Circus Performer
Nofitstate Circus

info Issues viewing the video?

Paul E

0:00:02 My name is Paul E. I’m a circus performer and I perform around Cardiff. I enjoy aerial the most, so anything that’s off the ground, up in the air, so that, my main discipline is trapeze. It doesn’t feel like work at all. I get to have fun. I get to play on a daily basis and you get such an adrenalin buzz and you can’t help feeling happy through doing the physical activities.

00:00:36 I got into gymnastics really, really early. A lot of people did football and things like that and that was dull ’cause basically you’re just kicking a ball around a field whereas I had six different pieces of apparatus to play with and just limitless possibilities on what to do with them. School did bore me quite a bit. I was able to do things pretty easily in school and I pick things up quite quickly. So, that made it even more dull.

00:01:10 I remember I used to fall asleep a lot in chemistry and maths particularly and even with nodding off I’d still kind of pick up what was going on. It was just, things didn’t get covered quickly enough in school. I didn’t really have a clear idea when I was in school what was gonna come next. My parents never pressured me into kind of doing anything or having to be any particular career or anything like that. They were always supporting whatever decision I made for myself. It was pretty much, it’s your life so you have to decide what, what you’re gonna do with it.

00:01:56 I finished my A levels and bizarrely ended up working in finance. I stopped the gymnastics and ended up doing nothing but work. I had a very good career. I had a good job and everything in my life told me that that was gonna be my future. I’d just work my way up the chain and that’s, that’s the kind of lifestyle that I was heading for.

00:02:23 I was stabbed 2003 close to where I was living and, and that, I nearly lost my life. It was very close. About five minutes away from everything being gone and more. That made me put everything into perspective. Made me realize how unhappy I was with my job. It made me think that I was wasting my life away doing something for somebody else. I looked at everything and thought, this isn’t what I want. This isn’t the person that I want to be. This isn’t what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.

00:03:09 I wanted to go into performance. I knew that for certain. So, I decided to combine that with teaching. So, I went and did my drama and teaching degree. Going into something new was both terrifying and exhilarating. As soon as I started the course in university the fears and terrors were gone. It was liberating not to have to go into work.

00:03:42 I don’t have anything that I’m aiming for other than maintaining what I have now. I have a lifestyle that I really enjoy. I get to do something that I love as a job. I get paid to do some crazy things and to have an adrenaline buzz and that is part of my dream really. It’s that I’m able to do what I want every day. I kind of have the dream job and I wouldn’t change that.


Paul E is a performer in Nofitstate Circus. “I get paid to do some crazy things and to have an adrenaline buzz.” He had a career in finance, but after almost dying of a stab wound he reappraised his priorities. “It make me realise that I was wasting my life away doing something for somebody else.”

More information about Actors, entertainers and presenters

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

53%  male 
47%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? 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.
Employment by region
Top 10 industries for this job
Other personal service 16185
Sport & recreation 10482
Arts & entertainment 6876
Membership organisations 3632
Libraries, etc 2717
Office admin. 2297
Publishing activities 1635
Health 1624
Employment activities 1181
Food & beverage services 1126
Employment status

From personal careers advice to finding work, see our round-up of
useful websites to help you on your way

Explore more videos by: