I find it difficult to believe that anyone would not be captivated by the utter magic that is Cirque du Soleil. I’ve never seen the show live (dying to, though!!), but I did watch the film that came out a few years ago, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away (2012) and it was one of the most mesmerizing cinematic experiences that I’ve had to date. The number one question I find myself asking the entire time, “HOW did they DO that?!” The sheer talent the performers have is something unreal, but there is more to the magic than just their flawless performance. Sure, if you saw them on the street doing acrobatic feats, you’d stop and be amazed, but what is that really makes Cirque the mind-blowing experience that it has come to be? These aren’t hypotheticals, by the way, I’m going to tell you exactly how this show comes to life.
The magic is brought to you by a brilliant artist named Welby Altidor. He is the executive creative director for Cirque du Soleil and also the director of creation for Michael Jackson One, but he is so much more than his professional title implies. He has vision, passion, purpose, and a seriously down-to-Earth attitude that makes his insane talents seem like something we all might be able to achieve (it’s nice to dream, right?!). “Welby Altidor is a firm believer that, whether we realize it or not, we all have access to a unique creative genius in all of us. It takes courage—creative courage—to welcome and unleash that inner force,” (The Lavina Agency).
Okay, so he sounds pretty amazing right? I have more news though; he’s coming here, to Ohio State; and better than that, he’s going to tell us how we too can have creative confidence in our endeavors. One of his principle tenants is seeking early feedback, or as he puts it, essentially scheduling failure, in order to begin improving as early as possible. I don’t know about you, but as much as I hate hearing negative or critical feedback, I always find that when I use it constructively, it really can take my work to the next level.
So let’s recap: you know who he is, you know some of what he does (I don’t want to spoil everything, come to the event to learn the full story and hear it straight from the source, Welby himself) but you may be an actuarial science or aerospace engineering major asking yourself, “Why do I care?” EVERYONE SHOULD CARE! No, but for real, even though you may not be in the field of the performing arts, what Welby has to say about creativity, courage, and confidence applies to you, whether you realize it or not. Every career on the face of the earth requires some degree of creativity for success (try me, I could think of creativity in any field and I love a good challenge!); whether it be outright or more as an avenue for workplace efficiency, promotion of synergy, or any number of projects that might require thinking a little bit outside of the box.
As college students, we know that life isn’t perfectly cut shapes that fit into perfectly cut out spaces; we have to bend, stretch, edit, and sometimes lose nights of sleep over trying to figure out the absolute best ways to make our dreams become reality. Sometimes we have to eat pizza while we cry and wonder if we’ll ever succeed at anything. Those moments are (hopefully) fleeting and I can tell you, you’re fabulous and you’re a Buckeye, so you’re definitely going to do amazing things, but you will need help along the way (and that’s okay!!). So join OUAB and the Man Behind the Magic: Welby Altidor, and learn what it means to accept and embrace failure on the path to putting your brilliant mind to use and how you too can develop a strong sense of creative courage.
Make sure you pick up your tickets tomorrow, September 21st at the Info Desk in the Ohio Union!
Written By: Anna Javins
Committee: Visual and Fine Arts