I’ve always enjoyed making routines that use custom props. I’m not sure if it’s due to an insecurity in my ability to create with ‘standard circus props’ or due to the fact that I come from a family of engineers.
I love thinking up improbable ideas (and then struggling to make them a reality) and think these ideas have gone on to be some of my strongest work.
Normally I come to an ‘effect’ that I want and then work out how it might be achieved, a little like how I imagine a magician might work. Then I take these collection of slightly random thoughts to my prop builder and get his opinion, argue about the detail and then help as best I can in the building of the new prop.
I’m really lucky, my Dad is my prop builder. He’s built me everything from skipping rope machines to fake iPods. Being an engineer by trade he often has his own ideas on my routines, most of which a pretty lame but sometimes he strikes gold.
I wonder if there was a USSR circus prop workshop back in the 1950s that made all the props for the acts back then? I wonder who made Alexander Kiss‘ club firing device or rising platform. Maybe his Dad?