“If you can make it look graceful and beautiful, the satisfaction that you get after that is such an amazing feeling that you almost feel like you want to do it more and more and more."
Inside a 100-year-old tent full of mirrors, three performers have just blown the minds of the writers at a media call. From human foot juggling, extreme balancing and aerial contortion, these people might seem crazy, but they're the best at doing it.
So why do they do it? What is it that drives them? A good place to start is with the only Australian performer of Spiegelworld's Empire, Lucia Carbines, aka Miss A in a Bubble.
“I have always been a dare devil. Ever since I was a child I would try and climb to the highest point of a tree and I would terrify my mother 24/7.”
Only 20 minutes before, this girl with the little red bob was two metres above a small stage inside a giant bubble bending her body in ways that make yoga look like child's play. Each moment, one little mistake could see her fall to serious injury.
“Our circus is sort of like the glamping version of camping,” she says with a laugh. “We have no caravan, we don't have to set up the tent, we stay in really nice accommodation and then rock up when it's all set up.”
Carbines entered the world of contortion because she had to.
“I would stand with such a swayed back, the chiropractors would say if the general person had my spine it would cause them a lot of back pain and problems when they got older, but then because I started training contortion I started strengthening all the muscles that got strong enough to hold my spine straight when I'm walking and doing tricks. It almost, in a way, is preventing me from injuring myself.”
And her reasons are those of any other artist, just with the extreme risk.
“If you can make it look graceful and beautiful, the satisfaction that you get after that is such an amazing feeling that you almost feel like you want to do it more and more and more. You want to then try harder tricks and do more scary things to get more of a rush.”
Carbines is just one of the 16 performers who all bring their unique, bizarre and incredibly exquisite artistry in Empire. It's a special thing that's worth every dollar, even the booking fee.