Emma J Hawkins is an exceptionally multi-talented performer and accountant. She is currently in residence at Circus Oz working on the Fair Ground Project. Keep your eyes out next year to see where this exciting project goes.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE?
I studied a Diploma of Small Companies and Community Theatre in Ballarat and that started my love of devising new work and delved into the world of physical theatre. I have worked with such companies as Branch Nebula in Sydney and also BalletLab in Melbourne. I have also created my own award winning dance theatre piece called One More Than One which won Best of Fringe (Brisbane) and Best Movement/Dance Theatre (Melbourne), toured nationally and internationally. In 2009-2010 I toured with Circus Oz as a stilt walking, tap dancing acrobat in their show Barely Contained.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
I have worked in Musicals, Children’s Theatre, Shakespeare, Cabaret, Circus, Burlesque and everything in between. As a short statured performer I am a keen advocate for fair representation of diversity in the arts specifically for artists with a disability. I am currently involved in an amazing new company called The Fair Ground Project. A Melbourne based circus company that integrates artists with and without a disability something that has never been done before here in Australia.
WHAT DOES CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE MEAN TO YOU?
Physical Theatre/Circus is another way to tell a story to break open the boundaries and perceptions of audiences about what’s possible for each and every body type.
WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE CAREER SO FAR?
The highlight for my career in this particular genre would be creating and collaborating in my own work and being involved in this creative development with The Fair Ground Project.
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
I do lots of other types of performing. I am also a trained accountant and run my own business called Small Fortunes so that keeps me very busy this time of year!
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
I always love learning new skills each time I do a show and am currently learning the walking globe. I particularly love dancing and specialise in tap dance.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN FIVE YEARS TIME?
Who knows where I will be in 5 years the future is an open book. But I am imagining living in Geelong as we have just bought our very first home, running my business and being involved in amazing creative projects when they come along.
WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE IN THE WORLD?
Early on in my career I realised audiences would be interested in my physicality and seem to be forever intrigued by how I exist in my world. My body and physical skills have become very useful tools in my storytelling as a performer. In some ways my early childhood was similar to training in the circus, balancing on things, climbing, teaching my body new ways to do things. Its frustrations, its limitations, its difference. Circus is such a wonderful and creative form to test audiences’ perceptions of what a body can do and be amazed when it is pushed to it’s very limits and back again. A world where the seemingly impossible is possible.