HOW DID YOU GET INTO CIRCUS?
I was a National Gymnast in Canada studying Drama and English. I basically put my acting and flipping together and landed right in circus. My best friend and I started training handbalancing after we retired from gymnastics. A gruff old vaudevillian named Bill Powell pulled me in his office and convinced us to develop a busking act. We were performing in Singapore the next month and the Acromaniacs were born. I learned about circus over the next five years through the eyes of the worlds arts festivals.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO?
I play with my 2 year-old Ayla and slightly older partner Peta. I pretend to know how to build stuff. I stretch and do handstands. At the moment my new job as a University lecturer means I read and write and think a lot. I am researching the interaction between training and creativity in physical theatre and circus. Deep.
WHAT DOES CIRCUS MEAN TO YOU?
Wow! Only the small questions today. I guess it is a family that I am a part of. A family where there is a place for everyone. A family where effort is celebrated and difference encouraged. To me circus is a home that I would like to invite everyone into.
WHAT’S THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CIRCUS CAREER SO FAR?
There has been many. Being able to make a living doing what I love. Glastonbury Music Festival playing to thousands on the outdoor circus stage as the sun sets. Opening for the Barenaked Ladies at a concert in Toronto. A month performing in Fukuoka Japan. Heading to the gym everyday as my job. Travelling the world hand-balancing with my best friend Brett. Discovering Cirkidz in Adelaide and working a very special troupe intensely for five years. Learning the deep joy and pain of the handstand. Seeing the look in a young persons eye change and knowing that it is permanent.
IF YOU WEREN’T DOING CIRCUS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING RIGHT NOW?
Building things out of wood, swimming and boating.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU LIKE PERFORMING AND WHY?
Hand-balancing and handstands offer me a challenge in front of an audience that is sublime and scary. When I succeed, it feels like I have won the Olympics every time. I love the mix of raw fight and elegant balance that is required. Hat manipulation because of it’s soft flowing, funky movements.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE IN 5 YEARS TIME?
Training and educating passionate and talented students. Still working on my flexibility, handstands, impro and clown. Talking to people about creativity and balance.
WHY DO WE NEED CIRCUS IN THE WORLD?
To help us understand the amazing possibilities of the human spirit and because the clown lives in the circus.