Jerónimo García-Cabral, the Yucatecan who triumphs in JOYA

{Translated from the original Spanish using Google Translate}

“When the opportunity meets the preparation is something that many people call luck”, this is how the history of the only Yucatecan artist of the Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ is summarized. Consistency, determination and focus, those are the words that describe Jerónimo García Cabral; a Yucatecan who turned his life into the dream of many others.

In 2002, he positioned himself as one of the first Mexicans to join Cirque du Soleil and is currently part of JOYÀ; a magical and truly unique theater experience that is about to be five years old as a resident in the Riviera Maya. Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ has more than 40 artists on stage being part of a multisensory show. All of multiple nationalities with great talents and among them is Jerónimo, who performs impressive acts on stage.

Jerónimo García is a person who radiates energy and charisma but above all he is aware that dreams are possible if you have the perseverance and discipline to achieve them. He began his career as a gymnast from a young age and gradually went into the show business. “My mother always joked that she wanted to escape with the circus, I think she was the one who put that little seed,” he talks in an interview. “As a kid there was no Cirque du Soleil yet, I fantasized about being an astronaut or flying, I wanted to be in the air and move.”

It was in the late 90s, when he discovered the circus company and for him the people who work there were like “aliens.” “I thought wow! How can they do that, I want to do it. There began my passion and I was 25 years old when I started to dream it ”.


A moment in which he says “I leave my soul there” and gave everything I had to give. “I heard that for the first time the tent of Cirque du Soleil would be in Mexico, I knew they would audition and I put together a demo with everything I had, but nobody told me that the auditions would be for vendors and setters not for artists,” reveals the Yucatecan .

It was so that he literally “slipped in” with a blacksmith who would carry materials and entered the circus office to deliver a VHS cassette with his videos. “I created my opportunity and two weeks later they called me on the phone, they wanted to audition me,” he says.

When the day came to test his talent, he focused and for 11 hours showed why he had to be at Cirque du Soleil. “It was an incredible audition, when I left there I didn’t even know what was going to happen but I felt it as the best experience of my life at an artistic level,” he says. The next thing was to do a training in Montreal, where the company was born in 2002 He gave him his first contract with “Zumanity” in Las Vegas , in which he “did everything” and achieved 6,000 performances over the next six years.

Jerónimo’s career continued through Europe by performing a cruise show that took him five times to cross the Atlantic and meet the love of his life: his now wife Jessica Ritchie , with whom he performs one of his acts at the Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ , which was created entirely by them.

But getting to this moment in his life was not easy, Jerónimo is a completely self-taught artist because of what he learned by trial and error, facing all obstacles and challenges with consistency and passion for what he does. “Yes I have had people who advise me, but 98% of what I do and have done in the characters comes from my mind.” Find out, fall, hurt, try again and criticize myself; when I started there was no one to copy or learn on YouTube,” he explains.


Jerónimo has been working professionally with his body for 27 years and recently finished his twelfth certification as an international professional trainer in Fitness. What has led him to know himself very well and above all to know how the body works. “The only thing you need is to be very critical of yourself, to a certain extent obsessive because although it never reaches perfection there is always a process of improvement.”

Although everyone could imagine that being an artist in the most important circus company worldwide implies a very rigorous work on and off the stage, Jerónimo says that over the years discipline has become his way of life. “I have created the habit of staying healthy and I no longer see it as a sacrifice. On weekends you can see me like any neighbor’s son but I can also be strict in my diet and exercises when I have to be. Now by instinct my body chooses everything healthy but it was not something I was born with and that is what I try to share with people; if you can and it takes your effort but once you create a habit it is not as difficult as it seems.”

That is why their main message is that they remain active and curious. “They smile a lot and remember that small positive and well focused actions will change their lives.” When he managed to be part of the company, it was a goal he celebrated internally, but it is until now, 16 years later, when he feels “the best part” of his life. “When I started there was nothing to brag about, my job was just going uphill.”


Today he knows that he is physically doing things better than when he entered and was 28 years old. “I feel fuller now that I have my son Arian and Jessica in my life.” And although he is 45 years old, for him it is only a figure. “At this point I am supposed to be retired but the truth is I still have enough energy, I feel very well physically,” he said.


For those who share the dream of one day being part of Cirque du Soleil, Jerome confesses that “there are no secrets” to achieve it. “Yes you can, but it is not a flown or a lottery ticket; They have to be very clear about their goals and at least have a plan on how to follow them. Every decision we make every day can lead us to a different direction and have a tremendously positive or negative result in our goals. ”

It also explains that you have to know very well what you want, how much time you will spend, be realistic and know the limitations of yourself. “You have to be really alert and know what to do to become the person you want to be,” he adds.

