STRETCH AND STRENGTHEN CIRCUS TEACHING IN ICELAND
Nick Candy is a trained actor from Australia, where he has acted in TV and film and written and produced theatre work and short film in Perth, to name a few projects. Nick will graduate with a M.A. degree from the Arts Educational Department ath Iceland Academy of the Arts June 10th 2017.
Nick’s wife is Icelandic and they made the decision to move to Iceland in 2012, along with their four children. Since moving to Iceland, Nick has been a key player in Sirkus Íslands since its inception in 2007 and worked as an actor, director, aerialist, acrobat and clown.
When asked why Nick chose to add a degree in Arts Education to his already impressive list of skills he gives two reasons:
„Firstly, after having many children and learning to teach through this experience, I think that I can use my experience in a useful way to help young people become more confident, expressive, more precise as performers.
I think teaching provides a more direct and constructive connection between people than just performing,“ Nick explains.
„Secondly, in my journey as a performer I have spent many evenings in rehearsal and performance, and in the circus, almost every weekend and public holiday is spent away from my family. I would like to have the option at least, to turn this around and work in a regular time frame.“
Regarding his experience of the studies at the Arts Educational department Nick tells how he has very much enjoyed going back to the academic study
„I had forgotten how much academic thinking and discussion can stimulate the brain. I have especially enjoyed the discussions in class, even though they sometimes tend to drift all over the place, they have been very personally motivating,“ Nick says.
„Finally, I was debating going to study a degree in Icelandic language because I feared I would drown in the academic language at master’s level.
This was not the case and although it has been difficult, I have learnt a lot and have noticed a huge improvement in my spoken Icelandic (I still find writing in Icelandic painfully slow!)“
Granted the Icelandic language is perhaps not the easiest one to grasp, how has language had an effect on his work and studies?
„As I mentioned above, I have learnt a lot during the course. It has been rewarding facing the challenge of having to understand abstract concepts in Icelandic.
Teaching in Icelandic is also very rewarding. As a foreigner coming in to a different culture, there is so much of culture linked to language. I think it is so important to be able to open that door.
Especially as a teacher in the arts, which is essentially a teacher of a sort of culture, one must know as much as possible about where the students are coming from. I have found this course invaluable in this way.
As far as circus work goes... I am a clown, so it doesn't matter!“
How does Nick foresee Arts Education strengthening himself as an artist?
„It has certainly forced me to reflect on myself and remember my own development from an early age and how this has informed me as an artist.
Through researching this final thesis I have learnt an immense amount about circus teaching around the world and this has humbled me and motivated me to stretch myself“.