Kevin began his journey in the suburbs of Chicago with gymnastics as his first form of activity. After a friend’s suggestion, and seeing how much fun performing was, he started dancing. By age 10, getting on stage was natural for Kevin and he discovered that performing was what he truly loved to do.
Kevin transferred from public school to join the dance department at the Chicago Academy of the Arts for his final two years of high school. He started taking circus classes in his spare time and immediately felt a passion for it. Combining his love for dance with the acrobatics of circus was exhilarating and led him to pursue a career in circus arts.
After graduating high school in 2008, he decided to attend the New England Center for Circus Arts full time where he trained under the direction of Aimee Hancock, and Bill Forchion. Kevin was then accepted into Montreal’s prestigious L’ecole nationale de cirque (National Circus School), trained by Sarah Poole and Véronique Thibeault. In 2012, he graduated with a specialty in dance trapeze and a complimentary in Chinese hoop diving.
Kevin’s performance experience includes working for companies such as Midnight Circus, Company XIV, Les 7 doigts de la main (PSY, Queen of the Night, Traces), Les productions haut-vol, GOP, and is now currently working for Cirque du Soleil’s newest production of VOLTA.
I grew up in Grayslake, IL. I started off as a gymnast, but was too afraid to do things and had a tough coach. At nine, I switched to dance. I went to high school at Chicago Academy of the Arts focusing on dance. I was an acrobatic dancer – the one that always ended up doing flips in dance routines. My junior year, I saw Cirque du Soleil and knew immediately that this was my calling.
In 2007, I signed up for the Actors Gymnasium in Evanston. After graduating from high school, I wanted to go to the National Circus School in Montreal. The school is located right across from Cirque de Soleil. I didn’t get in the first time I tried. I went to a circus school in Vermont and trained as hard as I could for one year, then reapplied. The second time, in 2009, I got in.
The National Circus School is a three-year program. In my third year, I started looking for a job. Fellow Midnight Circus performer, Eric Bates said, ‘you’re from Chicago, what about Midnight Circus?’.
I emailed my demo to Julie Jenkins, the artistic director of Midnight Circus. At one point in the demo I got close to the camera and laughed. Julie said that’s why she hired me – laughing in the camera made me seem very human and fun. I’ve been a part of the Midnight Circus troupe for the past three seasons.
Midnight Circus has taught me so many things about being a performer and how to work in a troupe. For me, Midnight Circus is only good times. It’s something that we performers love to come back to again and again. The number of families that come to see the show and the impact it has on the community is incredible. Plus, working with other high caliber circus artists…it’s an amazing experience.
Midnight Circus is, to date, the only U.S. Circus Company ever invited to Montréal Complètement Cirque, widely considered the most prestigious circus festival in the world.
After the show, people would sometimes ask me what I did for my day job. I’d tell them this was my day job. Over the past three years, for the eight months I wasn’t working for Midnight Circus, I performed around the world. I was in Shanghai this summer. Croatia was one of my favorite places to perform, it’s so beautiful.
In October, I realized my childhood dream of being in Cirque du Soleil. I signed a two-year contract to be in the new Cirque du Soleil show, Volta. We work from 10am to 10pm putting the show together. It takes six months to prepare. For Volta, I’m doing Chinese hoop diving, duo rope (working in duo for the first time in my life) and a million other things. I’m also the back up for the lead.
To those kids who pack the Midnight Circus in the Parks’ tent and discover a love for the circus, I say go for it. Try everything. Being well rounded is important. I think my being able to do many things — an aerialist, floor acrobat and dancer — has been key for my success. And, come see me at the premier of Volta in Montreal on April 20th!