Saltimbanco to Hit Aussie Soil in 2011

October 12, 2010

If you’ve been following my blog for some time now, you’d be well aware that I spent July 2009 – July 2010 interning with Walt Disney World at Cirque du Soleil’s resident show, La Nouba.

I can still recall the way my eyes lit up while watching the show for the very first time. I was captivated; it was almost trance-like. La Nouba was a world where dreams became reality; a place that allowed me to escape to a land of  make-believe and fantasy, even if only for a short while. La Nouba was the first Cirque du Soleil show I had ever seen and since then, I have had the pleasure of adding Mystère, Zumanity and LOVE to my viewing collection.

From April of 2011, I look forward to revisiting this fantasy world once again. Hot on the heels of its European stint, Cirque du Soleil is bringing the Saltimbanco over for an Australian arena tour.

Saltimbanco explores the urban experience in all its myriad forms: the people who live there, their idiosyncrasies and likenesses, families and groups, the hustle and bustle of the street and the towering heights of skyscrapers. Between whirlwind and lull, prowess and poetry, Saltimbanco takes spectators on an allegorical and acrobatic journey into the heart of the city.

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday October 18, 2010 at 9am. If you are a Cirque Club Member you are able to purchase pre-sale tickets from Thursday October 7 at 9am – Sunday October 17 at 11pm. If you would like the opportunity to pre-purchase tickets, it isn’t too late to sign up and become a Cirque Club Member – it’s free!

You don’t want to miss out!

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Tour Dates: Cirque du Soleil – Saltimbanco 2011

Perth: April 21 – May 9, Challenge Stadium
Adelaide:
May 12 – May 22, Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Melbourne:
May 25 – June 11, Rod Laver Arena

Hobart:
June 15 – June 19, Derwent Entertainment Centre

Brisbane: July 8 – July 17, Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Newcastle:
July 20 – July 24, Newcastle Entertainment Centre

Sydney: July 27 – August 14, Acer Arena
Wollongong:
August 17 – August 21, WIN Entertainment Centre

More information: Ticketek

 

 


A Final Hurrah in Sin City

August 14, 2010

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Location:
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
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Vegas in summary:

Airport Hotel Booze Vegas Strip Booze Booze Girls Girls Girls Vegas Strip Pool Booze Hotel Cirque du Soleil Booze Buffet Girls Girls Girls Buffet Vegas Strip Booze Vegas Strip Pool Booze Buffet Thunder from Downunder Vegas Strip Booze Cirque du Soleil Booze Clubbing Vegas Strip Booze Pool Booze Cirque du Soleil Booze Clubbing Booze Airport Tears.

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Phew. What a mouthful. After an amazing 14 month run, my last five days in the USA were to be spent in no place other than Las Vegas. I am by no means a Sin City virgin but on this particular trip, we were going to be popping Ali’s Vegas virginity.

It was tough saying farewell to Bryan at the airport on Tuesday morning; probably the toughest of them all. This was the one good bye I was least looking forward to. We had pretty much spent every single day of the entire last year together; grocery shopping, working, drinking, cooking, cleaning, hanging out, going to the Disney parks, vacationing together; literally everything. He pulled up curb side at the Southwest Terminal and helped remove our luggage from the car. After it was all out there was a hesitant pause. Ali and Kellen would be seeing Bryan again so it was all up to me. I took a step towards him and leaned in for a hug. I failed at trying not to cry. I didn’t wear any make up for this particular reason; it was inevitable. We said our good byes while I cried all over his shoulder. I didn’t want to let go of him. Bryan handed me a letter and told me to read it a little later on. He hopped back into the car and like that, he was gone. I’m going to miss him so much.

I check all 130lbs of my luggage in. It’s hard to believe how much crap I’ve accumulated over the last 14 months. Thank God for Southwest Airlines two free checked pieces of luggage policy. While sitting at our gate waiting to board, I decide to read the letter Bryan left me with. I’m not even two lines in before I start to cry again. I’m an emotional mess. His words are so sweet and it pains me to imagine my days without him. My sleeve becomes my tissue; good thing I didn’t wear any eye liner. I get a grip of myself right before it is time to board the plane.

