Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Totem profiles: David Godbout

David Godbout is one of the Totem School's beloved teachers.  He is originally from New Brunswick.  He has taught two of Totem's three years - he did the first year, then took a sabbatical year, and then came back for year 3.  He will also be teaching our final class in year 4.

He had a circuitous route into teaching for Cirque du Soleil.  In 1986 he was working as a national park guide, and trying to figure out what he wanted to do next.   A friend suggested education, and he went back to school to get his teaching certificate.  He originally planned to teach teenagers.  His favorite subjects in school were geography and art.

David's first teaching job was at a school for the Inuit population in Northern Quebec (the Arctic).  He stayed there for 4 years.

But a secondary passion kept drawing him back - beginning at age 23, David started taking trips down to Brazil and living with the Yanomami indigenous people in the rainforest.  At one point he stayed for 3 years, teaching them basic literacy in exchange for food and shelter.  Now, David has been to Brazil at least a dozen times, most recently last year during his sabbatical.

Back in Montreal, in 1997, David heard that Cirque du Soleil was seeking teachers.  But he had spent years traveling at that point, and wasn't interested.  When Cirque called with an offer, he rejected it.  They called him again, this time offering him a position teaching at headquarters in Montreal (an arrangement Cirque makes sometimes for the children of artists who are training or recuperating there for a period of time).  David took them up on this offer, and worked there in 1998-1999.

From there, a few twists and turns eventually led him to the touring life.  He was sent to work on Alegria from 2000-2003, and then to Quidam from 2003-2010, until Quidam changed to an arena show and the school was closed.  In 2010 he came to Totem.  With Cirque, David has traveled to nearly every region of the world.  He has been through Japan, South America, Europe, and Australia.

Teaching circus children, David says, is always interesting and challenging.  You teach multiple levels, in both French and English, all the time.  There is a lot of one-on-one time with the students.  And he feels very fortunate to have been able to have this career for so many years.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I have maybe a strange question. My name is Sara Pelletier, my mother was Lucille Ganger Pelletier from Grand-Falls NB I believe she was a friend of Davids if there is any way for him to contact me it would be wonderfull, my email is