I moved to Ireland 10 years ago as part of an international business course, and I am still here. I started performing, mostly fire shows, and to my surprise I got paid for it! This taste for performing was a form of therapy to me. I wanted to create something entirely unique, so I created an alter ego, Riuchi, and a show inspired from Asian tales. I decided not to follow any school or any specific type of training, but to do what I felt was right for me. My shows are really a piece of me.
In many ways, I’m very Asian when it comes to saving energy and being rational. I am not so much of a party man - not anymore anyway - and I like the comfort of my house. If I was to see a show, it would be a comedy, especially something physical. Two of my favourite shows would be by Lords of Strut, who are Cork Midsummer Festival favourites and were Britain’s Got Talent’s semi-finalists, and Tumble Circus. They are both perfect representations of what Irish humour and performance is all about: they take their work seriously while not being serious about it.
I am more of a night bird and love the darkness. It’s really at night I work and think the best.
Being a performer, work does creep into the weekend. For example, with Cork Midsummer Festival, I’m performing Dream of Light from Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18 at The Granary. However, I love what I do! My days are never the same, and go from very quiet days, where I can step back and plan ahead, to very hectic ones where I’m creating new shows, training and touring. I work mostly every day and take a proper holiday once every two years. There is no Monday to Sunday per se, as I work around dates filled in my calendar.
I feel very lucky to be able to visit many countries and go on little adventures when I’m touring. If I could choose one place to visit tomorrow, it would be Peniche in Portugal. I love it because it has so much to offer, from good surf to lovely people.
My favourite down-time between travels is to enjoy the countryside at Garretstown where I live with my girlfriend. The place is so beautiful, and just by the sea.
I love to Skype my brothers and mum on Sundays, and at the same time, I can also see my little nephews and niece growing up. My favorite time is during their homework, so I can help them with it.
I really enjoy surfing at Garretstown Beach as it enables you to connect with the present, being in sync with the ocean. Riding the waves is challenging and exciting. However, it often puts you in your place as it can be quite scary.
On tour, you do not always have the luxury to cook, so I end up eating out a lot. So, when I am back from touring, I cook as much as I can. I take inspiration from my Asian ancestry and also from classic French meals. I mostly take the theme and colours as a starting point. If it looks nice, it shouldn’t taste bad. I started cooking at a very young age and was very influenced by my family, particularly my aunt. She is what we call a ‘cordon bleu’ chef, and has spent most of her life cooking with passion. As a kid, I was her guinea pig, and had to give her honest feedback on each dish she cooked for me. If I was not an artist, I would probably be in the food business.
I am a tough cookie when it comes to eating out! I love Miyazaki for food, Cork Coffee Roasters for my coffee, and O’Mahonys in the English Market for my meat. These are, by far, my favourite ones.
On Sunday nights, you’ll find me at home lighting the fire and taking it easy or in the summer, when the days are longer, going for an easy surf at sunset.
As late as possible. More or less around 7.30am.
Dream of Light premieres at The Granary Theatre, Mardyke and runs from June 16 to 18. The show, which mixes circus and dance, is suitable for all ages, and stars Riuchi – both a warrior and alchemist – who comes from the imagination of Guillaume’s Asian identity. Tickets are €12/ €35 family from corkmidsummer.com.