We touch down in Vegas at 10am with hopes The Mirage will let us check in this early and sure enough, it does. Score. Our room is gorgeous and we’ve conveniently been given a room with a strip view at no extra cost! Double score.

Twenty minutes is by far too much time to spend in a hotel room in Vegas so off we go to introduce Ali to the strip. We are only walking for

maybe five minutes before Ali realises you can legally roam the streets with booze in hand. This is way to exciting for Ali to handle so we make our way into the nearest hotel to purchase ourselves our first drink. Never mind that it is only 11am, it is 5pm somewhere, right? I’m glad you agree. Our first drink is down the hatch within minutes. There’s nothing like an ice cold Bud Light in 108°F heat while walking down the Las Vegas strip. As we make out way towards the Paris Hotel our taste buds are tingling for another alcoholic beverage. Ali suggest a beverage of the frothy kind and Kellen and I agree. We come across a little place called Evening Call and purchase a cup each that has refills available for only $5; insane. The cup is white, but when a freezing cold substance is poured into it, it turns red! Pretty cool. I order a coffee slushy with baileys in it. As I bring the straw up to my mouth for my first sip, I start to wonder if I should have ordered this; My stomach doesn’t usually have a great reaction to milk-based products. This is quickly forgotten upon having my first sip. The drink is heavenly; absolutely bloody delicious.

More drinks are consumed as we walk the Vegas strip. Kellen and Ali decide it is fun to collect the cards of nakey girls that the GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS guys are handing out on the side of the road (if you’ve ever been to Vegas you know exactly what I’m talking about). It is not even 2pm and we are already best friend with intoxication. We head back to the hotel to sober up and get ready for tonight.

We have tickets to the 7:30pm session of Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere at Treasure Island. After having seen La Nouba 1047982 times while working there on the Disney College Program, I decided it was time to venture out into the world of Cirque du Soleil and see as many resident shows as possible while in Vegas. I lost my Cirque virginity to La Nouba, so in a sense, I felt like I was cheating on it tonight with Mystere. I tried to convince myself this was probably for the best; after all, I was on a mission to find bigger and better… than La Nouba, of course. Get your mind out of the gutter! Mystere had many similarities to La Nouba in that it was the imaginable being brought to life on stage to provide the ultimate discovery that life itself is a mystery. I thoroughly enjoyed the show probably a little bit more than La Nouba, although the first time I ever saw La Nouba, I was blown away by it all too. After Mystere we eat dinner at the Paris buffet which is absolutely delicious.

Day two is just another day of drinking down the strip only today we are rather excited because we find a place by the name of Bill’s that serves 99c margaritas and beer. Needless to say we make out way on it and indulge in a few. I must take advantage of as much cheap booze as possible now because God knows, once I get back to Australia, I’ll be paying insane prices for it. We lay out by the pool while drinking more beer and frothy beverages before it is time to go in and gussy up for tonight’s adventure.

We head to Planet Hollywood for dinner which is insanely crowded due to The Expendables movie premier going on there. It was a nice surprise to see Sylvester Stallone standing around just before we went into eat. The buffets was amazing and had food from many different countries. One of the better buffets I’ve been to in Vegas for sure. We only have a small time frame which to consume as much food as possible because tonight we are heading to… drum roll please…

Thunder from Downunder

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at The Excalibur hotel. We have been waiting patiently for this day for a few weeks now and are beyond excited to see my home boys represent. The show was absolutely insanely amazing! The boys were hotter than I can even explain. At one point, the MC asked if anyone had ever touched anything Australian before. Of course, Ali and Kellen start screaming at the top of their lungs and pointing to me. I  may have slightly blushed. The show they put on really is phenomenal and I highly recommend it to any one who’s in Vegas for a bachelorette party or just to have a good time like we were.

