An Interview with performer

Cassie Cutler

Cassie Cutler is an acrobat, aerialist, and character from Las Vegas, Nevada. Growing up in gymnastics, she quickly discovered her love for acrobatics, and hasn’t stopped flipping since. She has traveled the world working with shows such as Palazzo Vienna, Circus Monti, Circus Roncalli, Pippin the Musical, Circus Sarasota, Bacio Rosso, Circus 1903, and of course, Teatro Zinzanni. She performs as a soloist with her own original bungee apparatus, or as half of the dynamic trapeze duo, Duo 19.

How long have you been an aerialist? How did you get started in this career?

I guess I technically started when I was 16. I was a gymnast my whole life; I found circus at 16. My mom made me pick one. [LAUGHS] And it was a really easy pick for me. So I started training at 16, and out of high school I started performing, so it’s the only real job I’ve ever had. So I guess that’s…oh, how old am I…14 years?

In what ways are you similar to your character, Amelia?

I’m much more similar than I’d like to admit, because she’s crazy. I am…I don’t know, I’m loud, obviously. I have spastic mannerisms. I don’t know, Amelia’s…the whole…the reason Amelia’s funny is because she’s so innocent. Like, she doesn’t understand basic human interactions. She doesn’t get social cues; she doesn’t get sex jokes. And that’s why she’s so endearing; it’s because she just kinda has the brain of a twelve-year-old. She takes a guy and makes him into her dream guy, Mr. Clean, and then she does this super sexy aerial act. Like, she doesn’t make sense. Did I answer the question?

Yes! And in what ways do you see yourself as different from her?

My voice is a lot lower, thank God. [LAUGHS] Her voice is…her voice is an experience. It’s really easy to just flip it on, but sometimes I don’t turn it off, and that’s when we have a problem. I don’t know, I feel like in person I’m actually quite chill most of the time. Like, I have loud moments, but in general, I’m a much calmer person. Like, most of my energy’s expended at work, so I go home and I just want to sit by myself. Is my “only child” showing? 

In the show, Amelia listens to some “pump-up jams” to hype herself up during her makeover. What is your go-to pump-up song?

So “Abs O’Clock” is a song that’s by Big Wild. So Big Wild, I think, is my pump-up playlist. So when I get here and it’s, like, 10am for a matinee and I’m like, “I don’t want to!”, I usually put on Big Wild. And if the “Abs O’Clock” song comes on, we skip it because I’m gonna do it at 11, because I lead abs everyday. Yeah, I lead Abs O’Clock everyday, which is 15 minutes before our cast meeting. The first year, I did it different everyday and it varied, and then everyone was like, “We like knowing what it is.” So I made one. I actually made a new one for this year, and everyone liked the old one better. [LAUGHS] So it’s now the same everyday, because people like having it memorized. But we have the die-hards; Cunio and Jose do it everyday, no days off. And Ulzii and Lea do it most of the time.

Tell us about your aerial apparatus, Ursula! What inspired you to create it?

Ursula! Ursula was born in…I want to say 2016? I did a job for All-Wheel Sports; my career started with, like, theme park shows, which I really think everyone should do. It’s, like, five shows a day; you have to learn how to be exhausted and be a good person to work with at the same time. But anyway, we had an act that was…there were six of us, and the three ladies were in harnesses with a spreader bar and a bungee cord on top. But we were like…our toes were, like, four inches off the ground. And it was like a dance piece – so the ladies were, like, “light as air” because they’re really attached to a bungee pack. And the whole time, I was like, “I like this, but I want to be higher, and I don’t want to be attached.” So that was my sixth contract with All-Wheel Sports. So at that point, my boss and I were friends, and I said, “Hey, I have an idea for an apparatus, and if you will help me make it, I’ll do it in the next show.” And she handed me a blank check; she said, “Make whatever you want.” And I did. So I made Ursula, and I performed Ursula for the next contract there. And that was the first version of Ursula; she’s on, like, version three now. So I figured out what worked, what didn’t. I fell a lot and then figured it out.

I am an aerialist, but I have a very acrobatic background. And we have a scale. So I call it…it’s “Juggler to Wheel of Death” is how ok it is to drop. It’s very ok for a juggler to drop on stage. It’s very not ok for a Wheel of Death artist. And most aerialists are toward the “Wheel of Death” realm, but as a flier, I’m more toward the juggling realm, like Duo Trapeze. Like, we have a mat; we let go twenty to thirty times. It happened once this season. But like, Ursula…I’ve never actually fallen [knocks on wood] beyond learning a trick. And I have a mat there. I don’t think I need it, but I value my life more than my job.

What are some of your favorite hobbies when you aren’t performing or training?

I draw a lot. A lot. That’s pretty much it: I pick a coffee shop that I’ve never been to, I explore, walk around the city, I park it, I draw. That’s it. I listen to audiobooks a lot, too.  I’m actually reading – listening to – Murder on the Orient Express. I’m going through a little mystery phase. 

Do you have a favorite line in the show?

Oh, it’s Christine’s – “It’s SHIFT, shift with an “f”! SHIFT!”

Describe Teatro Zinzanni in 5 words or less.

Ok…Zany. Romantic. Whimsical. Chaotic. Insane.

BOX OFFICE HOURS

Open Tuesday - Sunday  (Phone Only)

1 - 7PM

Closed on Mondays

RESERVATIONS

(312) 488-0900

chicago-info@zinzanni.com

32 W. Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

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RESERVATIONS

(312) 488-0900

chicago-info@zinzanni.com

32 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL 60601

BOX OFFICE HOURS

Open Tuesday - Sunday  (Phone Only)

1 - 7PM

Closed on Mondays

Join the Celebrations Club!

 Follow us!

BOX OFFICE HOURS

Open Tuesday - Sunday  (Phone Only)

1 - 7PM

Closed on Mondays

RESERVATIONS

(312) 488-0900

chicago-info@zinzanni.com

32 W. Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

Join the Celebrations Club!

 Follow us!