Projet Lumiere Project: A Hub for Circus Professionals through Covid-19
Stacy Clark is the founder of Projet Lumiere Project, which is a hub for Circus professionals through Covid-19. Prior to the lockdown, Stacy was Director of Casting at Cirque du Soleil, leading a team of international scouts and advisors in Montreal, Las Vegas and Europe. A former gymnast and professional circus performer, Stacy worked in marketing and communications before leaving it all behind to perform and teach circus around the world on stage, at festivals and on screen. Stacy’s journey at Cirque du Soleil began in 2007 when she joined the Casting department as a Talent Scout, recruiting athletes and circus artists for the company’s shows worldwide. In 2011 she became Acrobatic Coach with Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, touring North America.
Within the business sector, Stacy’s professional experience includes communications at Bombardier Aerospace and creative account direction at Field Day, a strategic marketing agency. Previously, Stacy co-owned FirePower Kids, a premiere youth fitness facility in Ontario and High Strung aerial dance, where she honed her entrepreneurial skills. Stacy holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts and is completing a Leadership diploma at Concordia University. She is an avid learner and consumer of wellness, behavioural science and leadership content, including courses from McGill University and the rich world of online education. Stacy teaches circus, fitness and spinning. She is a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and a CrossFit Level 1 and CrossFit Kids Trainer. She is also a cottage and nature enthusiast, lover of travel and dedicated people leader.
Covid-19 has been tough on the circus industry. I understand you were let go from Cirque du Soleil and have now set up Projet Lumiere Project, which is a small collective that supports circus and performance professionals through this time. Can you tell us more about the project and how it started? What was your experience through Covid-19?
I had been hearing through the grapevine, plus seeing and experiencing for myself, the challenges the industry shutdown had imposed: roller coaster emotions, lack of motivation or actionable steps to address the “what now?”, and in some cases, no lack of motivation but lack of experience and know-how to re-tool for a different future. I reached out to kindred spirits within my circle of colleagues (on and off stage) and together we gave shape to a grassroots hub for help.
To be honest, I had grown to love and identify with my work as a manager and felt a tug to lead, even though my teams, our department, our whole company and indeed the industry had come to a standstill.
I also knew that to stay upbeat and positive I’d benefit from helping others, even if it were just to create a structure so our peers could mobilise and ultimately help one another. The founding members of the group were totally aligned so we’ve been growing the idea (and the content on our Facebook page and its groups) ever since.
How can people get involved with Projet Lumiere Project? What can they find and how can they support others?
Our goal is to encourage peer to peer support, in whatever form it needs to take: an inspirational message to start your day off on a positive note, a link to mental health resources, links to job postings and meditation videos. And importantly, still to come, tangible guidance for resumé building, career transition, training and so on.
We are linking up with groups like TheatreArtLife so that valuable content can be shared across multiple platforms. Performers and all members of the broader performing arts industry are best equipped to understand what we’re all facing. Additional professional insights are equally welcomed!
This online space is a safe and supportive one, and no one person is the boss. My hope is that it can continue to grow through the sharing of meaningful content, and the simple message that we are all in this together. We are each living it differently, and some voices are very quiet. It’s quite possible that those very voices need a bit of extra attention, care and inspiration. We encourage active engagement within the Facebook page and its groups… lovely surprises and connections may well emerge.
Check out Projet Lumiere Project on Facebook