So, here is the story behind my trip to visit Brian Conley to chat with him about helping push Operation Circus!
I contacted Brian some months back as I knew he was coming to Birmingham with Barnum, and after reading reviews of the show I became very exited to hear that he had learned to walk the tightrope for his role in the show, and from what I read I had heard the tightrope was at quite a height. From my own experiences at Circus school I knew the difficulties involved in learning such a skill so I had a very high level of respect for him, especially as he’d had no previous experience.
I wanted to add this story into ‘Why Circus’ week because for this role Brian had obviously put in hours of practice, mental prep and achieved something that not many people do. I wanted to have a chat with him to hear what his challenges were and what he found hard about learning, and how he over came those barriers… to inspire and help our community in Birmingham.
After contacting his people I had set a very quick meeting up with him at the Hippodrome between shows. I went along quite under prepared (thinking I would just know what to ask) but upon saying hello I had a wave of nerves wash over me and my mind went blank- completely blank, you know that kind of blank where your voice goes a little shaky too… yes, that kind of blank. I’d never really met a celeb before, let alone have a nice cosy chat with one and I didn’t quite anticipate my reaction to meeting one. Pressure had obviously got the better of me on this day and as I scrambled through what Operation Circus was, and was trying to do- I don’t think too much of it made sense to Brian. Lesson for Joe; prepare in future!
Brian must have put in so much work for his role, and he thoroughly deserves the standing ovation he got from the show I went to see. Well done Brian for conquering that high wire! I didn’t get around to asking him any of the questions I wanted to- and I very much kick myself for this… so enjoy this video with this story in mind, and imagine a very embarrassed Joe running back to the car!
Over and out!