Singer Diana Holt runs away to join the circus after COVID-19 ruins international work

Toowoomba singer Diana Holt was one of countless Australians working in the entertainment industry when the coronavirus pandemic threw it into turmoil as restrictions shut down shows and income dried up.

The Chinchilla-born performer found herself adrift after losing a gig onboard a cruise ship in the United Kingdom.

In the midst of one of the industry’s darkest chapters Holt has returned to her roots, signing-on as a singer with The Great Moscow Circus on its tour of regional Queensland.

Having already performed with a circus in Germany she was excited to be back under the big top.

“My first experience of performing in a circus was just like a dream,” she said.

“So to get this opportunity to do it here in Australia, and be on the ground, it’s totally different. It’s just an incredible cast and crew.”

Former colleagues had recommended her to The Great Moscow Circus’ marketing manager Mark Edgley, who called her late last year and offered her a lifeline.

“On December 8 I got a phone call saying ‘do you want to come and join the circus?'” she said.

“And I was, like, ‘yep!'”

Holt had planned to do a campervan trip from Cairns to Brisbane over Christmas but it had not worked out.

Instead, her new gig will take her on the same journey, albeit with a much bigger travelling party, and one Holt said still felt like a safe and nurturing community.

“It’s very different to having your apartment and you can shut the rest of the world out,” she said.

“But essentially you can have your privacy here as much as you want, and you can have your community as much as you want.”

Holt described her role in the show as “like the female version of the ringmaster”.

“I just weave in and out through the show. Then at the end I come in for a big finale,” she said.

The performer said starting the tour in her hometown was the perfect introduction to her latest circus journey.

“Mum’s been amazing,” she said.

“She’s been darting back and forth helping me out with little bits and pieces. And I’ve been able to use her washing machine, which is great.”

Some of her circus colleagues have spent their whole working lives on the road, but for now Holt is just grateful to have a job in such turbulent times.

“Right now I can’t go overseas. That’s where my work has been,” she said.

“So at the moment this is my gig, and I’m very pleased that I’m able to do a show and travel and tour.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.