Sometimes a bug takes a while to bite, but then bites hard.
Canberran Idris Stanbury, 36, who's the ringmaster in Circus of Illusion, is one example.
Despite being born in Canberra and growing up here, he never heard of Warehouse Circus as a child.
"I didn't know what circus was - I came to it quite late," Stanbury said.
He did some theatre in Canberra at St Francis Xavier College and with Lieder Theatre in Goulburn including plays and physical theatre.
But he only became interested in circus as a possible career when watching performers on the street in his teens - he realised it was something he wanted to do.
"I went to the National Institute of Circus Arts," he said.
"I specialise in comedy, clowning and juggling."
He has performed in Australia and internationally and became head of performance at Warehouse Circus last year.
But he still keeps his circus skills fresh by touring with circuses and other shows.
In Circus of Illusion, as the ringmaster he keeps the audience entertained, introduces the acts, and juggles knives.
Other acts in the show include foot juggler Tara Boom and contortionist strong man Tro Griffith.
While Stanbury is heavily involved in the circus side of things, Michael Boyd focuses more on the magic, as well as overseeing the entire production.
Boyd - producer, director and head illusionist - began Circus of Illusion about four years ago.
"It originated in a circus tent in Adelaide," Boyd said.
But he moved it into a theatrical space: while the Big Top tradition was lost, much was gained.
"You can do a lot more effects and lighting and theatrics with the show."
Boyd will perform escapes, levitations, disappearances and other examples of the illusionist's art.
Circus of Illusion was recently in Melbourne and will go on to Brisbane.
So far, the circus been lucky with COVID, in terms of both performance schedules and cast members staying healthy.
It also meant the circus was able to secure performers who might otherwise have been working overseas.
Some of Boyd's illusions come from Las Vegas creators who worked with American illusionist David Copperfield.
Others he learned from his grandfather, who was also an illusionist like his grandfather before him.
The offspring in between, however, were not in the entertainment industry: Boyd's father, for example, had a dry cleaning business.
"It seems to slip a generation."
Boyd hoped that cycle would be broken with his 14-year-old daughter and that the family illusionist tradition would continue.
But as to whether he will be able to accomplish that particular bit of magic we - and he - can only wait and see.
Circus of Illusion is on at the Canberra Theatre on Sunday, January 16 at 2 and 7pm. Bookings: canberratheatrecentre.com.au.
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