Performing with The 7 Fingers is a physical feat. The troupe’s current production, Passengers (SEP 25-OCT 13), is certainly no exception to the rule and while seemingly effortless from the audience’s perspective, the daily maintenance and endurance needed is monumental. The show may only be 90 minutes, but the performers hardly leave the stage. If they are not the featured act, they are grabbing props, hoisting each other up, and moving as an ensemble to create this exquisite performance.
Freyja Wild takes center stage within the first few moments of the show, accompanied by several hula hoops and a high energy beat backing her up. While most struggle with just one hoop, Freyja gracefully spins several around her waist, ankles, wrists, and even her neck. The rest of the show is spent doing daring acrobatics, heavy lifting, and a myriad of impressive and awe-inspiring movement pieces. While this show does take a toll on each performer, Freyja is reminded that she isn’t performing alone — she’s performing for two.
Freyja (at the time of writing this post) is 19 weeks pregnant. Her last performance is just a few weeks after Passengers leaves Boston, in mid October. Freyja and her husband, Conor Wild (also a performer in Passengers), plan on bringing the little one on the road with them once they come back to the show in the summer of 2020.
“I’m so excited to go on tour with this baby, especially with this group of people. The cast and crew of Passengers really do feel like our little family, and they’re all excited about having a baby on tour too,” gushed Freyja. “I love the idea that our kid will get to be a part of an amazing community as well.”
Of course, performing while expecting comes with its trials and tribulations, especially when a performance relies so heavily on physical ability and being incredibly in tune with your body.
“Physically, a lot has shifted too. A huge part of my identity has always been my strength, and deliberately doing things onstage that people don’t often see women do, which has also meant a fair amount of work to keep my body strong, healthy and feeling good. I had to cut back on a lot of the ‘heavy lifting’ I was doing in the show.” Not only heavy lifting, the hoops have felt the changes too. “My waist is not the same size as it was a few months ago, which changes the speed and control I have of the hoops. Normally splitting hoops on my body is very easy — I’ve been doing it for 15 years — but lately it’s taken a lot more concerted effort!”
Freyja is a huge advocate for diverse representation of women on stage, and recently just did a podcast with The Artist Athlete (which you can check out here) talking at length about this subject. Pregnancy introduces a whole new side to this issue of representation, so for Freyja, there has been a mental shift in how she approaches her own stage time.
“I’m not a very big person, and even now at 19 weeks pregnant, I don’t really look pregnant to a stranger. So, while I love the idea of representing the power and strength that women have by continuing to do acrobatics while pregnant, I’m also aware that most people in the audiences have no idea, and so to them I am simply a normal woman doing slightly lower level acrobatics than I am normally capable of.”
“However, I’m really happy to be continuing this work so far into my pregnancy. Circus has been my life for pretty much all of it,” reminiscing on her lifetime amongst circus performers.
“I am so in awe of my body right now and all the amazing things it’s doing, and I’m actually really excited to embrace this new path as a Mum, and see how that plays into my work. I’m sure a lot will change, and I’m still figuring it all out.”
We’re thrilled for Freyja and Conor as they embark on a journey to their next destination — parenthood. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating Passengers and the Wilds before the show leaves the station by coming to see the show and sharing this blog with the moms in your life who truly juggle it all.