Valeriya Murzak

@mirrorballproductionsltd
@divasofdisco
www.mirrorballproductions.hk

EP 90: Valeriya Murzak

[00:00:00] Dane Reis: [00:00:00] you booked it, episode 79. 

[00:00:06] Okay, let’s get started. I am excited to introduce my guest today. Valeriya Murzak, are you ready for this ballerina? 

[00:00:15]Valeriya Murzak: [00:00:15] Yes. 

[00:00:16] Dane Reis: [00:00:16] Oh, right. right. Valerea was born into the world of circus. Following the footsteps of her parents who were also circus artists. Her career started at the tender age of 13, performing in the circus musical eclipse. From there, she has been part of various productions, such as Batman live world arena, tour London Olympics, 2012 opening ceremony, the Brit awards at the London. Oh two arena. 

[00:00:42] And performing aerial skills alongside Hugh Jackman and many more. Her mirror ball act, which she created in 2014 has enjoyed worldwide success in the private and corporate events sector, performing in prestigious venues, such as the Sydney opera house, the Royal palace and Richard Branson’s Necker Island. 

[00:01:03] After years of traveling Velaria has found a new home in Hong Kong and is looking forward to sharing her love of the circus by providing circus training to local artists and aiming to grow the event entertainment sector in the area. Valeria. That is a quick intro of who you are in what you’ve done, but why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself? Fill in the gaps, who you are and. 

[00:01:28] A little bit more about what you do as a professional in the entertainment industry. 

[00:01:34]Valeriya Murzak: [00:01:34] Hello. So I am a circus. Former. And I specialize in lots of various things as many, six performers do when they grow up. They learn a lot of different skills from Allen. A lot of my skills from my parents. So. Aerial skills, just soaks hoop. Marius unique props such as Ariel. Fear and cubes, and then also do handstands and contortion, which I do mainly on the mirror ball, which is that they’re created. So I do lots of different things. 

[00:02:02] And I think as. Performers that’s what we are good at is picking up lots of different skills to then put into. Corporate events or shows and musicals, whatever that may be. So, yeah. Been before me, my whole life. And that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing since I was 13. And I love it. 

[00:02:20] Dane Reis: [00:02:20] Yeah, that’s fantastic. I have had the pleasure of personally, of being a stage manager over at absence in Los Vegas and getting to know a lot of the circus performers over there. And you’re so right. All of you. Well, first off, pretty much everybody. Has been in this industry forever because , they got it from their parents. And it’s a very generational thing, which I found really interesting, but also that everybody is so multifaceted and because such a large skill set, it’s really fantastic. I love the circus world. It’s such a great family. 

[00:02:55]Valeriya Murzak: [00:02:55] Yeah, it is. It’s one big family. Like you said, a lot of shows that you do, they call it your family, whether it’s struggled, tens like absence, I’ve done last soiree in.  Australia. and that’s a very similar. Vibe. It’s a family vibe and you, you all work really closely together. 

[00:03:10] Dane Reis: [00:03:10] Yeah, I love that. And let’s move on to our next section here. And Valerie, a look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What’s your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone. 

[00:03:23]Valeriya Murzak: [00:03:23] I’ve been thinking about this one. For awhile. I think the show must go on. Is there an app right now? Because we are all. Kind of stuck. At the moment we don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know what’s the feature is for events and entertainment world post COVID. So I think just the show must go on. We kind of kind of all trying to adapt and go on with our lives, I guess. So I’d take that quote into my personal life as well, and just go, okay. Let’s get on with the show today and life in general.

[00:03:55] Dane Reis: [00:03:55] Yeah, absolutely. Because I think, I think us as entertainers have a bit of that always, you know, The show must go on. I mean, in our professional lives, but more than ever, my gosh with. All of the COVID stuff that I think has really hit home with everybody. Uh, over the past handful of months in you’re, so right. And let’s move on to this next section. And Valerie, of course you are an entertainer. I am an entertainer. And I think that you would agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest, personally emotional industries in existence. And, you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, like you’re having now, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work and. While. Yeah, there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement being onstage, doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures. We are going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.

[00:05:04]Valeriya Murzak: [00:05:04] That’s a really interesting question. Like I say, there’s a lot of. Other things that come with performing emotional. yeah. Not struggles, but there’s a lot of expectations, I guess. Performer. 

