Keyna Imray

At Sister Jive, a music festival run in the later 1990’s, I saw a woman from Melbourne twirling fire. “We want to do that,” agreed some of the women at the festival, including Penny Lowther. This helped to spark the idea of what soon became Circus WOW. I was part of WOW from the beginning, going along to everything, loving the idea of doing something with my body, honing skills and being part of the circus community. I had great fun fire twirling, juggling, acrobalance, stilting, hoops and clowning.

Early on, the emphasis on performance in the group was confronting, especially in clowning workshops where you might have to do anything in front of everyone else. Nevertheless, I did every clown workshop that was offered. I loved clowning and marvelled at how others were so spontaneous and able to take and create opportunities to make moments out of nothing. Yes, I did overcome my fear and perform in a number of acts and shows. I juggled and breathed fire and did various roving characters including Karibeena. For What’s Her Story? I trained and performed so hard doing acro, that I wrecked my knees and my acro career.

My continued interest in circus has been in the more technical side of things. I make circus equipment including hoops, stilts, fire gear, trapeze, staff and juggling stuff. Tent and aerial rig putter-upper-ing are also part of my skill set. The ironing/surfboards for Scrubbers and the clock in Time Out of Time are some of the props I have built.

Being in WOW also led to being involved in Circus Monoxide, becoming a rigger and going on tours.

Twenty years of involvement in circus has given me a rich herstory and a warm community, lots of memories and stories to tell.

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