Meet Emma Horvath, Alegría Stage Manager

Emma Horvath is a stage manager and show caller with Alegría by Cirque du Soleil. In addition to working in both Cirque du Soleil’s Resident Shows and Touring Shows divisions since 2017, Emma has been a key member of the production team for a variety of special events, independent circus performances, and community-based projects around the world.

Q. What is your favorite part of Alegría?

It’s hard to pick. I love the music, the lighting and the circus performances. I think my favorite part is when all the elements come together to create a really big storytelling moments. Like the snow storm or the flying trapezes at the end when everybody is watching. I love the storytelling on it.

Q. What part of Alegría would you like to recommend?

I wouldn’t want to recommend too much because I want them to be surprised. I think the best part of Alegría is to be surprised. But I would say, if you are wondering if you should come to the show, come if you want to see a really joyful performance from a diverse group of performers and technicians and something that will stick with you for a long time.

Q. What was the hardest part during the rehearsal?

For this show, I was not a part of the original creation rehearsal process. We rehearse on a day-to-day basis when we want to add new things or change something. The hardest part I think is paying attention to all the small details. Because in my job, we coordinate the difference at departments to make sure we have everything we need for the rehearsal. So everyday, we’re sending out a schedule information on what’s going to be in the show, who is needed to be at each rehearsal. So staying on top of that is challenge. But we have a great team. We all work together and cover each other.

Q. How about comparing to other Cirque du Soleil’s productions you have involved with?

I used to work at Mystère in Las Vegas. I also was on tour with Crystal before and I think Alegría is that we see different parts of the show, big group acts and small solos and duos. You saw sort of a special version today with here. In Japan, we have many different acts in rotation because we knew so many shows. We don’t want people to get too tired and worn out. So we have a variety of acts coming through today. You saw a show that had more solos in it than usual. Sometimes we have more group acts and they all are wonderful so come back and see it again! We also have longer rehearsal days now because we have all these extra acts. Also, if you were to look at my calls script, you would see that I have the main acts that were in the show when we were in North America, and then the additional backup and rotational acts that we sort of switch out every day, depending on what’s in the show. So we do have to stay really alert and we sort of do a different show every day.

Q. When you have a such a hard time, how do you manage it?

When I start to feel a little bit down or a little bit stress, I think what really brings me back is, I’m lucky I get to call the show, so I get to see the audience and to hear the audience reactions and see everybody enjoy Alegría and enjoy our work. That’s really rewarding. In fact, last week, we had a group of full house from a school, middle school and high school students, and they were so excited to see the show. Reacting loudly and with enthusiasm and it was a real gift for us.

Q. What do you think is the best part being part of Cirque du Soleil?

There are two parts right there. The shows and The people. I get to meet people I never would have met working for Cirque du Soleil. I never would have traveled to Japan, maybe I would have gone on vacation, but I wouldn’t get to spend nine months here. Just looking at my colleagues right now, and I’m looking at people from probably eight different countries, who speaks just as many different languages, people of different specializations who share our knowledge together. And it’s not just a circus performance. We get to create worlds with the set and the lighting. We get to take you from the forest to the underground, to the palace, all around this world of Alegría. So both of them are very special to me.

Q. How did your career with Cirque du Soleil start?

When I was in university, I studied stage management. And when I graduate it I was lucky enough to get an internship with Cirque du Soleil. So I went to Las Vegas for 3 months. I worked at the show, Zumanity as an intern and I got to learn from that stage management team. And then, I went out into the world, have had some more stage management experiences, and grew my career a bit. And then after a while, I was hired at Mystère in Las Vegas, full-time. I started as an assistant stage manager. So I was running the backstage tracks and working on the schedule and the office task. And then at Mystère, I learned calling a circus show. Calling this types of shows is more intricate and more challenging than calling just a play or a musical because you hold people’s life on your hands. So I I got that education at Mystère and that was really wonderful. And then, I wanted to explore the touring world and go out and travel and see the world. So I joined first Crystal and now Alegría.

Q. Anything you want to try in Cirque du Soleil?

I know that I’ve been really fortunate to work on several shows that have a long history. Mystère and Alegría are some Cirque du Soleil’s oldest shows. And I would like to try doing something newer or creating a new show or working on the the frontier of Cirque du Soleil even. Trying out what’s new and what hasn’t been done before.

Q. What’s your future career goal?

I think my future career goal would probably be to continue to work with incredible people making art. But maybe to make art in a way that feeds those communities that don’t have as many advantages, people who might not get as much arts education, otherwise students or people who don’t have as much access to buy tickets to Cirque du Soleil. I would really love to use the skills that I have from stage management, project management, event management to impact the world in a positive way.

Q. Do you have any advice for those who admire you or admire your job?

I would say, be true to what brings you happiness in your career. It’s great to have goals and aspirations. But at the end of the day, what’s going to give you the life that you want, is to follow what makes you happiest. Not what makes you the most money or the biggest amount of prestige. But if you really want to work for Cirque du Soleil, I would say, get involved with circus arts in whatever way you can. And try to meet as many people as you can. Almost every job I’ve gotten has been because I knew somebody who knew somebody who could introduce me to the right person so that I could show my value to the right person.

{ SOURCE: Broadway World }