On the Couch with Thomas Gorham

AAR-Head-First-Acrobats-Thomas-GorhamWho is Thomas Gorham?
Hello my name is Thomas Gorham and I am a circus performer from Melbourne Australia. Before starting my career in the circus Acrobats, I was a break-dancer looking to perform professionally. I found my way into acrobatics through the National Institute of Circus Arts and went on to create Head First Acrobats. Our shows combine high level circus with physical comedy… and a touch of stripping.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I was in Melbourne during the Covid-19 lockdowns. I taught myself computer programming and released a game (a very terrible game haha) based on our first show Elixir. I wrote all the code and drew all the artwork and everything. It was a fun experience that kept me very busy. I find it so hard to imagine not being a circus performer, but maybe in another life I would have mixed my creative energies with my love of technology.

Who inspires you and why?
I have so many inspirations in the Circus world. There are so many incredible performers who I want to be like when I grow up. Just looking at my own team, I get incredibly inspired by their dedication to their art and perfectionism. My family are also a huge inspiration, they put love and kindness above all success and I think that is something we should all do.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Performing as an artist is a high-pressure industry with often very little reward, especially in the large fringes like Edinburgh and Adelaide. Head First Acrobats is trying to ease some of the strains on artists, by creating new opportunities with our venue. We are producing a new hub in the Adelaide fringe called Fools Paradise. We are putting artists first in all of our considerations. We are trying to change the current financial model of fringe festivals, by providing a no risk option to the artist for the Adelaide Fringe. Hopefully if our model is successful, it will bring change in the industry.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
My favorite destination is right here in Brisbane with my family! I live in Melbourne (brrr cold), so I love coming and jumping in the pool. I think this is why Wynnum is quickly becoming my favorite festival, I get to ride my e-scooter along the bay in the morning to the site and enjoy the Queensland sun whilst seeing amazing shows.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Melbourne has a brilliant local scene for Arts and culture, not to mention the food. I love taking my friends to cabaret nights, we recently had a string of performances in my home suburb of Prahran, for the So soiree festival. There was circus, dance and burlesque, like a miniature fringe festival. Melbourne has brilliant events every weekend.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve had no time for leisure lately! Waaa. I wish I had time to read. Maybe if I ever get an administrative assistant haha!

What are you currently listening to?
There is a song that gets in my head every day after the show. A song by Rhianna. I don’t want to say which one, but I love blasting it before the show and going over the moves with the boys. I love to practice with the whip before the show… hope that doesn’t give away the song…

Happiness is?
Everyday! We live such a full life as circus performers. We get to stand up on stage and show off incredible moves which we ground ourselves to dust learning. Then hearing the audience cheer and roar when we get it right feels so good. It makes all the hard work so worth it, and the best part is that even though its hard work, it’s fun and challenging. We also have such a beautiful team, who are great to hangout with after shows. We can drink wine and chat and just generally feel happy every day.

What does the future hold for you?
We are loving playing at the Wynnum Fringe Festival right now. We are just taking each day as it comes and enjoying the moment. This is only the start of the tour and then we are off to the Perth Fringe, and then we will be doing Godz in our own hub at the Adelaide Fringe. The future is bright, and we hope to see you there with us.

Thomas can be seen in Head First Acrobats‘ production of GODZ – currently playing at the Wynnum Fringe Festival until Saturday 3 December 2022. For more information, visit: www.wynnumfringe.com for details.

Image: Thomas Gorham – courtesy of Head First Acrobats