Life's a circus for teenager Remi

Remi Rodriguez, 13, atop a stack of chairs.
Remi Rodriguez, 13, atop a stack of chairs. John Gass

YOUR average 13-year-old might spend their free time playing their Xbox 360 until all hours of the morning, but not Remi Rodriguez.

Instead the fit teen spends his time practising acts for his family's travelling circus.

Remi is a seventh generation family member and a crucial part of the Ashton Entertainment circus which travels all over Australia for the majority of the year.

He has only been a teenager for two weeks but has already decided he wants to be a performer for the rest of his life.

Being born into a family of performers it was inevitable that Remi would have at least a little bit of talent in his blood.

"When I started performing I was 16 months old," he said.

"I did bareback riding with the granddad and my aunty and I still remember it."

More than a decade later the teen said he had moved on to more technical stunts.

He has since developed into a seasoned performer, adding tumbling, clowning and modelling to his growing repertoire

"I now perform on the high chairs," he said.

Remi stacks four chairs on top of each other and then balances and performs handstands on the top of them.

"When I really wanted to learn it took about a week to be able to do it," he said.

"When I first did it in front of people I was nervous because it was pretty much a full house.

"It then got easier but then got harder again and now it's easy again."

He said the surface of the circus floor made a massive difference to his performance.

"If there are holes or rocks it can make things a bit shaky, but usually it's okay," he said.

Remi still has not suffered a fall from the tricky stunt.

His mother, Tamara, is the world's fastest speed juggler and she taught her son how to perform a handstand.

"I have a lot of respect for my mum; I love her very much," he said.

Tamara herself has been in the circus business since she was in nappies too.

Even though he is constantly travelling and performing, Remi said he still needed to hit the books.

"I do distance education from Brisbane," he said.

"I have gone to normal school for a year but I think distance is easier and there are no kids to distract you."

A typical day for Remi sees him waking up, training, studying and then performing at night.

But it is not all hard work and no play for this teen; he said he loved being part of the circus because he literally had friends all over Australia.

He also said he had known them for most of his life through travelling and he never wanted to give it up.

"I enjoy performing," he said.

"Everyone loves it and I love making other people happy and it's awesome to see other people smile at what you're doing.

"Being in the circus is fun, I get the chance to travel all over Australia, see new things and meet new people."

Remi said he could not specify his favourite place in Australia, because he believed each location they visited was unique.

His grandmother and circus matriarch Jan Rodriguez said their house in Brisbane constantly had the Christmas tree up and decorated all year round, waiting for their return.

Topics:  circus

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