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Circus artist has new tricks

Jake West bringing his varied show to Parksville Beachfest
Circus artist Jake West will be performing at Beachfest this weekend.

There will be a lot of clowning around at the Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition (Beachfest) this year, thanks to circus artist Jake West.West performs physical comedy, jokes, juggling and balancing acts among other things.

“I have a lot of new tricks, things people probably haven’t seen before,” he said. West said he was always the class clown in school but he didn’t actually think of becoming a circus performer until he was 26. He went to visit a friend in Cirque du Soleil and tried a number of his apparatuses.“I said, ‘Man! I could do this stuff.’”

It was the creativity, imagination and physicality of it all that really hooked him, he said, and now he’s been doing his show for 10 years. The best part for West is making people laugh, and seeing smiling faces in the audience, he said.A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, West said he used to thrive climbing mountains, snowboarding in the back country and ice climbing. But his act has topped all these feats, he said.

“For me I always been in search of that rush and the biggest high I’ve ever had has been walking off the stage off a good show,” he said. “I can be high for days off that.”