Here's L56:

Hey PL - Long time no see. Sorry for the absence, but I've been reading the blog, just haven't had much to say until now.

I just have to pipe in briefly regarding the Cirque show you saw in Disney World. Not to ruin the experience for you - after all in theater the ends do in fact always justify the means. If your experience was of amazement that is still worth exactly what it was worth. However I do feel obliged to tell you that the outpouring of soul that you described is probably as far from reality as possible. Aside the fact that those shows are designed with with manipulative music, and lighting and special effects, most of those "spectaculars" and Cirque specifically have a really bad track record of really bad employment practices. Those shows are obviously very dangerous, and I don't know exactly, but I'm guessing the show you saw may do anywhere from 10, 12, maybe as many as 18 shows a week! Generally, none of those performers are protected by a union, benefits (like health insurance) are really hard to come by, salaries are really meager - all for a show where you literately put your life on the line twice or more times a day! I've also heard that Cirque is particularly heavy handed about not allowing people to take a lot of time off and also about their performers maintaining their physique (beyond the reasonable extent that maintaining your weight for example is a safety concern for that show.)

Anyway, from my understanding the only thing going on with the souls of those performers is probably a lot of "crushing"! But, I'm sure there are some of them that still enjoy doing it despite the obstacles - and all of those performers are the cream of the crop in their field. It's just too bad that the Cirque company doesn't particularly take good care of their folks.

I should add a disclaimer that all that I say is second hand info from informal conversations with people that have worked or have known people who have worked at Cirque. It's entirely possible that that info is outdated too - maybe Cirque has cleaned up their act. (No pun intended).

Here's PL:

Great to "hear" from you again, L56. The FPL blog is always enhanced by your thoughtful comments.

I just recently heard similar concerns from someone else about Cirque not treating their performers well, though like you, it was second hand and in the past. I certainly hope they have "cleaned up their act." The Disney version that we saw included a lot of safety precautions - wires and a net for tightrope walkers and trapeze artists - and they also only do 2 performances per week in their own specially designed theater. That being said, there certainly is a history of abuse and exploitation in circuses, just like there is in Olympic sports like gymnastics and, of course, college football!

As far as the soul aspect, it is not unusual for those moribund corporate "owner"-types and such, whose opening to their own higher selves in so constricted, to exploit those who have a wide-open channel. Maybe the soul is okay with allowing that dichotomy for highlighting purposes.

Interesting to ponder, and as always, L56, you give us food for thought.



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