Best. Photo. Ever.

Ali and I wake up early on day three to head to the Cirque du Soleil ‘LOVE box office which is located inside The Mirage. This particular Cirque show was coming off a seven day dark week which meant it was more than likely going to be sold out but thought we’d try our luck. The lady selling tickets at the box office tells us the same thing we tell all the guests “We are coming back from a short break, we are sold out, only single seats left, we’re not releasing any more, yada yada yada”. I knew she was lying because this is what we use to tell everyone too even when we had seats on hold. Conveniently, as we are standing there, two seats magically appear. The only catch, they are $172.40 each. Ouch. I wasn’t planning on spending this much on a ticket but tonight is the only night we can see this show. I tell Ali I’m fine with paying it as long as she is too. We both hand over our credit cards and slightly cringe as they get swiped. This better be a good show!

So after watching LOVE I don’t feel bad about dropping the $172.40 on my ticket. It was, hands down, the best show I’ve ever seen. LOVE celebrates the musical legacy of The Beatles. Drawn from the poetry of  their lyrics, LOVE explores the content of the songs in a series of scenes inhabited by real and imaginary people. There was always so much happening I didn’t know where to look which is why I think I’ll have to see this show for a second time on my next visit back to Vegas. Incredible! While still high on energy from LOVE, we head to Jet Nightclub at The Mirage. Being Mirage guests, we get free entry; excellent, more to spend on alcohol. We drink and dance the night away.

Day four is our last full day in Vegas and also my last night in the USA before heading home. Sadness bestows me which means it is time for a drink. We make our way back to the Evening Call in Paris and refill our cups. Kellen doesn’t feel the best so I decide to take advantage of this situation and double fist. I get the Bacardi flavoured rum mixed with tropical flavoured slushy. Delicious. The best part is, I can’t even taste any alcohol so I’m just slurping these babies down as if they’re a regular 7/11 slushy. We head back to the pool for our last day of sunshine and tanning. For me, this will probably be the last time I see sun for the next few months. I have a horrible, cold winter to look forward to after tomorrow.

Tonight we have tickets to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity at New York New York. Zumanity has claimed to be the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil. It is a seductive twist on reality, making the provocative playful and the forbidden electrifying. You are asked to leave all inhibitions at the door and let loose as this Cirque production takes you on a sexy thrill ride full of sensational acrobatics and naughty fun. The show is part burlesque and part cabaret and only viewable to those 18 years and over. Again, another amazing show.

We head to Studio 54 at the MGM. There is a huge line up at the door. Tonight Lady Gaga performed at the MGM and Studio 54 is home to her official after party so the crowds are insane. It doesn’t help that she is due to walk out any minute to do a press conference and pose for the paparazzi right by the front of the club and admissions line. The security guard calls Kellen and I in right before she comes out. Bummer.

Kellen has never been to Studio 54 before but I had told him several times how it is my favourite club in Vegas because the music they play is amazing. After a few drinks, he was quick to agree. We buy each other round after round after round and after a while, I lose count as to how much we’ve consumed. We’re having such an amazing time just dancing the night away. It reaches 3am and we agree that if the next song is crappy, we will leave. Lucky for us, it isn’t, so we continue dancing like it’s nobodies business. Everywhere we look, there are girls dressed up as Lady Gaga. Once Kellen reaches his height of intoxication, he starts asking them all for photos and they kindly pose with him. Too funny. We stumble out of Studio 54 sometime after 4am and make it back to the room exactly at 5am. What a night.

The next morning is like a depressive blur. Ali and Kellen help me carry my bags out to catch a cab. I have an earlier flight out than they do so of course, I have to say my good byes to them. The cab driver finishes loading my bags into his trunk. I turn to Ali, before I even reach out to hug her I’m already crying. She starts crying too. I look over to Kellen to give him a hug and I start crying even more. I know I will be seeing them again so this makes it a little easier. I say good bye one last time then hop into the cab and cry all the way to the airport.