Currently, the circus is such a large company that there are many opportunities to integrate, whether as a dancer, singer, acrobat, choreographer, costumer, stage director, musician, etc. “If there are possibilities on a larger scale but the formula does not change, a lot of consistency and focus is needed. You have to think it, feel it and put the maximum amount of action to make it happen; you’re going to stumble all the time but you can’t stop seeing the compass to know where you’re going and not stop until you get your dreams. On the road to success you will stumble all the time, but you cannot stop seeing the compass to know where you are going, and not stop until you get it.”


The greatest satisfactions that his profession has left him are to be able to share many hours a day with his family and the privilege of doing what he loves most. “I really don’t feel this is a job. I love my time in the theater, being in JOYÀ is like my hobby. When I am there I disconnect from everything and I dedicate myself to what I like.”

In addition, he is grateful to be able to inspire people and make a difference in their lives with just a look or a smile and being an example not only when he is on stage. “I want to raise fitness awareness through these 27 years of experience and help people a little.”

That is why he is developing a Health & Fitness system , of which he already has 60 exercise routines, which he applies in his daily life. “I like to try everything, when I see a new technique I try it and that is the way I have stayed fresh and away from injuries in general. Everything has been prevention, recovery, awareness of how I train and technique, ”he says.


The strangest thing about Mérida is to share with her friends and her mother, although thanks to her closeness she is often followed.

“I have many memories in Merida, that’s where the whole dream began. It is a city that I have deep in my heart and I go whenever I can. ”

The memories he has most in mind are when he was transporting throughout the city on skates and took advantage of the defenses of the trucks to gain momentum. “I always went to Salvador Alvarado Stadium , hid the skates in the bushes and started running there.”

Something he doesn’t have in the Riviera Maya is the Yucatecan food he loves so much. “The second best food on the planet is Mexican, the best is Yucatecan. That variety and combinations do not exist elsewhere; Where is my pout , my potage? I can’t have it here; I love to eat it but I have no patience to prepare it ”.

He confesses addicted to knowledge, reading, learning, fitness and being very happy with his family. It is not one of the people who spends all day watching television or on Facebook but likes to be doing different activities with his wife and son as well as resting when the body needs it, as his priority is to be well for each show. “I am really an ordinary person but very energetic.”

For Jerónimo, each one of his experiences with Cirque du Soleil has been like “the chapter of a book”, a story that he summarizes as very “picturesque”, which he has written from time to time and which still has many pages left. fill in.


His taste for gymnastics led him to be an artist. Inspired by the movie “Rocky 4” and with the aim of defending a friend who was bullied, Jerónimo García discovered his passion for the exercise. At age 14 he ran his first marathon and began his career as a gymnast in 1989 and shortly thereafter had his first state competition.

When his mother discovered that he had potential, he trained him to train during a vacation with the Mexican Olympic Committee and, after that first approach, decided to stay and live in Mexico. “At that age I didn’t know who to stay with or how to do it but I always had the support of my parents for this adventure.”

After problems between his coach and the Olympic Committee, Jerónimo returned to Mérida a short season but finally decided to return to Mexico in a final attempt. It was in 1993 when he started working extra on Televisa “to survive”. “I started in the show doing everything, musical comedy, children’s theater, novels, musical comedies, television commercials, circus stuff and even in bad death clubs.”

After participating in different musicals, such as “Marcelino pan y vino” and “Muchachos de Nueva York” , he attended a casting for “Astral Express” , where he began to skate as a professional. The love for skating is something he had since childhood when he used the skates as his means of transport.

Even after meeting Jessica when it occurred to her to create a couple act on roller skates. She did not know how to skate but during a vacation in Merida she taught him in the park of the German colony and from there every day they trained to achieve a solid show that led them to have one contract after another.


Upon learning that Cirque du Soleil would create JOYÀ as a resident show in the Riviera Maya, Jerónimo decided to speak to Montreal to ask for an opportunity, however they told him that it was not possible because the cast was complete.

Almost a year later, he went to a company party where he met the artistic director of JOYÀ , who told him that he was looking for him to supply one of the artists for ten days. “I had seen the JOYÀ show two weeks before and the incredible thing is that I told Jessica that in the act of the paratroopers we could perfectly be with our skates.”

That same night, they climbed their skating table to the van, slept just four hours and went to the Riviera Maya to do the lighting and costume tests; The next day they were already part of the show. “That is the magic of JOYÀ . That week became one more and then they offered us the one-year contract. ”

Now the show has more than 1,500 presentations and has established itself as one of the most important in the company thanks to the magic and talent of each of its artists.

If you want to know more about Jerónimo you can follow him on his social networks:

IG: @trainwithjeronimo
YouTube: Train With Jerónimo
FB: trainwithjeronimo

{ SOURCE: Diario de Yucatàn }