why cirque du soleil makes me want to be a better person.

Cirque du Soleil photo credit.

Cirque du Soleil photo credit.

I am riding a wave of inspiration and unbridled joy this morning. After an evening of Cirque du Soleil, it's hard not to want to get up and do something amazing.

This is not a new realization for me. I love Cirque du Soleil. I have a pretty severe obsession with them.  Anyone who has known me since university can tell you this.

They were the subject of my Honours thesis. I've shadowed backstage at a number of their shows in Las Vegas. My husband and I make it a rule [albeit a silly, expensive rule] to see their shows whenever we happen to be near them. I find myself giddy and childlike and just generally ecstatic to be around such incredible works of art -- and such unbelievable demonstrations of human ability.

Cirque actually makes me want to be a better person.

This goes beyond my initial reaction, which is always "I'm going to go do some chin-ups". There is something incredible about watching people do the impossible, and in light of our experience last night at Totem in NYC, I am reveling in what it means to be inspired.

The performers at Cirque seem super-human. (Not to mention the creative team and designers, who manage to transport 2600 people to another world in the middle of a parking lot. In Queens.) What the company does, physically and creatively, transcends the typical world, but the bigger picture of what they do is very applicable to the real world.

They work in unison to make magic happen. If one person loses focus or doesn't hold up their end of the group's intention, everyone fails. If a signal is communicated unclearly, the result can be disastrous. If everyone isn't committing 150% to the goal, the acts won't look as amazing and the overall product suffers.

Translates well to real life, no?

Cirque du Soleil photo credit.

Cirque du Soleil photo credit.

On top of this, the troupe is inherently international: English is the first language for very few of the 180 people travelling with Cirque, and other linguistic backgrounds run the gamut of Russian to Mandarin to French to Romanian. The amount of teamwork and dedication it takes to form such a cohesive team while not speaking the same language mystifies me! It's incredible to think they do what they do when facing barriers as fundamental as the ability to speak with one another.

Consider, too, that Cirque du Soleil started as a small group of Quebecois circus performers putting on a limited-run show for a festival celebrating Quebec in the 1980s. They are now one of the wealthiest production companies worldwide, with shows on every continent, touching millions of lives and inspiring crazy kids like me all the time. They have a social and philanthropical component. They promote circus education. They contribute to the development of arts in an economy that absolutely needs it.

I am moved to do something awesome today.

Who motivates you? What kind of awesomeness can you create?

Have a glorious, high-flying Thursday!

- amy

Cirque du Soleil photo credit.

Cirque du Soleil photo credit.

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