Culture & Entertainment

A day in the life of a Cirque du Soleil performer

A day in the life of a Cirque du Soleil performer

Culture & Entertainment

A day in the life of a Cirque du Soleil performer

Some days are crazy. You have a deadline at work, the kids need to get to after-school activities, dinner needs to happen and, don't forget, there's laundry. Days like this, you think, I wonder if my life would be easier if I ran away and joined the circus? If I could reinvent everything around me? So we tracked down Lana Cencic, who portrays Bella Donna, the Percussionist in Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities to get a sneak peek into what it's really like. Turns out she has some amazing insight to share – about how to look at your life. 

A typical day on the road: I wake up around 9 or 10 a.m., and drink a cup of tea. I start with yoga and meditation to set the tone for the day. I enjoy some breakfast, then practise working on things I'd like to improve in the show (I have my mobile studio set up in my hotel room). Then I head out to the site, where I may be booked for an interview, a TV appearance or a photo shoot. Dinner is at 5:30 p.m., then I do hair and makeup. Half an hour before the show, I warm up my hands on the drumsticks that I play. 8 p.m. is show time! After the show, around 10:30 p.m., I get in the shuttle bus back to the hotel, where I listen to music, read or watch a movie. I fall asleep between midnight and 2 a.m.

What I miss about performing when I'm home: I definitely miss having meals prepared for me and not having to do dishes or shop for food. I love cooking but don't like doing the dishes so much. I used to clean my own home but now I have a cleaning lady. It's a huge blessing! Although it can be relaxing to clean your own mess, it takes time. 

Managing the transition: I spend so much time touring now that touring has become my home. I take a few things that make my room more homey, like candles or a diffuser. Some people bring pictures or their own pillows. And it's good to stay in touch with friends who can help by making you feel that you're only a phone call away from home. 

Carving out "me" time: It depends on what type of person you are. For me, it's always been a challenge, as I like working, so I often overwork myself. I always find something to do. But I'm learning and getting better at scheduling time in for doing something relaxing and fun – that's usually with my boyfriend on my day off.

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How to stay connected: Skype, WhatsApp, FB Messenger or FaceTime! That's something I schedule because it's easy to forget and a week passes by quickly. My parents and a lot of my old friends are in Europe, so I have to reach them at an appropriate time. I will literally write things in my calendar: Call Dad or Try reaching this friend via Skype, etc. I constantly miss important days in my family's and friends' lives. That's not easy but I'm diligent about calling on birthdays and graduations and writing notes and checking in with my people. And even though I'm not there in person, they can feel my love and support.

Life lessons from the performance: There are plenty, but I can tell you what I took away from watching the show for the first time: There is no end to human imagination and inspiration – and it lies within us all. Life is precious and beautiful, never stop dreaming and believing in yourself and your capacities. Always stay curious to the magic of life and use the gifts that you are born with. 

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KURIOS is now playing through August 13 under The Big top at Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton. For more info, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com/kurios

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A day in the life of a Cirque du Soleil performer

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