Following the circus dream

Performance. Running away to join the circus is usually left for fairy tales and movies, but two local boys are making it a reality by joining a circus school in 2014.

Local boys Jake Quilliam and Callem Newall, who have been part of Slipstream Circus based in Ulverstone for about four years, have just been accepted into the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne.

Following a two-hour audition in late August, the boys were part of a group of 24 to be offered a spot in the one-year course.

They will take on a Certificate IV in Circus Arts, with the option of studying a Bachelor of Circus Arts afterwards – something most people never would have known you could study, Jake said.

While the boys admit their circus work is unusual for others, or at least a conversation starter among strangers, there is nothing else they would rather do.

“I just want to do this forever,” Jake said. “If you travelled the world doing circus, that would just be the ideal career, wouldn’t it?”

Nineteen-year-old Callem agreed and said growing up on a trampoline is how it all started for him. And with a little encouragement from a friend – Jake’s brother, Levi – who was already involved with Slipstream, he went along to see what it was all about.

Jake too, has his brother to thank. He said his younger brother came home from practice one day and asked Jake to try some acro – short for acrobalance, a performance involving lifts and balancing with a partner.

“Ever since then I’ve been the base,” Jake laughed.

The boys agree that the audience response is what gets them going. They recalled a photo of them performing, where an audience member was caught with a dropped jaw.

And how do they feel about leaving Edgcumbe Beach and Crayfish Creek, where they now reside? “Excited”, for the challenge and the big city.

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