Dale Woodbridge-Brown is a queer Kamilaroi man from Mungindi who has trained in acrobatics, baton twirling, flying trapeze and dance. Throughout his career he has worked with the likes of Circus Oz and Briefs Factory in shows both here in Australia and, around the world.
“Performing arts wasn’t common in my family so I was doing it on my own. I like circus because there feels like more options within it and it fit my style of performance better. I love making people laugh and I hardly ever call myself an artist, I always just call myself an entertainer,” Woodbridge-Brown tells Star Observer.
“Within ‘the arts’ there are so many places for people to be taught things, but I don’t think that’s my place, as there are people more well placed to do that. I’m not one that puts that much outright politics on stage. Though my politics are there. With me being an Aboriginal man and being quite successful in a very white dominated industry, that’s my protest.”
Having performed now for many years, we continue our conversation by reflecting on how both Dale as a performer, and the industry at large, has changed.
“What I have noticed, is that the people of colour who are in circus and cabaret they are not waiting to be put in a show anymore. They are creating their own path. We aren’t waiting around for a seat at the table, we are making our own. We are at the point where we are sick of begging for scraps and that has gotten more of a response than us waiting around for a spot in another person’s show.
“I’m still doing the same kind of work with me being on stage as a very out and proud man and not wanting to answer to anyone. So if they still don’t get that that’s my protest, it’s on them.”
This Midsumma, Dale will be joining Fuck Fabulous at the Arts Centre Melbourne, a show that he describes as “a middle finger to the way we are expected to look and act as queer people.” It’s all about having different bodies, different colours, different backgrounds on stage.
“When someone turns around and says, ‘you’re fabulous aren’t you?’ Well actually no, fuck fabulous, I’m me. With Fuck Fabulous, it’s a reminder that there are people out there that don’t look like your typical gay, club performers.”