[00:05:18]Um, I would say then certainty. I work in corporate events industry, so I’m always on one off events and private events. And whilst I’ve been really lucky until COVID-19 to always have something. In the calendar and something coming up, you never know where you’re going to go, which country you’re going to go generic. So you could be at home on a Sunday, and then you get a call and you jump on a plane on a Monday, which sounds really. Exotic and fascinating to other people, but you kind of, you never know where you going, where are you going to be? You spend very little time at home, so there’s that side to it. Um, but I guess to overcome that you just have to. Take each place that you go to as an adventure and, you know, really soak it up. When it’s happening.

[00:05:59]Dane Reis: [00:05:59] Yeah, I love that outlook. That’s so good is to soak it up as an adventure. You’re so right, because. I mean, I can completely relate. You know, you might look at the well. Barring the last handful of months when things were normal.

[00:06:13]You know, 

[00:06:13] you might look at a month ahead and you say, gosh, I don’t really have much going on. And then the next thing you know, that entire calendar is filled up. You’re like, Oh, well, there we go. I guess I’m. I’m good to go again. And it’s so exciting. You’re right. To see all the different places that. The jobs that we do take us and it’s always unexpected and it’s always exciting. I love that.

[00:06:34]Valeriya Murzak: [00:06:34] Yeah. For sure. And it helps, I guess it’s helped history.  the times now, when there isn’t much good on is to kind of go, well, there’s always something that happens eventually at some point. So, whether it’s not. Uh, me yet. You know, work happening now, but maybe. You never know you get a call and then you’re off. To somewhere without COVID.

[00:06:52] Dane Reis: [00:06:52] For sure. And, you know, and I think maybe even in a lot of ways, That entertainers like ourselves or people like you that are very much into the. The corporate and private sector that. 

[00:07:05]We are very equipped in a way to handle these kinds of Lowe’s. In our careers or in our schedules, although this is a very unique scenario, of course, but

[00:07:15]you know, we’re kind of kind of used to that in a way.

[00:07:17]Valeriya Murzak: [00:07:17] Yeah, exactly.

[00:07:18]Dane Reis: [00:07:18] Great. Well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time you realized, yes, I am going to be an entertainer for living or maybe it was, yes. This is what I need to be doing as an entertainer. Tell us about that.

[00:07:39]Valeriya Murzak: [00:07:39] I guess. I’ve always known that. I was going to be an entertainer because, because I grew up. Doing it alongside my parents, but I was always never really pushed to do it. I was never made to forced into circus. I  always, always,  loved. Yeah. I always practiced on my own. And so it kind of through school and college, I always knew that that’s what I wanted to do. I remember having arguments with my teachers about that as I’m sure many entertainers have. Kind of them telling you it’s not real job. When you insisted that is. I’ve kind of, I’ve always known that that was. Going to be what I was going to do. And then in 2014, when I made. The memorable acts, which so I had a, a ball, a sphere, which my dad made when I was 10. To balance on and he would balance me on top of him. It was a very Russian circus. Act. Um, and so he made a sphere when I was little and I always had the steer in my life. So I’d get on it and do handstands. Torsion on it. And I’ve always had a ball act, I guess. And then 2014, I decided to put some mirrors on it and suddenly gained this whole new. Popularity and. The access to so many different events.  I was like, Oh right. This is. Yeah, it was about the visual and , just opened up a lot of doors just by changing that little prop that I’ve always had in my life, but just adding something to it. But suddenly changed kind of everything.

[00:08:58]Dane Reis: [00:08:58] Yeah, absolutely. And let’s piggyback on that real quick. And let’s talk about your number one book. Did moment. I mean, walk us through that day if auditions and call backs happened to be a part of it. Talk about that, but what was going on in your life and what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book bit? Moment.

[00:09:19]Valeriya Murzak: [00:09:19] With the measurable act. I think. I was, Oh, I was very lucky. I was doing a lot more. Longer contracts and things that would go on for sort of Christmas pantomimes in the UK, there would be, two months long contract or a cruise ship or this and the other, which was all great. But I wanted to do more and do more corporate events and get into that side of things. So that was my. Booked at moment, I guess, because the miserable. Okay. I can’t really pinpoint when that moment was, but it. Yeah, I think I just had enough of what I was doing and I made a very decisive. Decision to go for something. That I had in my head to create this act. And luckily it paid off.

