West End circus artist Daniel Crispin stars as the principal character in the Avatar-inspired Cirque du Soleil creation, Toruk.

Though his extensive career spans far beyond that of a boy simply running away with the circus.

After being shunned from conventional team sports due to his small size and ‘smart alec’ nature, `Crispy’ embraced taekwondo as a child. “I then had a teacher at St Laurence’s College approach me and say, ‘Why don’t you put some of that pent up energy towards the school gala performance, instead of annoying everyone in proximity to you?’ I fell in love with the stage instantly. My magnetic attraction to acrobatics then led me to the local tumbling classes and the coach recommended I audition for the National Institute of Circus Arts.”

Crispy describes the NICA as his form of ‘paradise’, even despite the relentless training schedule over three years of study in his Bachelor of Circus Arts. The course involved dance, drama, clowning, group acrobatics, and two specialty choices in which his primary focus was aerial straps.

“I was poor, tired all the time, lived in share housing and worked three jobs, and I loved every single aspect of that life. It was my first real experience living 100 per cent as an artist, and it was phenomenal,” he states.

Since graduating, Crispy has stacked more than a lifetime’s worth of experiences into a few short years. At just 29, Crispy can recite memories of touring with C!RCA Contemporary Circus, being a part of an aquatic show called The House of Dancing Water, working as a show rigger, stage manager, choreographer and director of a dinner show in Dubai, performing at Madonna’s birthday party plus, of course, performing in Cirque du Soleil as a starring character. “The show differs from the standard abstract concept and flavour of Cirque du Soleil in that it’s a live narrative, told with a storyteller with explicit sign posts as to what is happening. The visuals and story undeniably make for the most stunning spectacles you will ever see on stage.”

As expected, the training schedule involved is demanding and ever-changing, as are the physical and mental turmoils that come with travelling so excessively for work. “Humans are not designed to be beaten up and flipped around the world at such a rapid rate. But, seeing a new city every week is the dream of every Generation Y, although I dare say West End exhibits a sense of community that’s unrivalled in every part of the world I’ve seen.”

When asked to name his goals, Crispy rattles off a list longer than his current achievements, which even include an education degree, and a nomination for Australian of the Year in 2017. TV presenting, stage directing, stunt performing, teaching in regional communities, publishing books, opening a performing arts school, and launching a charity are amongst the many aspirations noted.

“Though at this point in time, I am incredibly blessed to have a wonderful, physical job that lets me travel with the people I love.”