Gary Jackson: Fire When Ready Pottery
A Chicago potter’s somewhat slanted view of clay & play
Categories: cirque du soleil

Another weekly installment from Cirque du Soleil… this time featuring the acrobatics of fan-favorite shows like LA NOUBA, VAREKAI & QUIDAM. When they came to Chicago with VAREKAI, I actually got to work with them so this episode has some special memories for me!

Click here to watch the video on Facebook.

And if you want even more VAREKAI… be sure to check out “The Fire Within” – a great documentary about the show from casting through rehearsals up to Opening Night. An amazing insight into how these shows are created & come together! Pure magic!

Categories: cirque du soleil, food, friends

Sadly, we had tickets to see Cirque du Soleil’s new “ALEGRIA” under Le Grand Chapiteau here in Chicago for last night… we’ve had tickets since last Christmas as they were the perfect gift!!!

They were doing a re-boot of “ALEGRIA” – the very first Cirque du Soleil show I saw here in Chicago. I remember going and being completely mesmerized as soon it started and the singer sang the first notes. My jaw dropped, I was completely enamored and have been the biggest fan ever since! So we were all so excited to see that they were doing a re-imagined version of ALEGRIA … and bringing it to Chicago!!!

Unfortunately, Cirque du Soleil had to cancel the entire tour due to the pandemic. So the 25th Anniversary re-boot of my very first Cirque show will just have to wait. Instead, we watched the original “ALEGRIA” production on YouTube and ate lots of pizza!

Not quite the same as a live show under the Big Top… but we do what we gotta do, right?! Melty cheese & creamy garlic sauce sure helped too!!!

Categories: cirque du soleil

On a hot & steamy day like today, wouldn’t it be nice to be swimming in a pool?!
Well, since none of them are open…

Here’s this week’s installment from Cirque du Soleil – this time featuring the show “O”. It’s the fantastic aquatic show in Las Vegas where the stage is actually a HUGE swimming pool!!! This video shows you some behind-the-scenes footage… including “under-the-water” footage!!! The part you never get to see when you see the show in person… but have always wondered how they do it!!! I’ve seen the this show twice – and still don’t quite know how they do all of the magic. The traditional Cirque acrobatics are still there… just now they’re in the water, on top of the water & flying above the water!!!

Click here to watch the video on Facebook!

So that’s the part you see when you’re there… but the video shows you some of the cool parts UNDER the water that you don’t get to see during the show. It’s got to be a controlled chaos of scuba gear, air tanks & tubes and hydraulic gears moving the stage parts! And this is your first glimpse of that…

Categories: cirque du soleil, creativity

By now you’ve probably figured out that I’m a huge Cirque du Soleil fan… err, groupie!
My first show was ALEGRIA on Chicago’s North Pier and was completely mesmerized by the magic, music & magnificence! I was hooked instantly… as soon as the singer hit the first few notes of the theme song!!! I bought the CD right there & then… and have listened to it like six million times!

I’ve since seen practically every show… and even worked for them when VAREKAI and DRALION came to Chicago! Yes, I’m a dork. And yet somehow it’s hard to believe that they’ve been around for thirty-six years already! So much fun to see their more meager beginnings here in this video… and how much they have changed & grown over the years!

From the Cirque du Soleil Facebook page…
The Cirque du Soleil story began 36 years ago today. We want to mark the occasion with you, our fans, who have supported us all these years with a special re-watch of our classics: Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco and Cirque Réinventé.

Click here to watch the video on Facebook!

Categories: cirque du soleil

Continuing with our weekly installment from Cirque du Soleil… this time they’ve pulled together contortionists & hand-balancers! As always, the performances, the costumes, the music, the lighting… I LOVE IT ALL!!! And this time, I’ve seen all of them live… except for the “phosphorescent” one in the middle! Not quite sure which show that was from?!

And I especially love the ones from KURIOS… the quickness & whimsy as they move & twist while stacking themselves on that steampunky hand!!!

Click here to watch the video on Facebook!

