A Little Chat with Kurios’ Sophie Guay

Cirque du Soliel’s ‘Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities’ will head to Melbourne in March ahead of its final Australian destinations Adelaide and Perth. The show features a cast of 47 artists from 17 countries including world-class gymnasts, acrobats, contortionists, hand-puppeteers, yo-yo wizards, clowns, actors and musicians. The lead singer for ‘Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities’ is jazz singer Sophie Guay. She shared insights of the show with Noise11 ahead of the first Melbourne premiere.

Q. You play a major role in ‘Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities’. We see you throughout the show.

You can see the singer most of the time. I am part of The Seeker and there to support the acoustic number vocally. I just try to give emotion with my voice.

Q. Tell us about your costume.

My character is called The Street Singer. In French we say Le Chanteur de Rue. The character wears a gramophone horn on the head. This was designed as a wink to the first wireless microphone ever invented. The creator was thinking what would have been a wireless microphone in the 19th century. It could have been a gramophone horn on the head.

Q. Does wearing a gramophone make it difficult for you to maneuver around the stage?

I get to climb ladders during the show. The gramophone is not heavy. I climb up and down ladders during the show. The costumes are really well designed for moving around.

Q. How long does it take you to prepare for each show?

It takes me about 50 minutes, almost an hour. There are a lot of steps and it takes quiet a while. It’s the perfect time to focus on what is coming and get in character. Its meditative for me.

Q. Do you have time to work on your own music?

Cirque is a lot of work but lucky for me it’s a just one show a day. I go to work around 4 o’clock so I have the morning for personal projects, study and just hang out with friends and walk about a new city and discover around. For me it really important every time I get into a new city to find my little area that will become my routine, my favourite café, the grocery store, anything that makes me feel like home.

Q. Do you get to see local live music when you visit each city?

Sometimes its impossible because we are on at the same time. I only get Monday off and most of the time nothing is happening then. In Sydney I was lucky enough to meet some musicians and play with them. Most of the time we are performing at the same time so its hard to see live music.

Q. What about recording. Are you working on your own music?

In the past year and half I got into songwriting, I took some classes and I’m now exploring. I record with my own equipment, my own microphone and I travel with my own sound cards and everything I need to record. To go in the studio maybe once or twice a year.

Q. Will you record your own album?

Not soon but maybe. Before it was a big no, now I am more thinking about it. I am a live performer and I enjoy performing live. But now after 10 years with the circus I got to discover lots of cultures and enjoy new experiences. I feel I have a little more things to share.

Q. Who do you listen to?

I really love Melody Gardot. The music I love is quite various. It goes from jazz to 80s pop. That was the music I was singing when I was younger. I was in a rock band with my sister.

Q. Do you have any favourite Australian artists?

Accadacca (laughs). I love Sia. She has an amazing voice and she is an incredible performance.

Q. What is a typical working day for you?

I get to work. I prepare, do my make-up. I have to eat at a certain time. Too close to the show is not good. Too early is not good either because then I’m super hungry during the show. I have really long hair so I have to braid my hair and wear a wig for the show.

Q. How many cirque du Soleil shows have you seen?

I have maybe seen 12, 14, 15. I haven’t seen The Beatles ‘Love’. I went to Vegas for the first time last year but for the time I was there I only saw ‘Mystére’ and ‘O’. I need to go back and see ‘Love’. I hear its great.

Q. ‘Kurious’ is a Big Top show. What other shows does Cirque du Soleil have?

There are Resident shows, like ‘Love’. The Resident shows are in theatres. They stay where they are. You have Touring Arena shows and Big Top like ‘Kurious’.

Q. Where has this job taken you?

I’ve been to the United States and Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Singapore and a few others.

{ SOURCE: Noise11 }