Already one of the more accomplished graduates in the distinguished history of the Clayton State Theatre, Clayton State University 2006 graduate Redd Horrocks was recently hired as an assistant stage manager for LOVE, the Cirque du Soliel Beatles project in Las Vegas.
Redd (her given name is Melanie, but not even her mother calls her that) is originally from southeast England.
“I came to the U.S. in 2001, originally just for six months, but I really liked the education system here for undergrads, so I decided to remain and continue my schooling,” she says. “I loved being at Clayton State University. I was very involved on campus and had a wonderful time serving on the student government and working as the associate editor for The Bent Tree. I was lucky enough to have fantastic professors, especially Phillip DePoy, who continues to be my mentor to this day.
“I also made many great friends who I continue to be close with even though our lives have taken us to different places.”
“It's a huge deal,” says DePoy, director of the Clayton State Theatre. “It's the most `pro’ gig any of our students has ever gotten.”
Originally journalism major, she discovered theatre by accident.
“I was taking it as a random elective with a friend and realized that technical theatre was a great fit for me,” Horrocks explains.
Horrocks is enthusiastic about her exciting future.
“Working for Cirque du Soleil has been my dream job for many years,” she says. “Cirque du Soleil is one of, if not the best, production company in the world. It really doesn't get bigger than this for me in my field. Being able to do this, to work with this company, is an opportunity that I have worked incredibly hard for. I consider myself very lucky to get this shot.”
Although Horrocks is excited by the move from Atlanta to Las Vegas, she admits the transition is somewhat intimidating.
“It's a scary transition. Atlanta is very different from Las Vegas,” she says. “Here, I see mountains everywhere that I look. The weather is very consistent... dry and sunny. Las Vegas is a very active town, and the strip is flamboyant and colorful. A friend of mine described it very well by saying, `Las Vegas is like living inside a pinball machine.’ It's tough to move away from my friends and my support network, but if ever I was going to drop everything and chase my dreams, or run away and join the circus... which is what I'm technically doing, now was definitely the time.”
Horrocks also looks forward to working in a creative and professional environment.
“Cirque du Soleil is so well respected, it makes me very proud to be a part of it,” she says. “I get to work with people who are some of the best in the world at what they do. It's a wonderful, nurturing environment and I really love it here.”