STUNT MAN: Circus Oz performer Nathan Kell specialises in Chinese pole, hoop diving and acrobatics.
STUNT MAN: Circus Oz performer Nathan Kell specialises in Chinese pole, hoop diving and acrobatics. Contributed

Meet the daredevil circus junkie coming our way

NOT many jobs allow employees to travel the world, making audiences' mouths drop at every performance, but for Circus Oz daredevil Nathan Kell, that's been his life for 10 years.

Mr Kell is a Chinese pole, hoop diving and acrobatic performer in the highly entertaining Circus Oz show, which is headed to Gladstone on October 4 at the Gladstone Entertainment Centre.

The 32-year-old is a circus junkie - flying through the air and jumping through hoops are skills he has mastered over a number of years.

Mr Kell was a member of the West Australian Circus School when he was a young boy, but that wasn't his moment of discovery.

"When I was 11 my dad noticed I had a lot of energy as I was always jumping off the roof and climbing trees and being super active," he said.

"To try and control that wild energy, he put me in the circus because it's non-competitive and nobody was a loser or winner."

Mr Kell pursued martial arts and then enrolled in the National Institute of Circus Arts, a three-year course.

"I was the first batch of people to get a Bachelor of Arts in Circus Arts in the southern hemisphere; we were the first graduating year (in 2003)," he said.

Mr Kell then went on to become a performer in a number of prestigious musicals and circus tours around the world.

"I have been trying to think of an option B I could fall back on if I was badly injured," he said.

"It's pretty hard to find a job that compares to travelling the world and basically people sit in front of me and clap and I get paid.

"I can't see myself doing anything else."

In the Gladstone show, Mr Kell runs up and down a six-metre steel Chinese pole, plays the guitar, dances and is involved in other performers' ensembles.

The thrill of using your body in risky ways is what makes the job so addictive.

"When you are flying in the air, your life is hanging by a thread and you are completely weightless," Mr Kell said. "If it goes right the crowd goes crazy, but if it goes wrong you can die."

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