Cecilia Martin (lovingly known as CC at Circa HQ) grew up as an only child, and with Spanish as her first language, she was communicating with her friends through movement before she could communicate verbally. Surrounded by sport, music and art growing up she found a passion for circus early on, attending Warehouse Circus in Canberra. CC is a co-founder of the company Poncho Circus, where from the age of 15 she created and performed in circus shows as part of an ensemble. CC is also a talented musician, demonstrating this by composing scores to three different circus productions.
1. Let’s start at the beginning – what (or who!) inspired you to study circus and perform?
My list of inspirations is pretty huge but there are definitely some people that had a pretty big impact on my circus career. My absolute best friend Jake Silvestro has always been a huge artistic inspiration and if it wasn’t for him and the creation of our company Poncho Circus, I probably never would have gone on to study at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne. My other honorable mention is Jesse Scott (Circa, Casus). He was the first person to teach me trapeze, inspired me to learn Washington trapeze and is one of the reasons I am now a strong solo artist as well as a great ensemble member.
2. Do you have a specialty or particular discipline you enjoy the most in circus?
The last few years I have been developing myself as an aerialist, and I specialized in both Dance Trapeze and Washington Trapeze (Head Trapeze) while I was training at NICA. I have also spent many years training and performing group acrobatics, and this is something that I am super eager to continue to develop whilst working with Circa.
3. How did you find yourself running away (all the way to Brisbane) with Circa?
After spending time training full time at NICA, I began to reach out to Australian circus companies. I love the Australian circus scene and I’ve always wanted to perform with a company that can represent Australian circus by touring overseas. Circa has always been a company that has really inspired me and when the opportunity came along to get involved I was stoked to accept!
4. And speaking of Australian locations, how does tropical Brisbane compare to Melbourne (which, as we know, goes through all the seasons in one day)?
To be honest I was pretty worried about the heat (I really struggle with both the extremes of heat and cold) but since I’ve been here I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the climate! I am embracing the humidity and pretty happy to be avoiding the dry heat that we experience further south.
5. What do you love most about being a circus performer?
I think what I love most about circus is the kindness and generosity of the people in our industry. I’ve never been surrounded by so many people that I truly connect with and I really strive to grow and sustain these connections for life.
6. Do you have any personal pre-performance rituals or superstitions? Must have ONLY red M&Ms at the venue, stepping over freshly spilt milk obnoxiously thrown on side-stage (just one of the curious traditions we’ve hear before).
I can’t say I have any superstitions as such but I know that if I’m doing a trapeze act in the show I have to cover myself in rosin not only before my act, but before the show begins, and at least five more times before I get on the trapeze. Totally unnecessary but it definitely helps calm my brain haha.
7. We’re always looking for handy tips, so what is the most wise or sagely advice you have received?
The first thing that has sprung to my mind was some simple yet smart words that Circa’s own Britt Portelli gave me a few months ago. I am inherently quite an indecisive person and when Britt told me to ‘trust my gut’ I immediately found myself able to get through some pretty tough decision-making times. It may sound silly but I definitely think that trusting myself, however absurd, unnatural or unpopular the decision might be is the key that I’ve been missing for a while.
CC joins our Company Magenta and will be touring all of the world with Circa! You can watch her perform on stage with the troupe in our next creation One Beautiful Thing at Arts Centre Melbourne from 16 – 19 February, 2017. You can also stay up to date with our antics on social media on Facebook and Instagram!