Well, it's official. I was informed today that there are no open shifts for the last week of IRIS' run. The last show is on Saturday, January 19th, but as of the message today (and barring any emergencies), my last day with Cirque du Soleil was last Thursday. I plan to hang out there for the final show but otherwise, I'm done.
As my friend, Ray so eloquently put it, "later".
I've ended many relationships with companies before this one (though only Disney was longer), but ending this one is a bit different. This is the first time since 1989 that I am not working as a performer or technician in live shows. In other words, that's what I've been doing for my entire career up until now. What I'm doing now is still related in many ways, but I'm no longer on the front lines. Feels weird. Feels good and bad. Feels overdue to me.
I'm excited to leave that part of my life behind (excluding all the awesome people) and move on to new things. But before I go, I just wanted to have a moment of nostalgia and look back on all the incredible (and sometimes terrible) things I experienced.
I was with Cirque for just over 5 years and 10 months and this is what happened:
Mar 1994 - I saw my first Cirque show, Mystere, in Las Vegas during its first year and fell in love with it. I would see it 8 more times over the next 4 years and even trained as a tumbler in the hopes of joining the show. In 1996, I started transitioning from performer to technician and gave up on that pursuit.
Mar 2007 - Thirteen years later, I'm hired as an Automation tech on Mystere. As part of my job, I briefly and barely appeared on stage during shows. To me, this counted as fulfillment of my 1994 dreams.
Jan 2008 - My friend Ray and I start a freelance business on the side for the main purpose of programming a show control system for the video department of the new show, Criss Angel Believe. We worked on that show on and off for most of 2008.
Feb 2008 - I transfer to The Beatles LOVE. It is by far the most challenging board op job I ever have... but it was cool.
Dec 2008 - After a few months of very serious concentration and reaction-timing issues that resulted in the only official job reprimand I've EVER had, I finally figured out what was going on and fixed it. Turns out that I had extremely high blood sugar and migraine medications in high dosages that were working against me. Fixing both issues brought me a clarity I didn't know I was missing and my job performance turned around dramatically in a very short time.
Jun 2009 - I learn to walk on stilts in order to help Cirque du Soleil break the world record for "most stilt-walkers at once". It's weird, but I can cross breaking a world record off my bucket list. I still have the stilts!
Jun 2009 - A blog entry I wrote about my job (with company permission) ends up getting reposted on the official LOVE Facebook page and Controlgeek.net. Yay, nerdery!
Aug 2009 - I get to run a bungee rig in the LOVE Theater for the season finale of The Amazing Race. And I (barely) appear in the background of the episode.
Jan 2010 - I close the one and only real business I ever owned / co-owned, Logic Box. My friend Ray and I originally opened it so we could do freelance work on Criss Angel Believe.
Aug 2010 - We film a new commercial for LOVE in 3D. It's a pretty major shoot and a lot of fun. Danny and family attend as background audience members too.
Oct 2010 - I run the aerial automation for the 3D movie, World's Away. I get to "work with" and meet James Cameron in the process.
Dec 2010 - One of the dancers on LOVE is arrested (and later convicted) of murdering and dismembering his girlfriend (a dancer from another show). Though I didn't really know him (or her at all), he was actually one of my favorite performers and I watched him nightly for a month not knowing he had committed the crime.
Dec 2010 - I help out with the filming of American Idol at LOVE, though my participation was minimal.
- Danny and I move to L.A. so I can install and open IRIS at the Kodak Theater.
Sept 2011 - I become a part-timer for IRIS as I start my new job at Thinkwell. I had initially planned to leave Cirque entirely until a co-worker made the part-time suggestion during my last 2 weeks. As a result, I got to be a part of the show for its entire run.
Mar 2012 - 5 year anniversary with Cirque. It won't be recognized for 10 more months because of the way part timer hours are calculated.
Dec 2012 - I finally get to see World's Away and it is a great finale to the Cirque experience.
Jan 2013 - Times up. Thanks for (almost) everything.