Though we wish we could keep them, we are very aware that our performers at Phare will not stay and work with us forever. Many of them want to join other circus troupes internationally and they are interning with us, or have already graduated, from our parent organization Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS).
Phare The Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap is a great opportunity for PPS Graduates to make a living through their art and hone their skills as artists. There is however a rather complex problem…
All of our artists come from poor backgrounds, often members of farming and hard laboring families. Culturally, this means our performers did not grow up with the opportunity to travel internationally, or learn to market themselves professionally. In the post-war developing country context they come from, knowing how to write a resume, fill out an application, or even speak English has been historically irrelevant… Until now.
Now, having skills competitive with other artists trained at international circus, theatre and dance conservatories, some of our artists are ready to pursue careers beyond Cambodia’s borders. Enter the need for Phare’s Career Development Program, which is now in its early stages.
The program will of course need to address the fundamentals: job searching, application, resume and cover letter writing, professionalism in correspondence, audition and interview protocol, to name a few… and it will even pay participants a stipend so they will have some income while they study in a 3 week series with a teacher/mentor who will help them network for employment opportunities.
But, the program is also in need of an English language learning component, which is a huge training program in addition. Though the artist’s skills are paramount, being able to communicate with an interviewer, write the resume in the first place, as well as communicate effectively in English with future international troupe members are all vital skills as well. We’re working on finding ways to fund English an English immersion program and hope to have something in place by the end of the year.
We’ll be piloting the program next month with our first to recruits. We’ll let you know how they do! And if you happen to know any international circus/physical theatre companies in need of some talent, be sure to let us know.
Until then, we’ll be keeping the bar high as Siem Reap’s top performance. Come enjoy the best our nightlife has to offer at Phare The Cambodian Circus!