HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE?
My mum is a costume designer and part of her course had her designing and making costumes for the Flying Fruit Fly Circus’ end of year production. I’d been doing gymnastics for a few years and she brought me along one day. While she worked I played on all the fun equipment and was asked to audition immediately! I started school and training there in the following year.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
You mean other than train, run Madhouse Circus and perform? I didn’t know there was time to do anything else!
Actually, I do like to write. I have a blog which I update with small articles on Circus Life and Twenty-Something Life. It’s where I put the stuff that I haven’t figured out how to put on stage. You can view it here: www.clickforflick.wordpress.com
WHAT DOES CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE MEAN TO YOU?
As lame and mushy as it is… It’s a community. It’s a support network of friends and colleagues whose opportunities are vast and will always be an integral part of my life, were I to quit tomorrow or in 10 year, it wouldn’t matter.
WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE CAREER SO FAR?
I feel like I should say working with Firenza Guidi (No Fit State) in my final year of NICA because it was such an honour and learning experience. Or going overseas with my classmates and seeing all the fabulous work going on in Europe. If I’m honest though, it’s Madhouse Circus. I’m proud every time we perform, every time train and develop, I’m so happy to have started this company with friends and have such amazing artists that make it a joy to keep on keeping on.
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
I actually have no idea. I can run some hypotheticals but it feels like my whole life has been linked to circus and physical theatre, I can’t imagine being without it. If I’d pursued gymnastics I’d probably still be a while off going to the Olympics and stuck in a gym somewhere training like there’s no outside world.
If I’d had no inclination to continue sport or arts then I’d like to think I’d be travelling, maybe volunteering with animals in other countries. After my performing career I plan on pursuing directing and other sides of production so my favourite scenario is that I’d be going to NIDA or somewhere similar. Following a different strain of my current path.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
I love German wheel but I always get really nervous, so it’s up there but it’s not my favourite. I love performing the ridiculous acrobatic/adagio routines that I get to do with my friends on stage. For example, in Madhouse Circus’ Illuminate, Jon Bon and I made an elaborate and acrobatic handshake which we performed as fast as possible, or in Long Answer’s to Simple Question’s LEFT, we play games and get to jump on each other, genuinely having fun, for and with the audience.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
Right now I’m working toward building Madhouse Circus as a company. I’d like to see us developing a new show in the next year and touring it internationally and nationally within the next five. In five years’ time I hope I’ve been to at least one Ed Fringe, one EJC, visited North and South America whether for business or just holidays & I’d love to have been accepted into the one-year directing intensive at NIDA.
WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE IN THE WORLD?
We’re a strange mix of athlete and artist and I don’t think we could constrain ourselves to being just one. We need this art form to express both sides of ourselves and that it brings to joy to audiences is just a bonus!
Felicia is the founder and director of Madhouse Circus, which formed in 2012 and has toured to Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
A graduate of NICA, Felicia specialise in German wheel, Korean plank and hula hoops, as well as having experience in general acrobatics including pitching, tumbling and table sliding. More about Madhouse can be found at www.facebook.com/madhousecircus