Having explored circus since the tender age of eight, Tom now strives to connect with his audience and excite them with his skills as a trapeze artist.
How did you get involved in circus arts?
I started circus when I was eight at the Playbox Theatre in Warwick. It was just for fun but I became more and more involved, taking up classes in theatre, voice, dance and musical theatre. I toured internationally with the company and by the age of 18, I decided to apply for Circus Space’s degree programme. Upon being accepted and starting the course I tried multiple disciplines and chose static trapeze which I love and since then I have not looked back. Circus is an ever evolving and constantly surprising art form and I am so happy to be a part of it.
What is it about your discipline that you love?
I love trapeze because it is so varied. No two days or two tricks are the same. It’s exciting and scary and has endless possibilities. Once you have a strong base and awareness it is what you make of it. However, I also love that I have had the opportunity to try other things that complement it. In my most recent act I included a sky walk which involves stepping from one loop to the next, upside down, hanging just from my toes. I love aspects like this that are unexpected and kindof scary – it makes it so much more exciting!
What is important about a performance to you?
I like to think about connecting with an audience – whether that is through music, character, or concept. I think it is really important. If the audience isn’t with me and I am not with them I think so many details can be lost. At the moment I am also really enjoying trying to make the audience smile; I like that there is an emotional connection there and a reaction has occurred. Aside from this I also like to work tightly with a piece of music, using neat and creative choreography and not dwelling anywhere for large periods of time. I hate the idea of being boring!
Would you say you have developed a style?
I think I have definitely developed a style – describing it however may prove tricky! I think I am very character-based, very gestural, and very light-hearted. I like to think it is a little quirky, odd and unexpected, but not too outrageous that it cannot be enjoyed. On the trapeze I like to be dynamic and fluid with strong holds and shapes to really punctuate what is happening. I really love to also put the character into what I do on the equipment. I think I also like to be slightly precarious. I think it adds that “scary” element that makes it really exciting.
What are your plans for the future?
For the future I am very much going to see what happens! I am really interested in doing a variety of different things and travelling. At the moment I really like the look of the cabaret and variety scene in Germany but equally would love to join a company and create ensemble shows. I have recently entered the circus competition Circus Maximus so am really excited to be performing at the Underbelly on Southbank. It looks like so much fun and I think it could be a great experience.
I might also be performing at some festivals over the summer which is also really exciting but we will have to wait and see. I also love the idea of collaborative work and would love to do some work with dancers, actors, and technical designers to see what can be created together. So really I would like to do everything!