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Captain Ruin

How do you begin a career in the circus industry? I’ve always had a lust for adventure and a healthy disregard for my own wellbeing - this seems to feed in well to a career in sideshow and unusual feats.
 
You incorporate a host of dark carnival and punk-related aesthetic in your show. What is it about carnival-punk that you love?I see a lot of darkness in the world so I take joy in how punk culture kicks against that. Humorously emphasising the DIY and rebellious aspect of my own shows makes them accessible and more enjoyable for audiences.
 
What’s your favourite reaction to elicit from an audience? Joy. The total aim of what I do is to make people feel lost in the moment, amazed by what they see, and able to connect with the joy of being alive.
 
You’ve been referred to as Australia’s Harry Houdini, specialising in the likes of escapism and knife-throwing. How do you go about executing such extreme ideas? John Safran said that, it was a huge compliment from someone so adventurous. With escapology, I’ve always been addicted to bad ideas - when I think of something new I generally test it out on stage. Knife throwing requires a little more practice.
 
How would you describe the circus/performance artist community? We’re adventurous, ambitious dreamers, quick to try something new but very aware of the hardworking traditions that tie us to the past. The Australian circus community has, for generations, produced some of the best performers in the world.

Captain Ruin will perform at The Pleasure Garden Festival in Catani Gardens, St Kilda on Saturday December 10.