After still trying to get my head around what an amazing and unique opportunity this would be, I was forced to make a life changing decision in a matter of hours.. little did I know that this would be my first taste of what "Cirque Life" was all about.
A fast paced, dynamic and high pressure environment, where you are forced to make big decisions in a matter of minutes, is exactly what I now do on a daily basis.
Many people have been asking me how my first few months working for Cirque Du Soleil have been, and now that I have finally had a couple of days off to sit back and reflect, I thought I would try and answer some of the questions which have been thrown my way (instead of giving my normal answer of.. "ummm... it's been... BUSY... "). Here is the five most frequent questions I have been asked.
2. What is it like to work with all the different performers?
In one word... challenging!
One of the things that was pretty clear from day one, was how broad a range of people I would be working with. We have performers from all over the world, who speak a number of different languages (some who speak no English at all!), and who have very different values and expectations when it comes to medical care. It has been a great learning experience, and one I have really had to approach with an open mind!
3. What does your wife think of this? Funnily enough, this is probably the most common question I get asked!! My usual response is "What would your husband/wife think if you said that you were going away for a year to travel the world with a circus"?... Fortunately, I am very lucky to have a wife who is not only loving and supportive, but is also a physiotherapist as well! She is very patient, and understands what a great opportunity this is (and is also a great resource for me to talk through some tricky cases with!).
4. What are the biggest challenges you face in this role? There are several challenges (as you can imagine), but one of the biggest ones, is that you need to be good at improvising and adapting to ALL types of situations. Perfect example was on my first day... I was explaining to an artist about how we could use a swiss ball behind his back to help with squat form and all of a sudden he burst out laughing at me mid conversation! After racking my brain while he continued to laugh, it then dawned on me.. we are in a tent.. there are no walls... rookie mistake.
5. What qualities do you think are most important to being a Cirque therapist?
- A nomad (you must love to travel!)