Cirque du Sound

Meet Michel Laprise

Michel Laprise is the Creative Guide at Cirque du Soleil and the host of the brand-new podcast Cirque du Sound.

Getting to Know Our Host

Could you please introduce yourself in a few words.


I am the creative guide of Cirque du Soleil. I'm also a director, so, I oversee questions related to the creative vision. I assign the directors and the creative teams their mandates, while also accompanying them on their beautiful journey to create amazing shows. I will give my expert advice on other artistic expressions (that some people call products) we have in the company, and represent the voice of creators, I like to say, at the level of the executive committee.


If you had to pick your favorite Cirque du Soleil show, which one would it be?


My favorite show is the one I am creating at the moment. Always. I love creation and “favorite” makes it sound like the other shows are not as important. They're all very important – not just the ones I'm working on, all our shows are. I was presented some projects last week to give feedback on and they're just so unique.


Our objective is always to make sure that each creation is distinctive from everything else we do. I am as passionate about the show I saw on set last Thursday, the one I saw in rehearsal on Friday and the one I worked on 10 years ago!

Getting Started in Creative Work

Can you tell us a bit about what sparked your interest in creation and what lead you to become the Creative Guide at Cirque du Soleil?


What sparked my interest in creation is my childhood because I was bored!


I wanted to see things with a different outlook, combining things or putting them in relationships in different ways. That way, they would be more interesting or reveal themselves to my consciousness, my eyes, my senses. I also wanted to disobey, get out of the norm, and just explore because it's fun. I like the spirit of adventure.


Later on, I got interested in the creative processes of the shows I was seeing at international festivals. Loving to hear about how people create shows, it was natural for me to find my own way to contribute and create at Cirque du Soleil.


It really started when I was working in casting and got interested in the artist’s evolution process, which became a bit more creative. I developed the audition process to be more like workshops. That led me to expand that to events and then to core shows.


By now, you must be used to being on the creative side of your job. How did you feel about stepping into a new pair of shoes as the host of Cirque du Sound?


Taking on the role of host was a privilege, a new perspective and different point of view to meet these amazing guests. I'm learning a lot: I love to say that at Cirque du Soleil, it's a constant human school. We learn about life, we learn about art, about society and about humans. This was all a big learning experience. I really enjoyed that.          

Getting Philosophical

In the live entertainment industry, it’s easy to pinpoint where creativity is applied. In a broader sense, what does creativity mean to you?


Creativity, to me, is a mindset. It's a way to look at things, a way to listen. It’s constant, it's nonstop.


Creativity is when I wake up, only to really look at things. I see the trees, see how people behave with each other, their body language, the things they do that makes sense and the things they do that don't make sense. There's poetry everywhere.


I’m a strong believer that we are in a paradise, we just need to see it again. Sometimes it might be tough, but you have to remember that we’re really fortunate. We have to keep in mind that art is there to celebrate the beauty of humans and nature. When there's a hardship, there's beauty in that. When a human is experiencing a problem, there's beauty because it reveals the human courage.


Creativity is not only for the creative people. We can all be creative. Like when you step out of your comfort zone, not to take a risk, but to access a balance. The way to find this balance is sometimes to reach out to the people around you. They might help you to find what you’re looking for. In a way, this search balance makes you connect with other people. It encourages you to collaborate, and that's very good. I used to say it's a “group thing”. It's a collective effort, and that's why it's so much fun.


Parting Words

What kind of surprises can the audience expect in Cirque du Sound?


We tried to be very spontaneous. There are scripted questions, but I tried – in my learning process of being the host of a podcast – to stay alert at all times to catch the moments that would be gold. Sometimes (or maybe often!), I will go off script, and I'll jump on the opportunity to ask the guest to expand on what they’re expressing. The great thing with Cirque du Sound is that we would always go over time during recording, because our fabulous guests had so many great things to share with us. I can't wait for everybody to listen to it.



Find out more about Cirque du Sound here.

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