In our Pro exclusive video series, 360 Degrees: Circus Through a Holistic Lens, Stacy Clark hosts conversations with international industry professionals. Each episode focuses on one (or more!) of the three C’s: casting, coaching, or career. Stacy and her guests take a deep dive into the world of elite athletes and on-stage performers, offer practical professional development tools, and explore personal and work philosophies that have guided these individuals toward success.
The Dialogue of Learning with Sarah Poole
In episode 1, I stay true to my tagline–“Exploring the three C’s-Coaching, Casting and Career” in her talk with Sarah Poole. Circus arts teacher, coach and choreographer, Sarah Poole loves to participate in the dialogue of learning and teaching. She is genuinely interested in and inspired by people’s profoundly varied physical and creative learning processes. Sarah and I talked about embracing a student-centric model, teaching towards autonomy, the shared experience of creativity and so much more!
Casting for “Fit” with Zeb Hunter
In episode 2, I jump into it with Zeb Hunter, artist, academic, show director and artistic director of Circus Monoxide in New South Wales, Australia. We discuss the importance of “fit” when casting artists, as well as formal and informal casting methods. This led us to one of Zeb’s recent projects, The Construct, a creation that didn’t just pay lip service to diversity and inclusion, but actually practiced it.
Creating Your Career with Dustin Walston
In episode 3, I chat with Dustin Walston about career transitions. As many artists know and experience, a performing arts career tends to be accompanied by an eventual transition off-stage. An athlete turned artist turned artistic staffer on tour, Dustin is an industry lifer. In fact, just a couple months after we recorded this episode, and as the pandemic waned, Dustin accepted a new performing contract! We discuss “sprinkling the seeds” in an effort to nurture the future career opportunities, and the important role that self-awareness and communication play in staying on course – and even one step ahead.
Coaching to Autonomy with Adrian Porter
In episode 4, I chat with London born coach and educator Adrian Porter. A former national squad gymnast, circus performer and Cirque du Soleil head coach, today Adrian is Head of Higher Education at the National Centre for Circus Arts in Hoxton. Adrian is a FEDEC Board member who sits on the Human Resources and Ethics Committee. He is establishing a Research and Ethics committee at the NCCA whose aim is to drive the next stage of circus and performing arts research.
Casting Talent for TV with Renee Massie
Intro: In Episode 5, casting director and TV producer Renee Massie and I talk about the nuts and bolts of casting talent for television. Renee, whose casting credits include America’s Got Talent, Go Big Show, Game of Talents and To Tell the Truth, has been in the performing arts and entertainment world since she was a teenager! Tune in to learn how internships helped shape Renee’s career, and what YOU need to know if you aspire to perform on TV.
Raising Up with with Stella Umeh
In episode 6, I speak with Stella Umeh, the founder and creator of The Ivory Elephant Group. Known as one of the most prolific gymnasts in Canadian history, Stella Umeh championed the stage of gymnastics with several stints at the Commonwealth Games, World Championships, and a trip to Barcelona for the 1992 Olympic Games. Stella has worked on stage, television and film, including 13 years on tour with Cirque du Soleil”s Varekai. She has also worked behind the scenes as choreography assistant and artist integration supervisor. A jack of all trades, Stella is a yoga and wellness teacher and devoted mom. Stacy and Stella discuss Stella’s gymnastics career and how it helped shape her, the importance of having a voice, raising up little people, including her daughter Billie and so much more!
Compassionate Coaching with Jean-Paul Richard
In episode 7, I speak to Jean-Paul Richard, the founder of TANGIBLE performance. As a freestyle ski coach for many years, Jean-Paul has accumulated a wealth of experience affording him a global vision of human performance. We discuss his philosophy on compassionate coaching and his love of sharing his expertise, experience and passion by teaching motivational skills and the principles of committed leadership.
Casting – a view from all sides with Sarah Davison
In episode 8, I chat Casting with Sarah Davison, creative manager at Action Horizons. Sarah and I discuss early talent development, the importance of offering candidates feedback, staying open and curious as an artist and as a human, and the value of transferable skills in the ever-evolving world of on-stage entertainment.
Creating Magic with Chloé Farah
In episode 9, acrobatic designer, coach and choreographer Chloé Farah and I touch on all three of the 360 Degrees “Cs”: casting, coaching and career. We also dig into how body mechanics and strong technique serve the creation of unique and authentic work, the concept of human colors as a relational guide, and our shared ambition to elevate circus as an art form. With several prestigious Circus Festival awards to her credit, Chloé is known for delivering emotive high-level acrobatic acts with a creative vision.