.
On average, I perform in 10 shows each week. Before a show, I usually something I’d never felt really comfortable doing before, but I knew I had to let myself go and get into character – they really do prepare you well! We have 49 artists on tour, not including the technicians, wardrobe and other backstage jobs. Amaluna is a mainly female cast and we are very tightly knit because we are travelling together and are around each other all day, every day.
I love what I do – I do not even consider it a job. Amaluna is such a strong, powerful show.
Amaluna opens at London’s Royal Albert Hall on January 16 until February 14, 2016 and will take the audience on a magical journey, loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Tickets to see Amaluna are on sale now at cirquedusoleil.com or by calling 0845 401 5045 or 020 7589 8212.
AMALUNA AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL Photo Gallery
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