Good bye Las Vegas, until next time…


Exiting the Circus

July 15, 2010


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Location:
Orlando, Florida, USA
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For the last twelve months of my life I have watched people from right around the world who have grown so close and dear to me depart as their Disney College Program experience had come to an end. As I sit here typing this from my apartment here at Chatham Square for the last time, I have tears rolling down my cheeks. The Cirque du Soleil; La Nouba soundtrack is playing in the background; certain parts triggering my mind as I run through my queues in my head. Although I really should be packing, I can’t bring myself to realize that this amazing whirlwind of a life-changing experience is about to conclude.

Last night, sadly, after one entire year of working for Walt Disney at Cirque du Soleil, my Disney College Program came to an end. It was a series of many lasts:

  • My last ride to work with Bryan; someone I have come to love so dearly
  • My last time putting on my hideous blue pants and blazer
  • My last time proudly wearing my Disney name tag
  • My last time clocking into CDS for my final shift
  • My last time laughing and joking around in the dungeon
  • My last pre-shift meeting on the stairs before first show load
  • My last time ushering a Cirque du Soleil show
  • My last time assisting Disney World guests
  • My last time calling cameras on the radio
  • My last time screaming out ‘Mop Help’ to Lalita
  • My last time working with a team of extremely amazing people from all over the world where I really feel like I belong
  • My last time clocking out of CDS to mark the end of my final shift
  • My last ride from work to Ale House to enjoy loaded fries and a few beers with my Cirque crew
  • My last ride from Ale House back to Chatham Square with friends that have become family for me while I’ve been here

My time here on the Disney College Program has been something that words can’t even describe. Twelve months ago I would never have thought I’d have grown so attached to so many people. Everyone is so different and unique and it’s quite hard to sum them up. I love each of them all dearly and each for different reasons.

If any of you happen to read this, thank you all for being you! I love you all so much and and I am going to miss you all terribly. I will definitely be back to visit, sooner rather than later.

Again, thank you, it’s been a blast.

-xoxo-










Bits & Pieces…

February 17, 2010

Dear Blog,

I’m deeply sorry for the recent neglect I have shadowed upon
you. Here is a summary of my life over the last few weeks…
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• Cirque family diminished as programs came to an end and friends returned home. I cried. Like a baby. It was horrible.


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• Moved apartments, but still living at Chatham Square. (Let’s just pretend I’m an eight year old Asian girl for the sake of this blog entry).

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• Began watching Lost from Season 1, Episode 1 all the way through to now. Currently on Season 5 and super pumped to begin Season 6! Boone, you were too hot to die. You left me eye-candy less. Jack grew a beard. Not hot.

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• Space Mountain re-opened at Magic Kingdom so we went there on a rainy day to avoid lines and ride it over and over again. I screamed like a pre-pubescent teen yet to come out at a Taylor Swift concert. True story.

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• New friends joined our Cirque family.

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• Bryan and I have declared Monday ‘Taco Monday’. I slave away over a hot stove and cook taco’s for us both then we shove our faces with them while watching seven back-to-back episodes of Lost. Muchos fun.

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• I received a single long stemmed red rose for Valentine’s Day 🙂

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• Saw The Phantom Of The Opera at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando. It was spectacular.


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• Got drunk at out regular Sunday night club and bumped into a girl that went to my High School, Primary School, worked right by me and also knew one of my best friends back home in Melbourne. Really?!? Yes, really, why would I lie about something like that? I know, it scared me too!


“No way we went to the same school! Give me a hi-5!”

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• Last, but not least, we still be partyin’.

That’s all from me.
Until next time…

xo


Wide World of Children.

January 22, 2010

CHILDREN!

<Insert Jaws music here>

From January 17 until January 25, the performers of La Nouba’s Cirque du Soleil are taking a much deserved vacation; dark week, if you may. Good for them, but for us, this means…

DEPLOYMENT!

