Pilon School of Business
Degree: Business Administration - Finance
Year of graduation: 2009
Trevor Bodogh is an acrobat on wheels. Perched on bike pedals, he climbs boulders, slides along railings, and leaps over people. Bodogh is a bike trials performer, executing stunts on a specialized mountain bike without a seat. He’s spent 15 years, and more than 10,000 hours, perfecting his abilities, and in 2017, he’ll perform in Volta, Cirque du Soleil’s new show that will open in Montreal.
It’s an unlikely career path for a finance graduate. In 2009, he attended the Virox Future Forum, an annual event showcasing trends in business. He was inspired to pursue his passion for riding, and make a living doing it. In 2009, Bodogh appeared on Dragon’s Den, a television show that gives entrepreneurs a chance to win investors’ cash. He pitched his idea for cross-country bike trials demonstrations for promotional and entertainment events, and credits former business professors with helping him develop cash flow projections and marketing plans before his presentation. While he didn’t earn the Dragons’ cash, he didn’t give up either. In 2010, he applied for a loan to start his own small business doing bike shows, then he took on a contract at Canada’s Wonderland as part of a show called Cirque Imagine. In 2013, he took the next step in his journey and auditioned for Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas.
Although he heard that he’d been accepted into the troupe right away, he had to wait until there was a spot in the show for his unique skills. By the end of 2015, he’d nearly given up hope. “It’s a tiring, full-time job to keep your body in shape for riding,” he says. “If I didn’t have a sustainable Cirque contract by May 2016, I was going to start looking at some major changes in my life.”
In early 2016, he finally got the call and was invited to Montreal for further auditions. In June, he signed his contract for Volta. Now, he spends his days in acting, dancing and makeup classes, along with stretching and taking part in physiotherapy and performance counselling. He admits it’s been a steep learning curve, but he’s enjoying every minute of the journey.
“I’m a pretty horrible dancer,” he confesses. “It’s a fun process. You’re learning a new skill of how to use your own body. I know how to use my bike and my body, but using my body alone is a whole other world.”
It can be a grinding schedule in a risky sport. He’s earned his fair share of rolled ankles, and gashes in his shins. Not to mention the broken bikes and close calls along the way. It’s a small price to pay to spend each day earning a living doing what he loves.
“Those are things that I accept as part of the natural existence of all this. The reward behind it is the freedom of doing something I love. Without continuous self-improvement, or support from family, friends and strangers, this wouldn’t be possible.”