James Cameron decided to use real “Cirque du Soleil” acrobats and actors, not Hollywood stars, because he wanted the film to be as authentic as possible. The acrobats had to change their approach to performing in front of the camera. Erica explained, “It’s a really different style to be performing on stage, there you need to make sure that the person in the last row really understands the story and everything that your character is trying to tell them, everything you are trying to get your character to convey. So if you want to make a movement to convey that your character heard something, you might want to use your whole body to be sure that they get the message, almost like miming to make sure they can read the message. But if you’re in front of the camera, you’re face could be a dozen feet high on a screen and can also be that close so everything has to be smaller. The intention, what-ever your character is feeling, ideally should come from the same place. You need to find a way to make the character your playing feel true to you. It’s just a matter of how you express it, whether it’s behind your eyes of all the way to your finger tips.”

Erica Linz, a real life “Cirque du Soleil” arielist, stars in the Las Vegas performance of KA, and has performed with the show for the past 11 years, since she was 19. It all started when she was 5, in kindergarten, with her first solo as the little drummer boy. Her first professional performance was when she played Molly in a regional production of Annie. After doing Shakespeare and gymnastics until age 14, she decided to take time off. Erica had her first thought of becoming an aerialist at that age. She said, “I always liked the idea of being an aerialist, but where I lived, there was no circus school, so I had to reach out to discover those things. There was a rope swing where I lived, and my friends used it to run and swing, but I would run and spin, and go upside down, and do splits, and try to come up with innovative tricks. When the opportunity came up to do straps at “Cirque du Soleil,” I was delighted because it’s requires some of the same skill set, but instead a rope tied to a tree, you have a massive variable speed ariel motor and the best toys on the planet.”