Tag Archives: circus performers

Nick and Rachel Hit the Road

Coaches Nicholas Lowery and Rachel Randall are Duo Straight Up, an energetic, light-hearted Chinese pole duet, and they’re off in their new trailer to perform with a traditional traveling circus!

The last time we checked in was 2015! What has been happening with Duo Straight Up since then?

Nick: That was when our act just started out! We were still doing the original version of our act, with different music, which we performed in Up, with a Twist that year.

Rachel: We performed at two fairs in Hawaii , at “Ciudad de Las Ideas” conference in Mexico, and with the Venardos Circus for the Greater Gulf State Fair in Alabama.

Nick: Yes! We also were Tweedledum and Tweedledee for the Venardos Circus at the LA County Fair, which was an Alice in Wonderland-themed show.

What’s next for you?

Nick: We just got a giant truck and trailer and we’re ready to live the traditional circus life! We’ll be performing with the Zoppé Family Circus.

 Have you been wanting to do full time circus performing for a while? This is your first major traveling show, right?

Rachel: Yeah, we’ve been wanting to perform full time. It’s tricky staying in shape and keeping your act current when you have three weeks of work and then nothing.

How do you feel about living in the trailer for six months?

Nick: I lived in a trailer [which belonged to the show] for six weeks doing the first leg of their tour and it was fine! Honestly, the trailerhas more space than our current room in Seattle and we’re excited to have our own little house on wheels.

Was it hard for you guys to be apart for the six weeks Nick was touring with Zoppe?

Rachel: Yes! I was directing the P3 show at that time so I had a lot going on, and it was hard to not have Nick there.

Nick: Of course. I think it will be much better to travel and perform together this time!

What has changed in your act?

Rachel: It’s sexier!

Nick: And the skills have improved! But older versions of the act were more comic and whimsical and now it feels a little more adult. Still PG-rated! And we’ve had to rework our act a bit to get it to fit with the theme and new music for the show.

What’s the theme of the show?

Nick: It has a traditional Italian circus vibe. All the costumes are period-looking, less modern

Rachel: Think ribbons instead of sparkles

Photo by John Cornicello

How has your act and style changed over time?

Rachel: Initially we wanted to make a playful act (our first idea for a name was “Duo Squirrel”).

Nick: It’s a simple story that we tell with the act. It’s a love story, kind of messing around with each other. There’s always little adjustments to go from one show to the next.

Rachel: But there will still be flirting! I can’t not be flirty on stage. Before it was more silly, almost slapstick. It’s gotten more and more refined, more streamlined, elegant.

Nick: Definitely our skills have gotten better.

Rachel: We have a release move we call the “princess bomb,” and I do a handstand on his head on the pole. We still have the jump-over, where I slide down and Nick jumps over me.

Photo by John Cornicello

You guys performed at Twist this year, how was that? 

Rachel: Twist is always really fun.

Nick: It’s cool to do a show where there’s so many friends in the audience. The Teatro Zinzanni tent is awesome to perform in. I love that show.

What were you doing before performing and coaching was your career? 

Rachel: I was a professional dancer. I’ve always coached circus as my day job. I got a catering job in January this year (that’s my first ‘real’ job).

Nick: I started working at SANCA pretty fresh after getting my bachelors degree in math. My plan was to hang out here for a year and then apply for PhD programs, but then I had so much fun doing circus stuff that I never did that.

Any advice to others who would like to get more involved with performing and possibly who want to follow in your footsteps? 

Nick: Try to have a good idea of what kind of show you want to be a part of. Go see shows, try to get an idea of what kinds of opportunities exist, talk to people who are doing different kinds of shows. When I started I didn’t really have a good idea of what kinds of shows were out there as possibilities.

Rachel: It’s a little bit of a complicated question. Do you want to make a living at it, or do you want to just perform? It’s really hard to break into the full time performing, in any field. Circus does pay better than dance! Even if you do want to perform professionally in the future, you have to go out there and start performing, with the skills that you have today. Don’t think, “I’m not good enough yet, I can only juggle six balls!” You are good enough!

Nick: Yeah, get on stage! Then you learn what works and doesn’t work. You learn a lot from being in front of an audience. When you find a discipline in which you want to perform, it’s then really important to find a coach that you can work well with and trust them. Then be dedicated to practicing.

How do you stay motivated to have such a dedicated training schedule?

Rachel: We have a constitution. The Constitution of the United Forces of Duo Straight Up!

Haha, that is amazing. Can you share anything on it?

1. If you aren’t barfing, you have to train.

2. Don’t be too grumpy in the morning.

(Rachel: I hate training in the morning).

3. Push each other.

4. Stay positive.


Those are some great guidelines!

Bon voyage! Merde! and we’ll see you down the road!

 

SANCA’s Annual Showcase Spectacular

One weekend only: April 6th-8th.

We have four shows, each featuring a different line up of spectacular local and internationally renowned circus performers alongside SANCA’s tremendously talented student performers.

