This is a guest post by Alison Halstead. Alison is a Mimbre Associate Performer, and a British-born, American-raised, professionally-trained actor. This article originally appeared on her blog 4 foot 6, on 4th September 2016. 

…I auditioned for an all-female acrobatics company.

The small ensemble was looking to expand and to work with women of differing creative and physical backgrounds. With varied abilities and bodies.

After the initial project ended, I was invited to devise a new show and become a touring company member.

The all-female acro company saw potential in me and my physicality.

I was thrilled and excited to expand my range and body of work. To collaborate with new people.

I later learned that the work was classified as street theatre/circus.


Talking to my mother, early on in my working relationship with the company, I shared that of course I’d do circus, because of how I looked. That, being short-statured, my casting opportunities and possibilities were limited….to circus.

I was crying. Really, really crying.

Mum said that one of the things she hoped for children was that when God offered a different path (from what we thought we wanted), she prayed that we would be able to take the new road.

Not really what I wanted to hear. Probably eye-rolled.

Last fall, after having worked on several projects over many years, I was offered a position of Artistic Associate.

I accepted proudly.

Mimbre Acrobatics is a company where I can explore my artistry.

Where my singular voice is heard.

Where I am challenged to do things I have never done before.

Where I get to perform in front of thousands.

And, where my stature is not regarded as a hindrance. Nor, too different,

but exciting and interesting and unique.

I get to create with a company of talented, breathtakingly- strong, intelligent,

​funny, and hard-working women.

I am very grateful that they saw something in my singular body, and that I didn’t cut myself off from the possibility…cut myself off from this different path.

(Photo Credit: Lina Johansson)

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