If something feels impossible, it may be that you just need to tackle the idea from a new angle… and these awesome people can help you achieve it! To celebrate the launch of our new Circus Consultants and Advisors page, we’re spotlighting a consultant who’s close to home.
Whether you are an artist just starting out with your circus career or a pedigreed company looking to try something different for your latest, greatest show, it never hurts to outsource help to one of the experts! In and outside of the performing arts, consultants and advisors will lend a certain boost to your creative endeavours by hearing your ideas out and breaking down the process of how to achieve them, offering both a neutral perspective and all the professional resources at their disposal. They can help you get any project off the ground… and in an art and industry so dedicated to expanding our ideas of what’s possible, a consultant can be exactly what you need to make that seemingly impossible thing into reality.
To that end, we at CircusTalk are rolling out a new page of all the industry people that know how to safely strike the “im-” from “impossible” in order to attain your goals. Our Consultants and Advisors list will be a roster of those from the circus world and beyond who have the practical knack and tactical minds (and their own business!) to help clients define and refine the process of building artistic work. Each of them has a unique set of resources to draw from, from contacts and extensive networks to their own past on-the-job experiences. Each has their own particular area of expertise and their own approach to clients, situations, and achieving visions… and through this page, you’re sure to find the one that fits your unique needs. Let’s get to know one consultant right now—our very own CEO, Ms. Stacy Clark!
From her history as part of Cirque du Soleil casting to establishing a self-made practice, Stacy has learned to navigate the circus career path. Now she works with performers one-on-one to guide them through doing the same and help them define their own paths. We asked Stacy to explain to us her consulting approach and philosophy.
CircusTalk (CT): What is the focus of your consultancy?
Stacy Clark (SC): I am a career coach and artistic advisor. For some people, these two streams are quite separate: our in-person or online sessions can focus uniquely on the development of an act or else, on an artist’s toolkit – that is, their demo video and promotional materials. However, the two roles intersect when I am supporting an artist’s work process and their work product. The goal with making an act, for example, is to share it, and so we explore how and where that can happen.
CT: Who are you best equipped to serve as a consultant in terms of client demographics, disciplines, etc.?
SC: I first began one-on-one coaching with a nutrition and wellness focus, but my involvement in circus and performing arts gave shape to a clientele that is now largely artists at varying stages of their careers. I aim to empower performers and I help them design their career pathway. I work across all disciplines because the main ingredient is the person or people whom I coach – they do the heavy lifting!
CT: Where would you say consultants fit into the broader ecosystem of circus and the performing arts? (For instance, how do you interact with, say, an artist or a company, or both at once, and how would your consulting approach differ when working with either type of party?)
SC: My industry experience and training, and by extension my services, typically support individuals and small groups either in a one-on-one or workshop setting. I feel that consulting —or engaging any type of specialist to boost one’s career—is still comparatively new in the circus arts. Today, with so many more opportunities to shine on professional stages, circus and performing arts is a viable and respected career, but no one succeeds all on their own. In terms of my approach, I favour honesty, self-awareness, understanding your “Why,” stretching beyond your comfort zone, and hard work.
CT: What do you find most rewarding about your consulting work?
SC: I love hearing from clients that they have discovered something new about themselves or have achieved something beyond their own expectations as a result of our working together. I genuinely want to see people succeed and find fulfillment, so the feedback loop is important to me.
CT: If an up-and-coming artist can’t afford to hire a one-on-one consultant, then what are some other low-cost options for them to learn some of the same information?
SC: It’s true not everyone has the means to hire support. That said, professional expertise is an investment in self and one’s career, so I invite people to prioritize growing their network of champions. A good starting point is the personal reflection work that no one can do for you. I often tell clients and students that much of what they are after is either within them or accessible if you do your homework! There are great resources out there, including CircusTalk, podcasts, websites, open-source videos for inspiration, industry-specific books, and networking opportunities.
CT: From your own experience, how would you sum up the essence of the consultant’s role?
SC: There are as many paths to a successful circus and performing arts career as there are aspiring, committed, and hardworking folks chasing their dream. I’m here to help people build their wireframe—their Artist Pathway—and then the real work and the results are theirs to embrace!
Want to be added to our Consultants and Advisors page? If you’re an expert and consulting is among your toolset, contact us to be included on the list!
Image provided by Stacy Clark
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