HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE?
It was accidental. I never wanted to be an acrobat but I could no longer stand being a gymnast. I’d kind of dropped out of high school and my mum heard about auditions for NICA and suggested I do it. I had no idea about Circus. Going to NICA, knowing that I knew nothing, meant that I was really open and then I met some amazing people and become aware that I had skills that I could use and something to offer in this field that I’d known nothing about. And then it just went from there.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
Mainly I do street shows. I also work with Dislocate, lately in a show called If these walls could talk. I started a company called Candy Butchers in 2004, with Azaria Universe, Derek Ives and Jess Love and I’ve worked with lots of companies, done corporate entertainment, I worked with Cirque du Soleil for a while.
My passion is really for street performing. Its important for so many reasons. Every time I went on stage with Cirque du Soleil I was aware that I was performing for an an elite group of people who could afford the tickets. As a street performer I can inspire and connect with anyone and sometimes they pay me for it and sometimes they don’t and that’s fine.
I also teach sometimes but I don’t really like to teach, because I think you need to to dedicate yourself to your students to be a good teacher and I want to perform and to travel so I can’t really do that. Good teachers who can develop a relationship with their students are really important, I’ve probably had fifty teachers but the thing that made me really good is a couple of years of very fundamental work with one amazing teacher.
WHAT DOES CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE MEAN TO YOU?
What it really means to me is that I know my place in the world, it’s where I communicate my best and its where I get to share my ideas.
WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE CAREER SO FAR?
I can’t pick one but a recent highlight…Well I was really delighted to get the critics award at the world buskers festival in Christchurch, to get picked out by the critics amongst an incredible group of buskers…I really appreciated the accolade.
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
I’d probably be making something with my hands. I really like making an everyday prop do an out of the ordinary thing, making stage magic.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
I enjoy Slapstick the most. It’s the owww oooh ahhhh and the laughter. I think it actually triggers physical memories for people as well as making them laugh and I love doing that.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
I’d still like to be street performing.
WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE IN THE WORLD?
The reason we need street performing, and circus at its core the way it was originally intended, is that it’s always been something that’s affordable and accessible to anyone. You can pay to go and see a game of football and you get to see a battle of the Titans. Or you could see a group of acrobats and still get that same show of strength and skill, but then you also get something balletic and beautiful, you get to see true variety and you can be amazed.
What I love about street performance and circus is that, as an audience member, you get bang for your buck. We live in a world where we’re being tugged at for every dollar and street performing and circus are outside that.
Street performers are my favourite kind of performers, they’re the most versatile, the most used to failure. They will just keep getting up and doing it again.