Like with so many other career acrobats, Shenea Stiletto’s career has, in some ways, been a venture from one world to the next. As a competitive athlete, Shenea first made her name as a title-winner in national gymnastics championships. She went on to represent the United States in international events, taking home gold medals at the 2002 and 2004 World Sports Acrobatics Championships alongside her mixed pair partner Arthur Davis. Shenea and Arthur made their foray onto the stage in 2006. Forming Duo Realis, the two competed together on the home front as part of America’s Got Talent season one, where they placed in the top 10 acts… and caught the eyes of circus companies like Cirque du Soleil. In the years since, Shenea has performed at Cirque du Soleil events worldwide, flipped between duo and solo acts, and bounced from circus festivals to stage and television shows. Along the way, she makes a point to sit down with as many fellow performers as she can and listen to their stories, asking them how they got to where they are today. Luckily, Shenea and her guests don’t mind sharing their strategies with us.
Think Like an Acrobat lets you get right to the essentials of a performer’s life and work. Across two seasons and 14 episodes (so far!), Shenea has brought on guests who come from every walk of circus life—jugglers, producers, managers, designers, and many more—to give us insight into their areas of expertise and the lessons they’ve learned throughout their careers. We learn from people like Melissa Bondar, circus stage manager and financial planner, who gives artists advice on navigating the road to fiscal self-sufficiency. People like foot juggler and artistic consultant Ulrike Storch, who has used the savvy she’s gained from booking gigs around the world to help fellow performers negotiate contracts that meet all their needs. Or event planner Michael Gardner, who is here to guide you through staging and marketing your show in the virtual realm. We invite you to revisit some of Shenea’s conversations.