KUSA - Erica Linz is a tiny juggernaut. Standing 4'11" tall, she is a force to be reckoned with in the very unique world of Cirque du Soleil.
Linz, who is a native of Colorado Springs, has a starring role in the just-released DVD 'Cirque du Soleil: World's Away.' Director Andrew Adamson (the first two Chronicles of Narnia films) and producer James Cameron put together this part love story, part Cirque greatest hits collection which was released in theaters as a 3D extravaganza.
"There's a very specific grammar to the world of film and there's a very specific vocabulary to the world of circus, and they both function in such different ways. Just for us, even the pace of a day when filming versus the pace of a day of performing is different. (On stage) the pace is very linear and the music starts and it will continue," she said.
"It's like you've rolled the ball and inertia will let it continue until it gets to its final bounce. Then when you're filming, you do a take, you stop, you change camera angles, do a take, stop, change camera angles."
"So Andrew and Jim ended up having to work extremely closely with the technical requirements of acrobats. We can't do 75 takes of the same thing, and a lot of these things will take 30-40 minutes to reset and a whole crew of technicians to get it back to where it was at the start. I think it took them a little bit at first to get their groove, but there was always just that ability to constantly compromise," Linz said.
Playing a role created specifically for the film, Linz plays a young woman who becomes smitten with a falling aerialist as they both get pulled into the world of the circus. Linz started off as a singer and a gymnast, eventually moving into the world of acting and acrobatic work. In fact Linz has the unique job title of 'actor-bat.'
"When I was something like seven or eight I started getting little tiny roles in things," Linz explained. "First I was in the opera The Magic Flute with the Colorado Opera Festival, and I think I played one of Papageno's children and a hedgehog."
"It would basically be that I would mostly sing, and I would have a few lines, then I would do a few flips and the audience would go "Awwwwwww. That's cute." That sort of led to musical theatre and that quickly led for some reason to doing a lot of Shakespeare. That was when I was eleven, but I was playing almost exclusively boy parts. There weren't a lot of kids doing Shakespeare at the time. Straight up playing a page boy.
Linz says when she was first approached to do the film she was doing Cirque's Ka in Las Vegas. "I got a call between shows one day, literally before I was about to get my wig put on for second show, saying that they were planning to make this 3-D film and that they were interested in having me come in for a meeting and if I would potentially like to audition for the lead role. I was, like, "Yeah! Why not?"
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