Festival star Daniel Gorski came to Sydney Fringe last month with a twinkle in his eye, a twist in his moustache, and a slew of tricks and gags.
After performing his popular show, Mr.Gørski, to an awestruck audience, he left the festival with his twinkle, moustache and tricks intact, and with the addition of two prestigious awards in hand, having just won the San Diego International Fringe Touring Award and Fringe World Tour Ready Award.
“I wasn’t expecting to receive the awards so it’s a nice surprise to [get] the recognition,” Gorski remarked. “The two awards mean I get to perform my show at both Perth and San Diego fringe festivals.”
Originally from Melbourne, Gorski was brought up in an artistic Polish household that encouraged his creative side to shine.
“I have an inexplicable passion for the art and the skills involved in vaudeville, probably stemming from my early childhood musical theatre days,” said Gorski. “As a teenager I decided that circus, and in particular salon juggling and slapstick, was what I wanted to pursue and despite being told on numerous occasions not to bother as vaudeville was dead, I persisted.
“I set out to search Australia and the world for teachers. I had to convince many of these masters that I was worthy of these skills, which in turn enabled the tradition to live on.
“Because of this I almost feel like a conservationist.”
Gorski’s high-energy show was first performed with great success at Sydney’s Hoopla Festival 2014.
Since then, his act has been part of festivals including Viva La Gong, Woodford Folk Festival, Sydney Children’s Festival, Adelaide Fringe and Perth’s Joondalup Fest.
“At the core of what I do I am an artist and entertainer focused on the vaudeville clown and variety theatre. I find myself sitting on the boundary of cabaret, circus, sideshow and variety,” he said.
“No matter what or where I’m performing I take great pride in my work but also like to keep a larrikin attitude with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek.”
Practising and perfecting a new trick for the stage demands years of dedicated hard work, and Gorski has an impressive string of skills to his name: salon juggling, object manipulation, happy cooks/plate spinning, slapstick, mime, Chinese Pole, teeterboard, Russian swing, acrobatics, acro-balance, among other circus arts.
“While at the national institute of circus arts I worked with a Chinese master Mr Cui who taught me a number of skills but he also taught me how to teach myself.
“I like to say that to learn a specific juggling trick you need the four P’s. First you need to be prepared to practise (the harder the trick the more practice is needed), you need patience (sometimes it takes a while), persistence (be prepared not to give up), and permission to fail (there are going to be lots of drops).”
Gorski is also known for playing the quirky character Jango from the ABC Kids show Hoopla Doopla, and is seen regularly on other popular shows including La Soiree and Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.