“I Turned Down Cirque Du Soleil” ／(^o^)＼
Do you even know who CyberYoga is? Not that you should, but if you’re in awe of the diversity of human talent we see exploding all over instagram, I am actually proud to say that I know one of these social natives inhabiting the world of superhuman. Lamonte Goode, otherwise known as CyberYoga on Instagram is a deft one-armed bandit baddass at hand balancing.
We were catching up with one-another on Facebook, and in the throes of Instant Messaging he dropped a bomb on me: “I just turned down an 18 month gig with Cirque Du Soleil”…
…OK, my immediate reaction was shock! I know many talented people who dream of graduating their skillset just to have a chance of being considered. Many of my personal contacts are among these talented elite, I already know a few who are in the Cirque Du Soleil talent pool. When you play and dabble in the talent field that I do, amongst perfection artists, you can’t help but end up in the first or second degree of connection to someone in the Cirque Du Soleil.
I invited him over for a casual chinwag at my place to formally figure out what was going on, as we are both social natives on Instagram and rely on gig-jobs to keep rollin’ us forward. A decision like this had to have been soul searching. What followed was an interview with CyberYoga and a lot of delving into the soul and strategy of living in the CyberWorld of Instagram.
First of all, let’s introduce formally who CyberYoga is, and what this purports to be.
Myself: “Kay friend, I know what you’re all about but can you explain to the Social Traveller on IG what your CYBERYOGA branding is all about?”
“Thank you for letting me have your ear, let me explain, Cyberyoga is a journey that I created based on the principles of years meditation and variations of practice. I have a background in break-dancing, dramatics, calisthenics and parkour and only now finally I feel like each element coming together. It’s a sort of science of movement, a fusion of the best I like to use and bring into my own daily practice.
CYBER is actually an acronym; It’s Calisthenics, Yoga, Breaking, Evolution, Revolution and YOGA. The body of knowledge is all in basic movement, and all I do is bring to it the “New Age” as a spiritual practice like my way of giving back to the world. Years of training and dedication have brought me thus far and if I can share back, maybe people will be inspired and they can adopt some ideas and change their lifestyle.”
Myself: “What do you mean by Lifestyle? Lamonte, that sounds super difficult to achieve.”
Lamonte: “I consider myself a lifestyle balance yogi. I’m not saying this is just a fusion of movement, poses and building blocks. I enhance by more than doing something everyday, but figuring out my whole balanced lifestyle. Lifestyle is my approach to fitness, and in today’s world of high technology there is the easy path of sitting down for gameplay. What if you do that meditatively, posturally?
I’m highly spiritual not religious, I’m not bashing any preference and not saying this is a religion but, from my perspective we have limits and also potential. My practice is more than just physical movement like the underscore of a film. When you go to the gym to work out that’s not integral lifestyle but can be used as an element of your lifestyle. Sharing my work, is my lifestyle and working with people in my interactions or solo to help anyone progress and finesse is a discipline — you can take it away and try it with your friends. I have built up an intensity loyal fan base and this is what I’m seeing. They have brought it to the attention all entertainment groups and this is how I make a living.”
Myself: “So how did Cirque come to approach you?”
Lamonte: “So I’m doing these performances for all these entertainment groups and Cirque du Soleil scouted me and approached me via my agency asking me if I would like to be a part of the one of their new Cirque shows. In the beginning of my practice and getting to where I was, I was always fascinated by the Cirque du Soleil and this is what brought me into hand balancing. I admired the physical ability and agility and the focus of other performers more and wanted to match their level with my own break dancing. I saw a bunch of videos online and watched some old practice tapes, but the Circus kept me inspired to get into balancing. Years later, I found my own path, made the movement my own and the Circus came to me.”
Myself: “Here’s the big question, WHY did you turn them down?”
“I feel like more of a unique artist and I feel like this is my main focus and purpose. At first being online was a vehicle that allowed me to be very open minded and experimental without constraints. I grew to love this. I have a feeling and a knowing of where I’m supposed to be now, and although Cirque Du Soleil was my main motivation to get to the level where I’m at now, I want to hang on to that for as long as possible. I don’t want to retire and burn out doing someone else’s formula, and lose my lifestyle. I have to be loyal to my following something that I have created is now my own integrity. I can’t let my followers down and I do have to keep creating content for them. They feedback to me and give me the gigs I need. I know my duty is something bigger than someone else’s show. My follower’s own progression inspires me.