Dun, dun, dun.

Horrible, horrible deployment. It’s almost like a punishment for something I never did wrong. Last time we had a dark week I was lucky enough to escape deployment and spend my glorious week in the Cirque Box Office ruining guests’ vacations by telling them there were no shows on that week. That was fun. Well, fun until that dramatic mum with her overly dramatic daughter came to my window. Let’s reminisce, shall we…

Mother: I’d like two tickets for tonight’s performance please.
Me: Sorry ma’am, the performers are on vacation this week, there are no shows on until next Tuesday.
Mother: But I promised my daughter we’d see the circus. We came here for the circus!
Me: Sorry ma’am but these black out dates were published months ago.
Daughter: Mommy, does this mean I can’t see the circus?
Mother: Yes, sweetheart, we can’t see the circus. I’m so sorry.
Daughter: But mommy! <Insert daughters tears here>
Mother: I know sweetheart, I know. <Insert mothers tears here>

*Mother grabs daughters hand, turns around, and they walk off crying into the sunset together.*

Would it have been wrong to wish them a magical day at this point? Hmmm. I quite like my job though, so I guess we’ll never know.

It was almost like a scene out of a movie, way too much for me. Until today, though, little did I know that I’d rather ruin guests’ vacations over being deployed to Disney’s Wide World of Sports. Ugh.

Disney's Wide World of Sports.

Today, for the first time ever, I ventured out (deployed: forced, had no other option, needed to pay rent) of my comfortable Cirque bubble and entered into the unknown… The Wide World of Sports.

Here, for a wonderful six hours of my life (that I will unfortuantely never get back), I registered children *cringes* for a four day gymnastics tournament that is taking place there. Childrennnnnn. Children from right around the U.S.A… and a bonus few from Colombia and Puerto Rico. Oh, the joys! You’d think I’d be use to children by now, having worked at Disney for six months already, but, fortunately, at Cirque, children are in the minority. Today though, today was like child influx day. Way too many kids, all wearing sparkling, glittery gym gear with their overbearing parental units and coaches, all ready to compete against each other and let their fangs and claws out! I wanted to bury my head into my hands and disappear into a child-free world! Lie. I almost wanted to eat my own hands so I wouldn’t have to register them anymore! GAHHH!

The kid influx was one thing, but then the kids parents. Woah. So nasty and competitive. Maybe I just don’t get it, because back home in Australia we don’t do sports the way schools here in the U.S.A. do it, but man, it was weird. I’d like to say that I never want to be surrounded by that many competitive children, or any sort of children in those numbers, again, but unfortunately (yes, to your horror, and mine), I must report back there again tomorrow for another lovely six hour shift of registering gymnastics kids. Fun, fun, fun! So much fun I can barely control myself!

Today made me appreciate Cirque that little bit more than I already did.

*Hugs Cirque*


Disney Family Holiday Celebration 2009

October 18, 2009

Over the last three months I have come to the learn that my family and friends back home don’t like me enough to write me or send me care packages via post, but regardless, today I decided to check my letter box at the off chance that something wonderful may be waiting for me. I reached in to my letter box and grabbed the contents… junk mail, mail for the room mate x3, junk mail, more junk mail… and low and behold, an envelope… with my name on it… ooo, excitement!

I walked (at a very fast pace) back to my apartment and ripped open the envelope… Disney mail… pretty standard, but hello, what’s this? Not so standard Disney mail… it’s the Disney Family Holiday Celebration 2009 card for cast members! EEEEEEEE! It’s like all my Christmas’ came at once! This one little card entitles myself and up to three guests to:

Walt Disney World Theme Park Admission
DisneyQuest Admission
Blizzard Beach & Typhoon Lagoon Admission
Holiday Room Discount at Disney Resorts
One 5×7 Disney PhotoPass Photograph
One round of golf at Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Gold Course of Disney’s Fantasia Gardens & Fantasia Fairways Miniature Gold Courses
Discounts on Cirque du Soleil – La Nouba (because I totally need that)
Special Company D discounts
30%, 40% and 50% off Disney dining coupons
Special Holiday Discounts on merchandise
Double discount at Cast Connection
Six popcorn and soft drink coupons

Woah… what a mouthfull! So excited to put this baby to good use! It’s valid until February of 2010 which is plenty of time to fit all this awesomeness into my already hectic schedule!

