Hazel Bock

She is the newest addition to the Circuz Oz family; a juggling extraordinaire who is set to stun audiences under the Big Top in Melbourne’s Birrarung Marr at the world premiere of the troupe’s new production. In the midst of a demanding rehearsal schedule, Anna Lozynski spoke to Hazel Bock about her penchant for foot juggling and circus life in general. 

Hazel BockWhat can the audience expect to take away from Circus Oz’s 2010 production?
I hope that audiences leave inspired and feel like they have had a great time. Any kids should be bounding out of the Big Top doing cartwheels.

Which part of your act do you find most challenging?
My new tricks are the most difficult. I have been working on spinning a table around on one foot. Once we are on stage, it is challenging to juggle with spotlights shining in my eyes.

What made you decide to perform with Circus Oz for the first time in this production?
I first saw Circus Oz when I was 16 and have always thought that being a performer with the troupe would probably be the best circus job in Australia. I was thrilled when I received the call asking me to join. Working with Circus Oz allows me to learn new skills and work with a diverse cast.

What inspired you to transform teaching yourself to juggle at the age of 11 into a professional career?
I am passionate about juggling. To be able to make a career out of it means I have the best job in the world! I don’t even really consider juggling to be work, as it is so enjoyable.

What do you think about when you are juggling?
I don’t think about anything. Juggling is very “zen”. If I think, I drop whatever I am juggling. I focus as little as possible on the trick, and just do it!

How would you describe the camaraderie amongst the Circus Oz cast?
There is great camaraderie among the cast. Working so closely together (with people’s armpits in your face) means barriers are broken down quickly. You have to be good friends so that you can trust and rely on each other. I feel like we all get to know what makes each of us tick very quickly.

Describe your present rehearsal schedule.
At the moment the cast is rehearsing eight hours a day, five days a week. Each day is divided up into rehearsals for different acts and meetings to talk about the concept of the show.

What particularly attracts you to juggling, in particular foot juggling, as an art form?
I like it because it is something unusual and something unusual to the audience. Circus as an art form inspires people to think outside the square or question what they thought was physically possible.

If you had to train in another circus form, what would it be and why?
I would love to be an aerialist because it can be quite beautiful. Being suspended in the air is a great feeling, and requires an abundance of stamina and strength.

Do you have a pre-performance ritual?
I usually do a physical warm up and then practice the hardest tricks in my routine. Before I go on stage, I like to stand in the wings for a while watching what is happening. The nerves kick in half way through my act.

Tell us what people are often surprised to hear about you?
That I like sewing and that I used to be a computer geek!

Circus Oz' latest show opens June 16, 2010 at Birrarung Marr, Melbourne. Further details»

Image credit
Top right: Hazel Bock. Photo by Rob Blackburn.

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