Motherhood is an extraordinary experience that can be challenging, rewarding, and transformative. It's a role that demands a great deal of physical, emotional, and mental endurance, which makes it more impressive when combined with a demanding profession like contortionist for Cirque du Soleil.
We had the chance of speaking with a remarkable performer who not only excels in her craft but also balances the demands of motherhood while touring the world with one of the most iconic circus troupes in history.
Could you introduce yourself and let our readers know about what you do?
My name is Bayarma Parry, I’ve been working with Cirque du Soleil since 2011, I’m a contortionist on KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities and I’m currently answering these questions from Rome, in Italy!
Getting right into it, we wanted to know how you planned to celebrate Mother’s Day this year?
This Mother’s Day, I’ll probably be celebrating by performing two shows in Milan, since it falls on a Sunday. My husband is away in Saudi Arabia since he’s a stage manager with Cirque du Soleil and we planned to visit him in May during our tour break, before Mother’s Day and have an early celebration with our son, Ashton.
That’s just what our life looks like right now: sometimes we work together, sometimes we travel together and sometimes we travel to each other.
Sounds like you’ve made your way around the globe a few times, has this had any impact on your child’s upbringing?
I’m from the Republic of Buryatia, in Siberia and my husband is from England, but we live in Las Vegas. My son Ashton was born in Sydney, Australia, after travelling to nine countries inside my tummy! I feel like Ashton is so much more of a traveler at his young age, since he’s been doing so before he was even born. Even now, at 3 years old, he’s the one saying, “let’s go to a new home!”, when he wants us to get back on the road and head to a new country!
How has caring for a baby changed your professional routine?
I think my life changed a lot. Before my pregnancy, I’ve always been fully dedicated to my training, my performance, and my act. Now, I feel like motherhood has become a priority. My schedule allows me to be a mom starting at 8am and keep at it until it’s showtime, at 8pm. I’m a professional acrobat, that hasn’t changed, but I’m much less of a workaholic than before. I spend a lot of time enjoying my life at home with my family.
What unexpected challenges can arise when raising a child on tour?
Caring for a baby is all about the routine, same goes as they age – only the routine changes. Initially, having to rebuild the routine with Ashton at every new city you visit was challenging. Every two or three months, you must find new grocery stores, new playgrounds, new nannies, new schools, new hospitals, the list goes on.
In what ways is your community helping you manage your unique reality?
Of course, after the pandemic break, a lot of the cast and crew came back with a new addition to their family. We all support and help each other while on tour. We all know we’re in the same boat right now, there’s a lot of kids around the same age, so we celebrate birthdays together, we eat together, and the children share playrooms.
It’s just nice to know we’re not alone, we’re one big family touring and exploring the world. It warms my heart to be a part of a community that helps each other.
Given the opportunity, would you trade your lifestyle for something more traditional? Would you ever settle down and raise your family in one location?
We know that touring isn’t forever. But I feel like touring is the best school, it’s a privilege and opportunity to get see the world. For example, why read about Italy when you can just go and see Italy and try all it has to offer?
I was myself a travelling kid, I started to travel when I was 12 years old, studying in Hungary and Poland at the embassy’s school and in every other city we were working at. I think it was a great exposure to the world and I learned so much. I speak five languages just because of my travels for work.
Until Ashton is enrolled in a school, we plan to keep touring as much as we can. We’re even looking at online schools for him, something that was very helpful to the people around us during the pandemic. If my son enjoys travelling that much, we will be happy to have him experience this incredible life.
To end this interview on a bright note, what would you say makes you the proudest?
I’m proud of being able to keep performing. Before the pandemic forced us into a break, Ashton was only 3 months old, and I was planning to get back to work when he reached 6 months. This ended up being 3 years break for me, counting the months before giving birth, and I’m proud to be back in full force after that.
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