My Geelong

Nic Dacomb with Mia and puppets Gruff and Dazzle. (Louisa Jones) 233407_07

Ocean Grove entertainer Nic Dacomb is a familiar face for children across Geelong. He spoke to Ash Bolt about why he loves performing and how he adapted to the pandemic.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I grew up on a farm in western Victoria until I was 18.

Deciding there might be more to life than sheep farming, I grabbed my backpack and headed off overseas travelling fairly consistently for the next 10 years.

How did you get in to puppetry and performing for children?

I got into puppetry through busking.

I was playing music in Cairns however no one was really dancing so I decided to get some puppets to dance to my music.

Soon after I was invited to do a kids’ show at a festival up that way, the kids laughed and seemed to enjoy it so I decided to keep it going.

What do you enjoy most about it?

I enjoy making children laugh. There is something very special that happens when an audience is laughing at an adult playing the fool, it breaks down barriers and hierarchy.

I have even performed in remote areas in countries such as Mozambique, Cambodia and South Africa where the kids don’t speak English, however they still laugh at a guy accidently hitting himself on the bum with a broom.

How has the last 18 months been for you as a performer?

The last 18 months has been an interesting journey as my whole life revolved around being a performer.

After discovering that I was in fact “unessential” I built a shipping container studio, cleaned toilets for the Geelong council, worked for Regional Arts Victoria as a creative worker and practiced my surfing.

Although it has been a tough 18 months I am extremely grateful to be here in Australia during the pandemic.

I was a few weeks away from heading to Nepal when it all started and from reports I heard it sounds like things were very different over there.

What’s your favourite thing to do locally?

Lately I have been enjoying sailing up and down the Barwon River on a little boat my friend and I purchased on marketplace.

I have also been loving performing again. People are really appreciative to see entertainers after so long.

What is something people may not know about you?

I suffer from prosopagnosia or ‘face blindness’, which means I cannot recognise people by their face.

Nic will be performing his puppet show in Portarlington and Ocean Grove on Tuesday and in Lara and Newtown the following week as part of the City of Greater Geelong’s It’s Our Backyard campaign.