"I first saw and heard of Cirque Du Soleil when I was about 9 years old. I was flipping through the channels on my TV when I came across one of their shows (Varekai) being shown. I was immediately intrigued and really wanted to see it in person.
When my whole family and I went on our trip to Disney World we learned that Cirque Du Soleil’s Show La Nouba was a resident show at what was then called Downtown Disney, so of course we just had to get tickets and see it. I fell in love with Cirque after watching the show. It took me to a new universe and made me completely forget about reality, and I can say that I loved that feeling, of having a visual “mini vacation” from the real world.
A few years go by, and my family and I take our annual trip to Las Vegas. Cirque Du Soleil had just opened up their new show called KA. I heard this show had tons of Chinese Martial Arts in it so I was beyond excited to see the show. The show moved me nearly to tears. It was so beautiful seeing the beautiful marriage of Chinese Martial Arts, something that I’m already passionate about, and acrobats in one amazing production. KA inspired me to train harder so some day I can reach the skill level the artists had in the show.
After competing and performing for so many years I asked myself “Alright...what’s next? What’s the next thing I can do with my skills? How can I take my martial arts career to the next level? I immediately thought that Cirque Du Soleil is the answer. Watching KA inspired me to train harder than I ever have before. Harder than training for tournaments.
2015 is the first time I auditioned for Cirque Du Soleil. I was very excited to take the first step in reaching my goal, but super nervous as I did not know what to expect. I never auditioned for something before until I received this opportunity. When I auditioned they did not put me through, and cut me after the first round. I was beyond devastated. Although I was nervous I felt a little confident in the skills I had to show them, so getting cut was heart breaking. Luckily I had people like my parents and close friends to encourage me to get back on my feet and just keep training until I reach my goal. I was crushed but giving up was the last thing I would do. So it was back to the drawing board for me. I went back to my basic skills, perfected them, created new skills, and got stronger mentally and physically. When I felt like quitting I just reminded myself of how hurt I felt when I got cut. Then it motivated me to keep pushing.
Three years pass, and finally I have a second chance to audition for Cirque Du Soleil again. The nerves kicked in but I kept in mind of what I was told; show them your best and stay confident. Show them that auditioning is not scary. With all of these filed in my head and a few years of har work, I execute the audition. This time I got in. All of the hard work, dedication, and ultimately believing in myself lead up to successfully being accepted in Cirque Du Soleil’s database. To this day it’s still a little surreal that I made it. I may have proved it to some people that I can accomplish this goal but more importantly I proved myself that the number one goal I had for myself is something I was able to achieve.
Now, this story doesn’t end here. It’s only the beginning. A few weeks after the audition I received an email from Cirque Du Soleil asking if I am interested in being part of their new show in Las Vegas. Of course I said yes, literally in all capital letters. Hopefully by the middle of December I’ll get the confirmation that I’ll be selected to be in the show. If things don’t work out for this show then it’s just another goal I have set for myself. But one thing I can definitely say though is that I have gotten through the hardest part. And it only gets better from here."
-- Alex Woo