I had the opportunity to interview Daniel Lamarre, Cirque du Soleil’s Executive Vice-Chairman of the Board. He transitioned into that role after 20 years of building the organization. Lamarre is the author of a new book, Balancing Acts: Unleashing the Power of Creativity in Your Life and Work that I listened to before the interview.
Lamarre also opened Drawn to Life at Disney Springs, a show that was created in partnership with Walt Disney Imagineering. The show was delayed for about a year and a half due to the pandemic but is now playing to great reviews. Lamarre says of Drawn to Life, “I’m very, very proud of that show”. He does talk in the book about various shows as well as going into detail on how the pandemic affected Cirque du Soleil.
I asked Lamarre what his motivation was in writing Balancing Acts. He said he had been blessed in his work with creators including Cirque founder Guy Laliberté, the Beatles and James Cameron. “And observing those amazing creators has had a huge impact on my own creativity personally and professionally.” He said that what he learned in 21 years at Cirque, he thought could be helpful for younger people and people in general.
I asked him about the target audience for his book, since the book is a little bit business and a lot of creativity and talking about various shows. “Yes, for sure business people, but also the artists and creators…the artistic community and the university community as well”. Prior to joining Cirque over 21 years ago, Lamarre was the CEO of a television network and also had been the owner of the largest PR firm in Canada. “I was more like a traditional businessperson, and that’s why I thought my book could be interesting for other traditional people because I’ve learned so much from our creators. I have to say also from our artists”.
Lamarre recently said about creativity, “Whether you are an entrepreneur, an executive, or a professional, if you are not prioritizing creativity (making or bringing into existence something new), you are wasting your time. No company deserves to exist unless it is constantly discovering new ways to make its customers’ lives better. In short, without creativity, there is no business.”
If you are interested in learning more about Cirque du Soleil or about Lamarre’s transition from traditional business person to a creative, I recommend Balancing Acts.