On the Couch with Duncan West

Duncan West_onc 2Who is Duncan West?
An Acrobat with Circa – an Australian contemporary circus company.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I’d brush my teeth counterclockwise instead of clockwise just for the change. I’d probably also stop writing sarcastic answers to interview questions.

Who inspires you and why?
Primarily my Mum, Sally Richards, because she’s crazy (in the good way) and has been the most amazing Mum possible to four boys. The mental fortitude, grace, humor and love my Mum gives out to everyone is in itself amazing, but when put against the things she’s gone through to still be the kind of person she is has to be seen to be believed.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’ve done small pieces of volunteering building schools in rural communities; but I think performing and bringing a bit of magic to people’s lives around the world is something that can make a difference in and of itself.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Considering how much we tour during the year, my favorite place is just chilling out on the couch at home for a while with access to a kitchen. Other than that though I still need to visit, Turkey, Croatia and Iceland just to see what they’re like.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
Normally I’m the one doing the visiting. But on the off chance that my friends came to Canberra while I was in town I’d take them for a bike ride around lake Burley Griffin as a way to see a bit of the bush capital, then a walk up Mount Ainslie to get a bird’s eye view of the capital.

What are you currently reading?
For light reading during plane flights and hanging out in hotel rooms while jetlagged I’m reading the Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson. When I’m a bit more awake I’m reading The Emotional Life of Your Brain by Sharon Begley and Richard Davidson, which is an in depth look at human emotions examined through the lens of neuroscience.

What are you currently listening to?
Masters of the Universe by Binary Star; an amazing hip hop album from 2000 by Senim Silla and One Be Lo.

Happiness is?
Drinking tea after a show, the freedom to do the things you love without persecution, cuddles, a good book, the smell of baking, love, keeping a positive outlook and being surround by rich relationships with your family and friends.

What does the future hold for you?
It constantly changes every few months but some of the doors I may open in the future could include. Starting a family (step one would probably be finding someone to do that with), acrobatics, going to the Sturt School for Wood for a year or two or returning to life as a fire fighter. I honestly can’t tell you which of those is more likely though as you never know what life will throw at you.

Duncan West came to circus by a more roundabout route than most. A qualified stunt performer, he was a full-time fire fighter for seven years prior to joining Circa. He is a performer that specialises in Capoeria, acrobatics and Chinese pole, who holds back-to-back Asia-Pacific (2010 & 2011) and International (Tokyo, 2010) Pole Championship titles.

Having watched his younger brother Lewis perform with Circa for many years, Duncan joined Circa in 2013. He looks forward to jumping nervously at funny noises and giving in to the occasional urge to put strange things up his nose, as well as the excitement and challenges that performing with Circa brings.

Circa’s S will be presented at the Frankston Arts Centre (14 May), Gasworks Arts Park (16 & 17 May) and the Darebin Arts Centre (27 – 29 May). For more information, visit: www.circa.org.au for details.

Image: Duncan West