Categories: cirque du soleil

It’s another Friday… another week down…
and another wonderful weekly installment from Cirque du Soleil.

This time they take us “Behind The Curtain” once again.. this time for the show “KURIOS.” One of my favorite shows… love the music and the steampunky vibe! So much fun to see behind-the-scenes footage… from setting up the tent at Chicago’s United Center, costume creation, make-up design & application, meals in the kitchen, physical therapy & training, and the weekly Sunday “kids’ days” for the children of the performers!

Click here to watch the video on Facebook!

Let’s hope we can get back to LIVE performances like this
under Le Grand Chapiteau sometime soon!

Categories: cirque du soleil

Another installment from Cirque du Soleil…
this time we’re going frozen & skating on ice!!!

Yes, as they continue to try new concepts, Cirque du Soleil came out with their versions of “Cirque On Ice.” We saw “CRYSTAL” when it came here to Chicago, but “AXEL” never came through. Just for the record… I like the “traditional” Cirque du Soleil shows a lot better! But I DID watch this whole episode… as there’s not much better to be doing on a rainy & cold Sunday in Chicago!!!

Click here to watch the full episode on Facebook.

Categories: artists, cirque du soleil, creativity

Another weekly installment from Cirque du Soleil.
Something fun to watch today with your Mom…
as they take you behind the scenes of LUZIA.

One of my favorite shows based on a creative journey through Mexico. The colors, costumes & music are wonderful. Not to mention that magical rain curtain that draws pictures, the dress that actually blooms right in front of you while she sings, or the beautiful red papel picado curtain tube! So much fun to see the creative process as they design & build such a lavish show!

Click here to watch LUZIA “Behind The Curtain” on Facebook.

This same “Behind The Curtain Special” is on then LUZIA DVD if you ever want to see it again!

Categories: cirque du soleil

In keeping with the weekly installments from CIRQUE DU SOLEIL…
here’s a special fundraising performance they did awhile back “One Night For One Drop.” But this time, the episode is interspersed with extra footage, shelter-at-home-rehearsals and special guests!

Click here to watch the full video performance on Facebook!

You even get to see the Kevin & Andrew Atherton, the aerial straps flying twins we all met during VARAKAI… how they are surviving at home with their kids – who will definitely be performing on the stage soon!!! Enjoy!

Okay… little-known fact here… besides me being a huge Cirque du Soleil dork!!! I have actually met Andrew & Kevin during their stint here in Chicago for VAREKAI. I had just watched the reality show based on the making of VAREKAI called “The Fire Within.” So we already had “met them” through the television. So when they arrived here in Chicago with the rest of the case… many of which we had also “already met” on TV. It was a little weird…’cuz you kinda felt like you already KNOW them!

Oh, but wait there’s more…

I actually worked with Cirque du Soleil for two seasons here in Chicago. I ushered the full-run of VAREKAI and DRALION while they were here. Yep, I said I was a dork, right?! So I still had my full-time corporate job, as well as pottery classes and TA’ing at Lillstreet. So why not add on more work?!!! Somehow I squeezed it all in. And LOVED IT!!! I mean… you get to see the shows for free, from all different angles & vantage points – and they PAY YOU!!! Plus, you get to go backstage, meet the performers & band, eat in the cafeteria with them, and hang out with sometimes on Mondays when the show is dark. The perfect “job” for a huge Cirque du Soleil fan like yours truly! Ahhh… the memories…

I still remember the day I called my parents to tell them that I got a new job and I was “running away to join the circus!” They didn’t find it as humorous as I did… but it was true! How many times do you actually get to use that line?!!!

Categories: cirque du soleil

And oh, but wait there’s more... looks like there’s yet another hour-long special for we Cirque du Soleil Fans!!! This time it’s the show “ZED”… which only performed in Japan! So this might be your only chance to see this special show!!!

Click here to watch the hour-long video of “ZED” on Facebook.

So what’s YOUR all-time favorite Cirque du Soleil show???