Sunday, March 09, 2014
The Business Side of Cirque du Soleil
As a late Valentine's gift to each other, SwingDaddy and I took trip behind the scenes at Cirque du Soleil Amaluna. We've been huge fans - I think this is our 15th show - and I always love the logistics of how things are put together, so it was the perfect experience.
Before the show started, Staci, the director of operations, walked our small group around all the working tents and temporary buildings surrounding the big top (Grand Chapiteau.) Here, we're about to walk up the stairs to the kitchen.
Quality food is the make or break item on a tour, so they make sure to have a team of excellent chefs.
We noticed that the seating originated with another tour. All of this stuff, including the entire kitchen, gets packed up and driven from venue to venue in 60-odd trucks.
Our guide noted that it's easy to get disconnected from the world when you're on tour, so they make sure to do a charitable event for each city they visit, to feel more like a part of the community. Here's the signup board for a park cleanup (if I'm remembering correctly.)
Next, we went to the management offices.
This woman is in charge of visas and work permits for the artists (performers) and staff, who originate from 18 different countries.
This man find accommodations for everyone and gets them to and from the performance site. Sometimes they have corporate apartments, and other times they're in hotels. Everyone learns to travel light.
Local teams are hired to operate the ticket booth, sell popcorn, and perform other tasks, but the management staff travels with the artists.
After the tour, we were ushered into the VIP tent for hors d'oeuvres and time to admire the decor. Red chandeliers!
I also liked how the staged the roast beef table, with a gilded frame surrounding the chef. We ate our fill and headed off to see the show!
Next post: The show