[00:09:58]Dane Reis: [00:09:58] Yeah, absolutely. There’s so much that I think to be said about creating our own art or creating our own, whatever that might be and that vision that you had. And then to see it come to fruition and be so popular and be such a fantastic act. I’ve, I’ve watched many videos of. Your act on social media and I think it’s fantastic. It’s perfect for that corporate and private events scene. Uh, it’s amazing. And I’m so glad that it’s paid off for you, and it must feel so fulfilling to know that, Hey, this was just an idea in my head and then boom. It’s something that  is the way that you can create a life out of it.

[00:10:35]Valeriya Murzak: [00:10:35] Yeah, it’s amazing to, like you say you have something. I had it in my head for awhile and I know where there’s quite a few times. When you have an idea that kind of sticks in your head for a good few months and you can’t get it out, it’s kind of. A way of myself telling me that, right. I need to do this thing. To make it reality. And then if it works, it works. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. 

[00:10:53]That’s what I learned from that   had loads of drawings and loads of. Ideas of how to make this prop and had to make it work after travel with it, because then after a year of working with it, realize  . The one that I made first time was too big. I couldn’t fit it through scanners. So adapting it and making it work for, you know, it’s you know, it’s an ongoing process, but then yeah, like you say, you make something that’s in your head and it’s a reality and you film it and you. Put all the promotional material together. And it it’s popular. Yeah. And the rewards are amazing.

[00:11:25] So it’s. Yeah worth going with what’s in your head.

[00:11:29] Dane Reis: [00:11:29] Absolutely. Absolutely. And let’s take a moment to talk about the present. What projects are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? And look, it is a crazy weird time. We’ve talked about it a little bit, but we’re amidst this global pandemic. How do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?

[00:11:51]Valeriya Murzak: [00:11:51] That’s really interesting. I might actually, I’m currently studying a creative events management masters. Which, because that’s kind of what I want to go into when I’m no longer able to perform and bend and stand on my hands. Um, so. We’re looking at exactly that was. How COVID-19 is affecting the entertainment world and cover virtual events are gonna play a big part if they are, because. I’ve been asked a few times now to provide events. To provide my act, but online. So through virtual events and it’s a completely new world is completely new way of putting your act and your art form forward. Yeah, I think there’s going to be more and more popularity in virtual events, but I think there’s so many issues and topics that we events, entertainment industry needs to discuss and find a way to make it work for. Entertainers as well. So we’re not left out completely. Financially as well. Um, yeah, so there’s, I think there’s lots of question marks for the teacher. But hopefully it. It goes back to social distance events. Maybe there’s less people attend these live events, but in the UK, I think they’re talking about. There’s guidance of having two meters away from people. So a performer can easily go on stage, especially with my act. I can have two meters around it. And. be far away from people and from other performers. So it’s just, I guess, a different way of looking at how you put events on.

[00:13:15]Dane Reis: [00:13:15] Yeah, absolutely. And. I mean, like you said, you’re acting fits perfectly into a social distance type of setting. Um, and I think it would be quite a, a good idea for a lot of us to start thinking that way. What, how do we create our art even in a live setting or ideally in a live setting? But still accommodate all of this social distancing, new normal that it appears that we’re going to be moving into for the foreseeable future.

[00:13:41]Valeriya Murzak: [00:13:41] Yeah, exactly. And I think it’s. I was talking to somebody the day and they said, you know, look at it, look at social distancing. And. The new kind of way of putting events on as a brief. So rather than looking at it as an obstacle and thinking, Oh, well , you know, I just can’t perform this act anymore. Look at it as how can I adapt it? How can I make it work? Four. Kind of, I know the future’s very uncertain, but  I guess working towards something that’s. Possible.

[00:14:06] Dane Reis: [00:14:06] Yeah, for sure. I mean,. You know, when, when you said that out loud to me, I go, you know what, that’s what we already do as entertainers. , especially in the corporate world, you know, you show you know,  up to a stage and you got a schematic saying the stage, look like this and you get there. And you’re like, That’s not the stage or it’s got stuff all over it and it can’t be moved. 

[00:14:22] Valeriya Murzak: [00:14:22] Hmm. 

[00:14:22] 

[00:14:22] Dane Reis: [00:14:22] that happens all the time. So we’re always. Adapting and changing and making things work in a space that we just show up into day of. You know, why should the entire industry not take on that entire mindset?

