Where Do You Find All This Stuff?

A question we get every once in awhile is how do we find all this information we present to you each month. Some fans might think we have direct lines to a vast database of contacts inside the Cirque du Soleil braintrust.

Much as we might like to say that we’re trusted confidants of Guy Laliberte and Lyn Heward, it just isn’t the case. We have to scour and comb for every scrap of information we get. That isn’t to say it isn’t a fun endeavor – it is. We wouldn’t be into the middle of our third year of monthly publication if we didn’t find it fun! Speaking for myself, it’s satisfying to discover interesting things about a company you respect, and be able to write about it to a loyal, albeit small, following.

In order to crank out all of these stories, we do hours and hours of research. Burrowing through printed materials, websites, magazine articles, emails. All in an effort to find that extra bit of info that puts the cherry on the sundae, so to speak. That tiny piece of the puzzle that suddenly makes the whole picture seem more clear.

But how do we do it? Where do we look? At the risk of “pulling back the curtain” perhaps I can address it. Mostly we depend on the kindness of others. People who post links to articles, those that privately email us with information, and those in a better position than us to know the facts. Much of what we gather is brought to us that way. Here are some of the places we regularly look for information about Cirque:

*CirqueClub – The official Cirque du Soleil fan club often has interesting information, though they more often confirm already-rumored information than break news. The discussion board also has an occasional discovery.

*The Cirque du Soleil Yahoogroup – The largest Cirque Yahoogroup. There are some very knowledgeable fans on that forum. There are also several other Yahoogroups focusing on Cirque, most specializing in one form or another – to a particular show, or artist.

*Cirqueforum.com – Not very popular at less than 150 members, but they sometimes have interesting news. There are several posters there that pass on a lot of good information.

*Fannish websites – There are lots of sites out there, (erstwhile editor Richasi’s Le Grand Chapiteau being arguably the most generally comprehensive, Steven Santos’ circusnews.com is also vital for it’s constant updates) with tons of info. Some specialize in a show in depth, with lots of up-to-date news.

*Private conversations – Ah, the kindness of emailers! We appreciate everybody who takes the time to write us with a tidbit of info. We find out about cast changes, accidents, neat websites or articles, and sometimes a different perspective on a news item. We accept it all, whether via email or AIM or phone.

*Inside sources – Though certainly not the largest provider of information, we do get the chance to talk occasionally with folks who work inside the Cirque Machine and get information that way. Though you’ll NEVER get us to say who they are!

Anyone with enough interest, curiosity, and time can find most of the same information we provide here. Being a monthly publication, we sometimes don’t get a chance to be the first with the info, since others who don’t have our publication deadline can “out” information before we publish. Being first is sometimes half the battle!

So there are several ways to glean information. We try as much as possible (unlike some email posters) to credit sources whenever we’re able (and they give us permission to). But they are out there. The trick is to know where they are!

But now that we’ve talked a bit about the process, here’s a small plea for help. It may seem from our descriptions that we have a ton of sources. But the fact is, no matter how much info we may have, we can always use more. And that’s where YOU, dear reader, come in! You can become part of our “vast network of insider information.” And it’s easy, free and fun. Come on, we’ll show you how!

Fans – Every one of you reading these words is a fan of Cirque du Soleil. If you see something, anything, that you think might be of interest to other fans, shoot us an email about it. Heard some juicy gossip? Been to an interesting performance? Talk with somebody on-site? Let us know!

Industry Insiders – There are those out there that work in the Entertainment Industry. Looking at Cirque from an educated outside perspective is most valuable to us. What have you heard?

Cirque Employees – Yes, we know there are several of our readers who are part of the great Cirque Machine. And we like to think that our ‘zine gets passed around on tour or in HQ. Your input is the most valuable of all. What are your thoughts about what your employer is up to?

What would help us greatly in our quest to improve the quality of the information we present here at Fascination! is if we had better, more up-to-date info. So – if we asked nice – could we put out the request to have folks out there in the Cirque-verse to keep us abreast of things you hear?

But wait! Before you go to your computer to tap out your message, there are a few things you should know. We are VERY protective of our friends. We would never reveal the names of our sources or allow our writing to provide clues to their identity. Your secret is safe with us! (Though we can’t promise we’ll use everything we get. Sometimes there will be something we’ve already covered, of awaiting verification, or out of our pervue.)

If you’re concerned about your employer finding out, don’t use work computers; use a home computer instead. Or if you must use a company machine, *delete* the message out of your “Sent Messages” file *and* your “Deleted Messages” file *immediately* after sending it. Most corporate servers are backed up daily, including all email files, usually after hours. If you delete it completely and immediately from those two places, it should never get backed up! (Unless your employer uses tracking software that records every keystroke (unlikely with Cirque). We can’t help you there!)

In addition to info, we’d love to see any informational circulars passed around. The Casting Newsletter is available on the website, but we know there are others out there, including ones for each specific show. If anyone would send us copies of those, we’d be more than grateful.

Thanks in advance for those of you who’d like to help us out here. We really appreciate your generosity.