Victoria, British Columbia, Local 230 member Dan Headecker sits high above the stage at a performance of Cirque du Soleil's show "O," where he worked for eight years as an acrobat.

Before he became a member of Victoria, British Columbia, Local 230, Dan Headecker worked a lot of physically demanding jobs. They just tended to come with camera crews and a cheering audience.

The former gymnast, who's now an inside wireman, used to work in Cirque du Soleil's show "O" as an acrobat, which involved dives into a pool after swinging on aerial hoops and parallel bars high above the stage, often to a sellout crowd, for 10 shows a week. After doing that for eight years, he moved to Los Angeles to work as a stuntman, honing his craft on television and in movies and live shows.

"I wouldn't say I'm one to sit behind a desk," Headecker said. "But I am finding that the electrical trade brings with it new opportunities and different problems to solve. I'm enjoying the change and the chance to work more with my mind and less with my body. For career longevity, that's a good thing."

In his five years with Local 230, Headecker, who currently works as a site supervisor for Houle Electric, has had numerous opportunities to use his creative problem-solving skills, from working on a substation at the Esquimalt Graving Dock on Vancouver Island to a fire alarm upgrade at the Institute of Ocean Sciences.

"Dan has been an asset to all the crews he's worked on," said Joe Rossner, a superintendent with Houle who's known Headecker for about four years. "He has taken great strides in his career in the time that I've worked with him."

The transition to electrical work wasn't an entirely new endeavor for Headecker. The Ontario native worked different construction jobs with his dad while growing up and said he was always impressed with the electrical crews.

"The electricians I had the opportunity to be around were always smart and well put-together, and very respectful. I was constantly asking questions about what they were doing and how things were wired and how they worked," he said. "It definitely piqued my interest."

While he doesn't have the traditional resume for an electrician, Headecker said there are similarities between his previous jobs and his current work.

"The type of analytical or outside-the-box thinking that is needed when you're trying to create something new and interesting in stunts or Cirque is similar to solving some of the complex problems that might come up on a day-to-day basis as an electrician," he said. "In stunts, there might be a sequence that the director wants and the stunt team will have to collaborate on how to make it possible. In electrical, that could be working around an obstruction on a job site. In both cases, finding a way to achieve the intended goal safely and efficiently takes creativity."

Another similarity is the collaborative aspect. Headecker brings years of experience working on a team where precision and communication are paramount, whether it was trapeze work or a fight scene.

"Dan has brought a great base of life knowledge to our company that he can teach to the younger apprentices," Rossner said. "I like that he's not shy about telling me what he needs to do his job. And he's always willing to get in there with the apprentices to show them the right way to get the job done."

For Headecker, coming into the trade at a later point in his career brought challenges as well as rewards, and it's made him eager to share what he's learned with the apprentices coming up behind him.

"I remember a lot of my 'lightbulb' moments when someone was explaining something to me or showing me how to do a certain task. Being able to give that same moment to someone else is a lot of fun for me."

That affinity for working with the next generation of IBEW members, whether young or old, hasn't gone unnoticed.

"He literally gets excited to pass along his knowledge and experience, showing every day that mentorship matters," Local 230 Business Manager Phil Venoit said. "These are the traits of a real leader and brother in the IBEW."

Working on Vancouver Island has brought another perk with it: being closer to family and friends.

"It's been great being home," said Headecker, who lived in British Columbia as a teenager and still has relatives in the area. "Before, I would get back about once a year for the holidays, and I kept noticing how my family was getting older and I wasn't around to see it. Now I can see them grow up. It's been really nice.”