In the beginning….
It all started with a visit to my primary school by the Parry-Marshall Puppet Theatre. That day had a big impact on my life. Although I was born in Melbourne Australia, my first language was Macedonian. I only learnt the English language when I started school, so I was a little behind the other kids and this left me feeling isolated. I could really relate to the puppet show and enjoyed it immensely. Things changed for me when I was asked to stay behind for a photo shoot with the local News Paper. This is my first press clipping and the first times that I got to shine.
Before I knew it, I was performing at school functions and devising plays that I would tour around to different classrooms. This is me with a piano accordion my grandfather gave me. My grandfather, on my mothers side, was a clarinet player in various Macedonian bands and would perform at weddings and dances. I still have the piano accordion.
I left secondary school at year 11 in 1983 to take up a civil design drafting course at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, (R.M.I.T). After 4 months, I decided it was not a direction I wanted to go in, so I left and looked for work.
My first paid job was working in a moccasin factory in Preston. I lasted one day and punched out 80 pairs of moccasins via a pneumatic press and decided factory life was not for me.
I then got a job working as a bellboy at a hotel. I was offered an apprenticeship in cooking and worked as a chef for 6 years. I felt I needed to do something different, something that challenged me and took me to places I've never been to before, but what...?
In 1989 I got the travel bug and went for a trip around the world for nearly 4 months. Shortly after returning to Australia I started training in circus arts at Circus OZ, primarily to get fit, but it soon turned into a passion and as my skills got better I started performing with others.
I have always had a love for theatre and the exhilaration of performing on stage was intoxicating. Interestingly enough, my father also had some experience treading the boards. Here he is performing at the Fitzroy Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia. He is the one in the middle and the play was called "Krvta si Kreni" translation, "Blood will rise".
How about this one, Trés Dramatic! I especially love the bucket on the head of the guy on the right.
I was an actor, set designer and writer with the Australian Macedonian Drama Group for many years and it was a great introduction for what was to come.
I formally trained in acting during 1993 at the John Bolton Theatre School in Williamstown, Melbourne Australia. This was one of many stepping stones and life-changing experiences.
After finishing the course in Acting I started my career in performing arts. Here is an example of one of the groups of which I was a member, "Missing Link". We evolved and devolved from 100% human to 100% ape.
Many other incarnations included being a puppeteer, mime artist, children's theatre performer, singer, dancer, circus performer, model and character actor.
For 5 years I worked as a street theatre performer with various different groups before meeting a gentleman by the name of Steve Brown. Steve, (formally of Rock 'n' Roll Circus), and we set up a company called Gaze. Together we created many different acrobatic theatre shows, which we performed locally and toured interstate and internationally.
In 1995 I collaborated with Christy Shelper and together we created an act inspired by Darien Sticklen called "The Flying Cockatoos" for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Christy was whisked away by Cirque Du Soleil and, although I performed on other aerial apparatus, I continued to work on the tissu, (fabric apparatus), as a speciality. I created and performed solo performances and collaborated with other artists.
In early 2004 I auditioned to join a company called "Strange Fruit". This company began in 1994 and are unique in that every performance takes place on 4.5m flexible fibreglass sway poles and I performed all over the world as a pole dancer.
Here is an example from a show we did under Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square London UK during 2006. The show is called Spheres.
I have loved challenging myself and entertaining people from all walks of life. Nature's bounty was calling and I made some big changes in my life. It was time to say goodbye to the stage.
In 2012, I moved to a small country town in central Victoria called Tarnagulla. It was time to stop living out of a suitcase and settle down. You could say, I ran away from the circus.
I currently work as a Fire Fighter and Volunteer with the local CFA, where I am Captain.
Although I no longer perform in the arts, I am enjoying my role in supporting the wider community by protecting the environment, life and property.