‘The mainstay of my work is sideshow. I swallow razorblades, walk on broken glass, eat lightbulbs and stuff. For a circus performer, I’m neither fit nor flexible. It’s all in my fingers and tongue. I had an act where my assistant would feed me razorblades. She’d then swallow some string and then we’d snog. As we snogged, we regurgitated what we swallowed and tie the razorblades under the string with our tongues.’

How did you get in to this?

‘It’s weird. I studied business. I thought that was the smart thing to do. I didn’t study art and drama like I wanted to because like that’s ever going to make you a living. I picked up fire twirling just by randomness and started getting work for it. I then started to diversify. I went from fire dancing to fire eating to fire breathing to sword swallowing to swallowing other things to just working on controlling responses of the body that are normally automatic that we normally don’t have conscious control over – that your subconscious takes over itself.

‘What I do, it’s not like an adrenaline rush. I’m not seeking death or pain or anything like that. It’s actually more methodical. It’s more mastery of your body. It’s not even mind over body. It’s more mind over mind really. My old assistant used to say, “Everything is in the mind. Even the mind is in the mind.”’

‘Greg, the redhead, bought a sousaphone so then we decided to make it an official band. People were loving it so then we kept going and started getting offers for gigs. We’re lucky now, we’ve got a bit of a following especially for the busking thing. We can start huge dance parties in the street. It’s awesome – we love it!’

What’s one of the best things that’s happened while you’ve been busking?

‘We were marching down Crown Street in Surry Hills. A lot of the pubs there are double story and people were throwing money off the top. We had our girlfriends there with buckets catching the money. A guy gave us a $100 note once too. That was pretty cool.’

‘I’ve been studying music at the Conservatorium. I’ve actually got my graduation this afternoon.’

If you could describe the trumpet as a human, how would you describe it?

‘Like a drunken boxer – it feels like getting punched in the face a bit. It’s like mashing a piece of plumbing in to one of the softest bits of my body.’

Have you ever been punched in the face?

‘Yeah… It’s got its comparisons.’

 

‘My philosophy in life is to live life to the fullest, to love and be empathetic and to spread that.’
Can you tell me about a time when you’ve found it difficult to be empathetic?

‘Recently I was on a train and I was in a lot of physical pain – I had a bad injury to my leg. I sat down in the area for disabled people and someone was actually racing me to the seat. I ended up getting there first but they got very angry with me. The way that they talked to me was very sad. Looking at me, you couldn’t tell that I was injured and that person wouldn’t know. To be understanding of their anger as well while still feeling my pain and not lashing out at them was really difficult.’

What kind of message would you give to someone like that?

‘Think twice. There might be a reason as to why someone is doing something. Sometimes you don’t need to question them just go with it.’