The Artist Athlete Podcast

The Artist Athlete Podcast

This podcast is dedicated to CIRCUS. Aerialist, Shannon McKenna interviews guests from acrobats in Cirque du Soleil to circus therapists and everyone in between. Learn the backstage lives of those who flip, twist, sparkle, and shine under the big top. Shannon McKenna is an internationally recognized circus performer and coach. For the past decade, she has been a freelance artist: giving workshops and classes across 7 countries and working on and back stage for both traditional and contemporary circus shows in the US, Portugal, Germany, and Australia. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a concentration on post-modern physical theater (how’s that for a mouthful?). She founded The Artist Athlete in 2018 as a means to produce educational materials for aerial artists and a podcast in which she interviews experts in the circus industry about their careers. If you’re reading this, you’re probably listening to it. Thank you! She currently lives in Atlanta, GA USA, but gravitates towards whichever circus community is the warmest. Find her online: www.theartistathlete.com Facebook: The Artist Athlete Instagram: @the_artist_athlete... Show More

Episodes

September 20, 2020 50 min

One of the original choreographers of aerial dance in the Bay Area, Joanna Haigood, talks about her influences growing up on the east coast and then moving to San Francisco (20:20). She expounds upon her fascination of architecture as an access point for telling the stories of place (24:00), highlighting the African American experience (31:00) and using her art as activism (37:20)

Please won’t you be a Patreon?: http://www.patreon....

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Lisa Lottie is a one woman show who has traveled the world for over a decade with her hula hoops. In this interview, we dive into how she got her start at a traditional circus in India (9:36). She then goes on to share some important lessons she learned while attending circus schools in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (22:34) and London, England (25:25) that ALL those considering circus school should hear. Later in the interview, we dive in...

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This week, the red-haired tornado herself joins the podcast to talk about how moving from her small town in Ireland to London, England sparked a revolution in the life of Chantal McCormick (8:42). She quickly became an aerial dancer with big dreams and bigger ideas to get funding (11:41). She visited the United States of America for the Aerial Dance Festival, and decided to found one of her own (22:00). She also speaks about creati...

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Jon Stranks started his professional career at the age of 6 years old. (7:18). He went on to be in a winning acrobatic troupe on Britain's Got Talent (13:54) before making the transition from competing to performing (17:09) on Cirque du Soleil's stages, most recently in Messi 10 (25:52). During quarantine he has taken his work online and begun coaching handstands (31:24). Oh , yeah! And he has the real dirt on the Ellen Sho...

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From a childhood history of designing costumes and "pratting about onstage" (7:05), Rebecca Truman began Skinning the Cat, one of the UK's first contemporary circus companies. In this interview, Becky talks about her creation methodology (16:02), mental health issues (35:37), writing her biography and publishing the book, Aerialist (48:02) , the current state of circus as an artform (54:23), and of course, answering the...

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Born in China under the rule of Chairman Mao Zehdong, Guang Rong Lu began his circus training at the age of 11. After a long career as a performer, Mister Lu arrived in Australia to bring with him systems of teaching circus. He aided in establishing The National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, Australia and worked as head coach in the program. In this interview, Mister Lu outlines how the financial philosophies nations adopt...

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Listen in as hoop artist and self-proclaimed sparkling garbage, Julie Marshall, grapples with the question: WTF is ART anyway? And how the heck can circus artists make work that channels individual expression while maintaining technique, clarity of vision, and a relationship to the audience? This interview addresses “the taste gap” (as defined in the quote below) as well as topics such as body image, mental health, and the importan...

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This week’s episode of The Artist Athlete Podcast gets real meta real fast by interviewing Shenea “Stiletto” Booth about her own podcast, Live Like an Acrobat. But hold on y’all, that is just the shallow end of the deep dive that is this interview! Booth is a decorated world champion gymnast who went on to have a full and flourishing career as a circus artist- including playing the iconic role of “The Promise” in Cirque du Soleil’s...

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This is the episode where Shannon fangirls for an hour over aerial ICON Isabelle Chasse. Isabelle immortalized the aerial act in the recorded version of the Cirque du Soleil show, Quidam. She also co-founded and co-runs the contemporary circus company, Les Sept Doigts de la Main (known as “The 7 Fingers”). In this interview, she talks about her journey as a performer and creator in the industry and her frustrations and revelations ...

