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Circus Performer & circus skills teacher
Nofitstate Circus

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Anna S

0:00:03 Hi. I’m Anna S. I’m a circus performer. I specialized in rope and silks and I toured with Nofitstate Circus for three years with the show Immortal and more recently have been working on a cruise ship. A lot of my work consists of teaching and of training and then of performing depending on whether I’m touring or whether there’s gigs. I teach the community in Cardiff from sometimes youth but mainly adult’s classes in the evening and there’s students and people that fancy having a go.

00:00:37 With the touring with Nofitstate I was touring for about seven months of the year. So, that’s a lot of touring and that’s partly UK a lot of it. It’s, normally about half of it would be UK and then the rest of Europe we went to Spain, we went to Denmark, we went to Germany. It’s intense. You’ve got to love the lifestyle of circus to be able to do that.

00:01:00 I didn’t have a childhood dream of being a circus performer. I don’t think that I did have a dream of what I was gonna be when I was kid particularly. And I had sort of little fantastical things when I was in primary school of going, I’m gonna be a secretary or I’m gonna be a vet but when I got to 19 I didn’t know what I wanted to be doing. And I was getting to the point where I was going, what am I gonna do with my life?

00:01:27 I moved to London and started a dance course and in the process met someone who was doing trapeze at Circus Space in London and I thought, that sounds fun. So, I went and did trapeze and then they were auditioning for a fulltime degree course. So, I went and did that. The course was theatre practice and then I guess, dash, contemporary circus. So, there was a contemporary circus option.

00:01:56 I did come under a lot of pressure from my dad to do something sensible. I think it could have gone both ways. It could have stopped me from doing what I wanted to do or it could enhance it. And in that case it enhanced it and it only made me stronger in my will to do it I think. I dislocated my shoulder twice. So, I ended up with the physio saying, you shouldn’t train for at least seven months and really let this heal and you might have to have operations and I was in a really physical sort of position of doubt which was, I might not recover to be able to do this.

00:02:36 So, yeah, it knocked me but also, I think, I guess I was stubborn because I was on the degree course and I knew I could get a degree out of it even if I was injured and if I stuck at it I would, you know, walk away with this degree and that I think I cared more about. And because I’d had that whole thing with my dad where I had to sort of be really stubborn anyway. I didn’t give in.

00:03:01 I ended up touring ’cause the first job ad I replied to was a touring company. And so, I gave up my room and bought a van and got myself in debt to go on tour and then the circus tour went bust and I ended up with a van and no room in London and had to sort of just get the first job I could and sort of work my way up from there. And in the process met Nofitstate who were doing a community show and I started teaching trapeze for them and was involved in doing the show and things went from there. And then I ended up touring with Nofitstate for three years.

00:03:44 For the time being I’m gonna stick at what I’m doing. And I guess, you know, if I was to fantastically dream what I was gonna do then it would involve maybe creating my own circus school. I’ve made the choices I wanted to make and I think I’ve made them right. You know, I’m happy with my life. If I had met myself now at the age of nine I’d probably be pretty impressed and probably exceeded my expectations of, you know, ’cause I didn’t have expectations maybe but also because I didn’t dare dream that far really maybe.


Anna S is a travelling performer with Nofitstate Circus. She also teaches circus skills. To get here she had to cope with injuries, a touring company that went bust and a dad who tried to pressurise her into doing something “sensible”.

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The UK average salary is £29,813

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There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

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47%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

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? Actors, entertainers and presenters sing, portray roles in dramatic productions, perform comedy routines, gymnastic feats and tricks of illusion, train animals to perform and perform with them, and introduce and present radio and television programmes.
Entry does not depend on academic qualifications although some drama schools require candidates to have GCSEs/S grades or A levels/H grades or a degree. Entry can be based upon an audition. Membership of the appropriate trade union is usually required. NVQs/SVQs in performing arts are available.
  • Studies script, play or book and prepares and rehearses interpretation;
  • Assumes character created by a playwright or author and communicates this to an audience;
  • Performs singing, comedy, acrobatic, illusion and conjuring routines;
  • Trains animals to perform entertaining routines and may perform with them;
  • Introduces and presents radio and television programmes, reads news bulletins and makes announcements;
  • Conducts interviews and prepares reports for news broadcasts, current affairs programmes and documentaries;
  • Plays pre-recorded music at nightclubs, discotheques, and private functions.
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