Off Stage

Random flips to cover messed up solo

James Eddie Crane.

Gymnast and circus performer James Eddie Crane, 26, will be performing with Canadian contemporary circus company Cirque Eloize at its upcoming circus and urban dance production, iD.

Born in Washington D.C., he was an eight-time junior Olympic national qualifier and two-time regional team member for Pennsylvania in competitive gymnastics. He began his foray into circus performances in 2011 with Cirque du Soleil's Viva Elvis.

iD, which returns to Singapore after its 2011 run, will feature 15 performers across 10 circus disciplines. Crane will take on power stilts and trampowall performances.

What drew you to competitive gymnastics and the circus? Ever since I was three, gymnastics has been something I always wanted to do, especially learning how to do flips. My parents were supportive of my passion so they enrolled me for competitive gymnastics classes.

My most memorable class was when I learnt how to do my first double backflip on a trampoline, which then drew me into performing for the circus. What are your pre-show rituals? I don't really get nervous before shows, but sometimes, having a lot of friends or family in the audience can make me a bit nervous.

To overcome my nerves, I would shuffle dance to techno music, or go somewhere quiet and put on my headphones to block out the world and clear my head.


  • WHERE: Sands Theatre, MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands

    WHEN: Saturday to March 6

    ADMISSION: From $45 from Sistic (call 6348-5555 or go to

Have you experienced any accidents or funny incidents on stage? I haven't had any accidents so far, but from time to time, I do encounter funny incidents - when someone makes a joke on stage and I have to try not to laugh. I just learn how to stay in character and run with it.

One of the funniest incidents I experienced was at the iD show with Cirque Eloize last year when I messed up my solo and started to add random flips, which, fortunately, looked like it was part of the act. Do you have a special exercise routine to keep up with the physical demands of your stage performances? I don't really have a regular workout routine as the practices usually keep my body in shape. But I make sure to do stretches for my neck, back, arms, ankles and legs for 10 to 15 minutes a day. Which do you like more: competing or performing? I prefer performing because I get inspired by it.

There is never a dull moment and the experience of performing in front of many people is the best and most amazing thing I get to do.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2016, with the headline 'Random flips to cover messed up solo'. Print Edition | Subscribe