Matt Wilson [VIC]

Mat wilson 524x349HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE?
A familiar story I suppose: Youngest in the family, always vying for attention in direct competition with 2 brothers and a sister. I wanted to be an actor. And so I was! At the pinnacle of my short career, I was cast as Baby Bear in Goldilocks, though I had second thoughts when directed to hide my head under Mama Bears’ Apron. No surprise that the man playing Mama Bear was also the Director! From such lofty heights, I found myself descending further and further down to street level where I was seen juggling on street corners to an audience that didn’t know I existed. But as any Juggler will tell you, once I had a taste for it, I couldn’t drop it (Well, I did actually, many times). A couple of workshops at Legs on the Wall back in ’88 and I was passing clubs. Then a phone call from my brother about a guy who wanted to put together a ‘Rock’n'Roll kind of Circus’ put me on the wide and curly road that never ends to where I am now. Along the way I’ve had some lucky breaks and I’ve been very fortunate but not without a fair share of hard work, pain and frustration….all worth it though.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
When not performing I teach circus and I also do quite a bit of building and handyman work. Furniture, renovations, that sort of thing. Im also a bedroom composer. You’ll find me making music on my computer for the same people that didn’t know I was juggling. Other than that I love being a family man with my 2 gorgeous teenage daughters and my wonderful wife.

WHAT DOES CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE MEAN TO YOU?
Circus is when people applaud after the trick. Physical Theatre is when people applaud after the show! What inspires me and what I aspire to is the opportunity to do something that engenders people with a sense of disbelief…not the dull amazement we are conditioned to find in the imperfections of the mere stylist, but true, genuine, astonishing and incredible acts. From the excrement to the exalted, circus and physical theatre is a mirror that express these things and everything in between.

WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE CAREER SO FAR?
Bungee jumping off Sydney Opera House at midnight on NYE 2000?….Shot out of a cannon over the heads of the audience from the back of the auditorium of the New Victory Theatre on 42nd st NYC?…..Being Dame Ednas’ stunt double and falling off an elephant?….Highlights all, but for me, its the smile on that little kids face in the third row (!)

IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
A musician? A photographer? A worker of wood? A stay at home Dad?

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
These days, I have to be very selective about what skills I perform (hoop diving at 46? Nuh!) Specifically, anything at height! Hand-balancing, high falls, moments of flight… I like skills to be used in an understated way; where the skill becomes something other than a ‘trick’. I grow tired of watching amazing tricks only. Its like listening to a long guitar solo with a short song in the middle.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
Perched on top of something high and wobbly doing something weird… I’d also like to be collaborating, directing, mentoring; Anything where I can pass on what I’ve learnt. Id like to be able to say “Yes, there is a place for someone of my age in this business that isn’t arts administration!”

WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE IN THE WORLD?
Humans are tactile creatures. Like our primate relatives, we love physical contact and swinging around on things (or at least watching). There is this innate desire to push ourselves to the limit. I think its part of the Human Condition, the finer part of it, thats makes us want to better ourselves. Some people stand back from the edge, some have a look and some will jump off. But we all have a fascination with it. You can be a lemming or you can be a superhero! We need art forms that express this. Thats why Physical theatre and circus is so important.

Copyright © 2013
Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association