[00:14:35]Valeriya Murzak: [00:14:35] Yeah, and I think. Uh, because at the moment in the UK, there’s no live events. They’re not allowed  to happen at all at the moment. But apart from, I think, I think outside events, outdoor events are allowed to. with social distancing and it’s just, I think it’s all about planning. It all kind of works together with, with events management. If the managers putting events on. You know, you always think of how the audience goes in and out of the venue you planned that, that’s part of the plan of putting an event on. So if you plan the way that performance come in, where they go, whether it’s day. So it’s just taken a little bit more thought about how. And where, and Taylor’s go before the act and after direct, but I don’t, I don’t see why it can’t. You know, events shouldn’t happen completely for the next, how many months? 

[00:15:18] Dane Reis: [00:15:18] Hopefully things start moving forward in some live stuff starts coming back, but I love your insight on all of that. Thank you for sharing. And it is time to move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease of the lightening round. I am going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?

[00:15:43]All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career as an entertainer?

[00:15:50]Valeriya Murzak: [00:15:50] Nothing.

[00:15:52] Dane Reis: [00:15:52] Great. Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

[00:15:58]Valeriya Murzak: [00:15:58] always smile on stage. I don’t know. My mom would always tell me off if I’m not performing. Fully. 

[00:16:06] Not happy. I don’t know if that’s the best 

[00:16:08] advice. 

[00:16:09] Dane Reis: [00:16:09] not enjoying themselves on stage. And the third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on? Pause.

[00:16:25]Valeriya Murzak: [00:16:25] I think being flexible in not literally been flexible, it helps as well, but. Being flexible in. In life kind of always. Open to change  

[00:16:35]Dane Reis: [00:16:35] Yes. I could not agree more with that. This is a very uncertain industry. Even if you are doing something that you feel pretty certain about.

[00:16:42]And the fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book, a movie, a YouTube video podcast, maybe a piece of technology that you found is helping your career right now.

[00:16:56]Valeriya Murzak: [00:16:56] Oh, I guess right now it’s it’s internet online. yeah. Tutorials in so many different aspects. So I think I need to learn more about. How to make technology work, how to make virtual events work, the DEOs editing. All that kind of stuff. So I guess the internet. Isn’t the best resource right now.

[00:17:14] Dane Reis: [00:17:14] Yeah. And the fifth question. If you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry. What would you do or not do, would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?

[00:17:32]Valeriya Murzak: [00:17:32] I think I would keep it the same. I’m pretty happy with. That’s how it’s gone so far. Yeah, I guess I would. No, it’s, it’s good. It takes a while to do anything in this industry. So I think you have to go through years of, Doing different shows in different things to then kind of expect to sort of come up with. Their own unique thing. From the beginning of your career. So I think, I think all of that. Contracts and gigs that you do along the way. Are all valuable. So yeah, no, I think I’m quite happy with the path I’ve had.

[00:18:01] Dane Reis: [00:18:01] Great. And the last question, what is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry that you’d like to leave with our listeners?

[00:18:13]Valeriya Murzak: [00:18:13] I think quality over quantity is my. biggest advice I guess, or what I’ve learned, you know, I would rather do less events. But. Better quality. And I would rather. Put out the products that are put out in the events and shows. I don’t want to just do them for the sake of doing them. I want to always put out my best work. So yeah, I think.  quality over quantity always wins.

[00:18:37] Dane Reis: [00:18:37] Perfect. And to wrap up this interview, Valerea it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to promote?

[00:18:50]Valeriya Murzak: [00:18:50] So , well, my Instagram for. The Mirabal act is actually part of Mirrorball productions, which is my company three week I provide event at attainment through. So for corporate events, sometimes people will come to me and ask for a bigger show, 15, 20 minutes using dancers and aerialist and circus performers. All sorts of talents. So I started to move into that more and more. so Mirrorball productions, LTD. On Instagram. Then. The divas of disco. That’s a. Kind of from, from the miserable actor created this. I want to kind of share the joy of disco and measurables with people. So  well, the plan is post COVID. When we’re allowed to, to host fitness classes on their balls and provide sort of Hindu entertainment and birthday entertainment. So people can come and learn the routine on an aerial miserable or a floor mirror ball. With my guidance and then, you know, have their pictures taken and have a good party. yeah, there’s lots of things, but so that’s called the dealers of disco. And that’s awesome. 

[00:19:56]Dane Reis: [00:19:56] Perfect. And for everyone listening out there, I have put the links to everything. Valerie, you just said in the description of this episode, so you can easily click and connect with her. Valerie. Thank you so much for taking your time to come on today and share your journey. 

[00:20:11]Valeriya Murzak: [00:20:11] Thank you. Thanks for having me. 

[00:20:13]