Anna Lumb (AKA Anna The Pocket Rocket) is an international artist specialising in circus, theatre and comedy. Anna is renowned for exploding onto the stage with her charismatic, cheeky and original performances. Earning her Vaudevillian stripes as a regular fixture on the cabaret circuits of Melbourne, London and Edinburgh she has appeared in a whole host of variety shows including ‘Ali McGregor’s Late Night Variety Night,’ ‘Le Reve’ at Café De Paris,’ ‘The Supper Club’ and ‘The Last Tuesday Society’ cult performance night. Anna has toured extensively both with aerial theatre company Strange Fruit and independently across Europe, America, Mexico, Canada, UK, Middle East, Africa, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia.
Anna featured in the NY production 'Absinthe', at the Spiegeltent in Melbourne, and in 'The Aviator Club' at the Spiegeltent in the Brighton Fringe UK, and has shimmied and shaken her way across the globe at many festivals - Melbourne Comedy Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Lovebox, Electric Picnic and Glastonbury to name a few.
She has hooped up a storm with Peaches, performed for Prince Edward and the Royal Family of Jordon and more recently created her first solo show 'Big Shoes to Fill,' a critically acclaimed audience hit at the Melbourne and Adelaide Fringe Festival and Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Anna has featured in ‘The World Famous Spiegeltent, ‘Upfront: The ginchiest gals of comedy,’ ‘The Burlesque Hour’ and ‘La Soiree.’ Currently storming the world with hula hoops, comedy and theatre acts not for the faint hearted, Anna has returned to Australia to perform her latest solo works in the 2012 Perth and Adelaide Fringe Festivals, in addition to touring with Finucane & Smith’s Caravan Burlesque around Australia. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A tap dancer on Broadway or an Olympic equestrian competitor What did you become?
A circus performerWhat's your official title?
Anna "the Pocket Rocket" LumbWhat's your background - how did you end up here?
I began gymnastics aged 5, trained for 8yrs before entering into a jazz hands dance school where I tapped, shuffled and leapt around for 5 years in the most outrageously daggy costumes. I really wanted to be a professional dancer but I was discouraged somewhat by dance teacher, who was a bit of a bitch really and the conservative careers adviser at my school. I’d always excelled in art and design class so somewhat disillusioned I applied for art school and spent four years studying art at RMIT & VCA. I really do love painting and met some brilliant characters at uni. One of who still remains a very close friend and an amazing artist Tai Snaith. However after a particularly soul searching month in my early twenties I realised I really missed being physical and began circus training. If only this had been an option when I was in school! My gymnastics and dance training made transitioning into circus relatively easy though don’t be fooled… I’ve spent hours training acrobatics, trapeze and hula hoops. It takes dedication, hard work and chops (hours on stage) to be a good performer!!! How would you describe your work to a complete stranger?
Circus performer specialising in Hula Hoops, Aerials and partner Acrobatics.What's the first thing career related you usually do each day?
Coffee, toast and a stretch pretty much in that order.Can you describe an "average" working day for you?
On a non performance day I do admin in the morning and train in the afternoon for about three hours. This can include anything from hula hooping and trapeze to cross training in the gym. We’re a dedicated little bunch at the "Blue Circus Training Studio" training skills and acts on various apparatus. You become so accustomed to seeing incredible acrobatic feats every day that you barely lift and eyebrow when someone goes hurtling through the air past you as you stretch and chat on the gym mat.
On a performance day I focus on preparation before the show, music, props, fabulous make-up, costumes, good pair of lashes (fake eyelashes) and getting to the gig on time. Some nights I have had up to four performances in one night at different venues. This can be both hilarious and exhausting running half costumed through the streets with 50 hula hoops on your shoulder. Who or what in the arts world most inspires you?
After travelling on the job far and wide I can honestly say Australian performers are some of the best in the world. So in that respect my fellow artists across of variety of artforms: visual art, comedy, theatre, dance and of course circus, particularly in Melbourne, inspire me on a daily basis. Also strong and talented female performers such as the Wau Wau sisters, Julie Atlas Muz, Ruby Rubberlegs, Amy G and many more.What's the toughest challenge you've dealt with on the job?
Hostile situations when on tour in foreign countries such as being caught in a riot in Angola following a show at a football stadium (there was an AK 47 on my dressing room table), long stints living out of a suitcase, illness as a result of strange exotic foods, saying yes to the Moomba parade and finding out I was a giant arse end of a fish. What's the best piece of advice you were ever given for your career?
You never know who’s watching!!!What are the top three skills you need in your particular role?
Motivation, coordination and ideas.What's the best thing about your job?
Amazing people & job diversity.And the worst?
Injury and people asking you about Cirque du Soleil!And if you had to sum your working life in a word or phrase, what would it be?
The Glory Box is Finucane and Smith's latest pandora's box of goodies, taking place at fortyfive downstairs and featuring a truly remarkable line up of performers a number of whom are travelling back to Australia EXCLUSIVELY to perform with Moira Finucane. Not only will Christos Tsiolkas (The Slap, Head On) write a performance piece for Glory Box, but Miss Behave (Amy Saunders), Ursula Martinez, Anna Lumb and Meow Meow will travel from as far as London and Spain to take their place on the Glory Box stage.
Dipped in lush brocades, bespoke cocktails and golden dragons, Finucane & Smith’s GLORY BOX is Burlesque Hour meets Pandora’s Box: fusing demi-monde nightclub with jaw dropping cabaret, insolent and exotic live art, circus and sideshow, butoh and disco, grand guignol and backroom ballet in a seductive spectacle for 4 weeks only 7 June – 1 July 2012.7 June – 1 July @ fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, MelbourneTimes:
Thursday 7pm. Friday & Saturday 7pm/ 9.30pm. Sunday 5.30pm Tickets:
CATWALK $66/$56 GENERAL TABLE SEATING $56/$46 Table Bookings Available!
THE PEANUT GALLERY has arrived! VERY LIMITED $25 tickets for any artist, any age, any artform (and you get peanuts). Bookings:
03 9662 9966 or www.fortyfivedownstairs.com