Cirque Du Soleil’s Volta performers discuss love, partnership, and support
Cirque Du Soleil has always given new meaning to the word “creative,” and the world they have crafted with their latest production Cirque Du Soleil-Volta is absolutely no exception. The local Volta show ends August 19, 2018 in Philadelphia. While the bicyclists and aerialists are what give us the eye-candy we all have come to expect from Cirque productions, it is always the behind the scenes team that makes the production tic.
Two of the gentleman behind the scenes are Ariel Layug (Kitchen Manager) and Edonn Lerias (VIP Experience Team Leader). These two gentleman don’t just collaborate behind the scenes with the performers and staff, they collaborate with each other as a couple as well. What is it like being a couple behind the scenes of Cirque. Is the organization really supportive of all kinds of love? And what it’s like working with some of the most dynamic performers around!
Michael Cook: Ariel and Edonn, you have been traveling with Cirque Du Soleil’s Volta since it’s premiere. Traveling as partners must be extremely interesting, to say the least. How did you meet in the first place?
Ariel: We met through a mutual friend actually. It just so happened that we were both in the same city where a Cirque production was playing. We hit it off immediately and that was really it.
So tell me, what do you each do for the Cirque Du Soleil Volta production?
Ariel: I am the kitchen manager. I basically feed all of the cast and crew. I give them all of their meals when they are on site with us. Everyone is provided with all meals while they are working. We give them lunch and dinner, with changes to the food daily. We have brunch on Sundays and we provide them with a desert, a sandwich bar, all that kind of stuff. And some of them do love the deserts, but they definitely get to burn it off easily! (laughs)
We have celebrities that are visiting, or coming to watch the show
Edonn: I run operations for all of the VIP. We are more “front of the house” dealing with the pubic, and are normally open an our before the show. We have food, drink and open bar in the VIP area. It is basically the magic before the show. It’s where we host the people that bought VIP tickets. We have celebrities that are visiting, or coming to watch the show, and they are always housed in the VIP area.
What is it like working together behind the scenes as a couple?
Ariel: The great thing is, our areas are related, but not too closely. Edonn is mainly working with the public, whereas I am mainly with the staff and the crew. Our interactions are somewhat limited in terms of dealing with each other. The good thing is, that we visit each other in each others departments. We work opposite schedules also. So, we do have a distance between us. When we have our days off together we really make sure we spend that time together.
Edonn: We are really the only married couple that still goes on dates every week. We have Monday off. So, we make sure we take advantage of the whole day. We go out and take a hike, shop or explore the city that were in at that time. Then we have dinner together. We love to explore new restaurants in the city we are in and we definitely love to eat. So it all works out.
“We never have to feel like we have to hide our affection for each other,” said Ariel
What is it like working as an LGBT couple in the Cirque organization? With such creative and forward thinking presentations, I would think that behind the scenes, they are equally as supportive.
Ariel: That is absolutely true. We never have to feel like we have to hide our affection for each other. We feel comfortable holding hands or being affectionate. It goes along with the entire message of Volta. Volta is about acceptance of self and allowing yourself to be free and finding that. It is part of the culture of both Cirque Du Soleil as an organization and Volta.
What is you dream retirement?
What do you think you would be doing if you were not part of the Cirque Du Soleil family?
Edonn: For me, I actually came from the hotel background. When I was living in San Francisco I was doing a very similar type of job. Except no one spends the night here at Volta (laughs). Its the same type of job, so I would most likely be part of the hotel industry still.
Ariel: It’s funny, we also have our dream retirement idea where we open an Air Bnb. Edonn is the host and I will cook. Or maybe we will open a little cafe, maybe in the future who knows?!
What makes you both proud right now, as a couple, as members of the Cirque Du Soleil family?
Ariel: When I was growing up, being gay was not something I ever thought would be acceptable. In the last few years the progress has been amazing. To actually be married and recognized by the country that we live in, is a great example of how acceptance can happen for us all. It also shows that we can have a normal life and how the generation after us will luckily not think twice about it. Growing up in the 1980s though, what we have now, we thought would be impossible. We have it now and we are so terribly happy.
Tickets are available for Cirque Du Soleil Volta at cirquedusoleil.com/volta