On the Couch with Guilhem Cauchois

Guilhem Cauchois_OSA Images oncWho is Guilhem Cauchois?
A 25 year-old trapeze artist originally from France currently touring the world and sharing his passion for circus arts with 2,600 audience members every night. Behind the body strength and sheer physique, Guilhem is a creative mind who enjoys exploring sub culture and immersing himself into both underground and mainstream art forms. An ex-model, he enjoys fashion and playing around with his own style and looks. Outgoing Guilhem loves taking part in intense artistic and live experiences that stimulate his creativity and imagination. A surfer at heart, Guilhem lives the present fully and tries to spread happiness around him with the help of his positive and cheerful attitude.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Professionally, I cannot picture myself doing anything else than what I am doing at the moment; which I guess is a very good thing. I am building my career the way I always dreamt it to be, performing for one of the greatest entertainment companies and being on stage 6 days a week. The mistakes I have made have made me the man and artist I am today and I would not change anything that I have done.

Who inspires you and why?
I am not inspired specifically by a person; I am touched by behaviours, gestures or actions that people make at some point in their life that are extraordinary. For example, Cat Stevens inspires me for giving all his money to charity before starting a spiritual retreat. I am also inspired by the determination and self-confidence Muhammad Ali demonstrated throughout his career. From an arts perspective, I am inspired by the Afro-American painter Jean-Michel Basquiat who was the first artist to come from a slave family whose work became global. His paintings are at the same time simple, subtle, strong and somewhat aggressive. It touches me somehow.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I believe big changes start at a small level; if everybody makes a difference in their neighborhood or community, then it will result in changes that will impact the whole world. I would like to help in the communities we visit with TOTEM or, in the future, make a difference in the city where I will settle down. I could either be involved in ecofriendly actions or help people in need. I guess every night I bring joy and happiness and put smiles on people’s face with my performance. Hopefully people get to escape their reality when they come see TOTEM and feel like a child again. If I am able to make the audience dream and have a good time, then I feel I have done my job right.

Favourite holiday destination and why?  
I love big cosmopolitan cities like Tokyo, New York and Paris for their cultural effervescence and emergence. On holidays, I love visiting museums; finding intricate, cool and new fashion pieces; seeing new and underground stage productions; taking part in special events and gatherings, etc. I am a city guy for sure, but I love surfing too! Sydney is great to be honest as it has both the cosmopolitan atmosphere and the beaches!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?  
Well, I am from France and have been in Australia for only a few months, but when my friends and girlfriend visited, we went surfing, we visited various beaches and I had them see TOTEM, a must-see for sure haha!

What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading The Secret Doctrine by Blavatsky. It is a book about the origins of the Universe. I am also reading a book about the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat.

What are you currently listening to?
My playlist is so eclectic and I love mixing all genres! At the moment, I often play on my IPod the tracks of Kavinsky, a French electro music artist. I also love classic hip hop and R&B such as Waka Flocka Flame and De La Soul. I play music while I work-out and stretch for the show – it helps me focus and gives me energy.

Happiness is?
Happiness is all about living in the moment and being able to enjoy the present. If you are living fully and honestly every day, you will be happy. Life is too short to worry too much about the future or regret the past.

What does the future hold for you?
I want to keep performing and being part of great stage productions. I want to keep evolving as an artist and a creator as well; I want to work on side projects where I can direct and be a main creator. I want also to focus on my personal life and be there for my friends and family – work is great but I believe it should not be the only important aspect of life. I want to keep traveling and inspiring people on the way with my art. I don’t know where I will settle down, I think the city will chose me more than I will chose it. I want to keep having fun and enjoying each minute along the way!

Guilhem Cauchois discovered circus arts at a young age while growing up in Paris, France. At 7 years old, he started attending circus classes and developing basic skills on various apparatus. Guilhem`s passion for circus arts grew up through the years as he started to envision the possibility of becoming a professional acrobat. At 16 years old, he joined a specific school program that allowed him to complete his high school studies while working on his acrobatic skills with a team of professional coaches.

In 2009, Guilhem moved to Montreal, Canada to study at the world-renown National Circus School as a Duo Trapeze Porter. The School selecting committee teamed him up with flyer Sarah Tessier to create a high-level acrobatic act. The duet spent three years working on their Trapeze technique to develop new surprising movements and sequences.

While studying, Sarah and Guilhem participated in various TV shows and corporate events in hopes of getting an interesting gig at the end of their degree. In 2011, one year before graduating, Cirque du Soleil casting scouts contacted Sarah and Guilhem to offer them a contract with a start date at the end of their studies for the touring production TOTEM. The duet accepted with excitement and joined the cast of TOTEM as planned in late summer 2012 to perform the Love Birds act.

In January 2013, Sarah and Guilhem won the Gold Medal of the prestigious Festival du Cirque de Demain in Paris with their original trapeze routine.

Cirque du Soleil’s Melbourne season of TOTEM opens on Wednesday 21 January before touring Nationally. For more information, visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com for details.

Image: Guilhem Cauchois – photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil / OSA Images