Animal Actors Stage
An exotic animal trainer with 20 years of experience, Josh Ruffell formerly served as Assistant Curator at Australia Zoo. Prior to his time in Australia, Josh Ruffell worked at Universal Studios in Japan and California as an animal trainer with the Animal Actors Stage.
In 2001, the long running Animal Actors Stage at Universal Studios Hollywood was re-themed as Animal Planet Live and was promoted as a real-life counterpart to the popular television channel Animal Planet. Renamed Hollywood Animal Actors in 2006 (and now Universal’s Animal Actors), the show has displayed a wide array of animals, including a crane, capuchin monkey, pigs, dogs, cats, rats and a raccoon.
Located on the Upper Lot of Universal Studios Hollywood, Animal Actors features a host of trained animals showing off their skills with the help of their knowledgeable trainers to an audience that is encouraged to participate. As part of the show, the animals reenact scenes from popular animal-centric movies.
Cirque du Soleil
As Curator of Reptiles and Birds at Australia Zoo, Josh Ruffell oversaw a diverse collection of animals both native and foreign to Australia. Outside his professional life, Josh Ruffell enjoys taking in all sorts of shows and entertainment, and is particularly fond of Cirque Du Soleil.
Cirque Du Soleil is teaming with the NFL and the NFL Players Association to create a unique attraction in Times Square that will encompass 40,000 square feet. The four-story installation will be located at 20 Times Square and is slated for a fall 2017 opening.
Among its many features, the attraction will boast a 350 seat theater that will be packed with high-definition screens and geared to give fans a unique multimedia experience. The show, which will be produced with the help of NFL Films, will beckon fans into an immersive experience and draw them into the game’s action, both from the sidelines as well as behind the scenes.
Cirque Du Soleil is working in conjunction with the Witkoff Group, a real estate investment firm, to develop the site. AEG is also a financial partner in the project, which includes several other strategic stakeholders such as the Rockwell Group, a design firm, and the Thinkwell Group production agency.