HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE?
When I was 12 years old a local circus performer moved in across the road from me. One day when he was practicing juggling at the local park down the road from me I decided to show off some of my acrobatic skills and he invited me to come down to Southern Edge Arts in Albany, WA. A year after becoming involved with SEA I was given an amazing opportunity to travel with two coaches and two other students to Capetown, South Africa where we trained for one month with Zip Zap circus school. It was there that circus really took a hold of my heart and I realised that it was what I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
Circus is my full time job, but on the weekends I like to support the local hip hop scene by heading out to a gig. I have just started practising yoga which I am finding very complimentary to circus. I’m also very passionate about OrphFund, a 100% volunteer run organisation who work to improve the lives of orphaned and abandoned children in some of the poorest countries in the world. I am currently fundraising for my second trip to Sierra Leone where I will be building a composting toilet for the Kamakwie children’s village and teaching circus to the kids.
WHAT DOES CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE MEAN TO YOU?
Circus means having the freedom to express myself creatively and challenge my body beyond the limitations I place upon it. It is an art form of no boundaries, an extended family, a feeling in my stomach that is matched by nothing else I have ever experienced.
WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE CAREER SO FAR?
In September last year I organised and performed in an event called ‘It Takes a Village’ which was a fundraiser for OrphFund. It was a circus cabaret followed by a live hip hop show and I have never been so nervous in my life waiting to see if anybody would come. The night turned out to be a huge success and depositing over $2000 into the OrphFund bank account was a definite highlight. It showed me what is possible when you combine combine circus and hip hop with the passion to make a difference. I’m running the same event this year and hope to double what was raised last year.
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
Probably working in a cafe to fund an overseas’s trip while studying social work. I would like to think I would still be driven by my ethics in whatever field I was in.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
I’m most passionate about performing duo trapeze and aerial cradle as I love being able to create a relationship with another person and share that with audiences. For the same reason I also love working in an ensemble as nothing beats the feeling of creating exiting new work with like minded people.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
I would love to be collaborating with my partner Sean Clark aka Cortext, who is a very talented Hip Hop artist and facilitate circus and hip hop workshops for young people from all walks of life. We wish to develop an NGO that see’s us travel to remote parts of the world and Australia and empower young people through the arts and education. I also hope to be performing and creating socially conscious work for Australian and international audiences.
WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS/PHYSICAL THEATRE IN THE WORLD?
Circus is an amazing art form that crosses cultural boundaries and is in inclusive to all people. I think it is integral in creating a more harmonious world where social equality is the norm and we are accepting of the differences of others and not threatened by them. The circus has always been a place for people who don’t fit into mainstream society and it challenges stereotypes. For all these reasons and many more that I shall learn the world needs circus and more of it.