George and Joseph at the Cirque du Soleil TokyoSo finally, today, we released our Cirque du Soleil video special, filmed a few weeks back at their theatre here in Tokyo.

Filming was a lot of fun. Being taken backstage and hearing the stories behind the show was a real treat, as was trying on the costumes and trying out our own routine of course.

It was when filming finished that the challenge began for me. iMovie, the basic program I’ve used for editing movies up until now wouldn’t cut it, so I had to use Final Cut instead. Final cut is a pro-video editing suite, and for a novice like me it presented a lot of challenges. So much so that I was reluctant to open it – which to a certain extent accounts for the delay in getting the final piece out there.

The second issue was that we don’t have the right equipment for what we’re trying to do. What you see in the videos below was mainly filmed using two Sony digital still cameras which happened to have video functions on them, with audio mostly provided by an iPhone. One of them has a habit of refocusing halfway through interviews with clowns, whilst the other will cut off after 10 minutes. Also, despite them all being digital devices the timing was a little squiffy, and made editing extremely time consuming. We want to buy a decent HD recorder with plug-in mic capabilities – but without funding this is currently not an option, so we’re making do with what we have.

Despite the dodgy camera work and amateur nature of the piece, I am quite proud of it. Mainly because it represents my pushing myself beyond my current comfort zone, exploring the unknown. I’m thinking it will be a piece that I look back and laugh at due to its inadequacies.
(The following is not just about this one video, but applies to all of the audio and video podcasts I’ve put out these past 6 months).
But that’s OK. Before we started this podcast series I decided to give myself permission to produce stuff that wasn’t as good as I ideally would like it to be. That’s not because I don’t care about the quality of what I put out, but is instead because I want to allow myself to explore and learn as a child might, without fear of what others might think. It’s the best way to learn. People may criticise the poor sound quality or dodgy editing, but that’s OK, because I know that I did my best, and that’s all that matters. I’m doing the best I can with the resources (including time, equipment and skills) I currently have to hand, and I look forward to seeing my resources slowly increase so as to allow me to produce better-quality content.

There were scenes I had imagined would be a part of it that never materialised, partly due to the unfortunate timing of our visit (it coincided with the start of a holiday at the circus). That’s OK though. We’re not disappointing anyone, as we never promised anything and have not been paid to do any of this!

Thinking about whether or not this will be a ‘success’, well, for me, it already is a success. The real achievement was in producing it. Whether it is watched a lot or not is, for me personally, not all that important (although I am happy to note that today we broke the 8000 download mark).

The thing is, life is like music. And the point is never what comes at the end. It’s all about what happens when we’re on our way towards the end (Alan Watts)

And that’s what this is all about. The process.
Anyway, enough of my talk. On with the show.

(cross post from

Joseph and George at the Zed TheatreEver since they were children, Japan Podshow presenters George and Joseph had wanted to join a circus. Following months of clowning around in the Japan Podshow studio, in the summer of 2009 they were fortunate to be invited behind the curtain at the world-famous Cirque Du Soleil Theatre Tokyo (“Circus of the Sun” シルク・ドゥ・ソレイユ シアター東京.

Click here to subscribe to Japan Podshow and watch it on iTunes / your iPod / iPhone / media player. Or, download the short version direct from here [.mp4 56mb]

Cirque du Soleil

Founded in 1984, this incredible company [official site] now has 16 shows running around the world – in Las Vegas alone over 9,000 people witness the spectacle on a daily basis.


In the Autumn of 2008 Cirque Du Soleil’s first permanent show in Japan, Zed, opened to the public in a special purpose-built theatre next to Tokyo Disneyland [official site].

Hearing rave reviews from friends, George and Joseph realised that this was their chance to learn about what goes on behind the curtain at Cirque du Soleil Tokyo, and perhaps to even try out their routine in a bid to get into the show.

There are two versions of this video docucast: a 10 minute short, and the 20 minute director’s edition.

The 9min preview video

Designed for people who are impossibly busy, this video will give you an overview of George and Joseph’s adventure. This is the version that has been added to the podcast feed.

The Full story

Japan Podshow: Behind the curtain at the Cirque du Soleil Zed Theatre Tokyo from japanpodshow on Vimeo.

The full version of the documentary is for those who would like a real insight into the Cirque du Soleil Tokyo Theatre and includes

An interview with Gemma Segarra, Publicity Manager

who tells us about

Anatoli the clown

Interview with a clown – Anatoli Akerman

Was Anatoli always destined to be a clown, or is he the black sheep of the family?
Is Joseph’s fear of him only to be expected?

Interview with audience members after the show

How would you feel if you’d just seen the show?

Backstage in the wardrobe department

George and Joseph are presented with two very special costumes in which they will try out their new routine. Do they have what it takes to get in? Do we find out, or will we have to wait for the sequal?

George and Joseph would like to extend special thanks to Gemma Segarra, Anatoli Akerman, the wardobe department, the audience members gave their feedback, and all at Cirque du Soleil Theatre Tokyo for making this possible.

We welcome your feedback

What did you think of the docucast? Is there something you’d like us to cover on an upcoming show? Get in touch!

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See you soon!

Joseph and George

Want to see the show yourself? Check out the Cirque du Soleil Tokyo Theatre here.