As most of us are starting to celebrate the holidays with the allowance of special holiday foods and drinks, Rebecca Star is maintaining a rigorous training schedule as a Cirque performer. She is touring with the Cirque Dreams Holidaze production, which is coming to Atlanta November 23rd and 25th at the Fox Theatre.
She took some time out of her busy show schedule to give me an inside look at her training and details about the exciting holiday spectacular, in an exclusive interview for my readers…
Cirque Dreams Holidaze looks like an amazing production and far beyond what we normally think of with the “Cirque” brand. With singing, acrobatic choreography and broadway flair, do the performers take on diverse roles throughout the show?
Rebecca: The artists in Cirque Dreams Holidaze portray “Ornaments” on a 30-foot steel holiday tree which is the centerpiece of the production. One by one they awaken and tell their stories through their amazing artistic and athletic feats. Each performer plays several characters throughout the production. From balancing penguins and flipping gingerbread, to soaring angels and toy soldiers marching on thin wires, there’s really something in the show for everyone.
Training and rehearsing must start early for such an elaborate production. How do you get into the holiday spirit as a performer, long before the calendar year says so?
Rebecca: It’s true, Halloween has just passed and we’re already moving onto Christmas! For us, it starts with long days of rehearsals filled with holiday music and classic Christmas characters. If hours and hours of holidays classics, giant gingerbread costumes, Santa Claus and his big bag of gifts combined with amazing circus acts doesn’t get us in the mood, I don’t know what would! It may just be the beginning of November, but for us the “Holidaze” are in full swing!
How did your background help you prepare for your role in Cirque Dreams Holidaze?
Rebecca: Long before I became a circus artist, I trained as a competitive gymnast and a dancer. These skills gave me a solid foundation to build upon and helped become a successful circus artist. This show requires not only amazing Circus skills, but a strong understanding of musicality, an ability to pick up choreography quickly and execute it effortlessly all while performing for an audience and having fun. I rely on those foundational skills every day.
Clearly, the cast is in excellent shape and you work hard to maintain your physique. How do you take care of your body and prevent injury during a busy touring schedule?
Rebecca: Lots of sleep, healthy eating, a strict warm-up regimen before shows, cool down after shows and finding time in the schedule to keep up on act training and conditioning. It is a lot of work, and it takes up a good portion of most days, but it is worth it to be able to do what we do! It’s a small price to pay for flying around the stage and entertaining people night after night.
Speaking of the cast, 30 performers from 12 different countries is a diverse group. Does that have any effect on your training and performances? Does it feel like family?
Rebecca: It does feel like family! We are from different nations all over the world, but we all speak the language of circus. Many of us have worked together before in other shows, so for many it feels like a family reunion; others we are meeting for the first time, making new friends and learning each other’s cultures. In a show like this, since it spans the holiday season, it really gives us a chance to experience how other cultures celebrate the holidays and embrace our similarities as well as our differences.
The New York Daily News says the show is “so full of energy it could end our dependence on oil”. Do you have any tips, for my readers, about maintaining your energy level? We’d love to know your secret!
Rebecca: Just have fun! It’s such a colorful and exciting show, it’s hard not to enjoy ourselves.
Do you have time to tour the city Atlanta when in town? Anything that you’re looking forward to visiting?
Rebecca: I hope so! We will be in Atlanta over Thanksgiving so I hope we will have a chance not only to see the sights of Atlanta, but find a spot for a proper Thanksgiving meal!
After a successful and busy tour schedule, do you have any traditions to celebrate your hard work and accomplishments?
Rebecca: Our “Holidaze” season ends on New Year’s Eve so we usually have many things to celebrate. The final night of shows, once everything is packed up and ready for travel back home, is often filled with festivities. Not only do we have a chance to celebrate a wonderful season, but it’s usually our final night all together as a cast and we get to ring in the New Year. It’s a blast!
Cirque Dreams Holidaze is a can’t miss show and will only be in Atlanta for 2 nights! Tickets are affordably priced from $45 to $65 for the Nov. 23 through Nov. 25 shows at the Fox Theater.
The show schedule is Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be available online at www.FoxTheatre.org, by phone at (855) 285-8499, or visiting the Fox theatre Ticket Office. Discounted tickets are available for groups of 10 or more by calling 404-881-2000.
For more information, visit: www.cirqueproductions.com