I think is really important to help people find something in themselves and that is the difference between talent and skill. A lot of people who possess talent or skill don’t necessarily yet possess the discipline to get to where they need to be, they also research media and assume that the only place they can go with talent and skill is somewhere like Cirque du Soleil. I have taught my followers that the opportunity is more diverse than just aiming for the circus and that’s what’s so amazing about the online world of sharing. This is the new Cyber age.
Talent is something that you’re born with after like you discover that you have this flexibility, and skill I feel like it’s something that you can learn to conquer and achieve something that you train for. There is so much talent out there, but what separates people and makes them successful is having and drive and motivation with your time and sharpening your skills on top of all of that. So being this proactive manifests. in all forms throughout your lifestyle. I know tons of people they’re lazy you know they have all this time they just don’t want to do anything like all and so they’re not going anywhere, but anybody can be targeted and learn how to put skill and talent together. Do you know how incredible it is now? That you can actually have your own following and what you do want to do? 10 years ago this was non-existant — I could only aim for the circus. Now we’re in the age where you can actually have your own YouTube channel you can have your own following on your own social media doing what you do and based on your focus and your presentation and working your connections you can get work. But it took me 10 years.
I wanna do my social media in a certain way and not be tied to something like a long term contract. I feel like there are great opportunities online and service space for social media which is incredible. I can travel to India to Italy, I go to Spain I can go anywhere. I don’t think it’s to do with the number of followers. You have to have the relationships and that takes an incredible amount of time to build. If I leave that and come back even for three months I would have to start again. Success isn’t just one gig, or the biggest gig, it is being able to go from one stepping stone to the next.
You create something and you put into the Universe and it comes back to you, or not. So I’m not expecting a tonne of comments but yeah I just do this because I love it. I do it because it’s my passion and purpose. Nobody’s paying me to do this but with that investment comes returns. I’m not trying to expect anything I would like to see far more opportunities that happen but if I set myself up for expectations that will not be good. So I just do it, I put my 100-percent into my passion and I get something back like opportunities with Apple, HP, or contacted by people that own companies in fitness or whatever.
Most companies contact me because they resonate with a stake my self branding and following. That comes from being honest and open with the products that I use.”
Myself: “What is the biggest criticism you face or negative side of being a Social Native?”
Lamonte: “Amazing question, I’m looking back three years ago and so this is more about the social media world was then. I like to create which pauses the yoga community into a uninvited criticism. Yoga is very much an inward philosophy, and dance and performance is outward, therein lies the awkward debates. I do my own thing and based on this pressure from both sides. “y’all go ahead and breaking it right or wrong” but breaking is about creating different poses or I do my best to do that anyways. Overall it was frowned upon by both sides of the community, don’t know that it was strange more kinda like frowned upon. I didn’t get a lot of respect, from either community. I do love to do it as an artist so I just keep putting things out there to inspire people. A little piece of advice is overcome this weird energy towards it. It kind of also focused me. More on doing whatever I wanted to do in spite of it all. It’s a blessing in disguise because you’re never gonna be perfect all the time and things aren’t always gonna be great but I learned to grow as an individual.
Becoming your own brand and the doctor in your own philosophy by emulating those that inspire you. We’re looking at life as an online community, yeah being diverse is being yourself, don’t be a clone find your own way whether it’s your artist, painter, musician MMA fighter, BMX rider whatever just find your own thing. You don’t have to aim to be part of someone else’s circus….”
And there I finally understood my friend. You know like I feel like I’m brought and conditioned to follow the money, find the job, and that’s it? Well, I struggled with my screaming uniqueness also.
Lamonte: “I think you have to identify that and you know that it comes to your own journey maybe some people find it and some maybe never will but I know there is one way… lead by example to show you what’s possible with your own passion, that’s why we connected didn’t we? We weren’t just joining the clone factory.
Myself: “Yes! I could leave University and run my own business even though my degree was engineering, I found I could just do my own thing and I could engineer myself. Engineer whatever I want to do, so really you see all that process is the same kind of thing.
Lamonte: “Whatever you find, follow your natural talent, adopt the discipline to scale yourself up. Learn your own confidence through discipline. Grow yourself as a brand, and not become someone else’s clothes. Yeah it’s as my mentor and master says, like attracts like and the reason why we have so many followers is because we see ourselves in them, and they relate to it.”
Interviewed by Juliana Payson, a Social Sherpa of Instagram. You can find her at @OnnaLoves on Instagram, and see how she manages talent here.