Crank it up with Shane Witt

Circus Oz’s 2013 show, Cranked Up, is welcoming all into the warmth of the Big Top in Birrurung Marr and our last chat is with Shane Witt, acrobat and brownie eater.

Shane Witt was a Flying Fruit Fly from 7 to 17 and went on to be their head trainer. He a founding member of Tom Tom Crew, toured all over the world and his first Circus Oz gig was in 2012.

Here’s Joanna Bowen’s review of the show and here’s last chance to win a double pass. Enter here for a double pass to Circus Oz on Wednesday 3 July at 7.30.

Circus Oz, Shane Witt
Circus Oz, Shane Witt

What do you do in Cranked up?
General acrobatics on the ground and in the air, with a little fairy business thrown in.

What was the first trick you learnt?
A triple somersault: three people in a line doing a forward roll.

What skill do you wish you had?
I wish I could play the banjo better.

When did you join Circus Oz?
Fourteen months ago, when I felt the need to get out of my jeans and into a skirt.

What do you love about Circus Oz?
That I get to play the banjo!

What other jobs have you had?
I was a sales person for one week. Lots of jobs in the circus industry, but most significantly I was a founding member of The Tom Tom Crew.

Do you remember your first trip to the circus?
Not really, but I think I was actually in the show with the Ashton Circus.

What’s your favourite post-show snack?
Beer and chocolate.

Who do you love seeing in the audience?
My three daughters (6, 4 and 2) and my wife.

What advice do you have for people who want to run away to the circus?
Be as silly as you can, but be ready to work hard.

Where and what did you study?
I studied for 10 years with The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, and I continue to learn every day.

What was your first show as a performer?
I performed with the Ashton Circus. 

How many suitcases do you tour with?
One. I was once actually packed into a suitcase to start a show.

When you’re touring, what can’t you leave home without?
Undies and my phone.

Where’s your favourite place to tour to?

How many hot doughnuts can you eat in one sitting?
After breakfast this morning I had 3–4 brownies…

If you couldn’t be in the circus, what would you do?
I’d be a cab driver.

Where do you like to hang out in Melbourne?
Inside Wilmah, my campervan.

If you could teach Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott a circus trick, what would it be?

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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