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Henri Hänninen, along with his cohorts at Sirkus 2.0 are committed to bringing circus training into the 21st century. He currently makes programs for circus artists and encourages them to see the "bigger picture" of their rehearsals and workouts. Also, he says, the best way to get better is to make a ton of errors. Listen in to find out why... AND learn more at: http://www.Sirkus2.fi

Instagram: www.instagram.com/circus2.0/

...

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Welcome BACK to part 2 of my interview with Gypsy Snider, contemporary circus director for The 7 Fingers. On this week's episode, we talk about the pandemic, the importance of time travel, and the artist as activist.   Online: https://7doigts.com/ Instagram: www.instagram.com/the7fingers/  

Please won’t you be a Patreon?: http://www.patreon.com/theartistathlete

This podcast is dedicated to CIRCUS. Aerialist, Shannon McKenna in...

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Gypsy Snider is a widely recognized co-founder and artistic director of the widely recognized contemporary circus company Les 7 doigts de la main, aka the 7 fingers. In the first part of our interview, she breaks down her process of creating and choreographing, and explains the importance of letting something evolve.

Please won’t you be a Patreon?: http://www.patreon.com/theartistathlete

This podcast is dedicated to CIRCUS. Aeriali...

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Ess is a non-binary contortionist who uses their art to explore the line between what is beautiful and what is grotesque. This interview features an in-depth conversation about disability studies, representation, privilege, and puns!   Website: www.strangewonderfulcreature.com 
Instagram: www.instagram.com/strangewonderfulcreature/   Please won’t you be a Patreon?: http://www.patreon.com/theartistathlete

This podcast is dedicate...

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At 36 years old, Cirque du Soleil's Luzia hired Rachel Hunt, former gymnast turned circus artist turned physio turned teacher, to be the backup for the pole solo in Cirque du Soleil's Luzia. Hear her story!

Please won’t you be a Patreon?: http://www.patreon.com/theartistathlete

This podcast is dedicated to CIRCUS. Aerialist, Shannon McKenna interviews guests from acrobats in Cirque du Soleil to circus therapists and everyon...

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Jack Marsh, the artistic director of Saint Louis's Circus Flora and executive producer for The Big Apple Circus talks about how he ran away FROM the circus only to return as an adult. He gives insight into what it's like to run a one ring circus and what Circus Flora is doing during this time. Check out circus flora: www.circusflora.org  

Please won’t you be a Patreon?: http://www.patreon.com/theartistathlete

This podcast...

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Thom Wall has been recognized as one of the greatest and most innovative jugglers of our time. On this hot mess of an interview, he discusses his research based approach to finding new skills and tricks, his practical approaches to marketing and creation, and even rectifies some misconceptions about some jugglers in ancient Egypt. 

 

Please won’t you be a Patreon?: http://www.patreon.com/theartistathlete

This podcast is dedicated t...

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Crista Marie Jackson has a resume to die for- from being the aerial double in Zendaya to rehearsal work with Beyonce to associate artistic director for Cirque du Soleil. In her interview, she talks about the importance of getting ready to get lucky, how to work inservice of a greater project, and her creative U-turns.

 

Follow her on her website:

https://cristamariejackson.wixsite.com/actor 

Instagram: @crista_marie 

 

Please w...

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Lisa Fa'alafi is a mastermind artist who knew that her art and artists that looked like her were not given a chance, so she created Hot Brown Honey, a cabaret show that explores the experience of First Nation women and femmes. The show became a smash hit internationally. On this episode, Lisa breaks down the importance of representing all cultures and histories on stage, and what it means to make work as an artist of color.  

 

...

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Laura Stokes and her artistic partner, Cohdi Harrell, got their big break when their full-length show, Smoke and Mirrors, won top awards at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. But what did it take to get them there? Shannon and Laura swear up a storm in this interview (don't worry, it's been censored- except on my website, http://www.theartistathlete.com/podcasts) and talk about what it's like to perform a personal crea...

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