To keep the productions interesting, the organizers of the shows are constantly faced with the daunting task of hiring numerous performers to execute the athletically challenging stunts that are the essence of the shows. So, the company routinely searches through the sports world and the Olympics in particular for a source of talented athletes to perform their abilities in the shows.
Hundreds of top gymnasts, tumblers and X Game stars on their bicycles and about 50 Olympic winners now are employees of the productions. It is a modern day circus that is equal parts performance and performance art. Like the part where it seems to be a car rolling on the stage but then breaks off into parts of performers whirling around the stage to interesting music and no words spoken. Like the ultimate mime show that the French have perfected.
It has catapulted into a multi Billion dollar business with no end in sight. There are now 21 productions in more than 20 different countries. Seven full time shows in Las Vegas alone. They have even had thematic shows that are dedicated to a medium like the ones featuring the Beatles songs, immortalized Michael Jackson and featured Hollywood stars and their catch phrases during their tumbling.
The Olympic athlete gets to love the freedom to express themselves without criticism . In the Olympics everything is judged including how they wave to the crowd after performing their feat. Where else can these types of professionals find a job where all your training over the years can actually turn into a pay check? In this show they dive and fly and jump 25 feet high before diving gracefully into the water unharmed.
The diving boards in the show are twice as high as in competition rising 60 feet high. Terry Bartlet was a three time Olympic gymnast who now plays the role of lead clown and loves it. Guy Laliberte is the founder of the production that has made $2.5 billion dollars from his shows. What do you do next, after you have founded the world-famous Cirque du Soleil and made $2.5 billion? Go to the moon! And so he did.
Cirque was born on the streets of the city of Montréal in Canada. Guy was a street performer walking on stilts or playing the accordion even learned to breath fire in order to get people’s attention to put a dollar in a hat. He actually quit college to perform on the street full time. Even now with all his money, he remembers the street life as the happiest time of his life. It had no responsibilities, he could go wherever he wanted and didn’t have to tell anyone or look back. Pure freedom.
15 Circuq scouts travel the globe looking for great athletes from the Olympics to National Championship Competitions trying to sign up people to join the show. There are also open auditions where 10,000 people show up but only about 5% get a job and then have to go to mandatory training of dance class, drum class and acting class. They love it and so does their bank book with lots of digits in it earned doing what they love to do.