Thursday, October 28, 2010

Totem profiles - Gael Ouisse

Gael Ouisse, from France, age 33, is an acrobat and character in Totem.

As with most of the acrobats in the show, he has trained as a gymnast since he was a child, beginning at age 8. He also had an interest in music at a young age, and those two activities competed for his attention throughout his school years. He played cello and piano, among other instruments, and went to a music conservatory. But by the time he was a teenager, he was committed to gymnastics, competing at a national level. He went to a university for sports education, and then took on a different profession entirely, becoming a firefighter. He worked fighting fires for three years.

Gael heard about Cirque du Soleil from a friend, also a gymnast, who was hired to work for Mystere. When he visited her in Montreal, Cirque heard of his background and asked him to audition. He did, but didn’t think much about it, until he later visited the Mystere show in Las Vegas. He was dazzled, and called Cirque’s casting department, asking them to give him another look. Cirque’s casting people asked Gael to put together a specific audition video, which he did. It wasn’t long before they called him, offering him a position in the creation of the show Love.

Gael was part of Love from 2005-2009, when he was called for the Totem show. At that point he was ready for a new challenge, and his role in the Muscle-Beach-esque Rings Trio, and also as the Businessman character, have offered him that.

He’s enjoying the tour a lot. He says that working in a big top, and moving from city to city, has more of the excitement of the real circus. He also appreciates the warm community of Totem.

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