International Careers in the Performing Arts
By Anna Robb
Watch TheatreArtLife’s forum discussion with four industry professionals who have paved an international career for themselves in the performing arts.
Together they talk about:
– Breaking into the performing arts industry and working internationally
– Expectations versus reality in an artistic career
– Versatility in the Industry
– Transitioning from performer into directors, choreographers and arts management
– Transitioning from performer into other careers
Watch this forum if you wish to learn more about:
– How to build an international career
– How to create a sustainable career as a performer
– How to build on a performing career for other jobs and roles in the arts
About the Hosts:
Johnny Kim started out as a gymnast and classically trained pianist as a young boy and moved into Drama and Theatre as a teenager. He accompanied the musical ‘Pippin’ at the age of 16 and musically directed Rancho Buena Vista High School’s ‘Charlotte’s Web’ and ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ at just 18 years of age. He had an eclectic performance background in dance, musicals, and circus and graced many stages around the globe. Favourite productions include working for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘Music of the Night’ and Cameron Mackintosh’s ‘Encore Mr. Producer’ with Jean Ann Ryan Productions, ‘Les Folies Bergere’ at the Tropicana, ‘Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular’ – Arena Tour, ‘Miss Saigon’ at North Carolina Theatre, and ‘Voyage de la Vie’ at Resorts World Sentosa. On pushing the boundaries in entertainment, he is also the only male to have played the female role “Dark Queen” at Franco Dragone’s ‘The House of Dancing Water’. He also served as the Choreography Captain of the show and transitioned to management as the Artistic Coordinator of cast changeover and operations for three years.
Johnny landed a dream job with Cirque du Soleil as the Assistant Artistic Director on the creation of ‘VOLTA’, and spent two years creatively shaping the production with his mentor. After a successful stint on that North American tour, he then joined ‘TOTEM’ as their Artistic Director.
Sophie Duncan is a multi-disciplined, award winning pole artist, dancer, circus artist and choreographer, creating and performing internationally with companies including Cirque Du Soleil, Franco Dragone Entertainment and The Old Vic. She is also the co-founder of The Foundry by H+D – a pole and dance training hub. She studied a BA in Contemporary Dance from London Contemporary Dance School, and initially started her career as a contemporary dancer, choreographer and actor. She created her first international theatre production in 2011, ‘To Sir, With Love’, with Horia Suru in Romania, and musical, ‘EPIDEMIC’, at the Old Vic, London. In 2016, ’COLUMBINUS’ – the tragic true story of the Columbine High School Massacre – won ‘Best Show’ at The National Theatre Bucharest’s Teen Theatre Festival. She currently has 3 productions playing in Romania – ‘Si Linistea Are Puls’, ‘Amphitrion 38’ and ‘Ziua Recunostintei’. Sophie was a dancer in Franco Dragone’s, ‘The House Of Dancing Water’, in Macau, and cross-trained to become a dancer/house troupe swing. This led to her perform dancer/generalist roles in Marie Robitalle’s ‘Gynoïdes’, Cirque Du Soleil’s ‘Scalada Vision’ and ‘Pop Circus’ at The Roundhouse, London. In 2017, she retuned to Macau as Dance Captain and dancer/generalist for the creation of MGM’s ‘Destiny’. Sophie began training pole dance in 2017 and in just over 3 years, she now holds four titles, most notably Pole Theatre UK Drama Champion. Until recently, Sophie was Dance Captain with Cirque Du Soleil in 2 new shows; her first on-stage pole role as the lead character ‘Carol’, in ‘Excentricks’, and as a dancer / aerialist in ‘Cosmos’.
After training in dance at the Centre des Arts Vivants in Paris, then through workshops with Ohad Naharin, Akram Khan, Random Dance Company, … Fanny completed her training in comedy with Philipe Gaulier and Jean Jacques Lemêtre. It follows contracts that will take her on the Parisian scenes : Palais des congrès, Théâtre Dejazet, Palais des Sports, Casino de Paris, Théâtre Mogador, and to travel around the world. In 2012, Fanny joined the company Franco Dragone, in Macao, as a dancer and quickly became “Dark Queen”, one of the main characters of “The House Of Dancing Water” directed by Franco Dragone and choreographed by Giuliano Peparini. In 2018, she collaborated for the creation of the Jean Paul Gaultier’s “Fashion Freak Show” with Tonie Marshall, Raphaël Cioffi and Marion Mottin as dancer and a dance captain, then became, in 2019, associate director for the international tour. Fanny develops her own choreographic language, which allows her to work on various projects for theater, film and fashion. She signed her first choreography with Dear Dolly at Théâtre Galabru and Espace Kiron, then took the direction of a children’s show performed at the Théâtre Marsoulan (Souricolor). She also directed and choreographed several shows at the Comedy Club (Cours 2 recré, Mise en Sape, Depression Vestimentaire), films presented at international festivals (C.ontorsion, Modern Walk, B.lindness, …). Fanny is also assistant artistic director for many fashion shows (Diesel, Adidas, Who’s Next, Miss France Ronde, …) At the end of 2019, Fanny directed the National Circus school’s students ( E.N.A.C.R. ) in “3025”, a piece co written with the scenographer Pétronille Leroux, at the Georges Simenon space.
Heather Magee began her nearly 20 year career with the American Dancer Illusionist Company called MOMIX back in 2002 with the mesmerizing show Opus Cactus. She has participated as a collaborator and assistant in the the creative process, launched new productions, and performed many of their full-length productions. She toured the world with LunarSea, The Best of Momix, the Viva Momix 35th & 40th Anniversary Tours, and the classic, Baseball. She took a 6 year hiatus to join an amazing team and cast in Macau as a dancer and principal character actress for Franco Dragone’s water spectacular called “The House of Dancing Water”. Raised in Connecticut, she began her training with Arlene Begelman and Robert Maiorano at the School of Performing Arts and graduated from the School of the Hartford Ballet. She performed with Ballet Arizona, Atlanta Ballet and Madison Ballet Theatre. Under the direction of George Jagatic (Axis Danz), she learned “flagging” and has enjoyed sharing and exploring the craft. After touring internationally with the “Phantom of the Opera” and dancing in the musical “Carousel” she found MOMIX… She also has a starring role in a movie called Malevolence and was in a Hane’s National Commercial! Her new life is beginning as a Licensed REALTOR working for Sotheby’s in Connecticut and at the same time she is developing a farm homestead with her life partner and learning how to raise chickens. New Adventures Await!