The Nelson Buskers Festival performers take to the stage and street this week to excite, wow and make us laugh. This year’s acts are coming from Canada, Argentina, Germany and Japan as well as New Zealand, and it got us wondering what type of life this was.
Here, the Nelson Weekly catches up with Sara Twister from Germany, who as a child baffled her peers and family with random acts of hypermobility, dislocations and fitting in tiny enclosures.
How would you describe your act – an acrobatic contortionist?
My act is mostly a blend between archery, contortion, and me! For my main stunt I fire a bow with my feet whilst in a complex acrobatic position; balancing on my arms. For the rest of it I’m pushing the limits of my own body, and the limits of what people dare to watch.
To many this is an unusual occupation: how did you get into it?
I’ve been into archery ever since I was about 8-years-old, but the twist came later. I have naturally double-jointed shoulders and used to enjoy baffling my friends with this abnormality all throughout my childhood. When I discovered there was actually a thing called “contortion” and this could become my career, I was hooked.
To keep in shape, how much practise goes in?
A lot! Usually, when I am performing I can’t do as much, but I will need to do at least an hour of yoga when I wake up and before shows, and an hour of Pilates every two days after shows, just to maintain the muscles.
What’s the best aspect of the job? And the worst?
Best aspect? Travel! Worst? Travel! Ha! No seriously, I love the most getting to see different places and cultures, but it is also the thing that can be very tiring. At the moment I don’t actually even live anywhere. I have all my belongings in two cases, and basically live in hotels and Airbnbs. I see my family and close friends only once or twice a year and I miss them a lot! But I DO get to meet a lot of my performing friends around the world and see beautiful places and that’s amazing.
Do you have a favourite country or type of audience you really love performing in front of?
I’ll be honest… I actually really love New Zealand and Australia! When I started developing this particular show, I was a lot in both those countries, so I guess in a way it was tailored to the audiences here.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
I’d be a costume maker. I love making costumes. Art you can wear! How great is that? I make all my own actually. I’d love to get more into it, but unfortunately don’t have much time for it at the moment. When I can’t do this anymore though, that is what I’ll be doing.
You can see Sara Twister at the Buskers Festival, which runs from 31 January – 3 February.