How do you search for artists online and what information do you expect to find?
With new technologies, it has become easier to find people and rapidly get useful information. The best way for us to get in contact with someone is through our casting website. For some years now, artists can simply apply online and, if they are selected, be part of our talent databank. They will be asked some important questions about their past experience and formation, their main and second disciplines and all their personal information to allow us to contact them fast if needed.
When we you do research online, we expect artists will include this type of information on their website. In general, employers are looking for:
- complete name (as shown in the passport)
- date of birth
- phone and cell phone number
- 1 or 2 email addresses
- and of course the height and weight
In your opinion, what makes a good photo of a circus performer?
We are always asking for a close-up (photo of the face) and a full body picture. When registering online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/jobs, artists will be asked for those. Since we no longer use pictures to assess artist talent, other type of pictures aren’t considered. These days, a good video (excerpt and entire act) is imperative. With it, we are able to evaluate the technical skills as well as the quality of movement, the interpretation and other artistic skills. This is why we are not asking for pictures of artists in action.
What kind of video do you prefer to see of a performer?
As I mentioned before, the best is to have two videos: a short one (promo style) showing all the skills you can do in different disciplines and a full length video (entire act without any cut). The reason why we prefer an un-edited version without any special effect is to see the pure talent as it is. We do not mind a few mistakes. We actually like to see how the artist will react and recuperate. We are not considering the costume or the music. Many times artists are sending us video of a training session and for us, this is as good as a professional video.
What is important to you when communicating with artists?
Today, everything is going very fast. Sometimes, it can even be a question of hours or minutes. When contacting artists, we are expecting a fast reply to our message. As you know, timing is everything! To help the process, we are asking artists in our databank to keep their profile up to date. That way, when we are looking for information or a video, we have it on hand. Of course we rely on a clear, open and honest communication with every artist.
Samuel Roy is an Acrobatic Talent Scout at Cirque du Soleil. A graduate of the National Circus School in Montréal, he has performed for various projects and shows worldwide such as Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Éloize, Cavalia, GOP and many others. Sam has also co-founded the company Throw2catch and set up a circus arts and acrobatic activities training and development centre in Montréal called Studio ArtCorps. Sam joined the casting team of Cirque du Soleil in 2014, seeking to develop a new type of performance using innovative ideas and concepts that have yet to be explored in the circus world.