Whilst studying for his GCSEs, Watford-born Matt started juggling to pass the time. His passion took him to Circus Space from which he recently graduated.

Matthew Smith

Matthew Smith

How did you get involved in circus arts?

When I used to spend most of my time down the skate park learning to BMX I had a few friends there and in school who did juggling and spinning a bit, so I decided to learn for a bit of fun. As time went on some friends and I did regular fire shows in and around Watford and I started to get a taste for performing. I wanted to step it up a bit and do more juggling on stage so ended up joining Circus Space to push myself further.
What is it about your discipline that you love?

I love everything about it, I got into it as a hobby and just found it so addictive. Juggling can take quite a long time to learn certain things so the sense of achievement and satisfaction through perseverance is great. Plus, there is so much freedom within juggling and so many ideas and concepts you can play with that it is an endlessly creative experience and a really good way to express yourself artistically.
What is important about a performance to you?

Absolutely everything: music, costume, movement, style, tricks, changes of pace but, above all, I believe it must be personal to you. I think there are too many people putting out shows on what they think people want to see when really they should be doing what they want to show. The best shows I’ve seen are those where people’s personality leak out into what they’re doing. I feel it should always be a good reflection of yourself or your interests.
Would you say that you have developed a style?

I’ve definitely developed a style over the past 3 years or so, although it can change depending on what I’m doing. I think my style tends towards doing something light-hearted and quirky. I like involving dance and acrobatics with my juggling and I think this has developed my style the most. It comes from a mixture of self-taught street dance styles including popping, locking and waving as well as contemporary dance and various forms of acrobats which I’ve practised through being at Circus Space.
What are your plans for the future?

I have a few ideas of where I want to go with my performing but for now it’s just to finish my degree at Circus Space. During and after that I intend to make a variety of shows by myself and with friends involving different disciplines and styles, hopefully creating something new and interesting for the performance market. Eventually I would like to have my own company with friends and put on shows with the focus on trampolining, acrobatics and juggling.
For more information, visit Matthew’s website and Facebook page.

Photo credit: Bertil Nilsson