A FAMILIAR face and not just in Cork, one part of the dance duo Lords of Strut who did well in Britain’s Got Talent and the artistic director of Cork’s Circus Factory, Cormac Mohally is a professional messer and well known for his work.
“I call myself an artist, it’s funny, in things like insurance when you fill it out, you hear, if you say certain things you get a better deal. If you say circus performer they don’t know what category to put you in! Or if you say performer they might think you drive home at 2am so over the years I’ve decided I’m an artist, that’s what I do.”
Learning to juggle at the age of 13, before attending circus school in Belfast at the age of 19, Cormac has decades of experience in the world of comedic performance.
Coming away from the year-long course, Cormac’s passion for all things circus was fully ignited.
“For years I cut my teeth performing on the streets of Cork.”
Now, at the age of 42, Cormac is as enthusiastic as ever about the tricks of the trade, but said there is a bit more paperwork to his roles.
“There is a bit of desk work, generating income instead of actually physically performing, I miss it when I’m not doing it.”
The best thing about Cormac’s career choice is he gets to do what he loves.
“There are challenges, for sure, but it doesn’t feel like work, and you get to hang out with cool people.”
Cormac said getting to chat with other performers is a nice perk of the job.
“It’s an essential part of life, the exchange of ideas and stories, it’s what it’s all about.”
One of Cormac’s finest achievements is performing a freestyle hurling act ahead of the All-Ireland in 2012.
“I’d say I’m the only Mohally to make it onto the pitch at Croke Park!” Cormac joked.
On a more serious note, Cormac said his daughter Samhain is one of his greatest achievements.
Now in the wiser years of his life, Cormac said something he has learned with time is to take things a bit easier.
“I think it’s important to get the balance right and to go a little bit slower. Summer is a busy time of year for me and I find it hard to take holidays, but I should.”
Offering advice to his younger self, Cormac said he would have told himself to take it a bit easier.
He said for a number of years, he had no idea what he wanted to do, but he’s happy now with where he ended up.
A reserved user of social media, Cormac said he has spent time on the various apps, but since employing someone to look after the Circus Factory socials, he has taken a back seat.
“Someone else is showing the world what we are up to, that’s basically all I wanted to achieve, get the word out there and let people know what’s happening.”
Looking back and looking forward, Cormac said he feels excited about the future but wonders how we survived without the constant communication that the modern world is now used to.
“How did we manage before? It’s mad.”
A man of many talents, Cormac picked up guitar during the pandemic.
Outside of music and performance, he loves a game of solitaire or Tetris on his phone.
“I’m being honest, that is what I love to do, I’m constantly on it.”
In September, Cormac will bring the fifth Pitch’d festival to Cork, a festival dedicated to the art of street performance.
“The aim is to bring something to Cork for the people of Cork. There will be four days of street theatre across the city, it’s going to be amazing.”