Every year SANCA presents a showcase of unique circus performances featuring students, alumni, staff, and friends. SANCA’s Annual Showcase Spectacular (known as SASS) is  the accumulation of the culmination of all the hard work it takes to create new acts. Our students and staff have workshopped these new performances and are ready to take to the stage in displays of pure awesomeness!

Among the featured performers are Seattle favorites, SANCA’s youth circus troupes: Cirrus Circus,  the Magnificent 7, and the Amazing Circus 1-ders. Audiences will be treated to daring displays of acrobatics, high-flying aerials, juggling, and much more!

Performances are at The Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway

Tickets are $12 (youth 16 & under) and $20 (adults 17 & up) in advance online from https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3232395 or at the door $15/$20

Friday Night April 6th, 7pm

Emcee: David Taft
David has been a physical theater artist for over forty years, performing in mask, movement, Commedia dell’Arte, dance and puppetry with a number of ensemble companies, has extensive touring credits on the East Coast and Midwest and has worked Off-Broadway for five seasons.   

The main creative focus of David’s work has been devising theater with collaborative ensembles utilizing text, nonverbal scenarios, and/or scenic choreography to investigate the physical realm of theatre and its power and expressivity. David trained actors in mask, movement and clown at Cornish College of the Arts for twenty- four years and is presently lead instructor of Theater at SANCA in the P3 Program.

Friday night lineup:
Cirrus Circus (unicycle)
Audrey Greaves (bounce juggling)
Sara Haverkamp (German wheel)
SANCA (group juggling)
Maria Mork (poi)
Nimbus Circus (formerly the Magnificent 7) (wire walking)
Caroline Alvarran-Belz & Sylvie Vermilya (partner acro)
Tania Nambo-Excobar (aerial rope)
Julaine Hall (aerial straps)
Milla Rose (aerial rings)
Laura Miller (aerial sling & tap dance)
Ashlei Mayo (aerial fabric)
Stratus Circus (formerly the Amazing Circus 1-ders) (aerial ladder)
Missy Nagin (lyra)
SANCA group (Chinese pole)

Friday Night Featured Performer: Julaine Hall. Starting at the young age of 5, Julaine joined SANCA’s youngest youth troupe and took off running!  To say that Julaine is a powerhouse is the understatement of the decade as she is proficient in Tumbling, Juggling, Acro, Teeterboard, Straps, and Chinese Pole just to name a few.  A better way to describe Julaine is as a force of nature!  Prepare to be astounded by incredible feats of strength and endurance on the Chinese Pole.

Saturday Matinee April 7th, 3pm  

Emcee: Mary Machala – Actor, Director, Improvisationalist and occasional Unicycler
Mary has acted and directed in Seattle for the past 30 years but who’s counting?  She is a founding member of Book-It Repertory Theatre, Artistic Director of the socio/political improv group Off the Wall Players (this was a long time ago), and touring member of Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop out of Minneapolis, MN (a really long time ago).  She’s also a Master Gardener, Master Composter, Apprentice Beekeeper and fledgling Master Pruner.  After four years of circus classes she still can’t juggle but she can (with a lot of warm up) unicycle across the floor.  Progress, not perfection.

Saturday Matinee Lineup:
Hallie Smith (Cyr wheel)
Max Voronin (diabolo)
Laura Sposato (tumbling)
Fiona Ryan (German wheel)
Rachel Randall & Nick Lowery & Wendy Harden & Nick Harden (group juggling and acro)
Faye Visintainer & Devin Helton (poi)
Julaine & Jacob Hall (unicycle)
Stratus Circus (formerly Amazing Circus 1-ders) (lasso)
Jordan Rempel-White (aerial straps)
Faye Visintainer (single-point trapeze)
Erin Henderson (aerial fabric)
Alyssa’s Aerial Class (mixed aerial)
Duo Avocado (duo trapeze)
Nimbus Circus (formerly the Magnificent 7) (unicycle & lyra)
Cirrus Circus (Chinese pole)

Saturday Matinee Featured Performer: Duo Avocado
Comprising of Youth Company coach Alyssa Hellrung and Stratus Circus performer Ava Vermilya, Duo Avocado will light up the stage on Saturday afternoon!  These two amazing performers have been working together on the Double Trapeze for several years and are excited to showcase some new skills for SASS!  Don’t miss this stunning performance of trust and skill on April 7th at 3:00PM!

Saturday Night April 7th, 7pm

Emcee: Mary Machala – Actor, Director, Improvisationalist and occasional Unicycler
Mary has acted and directed in Seattle for the past 30 years but who’s counting?  She is a founding member of Book-It Repertory Theatre, Artistic Director of the socio/political improv group Off the Wall Players (this was a long time ago), and touring member of Dudley Riggs’ Brave New Workshop out of Minneapolis, MN (a really long time ago).  She’s also a Master Gardener, Master Composter, Apprentice Beekeeper and fledgling Master Pruner.  After four years of circus classes she still can’t juggle but she can (with a lot of warm up) unicycle across the floor.  Progress, not perfection.

