This week, my task was to write a profile on ‘somebody interesting’. The profile had a 400 word limit, and I struggled to stick to it! I’m tempted to come back next week and do more, but for now there is also a link to the full interview at the end. I hope you enjoy it!
HOOPS (and everything)
A short profile of a circus performer, business owner and mother.
I met Christie in the context of a mother’s group. We had the usual getting-to-know-you chat that comes with meeting another new mum (i.e. Stick to neutral ground; mention the children but try not to be too specific about your parenting style and techniques because everything is a potential minefield). When it was announced that she is a professionally trained circus performer, I honestly thought it was an odd joke, and laughed politely.
Christie has an impressive résumé. With a completed Bachelor of Circus Arts degree from the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), she specialises in tight wire (amongst other things), and her career so far has led to her becoming the owner and primary performer for L’art De Cirque, under the stage name ‘Litta Maree’.
Beginning gymnastics at age 5, it was the discovery of Flying Trapeze at age 16 that, as she says, ‘opened the circus door’: ‘It didn’t take me long to pick up circus skills, and by the age of 17 I was performing for corporate shows with Cirque Espace … that’s when I knew that this is what I needed to be doing as a career’.
Acting on this decision, Christie enrolled at NICA and was one of just 28 accepted into her degree. In her final year of study, she fell pregnant: ‘It was incredibly hard training and performing because I was so sick … I still to this day do not know how I managed to get through two weeks of shows.’
Following a year off, spent with her son, Christie felt ready to re-embark on her career, and she certainly should be proud of it.
‘Having a baby gave me a huge confidence boost. I guess I felt a bit like: ‘I had a baby, I can do anything!!’ and to feel such immense love from someone who loves you for who you are is a huge confidence boost.’
Interestingly, it seems as though stereotyping and assumptions come from both sides of Christie’s life; other mothers assume the job is impossible with a child, while other performers assume a child is impossible with the job. ‘I’m not sure why – I mean everyone goes back to work after kids. It was different now, very different, BUT in an amazing way!’
Christie’s story is an empowering one, and if you want to read our entire interview you can do so here.