Elite FAQ

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Elite Training Frequently Asked Questions

1) What are the dates in 2016? 
May 19 - 21, 2016

2) What expenses am I responsible for if I am selected?
Your travel to and from Las Vegas, your housing and some meals. Your hotel stay includes a breakfast buffet and Cirque arranges all lunches. Dinner is on your own each night. Your housing will cost approximately $50 per night if you agree to a roommate. It will be approximately $100 if you request a single, tax included.

3) Do I arrange hotel reservations on my own?
No. After you are selected USITT will contact you regarding your housing and roommate options. You will be able to request a roommate if you know of someone else who was also accepted.

4) Can a parent or friend stay with me in my hotel room?
Yes, but if they were not accepted into the program they will not be allowed to participate in any of the Elite Training events.

5) Why can't we stay on the Strip?
Because of liability and transportation arrangements we keep the group together. Anyone under the age of 21 in our group cannot check-in or stay on a casino property.

6) Can I stay off-site with a friend or relative?
Yes, but you will have to be at the hotel every morning at the predesignated time to travel with the group. USITT provides transportation to and from daily training events.

7) I'll have my car with me, can I drive myself to events?
No, to keep the group together, on time and for liability reasons we travel by bus throughout the day. We will not authorize one candidate to drive another around during our event.

8) Is there transportation to and from the airport?
Yes and it is free. La Quinta Inn and Suites has a 24 hour shuttle that runs daily. After collecting your belongings from Baggage Claim call the hotel (702) 492-8900 and they will let you know where you will be picked up. The designated pick-up area is just outside baggage claim along the curb and signs list the hotel you are looking for. Please note that we are staying at the La Quinta Airport SOUTH. Please check with the hotel and make a shuttle reservation one day before your departure. The shuttles run every half hour on the hour.

9) My friend attended Elite Training last year, is it going to be the exact same experience?
No. The schedule is arranged at Cirque's availability and discretion. Their rehearsal and show schedule dictate the tours we may take or the shows we may see. Every year is different but everyone involved strives to make it the best and most rewarding experience possible.

10) Is there a schedule of our stay I can review now?
No. We will fill your three days and most nights completely but we cannot finalize these plans until much closer to the event. You will receive a lot and final information about one to two weeks in advance of your travel date.

11) When will a schedule be available?
If chosen, applicants should plan on arriving in Vegas on Wed. 5/18. Training begins Thurs. 5/19 at 8:30am. Participants will receive their "final" schedule approximately one week before the event.

12) What opportunities can I expect during this event?
4 to 5 hours a day will be spent at a training facility with your peers also accepted into your track. The last 2 hours or so of each afternoon will most likely be spent touring backstage in Cirque facilities. At least 2 of your 3 evenings during this event may be spent as an audience member viewing 
pre-designated Cirque performances.

13) Is there time for me to attend other performances while in Vegas?
Probably. Some shows in Vegas offer two performances nightly, an early (7pm) and a late (9:30pm). Since you will arrive on Wed. you can also take that opportunity to see a show.

14) Are there discounts available to see other performances in town?
Not through this program. You may be able to find discounted tickets online or at ticket centers located conveniently around the Strip.

15) Should I buy tickets to other shows as soon as I'm notified of my acceptance?
Probably not. Our schedule is subject to change even after we've compiled a "final" schedule. Training begins about 8:30am Thursday 5/19 and ends at approximately 11pm Saturday 5/21. You should not plan to schedule anything else during these times.

16) Will other participants in this program want to attend shows outside our schedule and how would I arrange to chat with them about this?
Most likely others in your track will want to make time for other shows too. Typically, during afternoon tours and evening performances your track will be scheduled with another track but not every Elite participant will be on the same schedule 100% of the time throughout the three day event. When you receive a "final" schedule you will see who and what tracks you will be paired with for your afternoon and nightly assignments. You will receive a contact sheet of everyone attending when you receive your schedule. In the past, attendees have set up a closed group Facebook page to exchange ideas and comments leading up to and during their stay in Vegas.

