Jerry Nunn: Heyyy, guys. Just seeing the preview was amazing. How long have you been working on this show?
Florian Zumkehr: We have been working with this company for five months to create this show. Before that we were touring as normal circus performers but not in this group. I know the 7 Fingers though friends and I sent them a DVD and they liked it. There was not an official casting for the show, it was more they picked who they wanted to have in the show.
JN: So it was put together as different acts?
FZ: Yes. It really depends on if you fit in the show because it is not just being skilled in the discipline that you do, it really about the character because we are seven people and we have to fit in the structure of the show. It is great if you are a good acrobat but you also have to be lucky to fit into the show.
JN: What is your nationality?
FZ: I am from Switzerland.
Xia Zhengqi: I am from China.
JN: How long have you guys been in the circus?
FZ: I did a kids circus until I was fifteen. I moved from Basel, Switzerland to Berlin and did my circus school there for four years. Since then I have been touring for two years in German cabarets as a professional circus performer.
XZ: I started when I was five years old. I was in a gymnastic team. When I was nine years old I moved to a circus school to learn for eight years. I was with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey then I worked with Cirque du Soleil for three years. My friend told me about 7 Fingers.
JN: And now you are here. What is the difference of this show to Cirque?
XZ: In Cirque you wear makeup and it is a big show. You always have to be a character, not you but someone else. But here in this show, we don’t need the shiny costumes or makeup, we just be ourselves.
JN: It is a different vibe in this show.
XZ: Yes, the character depends on your personality. It is you not someone else.
FZ: It is really about the seven people that are on stage. There is no story that has been made up before. We have to act it. We are in the creative process. We are searching for the scenes that fit for us. What the 7 Fingers really like to do is show a human scale of circus. When it is natural the audience is touched by it because it has more emotions.
JN: So you guys have never been to Chicago. What do you think?
XZ: It is a big city and super clean here.
JN: It’s not like New York. Where does the show go after this?
FZ: LA and Denver. After that we don’t know yet.
JN: What would you tell people to get them to come see it?
XZ: That we are special.
FZ: I think it is incredible to see seven people for 90 minutes doing so many different things on a high skill level. As you saw I was playing piano today but my specialty is handstands. We all do Chinese pole. We do hoop diving that you saw on the video.
JN: I want to see that live next time!
FZ: So for 90 minutes all of us are on the stage running around.
XZ: Also, the audience will know more about the person. It is not just a story on stage. It is more about seven artists, where they grew up, and what they are like. For me there are things that I am shy to say but in the show I am able to say things. You will know more of my personality that way. It is not only a circus.
FZ: It is crazy to see how much we give every night. It is really tiring and we do it all for the audience. It is worth it to come see because we put everything in it to make it happen.
JN: How much do you practice?
FZ: For the last five months we have been training eight hours a day.
XZ: It’s because we want to make this show better. Everyone just gives one hundred percent.