A Different Lens Magazine is pleased to present this exclusive interview with the talented Etienne Audet, a circus performer and painter from Canada (currently based in Montreal). In addition to his exceptional talents, Etienne has also worked with a range of incredible photographers. Check out the ADL gallery below to see some of our favourite images of Etienne.
Etienne, how long have you been performing for and how did you end up in a circus show?
I have been performing circus for the past10 years. When I was younger, I took painting and drawing lessons; I was aiming to become an art teacher. But when I discovered circus at the age of 16, it was all I could think about, so I decided to make it my career. It wasn’t easy at first; I went to a lot of auditions and got a lot of refusals; but I had my mind set on becoming a circus performer so I trained harder, longer and tried different things until I finally made it to where I am now.
What are your proudest achievements to date?
Getting into circus school. Around 200 applications are made for only 20 places. Finishing the 3-year program which involved training for 40 hours each week. Getting my diploma and being recognised as a professional circus performer was quite fulfilling. Every production I’ve been part of have made me very proud. Having my artwork exposed made me proud. Creating my own solo clown animation for a circus festival made me also very proud. I consider every little happy moment as a big achievement… it makes life more enjoyable!
What are your career goals?
I would love to be performing in a million dollar show, where everything is possible. A guy can dream, right?
I don’t have set career goals. I like to see where life takes me. I guess…I could say that my main goal is to love my job every day.
How did social media impact your career?
Circus wise, I don’t think it impacted my career. I like to promote my next performance on social media, but that’s pretty much it. As a painter, I get to show my artwork on different pages including Instagram, which gives it more exposure. That’s how I sold a few of my paintings. Plus, I had photographers contacting me for various projects….and I am now doing this interview with ADL Mag.
You look great… how do you keep fit and have you ever considered modelling?
Thanks. I work out pretty much every day as I train to do different circus disciplines. I’m a CrossFit trainer as well and working out at the gym is a big part of my daily routine. I’m on a low carbs diet. All of that and good genetics (Thanks Mom and Dad) help my case!
I’m a short guy 5’5’’ so professional modelling jobs on the runway are probably out of reach for me. I would be open to be a model for fashion photography or stuff like that, if an opportunity arises. I love to have my pictures taken for the fun of it…and let’s be real here. I’m a little bit of a show off. I’m always open to work with other artists if they have a fun, daring and original concept that I can fit in.
What advice do you give young people about pursuing their dreams?
To never give up but always question yourself as for why you’re doing this. Be sure you’re doing this because it makes you happy. It’s been an uphill battle for most of my career, and I wouldn't be where I am now if I gave up when times were hard or when I was rejected. If it’s what you want, fight for it; sometimes if the opportunity doesn’t exist you got to create it for yourself.
How do you prepare for a show?
In the morning or before I leave home, I groom according to what the producer asks (clean shaven, moustache or a little beard). Once on site, I usually eat a light snack (there is nothing worse then being hungry on stage). I then do whatever make-up is required; I warm up with some cardio and muscular activation; and then I stretch and stay active until it’s time to go on stage.
How can ADL readers watch your performances?
I have a few short clips on my website. I also try to keep my performance schedule as up to date as possible. I usually perform for special events like fund raising and business or private functions. My events are open to the public in festivals in Montreal. I will be touring in western Canada in the autumn and eastern Canada in the winter, with a clown and acrobatic show. I also travel around, and I’m open to collaborations. You can follow my Instagram account to see where I go next.
We all have guilty pleasures. What’s yours?
I have a weird obsession for corn chips… I could eat them all day every day. But it’s not low carb friendly so it doesn’t get into my house…I’ll only have them at parties. Another one of guilty pleasures is shopping for furniture, underwear and shoes online and never buying a thing!