Cirque Upclose: An Interview with Charli K. “Little Buddah”
A shy child, mother enrolled her in dance. Has been training with Cirque for 3 years. Began as a dancer, looked forward to acting aka: character with movement. Enjoys her role as Little Buddha in Dralion. A story of east meets west and a healthy balance of the elements: earth, air, fire and water. Little Buddha controls time and the beginning of time. She has the attributes of a child and the mind of an adult. Much like a “royal child” must meet his destiny, it’s not a choice although he is still a child.
A petite strawberry blonde from Australia with a warm, sincere smile. She interviewed so naturally. While small in stature, she walks with confidence, appears “taller”, and provides the audience with a larger than life performance. It’s obvious she’s a natural and LOVES what she does. In fact, I’d say all the members enjoy their jobs!
Talent recruiting utilizes a variety of marketing, including posters and word of mouth. “Hopefuls” apply to audition, after which they may be accepted into a database. The performers work a 10 wk on. 2 wk off schedule. Touring is a difficult life for families, so they typically don’t. In many regards the performers work schedule is similar to one who works on an oil derrick, several weeks on and 1-2 weeks off.
Charli feels privileged to be performing with such quality athletes. The performers love what they do and enjoy the help and inspiration they give to the audience. This keeps them fresh and energized along with the wholesome and quality meals provided for them by the catering crew. My observations of the dining area” fresh fruit, half a dozen buffet dishes with a variety of meals including vegan options as well as options with food sensitivities. Regular pltes and utensils were used, instead of plastics, paper…
Backstage includes a gym with numerous pieces of workout equipment and free weights. There are shoe painters and laundry crews to keep the uniforms in order. 24 loads of laundry = 12 racks of costumes to inspect and insure ready for the performance. They have half a dz. washers and dryers. When speaking with Melody from the Costume department we learned they keep a Repair Kit ready for an ER trip to the performer, back stage, for a repair. Costume dept may also add a hidden pocket, etc. Costumes are made in Montreal, sometimes with hand dyed material from the dye department. There are two makeup cabinets, 8 drawers of various depths in 5’ x 4’ cabinets, that come together and lock for transport purposes.
The Dragon costume weighs 55#
The bamboo poles weigh 35#
The crossed wheel, designed by the actor, weighs 55#
Strong, vibrant, and multifaceted, Little Buddah is the perfect example of all that is extraordinary about Cirque du Soleil. She is currently performing in Dralion, which performs in College Station at Reed Arena from March 21-25th. Find out more at www.Cirquedusoleil.com.