On the Couch with Charice Rust

Charice Rust Arts Review On the CouchWho is Charice Rust?
I am a circus artist from Melbourne who runs a new contemporary circus company. I specialise in aerial straps, which is like Roman Rings in men’s gymnastics, but we just tie the straps onto our wrists instead and do cooler skills. I reckon I got my passion for hard physical training and defying the expectations of what female bodies are capable of from working on my grandmother’s sheep farm. Also motorbikes.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d open a pie shop. Not meaty savoury pies, delicious dessert pies. Like apple and salted caramel, or blueberry and rhubarb. I love making sweet pies for special occasions. If I weren’t a circus artist I could lattice pastry all day long.

Who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by the people that make something that no one has thought to do, and make it a reality with full commitment and passion. I am inspired by the people who make art with something to say, whether it’s subtle or loud, and who take creative risks and keep pushing.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Aaaaart! Maybe people don’t come away from one of our shows totally transformed with a new perspective, but maybe it’s one of many touchpoints or experiences that affect them in some way.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I know it’s a cliché, but New York. I totally didn’t buy into the hype, but then I went there and thought “ooh yeah, it’s all true.” The size and diversity of New York, the art and food, and general hubbub was so diverting and exciting.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Probably that cafe in the city that does hot chocolates with a big chunk of fairy floss that you pour it over – I never get tired of that!

What are you currently reading?
Helen Garner – The Spare Room. The way she describes things and the imagery she uses are sparse and rich at the same time.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve realised that one of the first thoughts I have when listening to new music is “could I make an act to this?” Sometimes it’s difficult to just listen and enjoy the music without weighing it up, trying to imagine how to incorporate circus to tell a story with it.

Happiness is?
Either a cup of tea, or that feeling standing on stage at the end of your show with your cast-mates and friends, having physically put everything you could into it. Having nailed your skills (even that difficult one you’re always nervous about), still feeling the adrenalin from the exertion, having been totally immersed in the meaning or mood of your act, and now being simply yourself standing there in front of strangers at the end. It’s a sometimes terrifying but also blissful feeling.

What does the future hold for you?
Lots and lots of hanging by my arms. But also presenting our new ensemble circus show nationally and working to take it overseas.

Charice will be performing in One Fell Swoop’s production of By A Thread at Gasworks Arts Park: 12 – 16 July 2017. For more information, visit: www.gasworks.org.au for details.

Image: Charice Rust (supplied)