Saturday Night Lineup:
Cirrus Circus (group acrobatics)
Siren Glenn (dance pole)
Brighter Than Diamonds (Floorial)
Fallon Mickle & Mary Gargett (hula hoop)
Aimee Storm (poi), Aimee Storm (wire walking)
Emma Cady (aerial fabric)
EJ Landsman (aerial straps)
Vertical Axis (duo aerial fabric)
Emma Curtiss (aerial fabric)
James Finch & Alyssa Luna (duo trapeze)
Iris Stokes (German wheel)
Mari Sharpe (lyra), Nick Harden (circus bike)
Jasmine Manuel & Tania Nambo-Escobar (duo aerial rope)

Saturday Night Featured Performer: Nick Harden
Internationally renowned unicyclist and bike extraordinaire, Nick Harden will take the stage for a performance that is sure to delight.  Nick has been unicycling his way around America and overseas for many years and is here to bring you a new act for your entertainment.  A dazzling display of spins, turns, and tricks on the Swing Bike awaits you on Saturday night.

Sunday Matinee April 8th, 3pm

Emcee: Emma Cady began training in circus arts at SANCA at the age of nine.  From age ten to eighteen, she performed with SANCA’s youth troupe Cirrus Circus throughout the greater Seattle area as well as in London, UK, Cardiff, Wales, and Sylt, Germany.  She has also worked as a professional aerial artist in such venues as Seattle Immersive Theater and Teatro Zinzanni, where she played the role of Schmee in their production of Lighter than Air.  In addition to hosting shows at SASS in the past, Emma has also been a Mistress of Ceremonies for the American Youth Circus Organization at two of their national festivals, first in Seattle and most recently in Trenton, NJ.  

Sunday Matinee Lineup:
Sara Haverkamp & Lilian Hoskinson (mixed circus)
Cirrus Circus (contortion)
John Spinosa (unicycle)
Nimbus Circus (formerly Magnificent 7) (tumbling)
Stratus Circus (Amazing Circus 1-ders) (unicycle)
Iska Popovic (wire walking)
Duo Shipwrekt (Laura Miller & Faye Visintainer) (duo trapeze)
Kevin Ruddell (aerial rope)
Carmi Westbrook (single-point trapeze)
Randi Morrison (aerial sling)
Alice Page (aerial fabric)
The Beautiful Aerialists (aerial fabric)
Duo TomKat (duo trapeze)
Julaine Hall (Chinese pole)

Sunday Matinee Featured Performer: Kevin Ruddell
Kevin has been a part of the SANCA community for many years.  Having had both of his children in classes as youngsters, he decided it was time to take to the air himself!  He has been training Rope with several renowned performers including Eve Diamond and Carey Cramer.  Let him astound you with feats of strength as he climbs his way to new heights on the Aerial Rope!

 

Performances supported in part by 4Culture and Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture

In Somnia – Professional Preparatory Program final show

Where do we drift off to when we sleep? Leave the waking world with SANCA’s Professional Preparatory Program graduates as they entwine themselves in a dreamscape of aerials, acrobatics, handbalancing, dance, Chinese pole, and contortion. Fall into our circus dream and lose yourself in what you find there.

Sponsored in part by:
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
4Culture

Staff Show: How to Adult

What does it mean to become an adult? Is there a magical transformation when you move into your own apartment? Does college graduation bestow membership in the Adult Club? When it does happen, suddenly, you have insane amounts of freedom and responsibility! You might find yourself thinking, “Is furniture really necessary? Why cook when there’s a microwave? Is there an important reason why clothes shouldn’t be kept in the laundry basket after they come out of the dryer?”

Join our performers as they face situations like moving away from home, getting new roommates, falling in and out of love, getting a job, and learning to navigate freedom! As they struggle with understanding that no one will adult for them anymore, the question becomes more clear: “We all have to grow up, but can we still play?”

This exciting collaboration showcases an amazing variety of traditional and modern circus arts, including Aerial Trapeze, Partner Acrobatics, Aerial Rope, Object Manipulation, Swinging Rings, Slack Rope, Duo Trapeze, German wheel, and more!

Performers include: Alyssa Hellrung, Audrey Spinazola, Milla Marshall, Stefanie Brendler, Laura Miller, Faye Visintainer, James Finch & Alyssa Luna, KJ Saur & Aryeh Lax, Sara Havercamp, Emma Curtiss, Zora Blade,
Jasmine Manuel, Jane Walters-Cooke, and Karellyn Holston

TICKETS IN ADVANCE: Adults $18, youth 12 & under $13.
Please reserve your seat at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2551724
1-800-838-3006

Love & Gravity

In this new, thrillingly beautiful work, Acrobatic Conundrum transports audiences to a captivating world seemingly free of the bounds of physics, but not free of the capricious struggle for human connection.

Fluent in the language of acrobatics, this cast risks all on a quest to tell honest accounts from an uncharted territory. Real life romances are portrayed through mesmerizing juggling acts, breathtaking aerial and partner acrobatics — all while balancing on a bar 20 feet in the air! This show will upend everything you thought you knew about these two laws of attraction: Love & Gravity.