Denise Stefanie Gonzalez

INTERVIEW

What was your biggest artistic achievement prior to joining Cirque du Soleil?

I began recording professionally at age 8 and recorded my first Jazz album when I was 12. My first touring experience was playing the main character in the Broadway Musical, Selena Forever. I have performed in front of 45,000 people at a televised music awards show and for an audience of 650,000 people at Fiesta Broadway, the largest Latin music festival in Los Angeles!

Tell us about your artistic background before joining Cirque.

I started my formal voice training at Mt. San Jacinto College at 8. I also attended “El Conservatorio De Las Rosas” in Morelia, Mexico, the oldest music conservatory in North America. When I was 12 I began studying Jazz and classical voice at Idyllwild Arts Academy on a full scholarship, but my stay was brief because I joined Quidam. After performing in Quidam for a year and a half, I returned to my studies and attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. where I majored in Music.

  • Denise Stefanie Gonzalez
  • United States
  • Singing
When did you join Cirque du Soleil ?

I joined in 2002, when I was 13.

What was your first contact with the organization? What was the context?

My agent contacted Cirque du Soleil and, soon after recording some demos from Quidam, I was invited to an audition in Los Angeles.

What kind of an experience was your audition and/or training and/or workshop?

I was surprised how relaxed the feel was for this audition; everyone was so friendly and made me feel so comfortable, it was like I was singing to my friends! After my audition someone from casting came with me to meet my family and chat. Best audition experience EVER!

How did your integration go in Montreal and in the show?

I arrived in Montreal at the beginning of January, so it was COLD! But I loved the city, and my time at the studio. I was in the 8th grade at the time so I had school in the morning followed by voice classes, “jeu” class and a movement class. I left for Quidam at the beginning of March.

How does being part of a Cirque du Soleil show allow you to express yourself in your discipline?

As a singer, to be able to perform at your best it is important to find yourself internally; both mentally and emotionally… and you need to do it on a daily basis. It takes a lot of focus, consistency and knowing oneself extremely well. Once this is mastered you can really enjoy making every show your best show.

What do you like the most about being part of Cirque du Soleil?

What I love most about being a part of Cirque du Soleil is traveling, performing, the wonderful energy from the audience and being surrounded by so much talent. And as if that weren’t enough, I feel like I have a family on tour.

How did the transition go between your former career to your current Cirque career?

I believe I was lucky to have started working with Cirque du Soleil at such a young age because I quickly adapted and had my mom accompanying me! However, now that I travel alone, I find transitions easier to make.

Why would you recommend an artist to join Cirque?

It is an opportunity to make a career out of what you love to do. Not to mention the excitement of exploring new cities and the diverse cultures, languages, and people you work with. Also, there is always something new to learn… I began a singer and now I practice aerial acrobatics!

How is life on tour?

Life on tour is definitely different. Learning to live out of a couple suitcases is always challenging, especially if you love shoes like me! It is great though, and arriving in a new city is always exciting because there are so many things to see and explore! Life on tour is NEVER boring.

Anything else you would like to share with us?

My experience with Cirque du Soleil has been one of great excitement. I began to work with the company at age 13 and traveled all through North America and even Japan. I left Quidam to finish high school and go to the University and, after completing one year at college, I am now back on tour with Cirque du Soleil working on Corteo. I am so honored and I anticipate working for Cirque du Soleil in the future!