Jessica Connell (Expose) Q & A
By Crimson Cookie
CC: Did you go to an Arts school of some kind or develop your skills through a hobby that turned into a career? What was that like? Discuss/explain.
JC: When I was 14 years old I joined the Fling Fruit Fly Circus (FFFC). A youth circus in Albury-Wodonga. Here I trained my skills in hula hoops and aerials (mainly static trapeze and silks) and toured in shows around Australia. This was a fantastic opportunity for me as a kid because it gave me experience and a love of the circus culture.
CC: Did you always aspire to be artists/performers? If not, how have things changed for you?
JC: Probably from the age of 14 (when I first started performing) I knew that circus/ performing is what I want to do. It is definitely my passion and I can't imagine doing anything else.
CC: How many hours a day do you train/practice? How do you balance this with other life commitments?
JC: I train my skills at NICA for four and a half hours each day as well as two and a half hours a week of ballet/ dance and 6 hours a week of performance class. It is more difficult to fit in my extra training and other skills I want to learn. At NICA I train swinging trapeze, Rizzley and Chinese pole (as well as strength, flexibility and tumble) but I need to find time to train the skills I perform such as aerials and hula hoops (I aim for at least two hours a day). As well as this I enjoy martial arts. I am currently learning Wu Shu/ Kung Fu, which I love but can only fit it in once a week. Then there is work and that thing called relaxation...I'm very busy and things are a tight squeeze, but I definitely like it this way.
CC: I am sure you enjoy performing all your acts, but which is a favourite of yours?
JC: At the minute I really love performing my hula hoop act. It is a bit fun and I have been training my skills for years now, so it is fantastic to show people what I can do. When I first started performing hula hoops was my least favourite to perform because I would get so nervous and feel like I messed up every trick. But now I feel more relaxed and really enjoy myself.
CC: After all these years performing do you ever/still get nervous?
JC: All the time! But this just helps when I'm on stage and adds to the amazing feeling I get after the show.
CC: For those who may be struggling in the world of arts performance, what are you suggestions for them?
JC: Keep doing what you love and creating what to you love. Don't let set backs get you down. Use these times to your advantage, gain a new/ different experience and don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. This may end up being the thing that helps you the most.