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Body and Soul: Tina Segner

My parents were . . . young once, which only occurred to me a few years ago. It's remarkable to think they once fell in love, made plans, dreamed dreams, and then decided to have my sister and me. My father actually didn't want a daughter; he wanted a Volvo!

The house I grew up in . . . was a normal Swedish house with triple glazing, under-floor heating, two kitchens and a nuclear fall-out shelter that my father used as a home brewery.

When I was a child I wanted to be . . . grown up and sensible. I hope it never happens.

If I could change one thing about myself I would . . . change the dying bit.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at . . . Board diving. It was something I did when I was young in Sweden. I rediscovered it recently in Ireland, and within a very short time became the Irish champion, which says less about my ability and more about the lack of enthusiasm for the sport in Ireland.

You may not know it but I'm no good at . . . religion.

At night I dream of . . . walking through a field into a brightly coloured big top, where the most unique and wondrous people are doing the most amazing things. I sit down and watch my friends as they laugh and play. I watch them swing from the cupola, graceful, ageless and beautiful.

When I look in the mirror I see . . . the child I was, the woman I have become and my sister's earrings that I robbed.

My favourite item of clothing is . . . my new over-sized clown shoes. I believe they are the only thing in the world that can make hoovering pleasurable.

I wish I'd never worn . . . those damn clown shoes. They keep getting stuck up the nozzle of my Dyson. I think they have broken it.

I drive . . . as little as possible, because it's just bad manners.

My house is . . . parked up in a field in Western Australia. I will get there in January for our three-month tour. I hope the bull ants have moved out by then.

My favourite work of art . . . is The Beard Show by an Australian circus company called Acrobat. Everything about them is inspirational.

A book that changed me . . . is Poor Clown by Charlie Rivel. It is his autobiography, and I think it inspires the beautiful truth about how to live: just simply be amazing.

My greatest regret is . . . not being born in France. In France I am a circus artist; in Ireland I'm carny scum.

My real-life villain is . . . insurance, risk assessments, and health and safety. Everyone everyday should do something that scares them.

The person who really makes me laugh is . . . Trent Birdmann, our director and neo-vaudevillian comic superstar.

The last time I cried . . . was when my Dyson ate my clown shoes.

My five-year plan is . . . not to have a five-year plan; goals limit your expectations. I'd rather do the things I said I would never do, get lost on the road to my destination, accept the unexpected and, whenever no one's looking, misbehave.

My life philosophy is . . . wear clown shoes, but don't be disappointed when they turn out not to be funny.

Tumble Circus presents Nouvelle Carny on July 6 and 7 as part of the 10th Clonmel Junction Festival, www.junctionfestival.com


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