I recently had the pleasure to work with the amazing circus performer Krin Haglund. Krin has performed with companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Cirque Eloize, and 7 Fingers. She is a multidisciplinary circus artist who is accomplished in cyr wheel, aerials, and many other areas. I worked with her when she was running workshops about auditions and performance for a weekend at my circus school, the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts.
Here are some tips from her from the workshops:
1. Breath. The audience is your friend.
2. Keep your eyes alive! Eyes can tell a story.
3. Keep your hair out of your face (for those of us with long hair this is especially important–I’ve stepped on my hair doing contortion and gotten it stuck in knots on silks because I didn’t pull it back well enough. Not only is messy hair potentially painful, it can hide your face from the audience!)
4. The audience does not want to be scared for your safety–let them know you are ok if you fall or get an injury or are stuck for some reason
5. If your music is incorrect, nicely and politely signal the people in charge of it to let them know. The same goes for when your music does not start.
6. Toes pointed and legs straight!
7. Use a good skill in the beginning of an act as a hook to get the audience’s/judge’s attention
8. Don’t just go through an act–really perform it the best you can
9. When doing an audition, wear clothes that won’t get in the way of your act and are tighter
10. Stick with circus and keep training!
To me, all of this is great advice. It will help me be a better performer and prepare me for auditions to schools and companies in the future. The tips that inspire me the most are keeping my eyes alive and really performing an act. I never realized how much bright eyes can make a difference in an act until this workshop. Eyes really help a performer connect to the audience. Also, giving a performance my all and really performing it takes an act to an even higher level and shows how much the performer loves what he or she is doing.