17) After we attend our nightly events or choose to attend shows on our own how do we get back to the La Quinta Inn and Suites, Airport South?
Everyone is responsible for making their way back to the La Quinta each evening, all other transport during the day is taken care of.  The La Quinta FREE shuttle picks up and drops off at Mandalay Bay at a regular interval, you will have to call the hotel, (702-492-8900) to let them know you are ready for pick-up. It would be appropriate to have a dollar or two on hand to tip your driver when you use the shuttle service back to the hotel at the end of your evening.

18) How long does it take to get back to the hotel via shuttle service?
Under 10 minutes. It's a quick trip between the hotel and the Strip but please remember that the shuttle only seats 8 passengers at a time and they usually only have one van in service at night after 10pm.  Since some of you will be attending shows in groups of 16 and not getting done until 11pm or so, you may not all be able to catch the same shuttle back. (We will inquire in 2016 as to whether the hotel can schedule 2 vans at night while we are there until 11:59pm but as of now that has not happened) You can always split a cab with three others but that is likely to cost you about $6 each. A cab could be approximately $20 or so one-way and you will want to check on the price before you get into one.

19) Can I arrive early or stay longer than originally scheduled?
You can. You will be asked to confirm your arrival and departure dates as we approach our stay. We will extend your hotel reservation accordingly but all "extra-time" expenses will be up to you. If you chose to split room costs with a roommate and they arrive later than you or leave early the full cost of the room will be added to your bill. Rates will be made available three days pre and post Elite Training based upon hotel availability.

20) When do I pay for my hotel stay? 
Payment for each room is due at check in. If you chose to have a roommate the charges will be divided in half by the hotel.  

21) I have not been notified of my acceptance. Did USITT receive my application?
Presently, USITT does not have the resources to acknowledge the receipt of every application. 

22) When will I be notified of my acceptance?
USITT will do its best to adhere to a tight schedule and notify all applicants of their acceptance or not as close to April 13th, 2016 as possible.This will allow about 5 weeks for attendees to make travel arrangements.

23) What kind of notification(s) can I expect?
You will receive an email as to whether you were accepted or not. We will follow-up with multiple emails over the subsequent few weeks with items like the schedule, contact sheet, roommate arrangements, and liability and release forms to fill out and return. All items will be emailed with deadlines attached. Please adhere to these deadlines so that we can conduct our business in an orderly fashion.

24) What is the best time to get to or leave from Vegas?
Be ready to commence training activities by 8:30am Thursday 5/19 and continue until approximately 11pm Saturday 5/21. Travel times are up to you but we can tell you it is less expensive to fly in and out on the "red-eye" flights. However, check-in is not until 1pm and check-out is noon. They do however have an outdoor pool to lounge beside if you get "stuck" without a room for a while. The hotel is very accommodating to our group and guests in general.

25) It's more expensive to fly out of Vegas on Sunday, can I leave Saturday night?
I would not suggest leaving on Saturday night for a multitude of reasons but attendees have left on the Saturday night red-eye on occasion. You could and would probably have to lug your luggage around during Saturday events and then head directly to the airport from your Saturday night activities but we completely understand how costs can impact your experience and USITT will do everything we can to assist you in your efforts.

26) Does attending Elite Training get me an inside track to a job at Cirque du Soleil?
No.  Elite Training is a time for training and learning. It is not a job interview nor is it an appropriate time to look and ask for a job.  There are actually on-line systems that are used exclusively for applying for jobs at Cirque du Soleil. It is possible though to behave in such a way during Elite Training that makes you an unattractive candidate for a job.

27) Should I bring my resume' just in case?
You should but for review only. We try to make time each year to have your resume' reviewed and critiqued by Elite Staff who can offer valuable advice on how it could be designed and what should be contained.

28) Who is this program open to?
USITT Student and Early Career Members. Typically, those 18 -25 years old, college to early career professionals.

29) Do I have to be a USITT member to apply?
No. But you will be REQUIRED to become a USITT Student or Early Career Member upon acceptance. Student Membership is $67/yr and Early Career (within three years of graduation) is $78/yr.

30) How much does it cost to apply?
There is no cost to apply.