Student Case Study

Amie Patching

amie-patchingAfter auditioning for two years in a row, I have been accepted into the prestigious Ecole Nationale de Cirque in Montreal, QC.

My greatest achievement to date, being offered a place in this Canadian University is a product of my extremely fortunate upbringing in Australia’s Flying Fruit Fly Circus. The opportunities and experiences gained within this establishment have been paramount to the development of my current circumstances and global whereabouts.

As a child, indecisiveness was my forte. Both arty and active, my interests were constantly changing. Ballet for one term and piano the next. Soccer this week, guitar the previous. Also present was my inability to decide whether it was boys or girls with the most germs. It was to my mother’s ultimate relief that she found me circus. It was in a recreational Circus Arts community class that I was able to find gender neutrality, along with the perfect combination of art and sport to keep me engaged for years to come.

I continued attending these Saturday morning classes and was encouraged to audition for a place in the Flying Fruit Fly Circus School, full-time program, as a core student. I never looked back.

The Fruities witnessed the best part of my childhood and I got to share in a chapter of the Circus’ series of accomplishments. I trained in an old and worn down building, victim to all of nature’s whims. I trained in the interim house of a glass factory with some very questionable safety standards. And I’ve trained in the beautiful, abundantly equipped home that now stands as the leading youth circus of Australia.

I am grateful for every phase of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and its infinitely generous team. They took me on the journey of a lifetime, all before I was even out of high school.

The skills and performance opportunities I‘ve gained whilst a member were crucial to the development of the artist I am today. I was a part of many corporate events and company productions that took me to many amazing regional areas as well as the impressive theatres of the Melbourne Arts Centre and Sydney Opera House.

Most notable for me, however, was the support I found when going through two recent ACL tears and repairs. I was able to easily overcome these operations and rehabilitations with the plentiful support network of trainers and staff, allowing me not to waste my final important years and allow me to achieve a level that would be accepted by my dream university.

From Canada, merci et au revoir to the Fruit Flies, for some of the best years of my life!



Student Case Study

Nick Hutchinson


As a graduate of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, the Fruities has opened up my entire world to circus, to the industry and the life that has come from it.

My name is Nick Hutchinson and I graduated the Flying Fruit Fly Circus in 2011, and since being with the Fruities my journey has been quite a memorable one.

I started at the Flying Fruit Fly Circus in 2008, as a 15 year old elite gymnast who wanted something other than competitive gymnastic competitions and when I auditioned and was accepted I fell in love with what Fruities had to offer. Circus and gymnastics are on a similar physical path but I believe circus opens up a whole new world to creativity, movement and the ability to perform and entertain an audience.

I am originally from Sydney and when at first was accepted the Fruit Flies helped me find a boarding family and helped out a lot with the small relocation. They made my move as a young 15 year old by myself a very easy and pleasant one. It was not so easy being away from home and my parents but what the Fruities did was to offer a warm place which to this day I call my second home.

What I learned from my very first few months being a Fruit Fly, was not only the physical side of training but all of the amazing people within the space, from the artistic and creative directors, to all my inspiring friends and to the incredible trainers, which to this day I draw my inspiration from. One of my main disciplinary trainers – Sergei Okhai, who is a Cirque Du Soleil veteran, is one of the trainers that pushed my skill to where it is today and for that I can only thank the Fruit Flies.

I was a part of all the major Fruit Fly productions in the time I was a student, from The Promise in 2009, which won a Helpmann award for ‘Best Presentation for Children’, to three years of touring Pirates, which took the students to some remote and major towns around Australia. The touring life was great fun while at the same time a learning experience of living on the road. I think that’s something that I cherish the most, performing with all my closest friends and getting to travel at the same time.

When I graduated at the end of 2011, it was time to open my eyes to what the world could offer, and in February 2012 I was offered a performing position as an acrobat and playing ‘Wags the Dog’ with The Wiggles. For the next three years I toured the world multiple times with the group, performing in their live shows. This took me to Asia, Europe, USA, Dubai, NZ and of course Australia. This life was very intense as we would be performing away from home for over 10 months of each year. But I had the Fruities tours to reflect on and a valuable knowledge what life on the road was like.

I finished up with The Wiggles and returned to Albury in 2015 to became a trainer in their wonderful space. The Fruities welcomed me back with open arms and I was straight into teaching all the disciplines that I knew very well. Fruit Flies accommodated me extremely well by giving me the opportunity to teach and to expand my knowledge of circus and teaching. They did this by offering Personal Development sessions in which we would be given master classes in certain skills. Now I have been teaching for the past two years, I absolutely love it, I enjoy watching the progression of the students and also find it very rewarding. I feel like I have the opportunity to give back to the Fruit Fly community.

I feel the Fruities is at a very healthy place in the circus industry right now, nationally and internationally, it is full of amazing people, both on and off the training floor. I believe the direction the company is heading is going to be more amazing than ever and future graduate students will be people to remember.

I am about to venture into my next journey, which will take me to Dubai on a permanent production by world renowned director Franco Dragone in the new production La Perle. This is very exciting for me as it is a huge show to be a part of and to think that I would be here eight years ago is something I never thought would happen. Being a Fruit Fly has opened up an entire world of opportunities and has given me the best start to my life. I will always have my Fruit Fly journey to reflect on and remember where I started.

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