Give us your elevator pitch of who you are, what you do and what your skill set is.
My name is Shenea Stiletto (Shenea Booth), and I am a former two-time World Champion in Acrobatic Gymnastics who evolved into a world class freelance Hand Balancer (meaning I balance my own body in a variety of flexible and strong positions while in a handstand). I offer a dynamic hand balancing performance that offers a showgirl cabaresque infused quality. However, as a multidimensional artist I am capable of transforming my act based upon the artistic integrity of the show and/or the demands and creativity of each client. I perform with a unique hand balancing prop in the form of an oversized glittery Stiletto Shoe that rotates on a platform as I hand balance and dance alongside a pre-recorded musical track or live band.
What is your ideal role?
My ideal role would be in a Haute Couture cabaret type show where I believe my Stiletto Hand balancing prop really shines. I love the glitz and glamour of old Hollywood type shows and original burlesque revues, and this is exactly the inspiration behind the creation of my Stiletto Prop; which I believe exudes perfectly my flair for fashion and over the top personality.
Name your top 5 credits.
1. Varekai by Cirque du Soleil where I starred as “ The Promise.”
2. America’s Got Talent – Season One Finalist
3. Ohlala – Crazy Sexy Artistic
4. So You Think You Can Dance – Australia Special Guest Appearance
5. The Venetian – Macao Hotel and Casino
Where do you find your inspiration?
I gain inspiration from traveling the world through my artistic efforts. I find the most powerful inspirations through the colorful people that I am fortunate to cross paths with. In my experience, travel has been and continues to be the greatest teacher. I am also heavily influenced by music.
Music is really the glue that I feel holds everything together and really sets me off on my next artistic journey. If I find the magic within the music, I find the golden truths that need to be brought down and expressed. Finding the right music, or it also finding me, is an incredibly difficult task that has at many times seemed very daunting while in the process, but so rewarding once it’s done. I feel that the right musical sense and quality is what makes or breaks any creation that I touch upon, and which ultimately ensures my connection to the audience that I am attempting to channel my essence to.
I also love to consume anything in the arts, and I love bringing those influences into circus. Anything art based feeds me, and I’m constantly seeking out a variety of artistic spheres to enhance my capacities as an artist. I am not beholden to any one influence of art concepts or theories; I believe that they can all exist simultaneously through me for the betterment of my artistic visions and creations. For sure I have certain default preferences when it comes to aesthetics which leans towards the futuristic, but my ever persistent desire is to be inspired by something new, something not me, something beyond me.
What motivates you to keep performing/creating?
I’ve always been motivated to walk my own path, and have been since I was a young child learning acrobatics. I’m always reminded that what I have access to through my career is a gift and not something to be taken for granted. We can easily forget that not everyone in the world has the same access to utilize their talents and abilities freely and without reservation. This has at many low points in my life fueled me to continue, evolve, and create something meaningful. I don’t aspire to the notion that the only things that are meaningful have to be serious and resigned. While the majority of my creations are positively showy, behind the elaborate sequined exterior is gainful pre-meditative strategizing that I have used to manifest a multitude of awareness states that I have experienced through my own personal evolution as a human being.
What should TheatreArtLife readers know about you?
I want the circus world to understand that with the expansion of opportunity must come the expansion of our integrity to do the job. I think that we are at a time in the world where we are at our most vulnerable as artists, and that the active community needs to strengthen its unity against the corporate powers that seek to dominate and degrade the industry. It’s a very difficult thing to venture out and make a career out of a first love… or even just out of a rare skill set, but it is no longer so niche that it can stay in its virgin inception… it is now a mainstream cause to be a circus performer, and with that should come more rights for circus performers as a whole.
We deserve the right to be treated as courageous individuals risking everything in day to day performances. We deserve to be treated with respect, basic human rights and our humanity. And nothing, not any level of so called sophisticated showmanship that may appear to glitter so fetchingly with superficial praise should be worth the ultimate risk of one’s self respect and dignity.
I am deeply concerned about the welfare and well being of those participating in the global circus community.
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