NOT only can Cameron Taylor sing, dance and act but now he can add professional clown to his resume after joining Cirque du Soleil.
After graduating from St Stephen’s School Duncraig in 2011, Taylor completed a Certificate IV in Musical Theatre at WAAPA before moving to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Theatre) at the Victorian College of the Arts.
Originally shying away from applying for Cirque du Soleil auditions, he said it was “peer pressure” that made him eventually sign up.
“I wasn’t going to apply but the brief was sent to me by so many different people I eventually just gave into peer pressure and sent the scenes off,” he said.
While back in Perth performing his debut Perth Fringe Festival show Pisca, Taylor got the call up.
“During the middle of the performance season I received an email asking if I could be at a live audition in Melbourne four days later, which was the day after my closing night in Perth.
“After my final performance I went straight to the airport to check into my flight, wearing a face full of white and blue clown makeup.
“I arrived in Melbourne at 7.30am – the audition was at 8.30am – had not slept due to excitement and adrenalin from my closing night and went straight to the audition venue and checked in.”
Not sure what to expect from the auditions – “maybe an hour or two at most” – Taylor was floored by the talent he saw during the demanding whole day of performance.
“The first section went for four hours and was a group workshop with a group of different clowns, actors and puppeteers from around Australia and a panel of directors, choreographers and casting agents,” he said.
The panel then made cuts with those left putting on a section of original performances.
“During this section I watched some of the best performances I have seen in my life; each one was vibrant, engaging and had obviously been worked on for a very long time,” Taylor said.
He made the next cut and took part in improvised works with different partners then the next cut where he workshopped various scenes and feedback sessions followed.
After a long day, Taylor was offered a position on the books for Cirque du Soleil.
“Now I just have to wait until they call me – it could be tomorrow or it could be next year,” he said.
“I find it incredibly exciting.
“I know what shows are on and what’s coming up but have no idea what I would be considered for so I could end up anywhere.”
Taylor said his mum sparked his love of the arts and recalled going to see Cirque du Soleil shows growing up.
“My mum took me to shows as much as she could and exposed me to a whole heap of different art forms,” he said.
“It’s what inspired me to become an actor and eventually study musical theatre.
“It inspired my profession choice and direction but I didn’t think clowning would become a focus of mine.”
Taylor was also thankful to teachers at St Stephen’s School that inspired his love of learning.
“Among the teaching staff, I found mentors that inspired me and supported me on the multiple paths I wanted to take,” he said.
“I think within any school the most important thing is to inspire a love of learning that transfers into all facets of life, as there’s only so many contact hours in the classroom and only a small number of years at school.
“Teachers do not receive the accolades they deserve as the best ones inspire progress that doesn’t happen in their classroom.”