Juggling career and kids can be tricky — but for Karl L’ecuyer, it’s a literal circus because the Montreal native is raising his 2-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son on the road, while traveling to perform with Cirque du Soleil as a trampolinist and acrobat.
It’s not the sleeping together in one room, the constantly packing and unpacking all of their belongings into just two bags each, or even having to negotiate play dates with kids who only speak Russian or Portuguese, though, that phases him and his circus-dancer wife. The father, 33, swears it’s the prospect of having to call their globetrotting quits that really stresses them out. “I ran away with the circus and came back home with a wife and two kids,” explains the performer — a star in more than 2,000 shows as part of Cirque’s KURIOUS and OVO tours — in a candid interview about parenting under the Big Top as part of Yahoo Parenting’s “What It’s Like” original video series. “Now, every day I’m wondering, ‘Should I go back home and settle?’”
Karl left for the circus at age 25 with family far from his mind. “I used to be on the national team of trampoline in Canada and I always said that when I finish university, I would stop competing,” he says. “But my summer job was to do shows at the amusement park and I developed a taste for the stage. So the goal that I put on myself was that if I cannot reach the Olympics, I’ll hope that the level of acrobatics I could do was high enough to be part of Cirque du Soleil. Luckily, it was. When I finished university, Cirque du Soleil gave me a call to join their show OVO.”
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