Tessa Waters [VIC]

TESS 524X349_0HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS?
I fell into circus really. I’ve alway been performing and making shows and did a fair bit of physical theatre training in Suzuki method and Viewpoints and Clown. My first show was a series of clown/physical comedy sketches about love, play and imagination and I’ve kind of evolved from there. When I relocated to Melbourne I became involved with NICA and ACAPTA which opened up the Circus community to me and I haven’t looked back since.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
I am an actor and comedian. I create my own physical comedy shows and tour them around to festivals, How to be a Lady in 2009/10 and Sexytime! in 2011. I also produce other theatre, cabaret, short films etc. I produced and performed in the sci fi television pilot Rented Space with my partner Kai Smythe in late 2010 and we’ve been touring this around to various festivals and pitching it to different networks over the last 12 months, including getting to attend the International Television Festival in LA where it was part of the official selection.

I love the big picture view that Producing my own work gives me, it means I am not just a performer walking through my steps on stage when I am called upon to do so. It means that at every moment throughout the show, as well as off the stage, while touring or networking or promoting I have a very deep connection to the performance, the concepts and ethos behind it and the vision of where it might go in the future.

WHAT DOES CIRCUS MEAN TO YOU?
I see Circus and Physical Theatre as two different forms coming from the same foundation; simply physical language used in live performance. In Circus there’s highly trained circus performers who have a particular skills set that they draw from, i.e Acro, Trapeze etc With Physical Theatre the training is less at the forefront, and it is more a heightened physical awareness, whether it be clown, suzuki, slapstick or my own personal style “wobbly”.

WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS CAREER SO FAR?
Getting to see my own shows come to fruition and to hear people laugh at my shows is a really fullfilling feeling. I have to say one of my great highlights was getting to perform as part of the Rock’n'Roll Circus night at the 2011 Melbourne Fringe Festival, put together by Seesault and hosted by Die Roten Punkte, the place was packed with 500+, the performances where amazing and the night just rocked…more of this please!

IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
If I hadn’t bitten the bullet and got on stage I think I would be still working in the arts, maybe working with festivals or arts orgs.

WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
Clown is my bag and I love it/do it because it suits my personality. I have a passion for comedy and I love to move.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
I’d like to be still making shows and films but on a larger scale, I want to be regularly touring my work to festivals and events around the globe and have solidified myself as a player in the Australian comedy scene.

WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS IN THE WORLD?
Circus and Physical Theatre is at the heart of the evolution of performance. I think Audiences crave the live interaction between them and the live body on stage, as technologies take us further and further away from one another (in terms of physical interaction), I think live performance will become more and more important. Circus shows us what we are capable of, it speaks across cultures to the common humanity in all of us and bring us closer together.

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Australian Circus & Physical Theatre Association