Nellie (Michael Collins) (Also known as Finhead)
Rhodesian born Nellie first encountered the circus arts in Spain in 1992. The rich eclectic culture of this world proved incredibly attractive, and from that pivotal moment he has been involved heart and soul in circus-based physical performance. For the past twenty years he has developed his uniquely humorous style and original circus stunts, amongst the most technically demanding and genuinely hazardous (to him!) acts ever seen on stage, cabaret or street, throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia and Japan. Nellie completed Static Trapeze under Deb Pope in 1995 and taught fire performance and fire safety for the Circus Oz Adult Open Classes Program from 1998-2001. He is also a qualified advanced rigger.
From balancing an axe on the chin whilst standing on a rola-bola 4 foot from the ground and simultaneously juggling three machetes, to blowing up a hot water bottle with his mouth until it bursts; playing a romantic tune on violin on one knee while balancing a rose on the nose; performing ‘lumberjack crunches’, sit-ups with an axe balanced on the chin, a stunt for which he is the world record holder (or the extreme version, on a bed of nails!), Finhead is guaranteed to provide any audience at any event with amazement, delight and thrills.
His other skills include slack-rope walking while juggling fire, knives or playing violin; body burning and fire eating; classy fire and fake fire poi routines to mesmerizing music; balancing virtually any object from a teaspoon to a 10 metre pole; juggling almost anything, handstands, the list goes on…
Finhead’s latest incredible stunt involves performing multiple sit-ups on a coffin-lidded Bed of Nails while balancing a giant flaming candelabra on his chin.
Of recent years, Nellie has been a slave to that harshest of mistresses, the violin.
Nellie has worked as a specialist stunt performer on TV productions such as Xena Warrior Princess, (training Lucy Lawless in fire breathing), Hercules, All Saints, Cooks, Snobs and Mary Bryant; and as a featured performer on the films Wolverine and Superman.
Nellie has also worked with various bands as a stuntman, including a live performance with the Hilltop Hoods at the 2009 Aria Awards. He was featured as a circus stuntman in Dallas Frasca’s film clip “Burnt Toast”, and starred as the villain in country artist, Steve Forde’s filmclip “Guns and Guitars”.
To see Finhead’s solo stunts and video clips, visit his website: www.finheadstunts.com.au