Logistics Technical Savvy Travis Lahay

Circus News

Logistics and Technical Production Savvy with Travis Lahay

I’m going to start at the end. When wrapping up an interview, I like to ask if there’s anything my interviewee would like the CircusTalk readership to know. It’s a chance to open the floor to their expertise and for them to speak directly to you, our circus community. Without hesitation, Travis Lahay replied, “Everything is possible. And if you want it enough, you can go out and get it.” With that, all the puzzle pieces of our conversation fell into place. Lahay has fully embodied this advice in his career, and he is an example of how consistent determination can “create the life you want to live.” His resume reveals a steady climb up a twisting ladder — rungs marking a variety of positions in the circus sector — which has landed him as Head of Carpentry and Props on a large, internationally touring show.* His expertise and advice is a phenomenal addition to The Designer Series as Lahay offers a window into the practical and social skills necessary to work in circus Logistics and Technical Production departments.
It’s a familiar phrase, “a circus came to town,” but it’s how Travis Lahay’s unique circus journey began. He graduated from York University as a playwright and theater technician. When a big top rolled in, he was working for a local company that was hired to clean the tent. “It’s like being on a giant bouncy castle all day,” and he thought with exuberance, “I can get paid to do this?” Knowing he wanted to travel, he had been applying for touring shows and gigs, but quickly encountered a Catch-22. You need experience to get hired, but you can’t get experience unless you get hired. His in: a friend who was employed to set up the bleachers for a touring circus production. “It’s always the people you know. Your networking connections are the most paramount thing. You could be totally qualified and have all the skills, but still not get the job… The only way to get my foot in the door for circus was to go in through these logistic ...
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Madeline Hoak

Madeline Hoak is an artist and academic who creates with, through, and about circus. She is a Writer for CircusTalk, Adjunct Professor of Aerial Arts and American Circus History at Pace University, Editor and Curatorial Director of TELEPHONE: an international arts game, and curator and director of Cirkus Moxie, a weekly contemporary circus show at Brooklyn Art Haus. Madeline has performed, coached, produced, and choreographed at elite regional and international venues. Her background in dance and physical theater is infiltrated into her coaching and creation style. She is passionate about providing her students holistic circus education that includes physical, historical, theoretical resources. Madeline initiated the Aerial Acrobatics program at her alma mater, Muhlenberg College, where she taught from 2012-2017. She is also a regular contributor to Cirkus Syd's Circus Thinkers international reading group. Her circus research has been supported by Pace, NYU, and Concordia University. Recent publications include "Teaching the Mind-Body: Integrating Knowledges through Circus Arts'' (with Alisan Funk, Dan Berkley), a chapter in Art as an Agent for Social Change, "expanding in(finite) between," a multimedia essay in Circus Thinks: Reflections, 2020, and "Digital Dance & TELEPHONE: A Unique Spectator Experience." Madeline has presented academic papers at numerous conferences including Circus and its Others (UC Davis), International Federation for Theatre Research (University of Reykjavík), the Popular Culture Association, Gallatin (NYU), and McGill University. Madeline earned an MA from Gallatin, New York University’s School of Independent Study, where she designed a Circus Studies curriculum with a focus on spectatorship.