A Day In The Life Of… A circus coach
What time does your alarm go off?
Around 8 o’clock.
Do you snooze or get up immediately?
Usually I get my phone to check messages and emails, and then I get up right after.
What is it that makes you get up?
I love my job and I’m happy to go to work!
Describe your routine before you leave the house
I first check my emails and messages, have a light breakfast, go to the gym (3 to 4 times a week), and then have another breakfast! Next I shower and leave for work. And, here in London, I usually stop by the V&A museum for an hour. I love art!
When’s your first caffeine of the day and how much do you end up drinking on average?
I have my first coffee on the way to work and usually I have around five cups during the day…The days I’m more stressed, I drink a bit more!
What’s your working day like?
When we have a one-show day, I have a lot of training on stage and backstage rehearsals happening in the afternoon. I need to make sure everyone has everything they need to be able to perform in the show that night. It can be someone being revalidated for an element, integrating something new into the show or just validating technical elements like the stage, the lights or the automation.
I usually have to supervise over 24 hours of training, split in between the stage and our backstage area. At the end of the afternoon, I have a ‘line-up’ meeting for the show with the artistic team. Along with the two physiotherapists, the stage managers and the artistic director, we decide the line-up for the show for that night as it is always different, from one show to another. I also sometimes have meetings with different artists.
And when does it end?
On a regular day, I go home right after the show. It happens sometimes that I have to stay with the artistic team after to discuss changes or modifications for the next day.
What are your favourite and least favourite parts of your day?
My favourite part is to work with the artists and the least favourite part is all the paper work!
What made you want to go into that job, and is it what you expected?
Before becoming a coach, I was an acrobat for Cirque du Soleil. I loved my work, but also the company itself. I knew my time as an artist was coming to an end, so I started to shift my focus on following the coaches in the shows and workshops.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I love dance and I always wanted to be a dancer.
How did you get where you are now?
I began diving at the age of nine and continued to compete at an international level until I was 27 years old. I was performing in diving shows in Europe and Asia. I eventually began a ‘general training/formation’ at Cirque du Soleil in 2006 in order to be part of the show ‘O’ in Las Vegas. Instead, I received a contract for the show Saltimbanco to be part of the Russian Swing act! While I was working for this show, I became a multidisciplinary artist and was asked to participate with the Chinese poles and bungee acts as well!
While I was touring and performing in Saltimbanco, I had the opportunity to be an artist coach and started taking care of the acrobatic level of the bungee act. I enjoyed it a lot and expressed to Cirque du Soleil my interest to pursue coaching. They offered me an internship that led to working for Cirque du Soleil studios and the National Circus School in Montréal. I eventually got back into full-time work on tour as a head coach for OVO, which is where I am now.
How do you spend your evenings?
These days, since we are in Europe and my family is in Brazil, I have to juggle with time zone difference. Usually, when I go home at night after the show, I spend time calling my family!
How and when do you relax?
I love to paint or visit museums and art exhibitions in the different cities we visit when touring.
And when do you get to bed?
Usually it takes me five minutes to fall sleep. I start to watch something on the computer and I’m out.
Get tickets for Cirque du Soleil’s OVO at the Royal Albert Hall before it closes on 4 March, or catch it across the UK between 16 August – 7 October in Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow, Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.