High-flying act wows the crowd
PERFORMING daring aerial gymnastics from the high silks in the Ashton's Circus big top on the weekend was the culmination of four years of dedicated training for Lismore man, Andrew Parry.
Mr Parry, 45, performed for the first time in a big top during the North Coast National and said the show was a practise run for his audition next month for the TV show Australia's Got Talent.
Wowing the audience with an impressive show of technical skills and artistic flair, the performance was even more impressive given the fact Mr Perry is profoundly deaf.
With a background in figure skating, Mr Parry has been learning circus skills under the tutelage of circus teacher and interpreter Josephine McKinnon from Inspired Youth in Carrington St, Lismore.
"This is Andrew's first time performing in the big top and he was so excited," Ms McKinnon said.
"Aerials are his passion. He is also a natural at clowning and miming, and, being deaf, Andrew has very versatile communication skills.
"He does a lot of mime just in day-to-day life.
"Being deaf has been a barrier for Andrew getting work, but not a barrier at all with his performance.
"He's a natural. He got a standing ovation for an improvisation performance at the Tasmanian Circus Festival this year.
"His passion is in performing and that is the direction he will keep going in.
"It's amazing how far you can go when you try."
Mr Parry was welcomed into the Ashton's Circus family at the North Coast National by matriarch Lorraine Ashton, 74.
"We always encourage local talent to get involved," Mrs Ashton said.
"By involving locals the audience becomes more knowledgeable and it keeps the circus tradition growing.
"What you learn at the circus are skills for life and performing gives you confidence."