By Luke Voogt
Kids who have dreamt of walking on stilts will have their chance to learn next Monday as circus performer Nic Dacomb takes to the streets.
The Ocean Grove local will stroll and roll gracefully above Little Malop Street beginning midday, as part of council’s free central Geelong activities.
“The council have got a lot of stuff going on in Little Malop Street,” he said.
“It’s nice to have something out in public where anyone can come.
“I think people are appreciating the arts a bit more too because they’ve been a bit starved of them.”
Dacomb was thrilled to return to performing after working several months, finishing last Friday, as a cleaner to pay the bills after COVID-19 decimated his gigs.
“That job served its purpose,” he said.
“In the last month a lot of performing work has come back.
“I appreciate it even more now, because it’s much more fun than cleaning!
“I’m going back full-time to what I love doing – circus, performing and a little bit of teaching in schools.
“We’re doing circus skills, music, performance and a bit of improv as well.
“I’m trying to share my skills and what I’ve learnt over the years.”
Dacomb was raised in rural western Victoria, near Hamilton.
“I grew up on a sheep farm, and learnt from an early age that I didn’t want to do that,” he said.
“I was unemployed for a while.
“As I was travelling, I was searching for something I could do that I would enjoy and that I could share with others.”
He started busking, and his lack of initial success led him to his true calling.
“No one was dancing to the music,” he said.
“So I got some puppets to dance to the music and then started doing puppet shows.”
He travelled to Indonesia, volunteering at schools, and later to Kakadu, Alice Springs and Adelaide, founding children’s company Krazy Koala Entertainment.
“I just fell into this job, which I absolutely love,” he said.
He was eventually booked for the Glastonbury Festival, in England, where he scored an invite to a local circus.
“It was very on-the-job learning,” he said.
“They would give me a pair of stilts and be like, ‘here you go, go wonder around the festival on these’.”
He has since performed at Queenscliff Music Festival, the Warwick, Shrewsbury and Port Fairy folk festivals, and Geelong’s Nightjar Festival.
After Monday Dacomb will return for three shows in April featuring stilts, a tiny bicycle and music workshops on the xylophone and drums.
“We run the kids through how to play those and do little jam sessions, where I mix the sounds they make with a looping pedal,” he said.
“I’m just enjoying being back and doing my job again, which I love.
“When I’m doing a show, I’ve got permission to be as silly as I want, so long as I’m enjoying it and the kids are having fun.”
Dacomb’s show is one of many roving gigs in and around Geelong, from mirror ball performers to flash mobs.
The Little Malop Street mall stage will also feature several different Geelong musicians performing live in coming weeks.