Competition is heating up as third-year NICA students prepare to leave the relatively sheltered world of circus school next month and enter the relatively small industry they’ve trained to be a part of. Before they do, they’ll have one big shot to impress family, industry and the general public.

As openly gay student David Coombs told the Star Observer, specialisation is the key to finding success in the industry. Coombs’ speciality is roue Cyr, a series of dizzying feats performed inside a large metal wheel, with the acrobat manoeuvring it around the stage.

“It’s a really good advantage to have something different about you, and in Australia there are very few people performing this act,” he said.

“I’m hitting the industry with an apparatus that doesn’t get used very much, which is great.”

Despite the high stakes, Coombs said he and his classmates wouldn’t be resorting to any Black Swan antics in the high-stress environment of the showcase.

“There are no no daggers in the back. We’ve developed some pretty good friendships over the past three years and thankfully, so many of us want to go in different directions, so the whole idea of us all fighting for the same job doesn’t really apply.

“I plan on staying as civil as possible!”

INFO: NICA Circus Showcase 2011, November 23 – December 3. www.nica.com.au

Photo by David Wyatt.

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