Run away to the circus with Stevee Mills
As Circus Oz get ready for the 20 June premiere of From The Ground Up 2012, Anne-Marie Peard has a chat with a new member of the troupe each week until opening. And there are double passes to give away!
Formed in Melbourne in 1978, Circus Oz has toured the world as a rock’n’roll, animal-free circus with shows filled with breathtaking agility, death-defying stunts, awe-inspiring acrobatics and irreverent comedy that’s always accompanied by a spectacular live band.
Stevee spent her childhood bouncing on trampolines, hanging from monkey bars and cartwheeling instead of walking. Not long after joining her local gymnastics club she was competing in Nationals and was dividing her time between the gym and drama classes.
After retiring from competitive gymnastics, her love of animals resulted in a career as an animal handler and she managed a dog kennel, a cat resort, and worked in Thailand at an animal rescue centre caring for Malaysian Sun Bears.
The decision to return to physical performance led her to the National Institute of Circus Arts, where she specialised in Aerial Cradle, Tight Wire and Teeterboard. Since graduating in 2010, she has performed at festivals around the country, including Woodford Folk Festival, Tasmanian Circus Festival and Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Stevee lives in Melbourne with her room-mate Kostya, a 60kg Mastiff and she still prefers cartwheeling to walking.
What do you do in From The Ground Up?
Tightwire, toss the girl, flying trapeze, tumbling and the cow bell.
What circus skill do you wish you had?
Wheel of death.
What are you always up for?
A sleep in.
When did you join Circus Oz?
What do you love about Circus Oz?
Cake! We get lots of cake!
Do you remember your first trip to the circus?
Yes, a lion peed on the audience.
What’s your favourite post-show snack?
Who do you love seeing in the audience?
My friends and family.
What’s your advice for people who want to run away to the circus?
Don’t trust the jugglers.
Where and what did you study?
I studied at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) and received a Bachelor of Arts.
What was your first circus performance?
An ensemble show at NICA.
How many suitcases do you tour with?
Just one, but it’s very big.
When you’re touring, what can’t you leave home without?
A photo of my dog.
Where’s your favourite place to tour to?
Popcorn: sweet or savoury?
If you couldn’t be in the circus, what would you do?
Work with animals.
Are you scared of clowns?
If you could teach Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott a circus trick, what would it be?
Thanks to Circus Oz, AussieTheatre is thrilled to run a ticket giveaway for From The Ground Up. A winner will be drawn each week for the next six weeks, so if you don’t win in week one, you’ll still be in the running for each subsequent draw!