Woman who ditched West End career to join the circus is happier than ever

Nicole Louise Geddes made the bold move to swap performing in the West End for life in the circus.

In her 20s, Nicole decided to ditch the typical showbiz route for circus life – in fear of not having a unique story to tell her future grandchildren.

Now 39, the mum runs her own circus production company, down to her career change, and says business is booming.

She adds that making the decision has been ‘liberating’ and stresses she’s been lucky enough to travel and perform all over the world because of it.

Nicole made the move at the age of just 21 – when she was finishing her studies at dance college and was auditioning for West End performances.

But one day she decided to take a step in a different direction.

She said: ‘When the job in the circus popped up, it was quite a sidestep, it was quite controversial.

‘It was a real dilemma as to whether I went in this direction or not, which was, massively, the wrong direction in many people’s eyes.’

Nicole was also spurred on by the fact her grandparents would tell her their fascinating life stories when she was a child – which prompted her to make interesting and exciting life choices.

She added: ‘My grandparents told me about their lives and about the war, and all of that.

‘As children, we all listened to these really elaborate, big, exciting stories that I just thought, one day I want to be able to turn around to my grandchildren and tell them stories that are going to wow them, that are going to be exciting and different and amazing.

‘And the thing that literally crossed my mind was laying, as an old lady, on my deathbed and being able to say I ran away to the circus.’

Despite friends and family offering their concerns, Nicole took the plunge and bagged a role in the circus, after being headhunted by a choreographer who had seen her perform once before.

During this time, she swapped her creature comforts to live in a converted M&S lorry on the road in her 20s.

Now, more than 10 years on, and her decision has opened her eyes to what the world has to offer.

She added: ‘It was very different, quite liberating. You became very much part of a very small world.

‘You were captured in this very small world that travelled around and just explored new places, but in a very small ecosystem of life.

‘I think it opened my eyes to the world, and taught me to not be judgmental, and take any opportunity with open arms, regardless of what everyone else thinks.’

Nicole, now married with a son, has launched her own production company that incorporates circus skills – such as stilts, fire and aerial routines – into its performances.

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