Her long-term dream has become a reality - Jelena Simic, the actress from Podgorica City Theater, is officially part of the Canadian circus sensation Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), also referred to as the Circus of the 21st Century. At the audition in Paris in July last year, Simic found herself in the shortlist of the candidates, out of whom, in the end, were elected four for the Circus from Montreal. Jelena is the only one from Montenegro, and there is one candidate from Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Jelena did not want to talk about anything publicly until she got the official confirmation of the membership. And while her emotions settled, she could say for herself today that she is a "clown at the beginning of her career" and a "Cirque dreamer".
"Some ten years ago, I started to follow Cirque du Soleil, through Facebook and YouTube. In addition to their performances, I watched documentary material and I felt that I would love to be part of such a team. I've practiced gymnastics and dancing from when I was a child, which meant a lot to me when I was studying at the Academy and now in doing my job. Not just physical readiness, but also the discipline and self-control that sport teaches us. I had the impression that these skills were needed to work in a team like Cirque du Soleil," she said.
Jelena regularly followed the auditions of the world’s circus sensation, but until last year she did not dare to apply, due to the suspicion that the level of the entire set of skills she possesses is not high enough to consider her at all.
"Today I'm sorry that I did not try it before, but I'm really happy to hear that I passed the audition on my first try. This is for me the most precious and most desirable professional experience," she says.
Several fantastic circus companies in the world are engaged in a contemporary circus in the same way as the circus from Montreal. Still, says Jelena, Cirque du Soleil is the largest of them.
"Cirque du Soleil gathers artists of different profiles from all over the world, respects and inspires the art of all nations and cultures. I believe that this company has succeeded in gathering and raising the art of the whole world to the highest level," adds the young actress from Podgorica.
Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984 when the hull was made of 20 street entertainers. Today, it employs more than 4,000 people, including 1,300 artists from nearly 50 countries worldwide.
“I feel great respect for the people who have founded and built this company for years, intelligently, creatively, humanly and socially responsible so that we can now watch the culmination of acting, sports, dance, music, costume, scenography, makeup, wigs, organizational and technical achievements in one place - in each of their performances," says Jelena.
Artists who are part of the Cirque du Soleil program leave the biggest impression on the actress from Podgorica when it comes to this circus sensation.
"Their actors/clowns carry all the sadness and joy of this world at the same time," she says, adding that there are also incredible musicians and singers, dancers, and acrobats.
"Many Olympic and world champions in gymnastics are now their artists."
Because of the high degree of professionalism of each member of this circus troupe, she was not sure what to expect and what to hope for when it came to castings.
"But from the start, all the candidates got rid of their stage fright because the casting was led by humble, friendly and open people, who treated the candidates with respect and esteem. Their only request was to take the day to show them all we know and to have fun. This is the atmosphere to be desired when it comes to working on the scene, so my admiration and affection for Cirque du Soleil has reached a whole new level."
Now that she is part of the artist’s base in the Cirque du Soleil, Jelena regularly sends them video material and photos of everything new she is doing, and she can still expect an audition for a concrete project in the future - in case her profile is suitable for them.
Jelena says she is also available to all the artists from Montenegro who are interested in the future auditions of the Cirque du Soleil.
She showed all her skills in Paris
The audition of the Cirque du Soleil included application via e-mail, sending a video material showing the candidate’s skills, short video material on "why you want to be part of the Cirque," photos, and a biography.
"Everything I have stated as my skills at the casting I had the opportunity to show through the various tasks we had been given, independently, and in pairs and groups. We mostly did improvisations, which is inspirational and entertaining, but at the same time requires great concentration and relaxation," said Simic, adding that everything is quite complex when it is performed in a language that is not your mother tongue.
"The audition in Paris was announced to actors of the physical theatre, puppeteers and clowns, and I think my advantage was that I have experience in all three areas." She emphasizes that the years of running to various additional activities and training had paid off.
Text by Damira Kalac, on May 5th, 2019, read more at Vijesti