Bunny is a hoop star by name and by trade. She's a major force in the international hula hooping community and I'd say she's a one-woman powerhouse if it wasn't for the fact that she actively fosters collaboration and sharing through everything she does. I still marvel at what she's managed to achieve as a business owner of Hoop Empire and love seeing it evolve.
We go way back! I met Bunny in the mid-90s and since then we've forged a lifelong friendship and collaborated on so many great projects (hoops and otherwise). The most memorable of these have been centered on hula hooping. One that is enduring for me is Summer Gay Day 2007 (photos by Nick Coppins) where we pulled off a double hoop act with a giant weighted hoop. Both of us inside one hoop dancing to DJ Gemma's "Mahboub". Dare you to give it a try. Sleaze Ball "Zirkus" was also an absolute trip, performing as The Hoopaholics on a mega stage for an ocean of heaving LGBTQI+ partygoers. Another gorgeous memory was our show at Carnival of Electric Illusions hosted by the Colour Parade doing our thing with psychedelic LED hoops to Röyksopp's "What Else is There? (Trentemoller Remix)". You can check out the blurry video here! If it wasn't for Bunny I wouldn't have had these fantastic experiences and they formed some of my first professional performance opportunities where I began to develop my on-stage persona and confidence in front of an audience.
Fast forward to 2020 and we're working on a new project. Over the quarantine period I crafted some meditative beats at 110BPM for her new online Hoop Body Workout course. She needed some repetitive, chilled, electronic, organic sounds with a touch of tribal that would fit snugly behind her instruction and provide a hypnotic groove to hoop out to. More on those later.
So, this is my first interview for my new blog and I want to thank Bunny so much for agreeing to it. I want this blog to feature interviews with independent creative professionals and I cant think of a more perfect person for a first interview. Over to you Bunny!
How would you describe yourself?
I'm a creatrix. I currently create experiences for adults and kids to move their bodies and minds with hula hoops, dance and music.
What inspires you?
Music, art, colour, clouds, the ocean, all of nature, friendship, love.
Where are you from?
I live in Sydney, Australia and I grew up in coastal Victoria.
Tell us about some of your most interesting jobs.
Writing astrology in the late 90s for magazines and mobile WAP was fun. Working in an African drumming company was wild. Learning the art of bringing the beat to corporate entertainment was one of the bridges I crossed in becoming a hoop star. In 2005 I opened my Sydney-based hoop business, Hoop Empire. We make and sell hula hoops; we teach adults and kids how to spin; and, we perform hoop dance.
What are you most proud of?
I've been working full time in, and on, my creative business for 15 years! It's been a thrilling experience ... very colourful, intense, and empowering.
Who would you most like to collaborate with (living or dead)? David Lynch What is the most trouble you have ever gotten into? I got taken out on stage by a firework back in the peak hoop day... that was quite troubling! I don't perform much at all since this event.
What's the most challenging thing about being an independent creative?
Wearing all the hats - chief creative, manager, marketer, hoop maker, makeup artist, costume designer, photographer... that's before I even spin on stage or into a class. Versatility and tenacity are essential. I also think it is quite difficult to get paid at a level that accurately reflects the amount of work and resources required to produce yourself as an independent creative.
Best piece of advice you've been given.
Let what comes, come; let what goes, go; and find out what remains.
I'm about to launch my online hula hooping school!
What would you like to plug?
The Hoop Flow School of Movement launches 1st June, 2020. You can find out about all the hoop fun I create at www.hoopempire.com