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Gemma Bond

Gemma Bond

Gemma Bond, AKA Velma Von Bon Bon


Favourite discipline:
Aerial silks


Years active at Greentop:
I was a full-time student at the Circus In Performance Course in 2014. I have participated in many workshops here since.

Where I am now:
I’m a full-time cabaret and circus performer, and freelance aerial teacher.

Favourite joke:
Too rude for this polite audience!!

If I could summarise the impact Greentop had on me in one word:

My circus story:
Greentop was the catalyst that got me out of a mundane job into the world of being a full-time, self-employed artist. I made friends here I still have today and learnt things that have impacted my life in amazing ways. One of the most notable was learning to ride the unicycle I’d had sitting in my house for 2 years gathering dust. Me and that unicycle went on a big journey from that time. From learning how to skip on it, to breaking my arm very badly and ending up with 7 metal pins and a plate, to persevering. That unicycle skipping trick became the finale of one of my staple cabaret acts, and has supported famous drag queens, headlined in Finland, been performed at the Science Museum in London, had a season in a Bristol Spiegeltent, and many more shows besides. It still makes me nervous to do it, but it has brought me so much joy and success.

I made connections at Greentop which enabled me to get my unique comedy martini glass built. That became my signature act and I have even performed it at my clown teacher, Rick Allen’s (AKA Maynard Flipflap’s), cabaret show. Greentop really started it all. I’d been doing circus as a hobby before I came here, but I needed a reason to get out of full-time employment and begin my creative career. It was the push I needed, and I’ve never looked back. What I really love about it is the emphasis on performance. You don’t need to be the most skilled circus artist to succeed with an audience. It’s all about how you present your skills and the journey you take them on. I still perform my martini glass pole act, my unicycle, and aerial silks, and have no intention of giving up any time soon!

I’d say the last big job I had was one of my career highlights – working in a Spiegeltent in Bristol for a Christmas season with an amazing team. I got to perform my martini glass and my unicycle acts with music from a live band. The tent was so beautiful, and the team of performers was just incredible. It felt like a total dream job. Some of my other favourite jobs have included doing my unicycle act in the London Science Museum under a plane, and supporting US drag artiste Sasha Velour. I also got to do my martini glass act in a real big top in 2019, and that was simply fantastic.

I don’t know what the future holds; hopefully more of the same! I’d really love to take my skills into a panto. I’m also interested in exploring silks and puppetry combined, as two of my favourite things. I also really want to collaborate more with other circus performers and physical theatre artists. I will perform circus for as long as I am physically able; it really is one of the most amazing things to do for a job, and I count myself so lucky to have had such incredible experiences as a result of it.