Felicia (Flee) OBrien [VIC]

Flip Fly 524x349WHICH STATE DO YOU LIVE IN?
Some of my students may say I am in a permanent state of sarcasm, however, technically Victoria…. in the last 2 years mostly Macau(China) and Canada, with a little bit of Ireland and the UK.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS?
My first ever circus experience was doing acro balance on St Kilda Beach with Shannon McGurgan( whom I knew from gymnastics), which was closely followed by doing trapeze rigged in a tree nearby. Not long after in 1997 I participated in the Circus of Dreams project run by Swinburne University.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
I have always divided my time between coaching and performing, I think it’s incredibly important to nurture those around you. In the last few years I’ve done a bit of producing, trying to help make stage time happen for new performers. Other times I am making things, costumes, sculptures, jewellery… there’s always something.

WHAT DOES CIRCUS MEAN TO YOU?
Passion, Trust, Determination, Creativity, Physicality…. and family, the one we choose. And FUN.

WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS CAREER SO FAR?
Trapeze……getting a standing ovation from Les Arts Saults and Victor Fomine whilst performing in La Clique.
Coaching…..working with the biggest circus water show on earth right now in Macau as Principal Acrobatics coach.

IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
Not doing circus? Inconceivable. However… probably sewing sparkles to things….

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
Swinging… because inside every person in the audience there’s a little memory of swinging on a swing at some time in their life, and you can almost feel that bubble of happiness underneath you. Except Mike Finch… who was quoted in the paper saying he couldn’t watch my trapeze routine because it terrifies him…… but that just makes me giggle and swing higher.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
5 years ago I would never have said I’d still be doing trapeze now…..and here I am currently learning the biggest trapeze tricks I’ve ever done! Wooo, perhaps not still in another 5 years though.! In the next 5 years…..Sharing my skills and experience with emerging artists and possibly producing shows with the Birdcage.

WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS IN THE WORLD?
Circus is one of the last bastions of individuality (putting aside the big corporate circus’s), it is the true home of creativity- it has no rules, it knows no boundaries. No where else do you find the complete acceptance of such an array of individuals, everyone is special, everyone is necessary, everyone is equally important. As an audience we leave the circus with the sense that we too can be something special, in some way, in any way we choose….. how could we not need that in the world? It’s a reminder of our humanity.

Check out Flee’s WEBSITE!

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Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association