To make matters even better, today I went to Publix to get my discount tickets for Halloween Horror Night at Universal tonight!!! I’m so excited and pretty sure I’m going to lose my voice screaming when some psychopath chases me with a chainsaw! YAY!

Disney Holiday Celebration 2009 card & Halloween Horror Nights ticket!

Disney Holiday Celebration 2009 card & Halloween Horror Nights ticket!


“Can I See You In My Office Please?…”

October 9, 2009

Really? I’ve only been here for a whole twelve minutes!!! What the heck sort of trouble could I cause in such a short time span that is deemed “can I see you in my office” worthy?!?! *craps pants*

Those seven little words are never usually a good thing, so you can just imagine the frantic mode of panic my heart flipped into when my manager announced it to me in front of everyone in the box office today at Cirque. I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat and within a matter of seconds, I had played out every possible scenario from the last few days that may have served as  “can I see you in my office” worthy. The only thing I could think of was maybe laughing too loud… that, or corrupting the poor, innocent Chinese girl. Haha.

To panic, or not to panic? That is the question.

To panic, or not to panic? That is the question.

I guess my manager saw me freak out a little and enter managers’-office-panic-mode because her next line was the wonderfully relieving, “Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble.” *un-craps pants* Phew. My heart beat and blood pressure returned to normal and I felt a wave of relief pass over me, although now, I was just plain confused. If she had just left it at “can I see you in my office?” I would have just assumed I was getting into trouble for something; what? I don’t know. But at least I knew it was something. However, as soon as she followed “can I see you in my office?” up with “don’t worry, you’re not in trouble” I had absolutely no idea why she’d want me in there, so at this point in time, I was extremely confused. Again, I started playing out non-trouble related scenarios in my head from the last few days. Ahhhh I couldn’t pin point any! PANIC!? YES? NO? PANIC? MAYBE!?!  PANIC! YES, AHHHHH!

I jumped off my seat and slowly made my way over to her office…

“Lynda! I just wanted to say thank you for *Saturday night. You were amazing and handled everything extremely well!”

So, this is what relief feels like! Haha. I was so happy to know I was being rewarded for my good efforts. After working 8.5 years in the same job before coming to Orlando and busting my ass and never getting anything in return, I finally felt like what I was doing had meaning and was being recognised. She held out three DVD’s, all Disney, of course, and told me to pick one. EEEE how exciting… Enchanted, Wall-E or The Incredibles… How could I reject the cuteness that is Wall-E???

Ummm, guys, that was a rhetorical question… YOU CAN’T! Wall-E it is 🙂 Along with the DVD was a personalised thank you card which said…

“Lynda, great job Saturday night. Thanks for all your hard work.”

This just made my day. Too sweet. I wasn’t expecting anything in return so to receive the DVD and the card was just amazing. Made me feel all happy inside… so happy I wanted to do my happy dance… but I restrained myself, it was tough, but I managed! Haha.

Today was a good day 🙂

Wall-E and Thank You card from my manager :-)

Wall-E and Thank You card from my manager 🙂

*Saturday night: Last Saturday during the 9pm performance of our Cirque do Soleil, La Nouba show, there were some major technical difficulties and malfunctions which resulted in the show being cut short and the Power Track act being skipped. Many guests were pissed off by this and gathered at the box office after the show to complain. Long story short, we had to offer a whole bunch of free ‘welcome back‘ tickets. It was utter chaos!!!