How I became a Circus Performer

Updated: Feb 17

Be Brave.

Believe In Yourself.

Step Into the Arena.

Growing up I never imagined I would do half the things I have achieved in my life so far.

I always knew I wanted to do something that made people happy, but being a shy and anxious kid I never imagined that would involve performing.

I discovered my keen interest for circus skills as a young adult and quickly found myself studying circus arts full time at a school in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In order to pay the bills as a student I started busking using my newly acquired circus skills and finding my voice trying out jokes and engaging the audience with banter. It was so hard at first but through time I learned that with practice it gets easier as you get better.

During a season of performing at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival several years ago, I encountered this incredible quote:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

This is an exert from a speech delivered by Theodore Roosevelt in 1910. It which me deeply when I first read it, and still resonates strongly to this day.

I still feel the same nerves and fear every time I step out in front of an audience to perform or teach a workshop but I know that once I start it will be great.

I want to share this lesson with my son and as many children as I can.

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