The Circus Acts Insomniacs caught the attention of Griz Days enthusiasts on Friday night with a spectacular acrobatic fire show, showcasing their talents as a local all women entertainment group.
The group originated in Fernie four years ago, and since then members have moved away but kept involved. Currently, half the group lives in Fernie, and half live in Nelson.
“We’ve grown, expanded, shrunk, and everything in between,” said Circus Acts Insomniacs performer, Mackenzie Savill.
However, a core group of half a dozen have been with the group since the beginning.
Originally, the group’s goal was to create magic. It all started at The Northern, when the group was asked to perform for a Girls Roller Derby fundraiser, and they were quickly requested to return, and were in turn picked up by other venues.
“It kind of just came out of the blue,” said Savill. “The concept kind of took off. After our first show, we kind of got asked to do another and another, and we started thinking, maybe we could roll with this. And four years later, we’re still doing it.”
The group recently played at the Shambhala music festival last summer, which was their biggest show yet. The group has also worked with Cirque De La Nuit in Calgary, highly esteemed for its elaborate nightlife entertainment. Working with this group, they sold out Palace Theatre, formerly known as Flame Central, which previously hosted many big name DJ’s.
Asked how long it takes the group to choreograph a set, they laughed.
“We live in different towns right now,” they said. “It’s difficult.”
“It’s a pretty long, creative process. And it has stages,” said Insomniacs performer, Jake Thelady. “There will be an idea, and then the idea goes through stages of development, and then you start putting together music, and concepts, and choreography, and then it takes a long time to refine it as well. So it’s kind of like layering a cake.”
In addition to this, costume, set design and music mixing also comes into play. However, boyfriends and partners also help out tremendously back stage, and the Circus Acts Insomniacs credit these people for their support.
“We couldn’t do what we do, without the support of our friends,” added Thelady.
The Insomniacs deal with fire a lot, and occasionally set themselves on fire. However, each member is acutely trained in how to deal with these situations, and the Fire Marshal is always made aware of their presence whenever they perform a live event such as the one last Friday.
“We take it seriously, and we hope this comes through,” said Savill.
The dream for the Circus Acts Insomniacs is to just keep on doing what they’re doing.
“We’re pretty happy with everything that we’ve been doing so far,” said Savill.
“And a lot of what we do is about inspiring others and inspiring youth,” said Thelady. “We hope that we inspired at least one or two people to go away today and pick up a hula hoop or try out some new dance moves. And that’s really what it’s all about for us, sharing the love of our art.”