For the rest of the afternoon and the days to follow I could hardly wait. Not much school work was done. In bed at night I'd hear the distant whistle of a train passing our town and I'd wonder what it would be like to go on a journey travelling and performing.
Finally the big day came! I sat impatiently at my desk waiting for the playtime bell to ring and when it did, I ran down with other children to the school fence to watch the parade of colourful wagons roll past. At lunch time I sneaked up to the oval just in time to see the huge tent rise above the trees, and on the way home I'd stop to catch a glimpse of performers practising and trapeze artists mending their nets.
It took a little longer that day to get home, but mum and dad knew where I was. At dinner time I chatted all about what I had seen and was about to see, and within moments we were driving down the hill towards hundreds of tiny lights glittering in the night sky. Soon the car doors slammed and we took our seats on the splintery boards covering ourselves with blankets. While staring at all the equipment littering the canvas roof the lights went down, the band struck up and then I saw the most spectacular things beyond what I could ever imagine.
That night was a special experience I shall never forget, but the next morning was the opposite. On the way back to school once more, I noticed the oval was bare. All that was left were patches of saw-dust and smouldering heaps of rubbish. I dawdled to school and looked across from assembly at the circus poster which was now tattered, flapping in the breeze. I stood blank faced thinking how lucky the people in the next town were. Just as I was starting to feel the day was going to be dull and drab an idea entered my head! Instead of waiting for the next show to hit town why not invent my own. At that point I couldn't wait to get home.
Fascination of Circus began for me at the age of nine, not under a big top but under a Hills Hoist (Australian clothesline invention). As I played in the backyard, lemons became my juggling balls, and a rope between two trees became the tightrope. In those early years I couldn't tighten the rope, so as a result I became accustomed to the precarious motion of a loose rope. Step by step I started to feel at home not on a tightwire but a slackwire. Later this proved to be a bonus, because in the Performing Arts a slackwire act is rarely seen.
Soon after, other skills developed, along with a keen interest in theatre. There was much to learn, yet none of the ground work came from formalised training or specialised colleges, which partly explains my different style. During this time, ways were discovered to make ordinary things look interesting, and with my love of music and makeup, imaginary characters came to life. As my career developed I realised that the key to holding the audience's interest was not just found in clever human feats, but in character communication. Hence a unique mix of theatre and circus emerged.