Lighter side: Lawyer ditches six-figures to become human cannonball

A lawyer has given up his life of a six-figure salary, a fancy car and multi-million dollar house in order to start a circus and become a human cannonball

An Oxford-educated former lawyer has chosen to follow his heart and become a human cannonball instead of continuing on in his six-figure salary job.

Thirty-year old Gary Stocker had a $2 million house and an impressive pay packet as a law writer and legal recruitment officer.

But he decided to leave it all to dust and live in a caravan with a travelling circus performing as “The Great Herrmann”, according to The Daily Mail.

Stocker spent tens of thousands of dollars setting up his own circus, Chaplin’s Circus, with his friend Mark foot.

“Perhaps I only went to Oxford to please my mum – I realised that being in the circus was what I was destined for,” he says. “The circus is even harder than my previous jobs in terms of hours, but it brings freedom and variety. It’s so exciting, and every day brings something new.”

And much to his surprise, Stocker’s mum wasn’t disappointed in her son’s chosen re-route, she’s actually really proud of him.

It all hit him one day when he received a particularly huge windfall for a month’s work. His boss said to him, “you’re going to make so much money you won’t be able to leave”.

That’s when Stocker decided he didn’t want to be enticed by money any longer.

Then, his friend Foot, who is a street performer, suggested he get in on the act.

 “When Mark put his proposal to me I realised that being in a circus was what I was destined for. I thought about his offer for all of 15 minutes before giving him a resounding ‘yes’,” he says.

Stocker studied law at Oxford before landing a job at the London office of international legal recruitment consultancy Shilton Sharpe Quarry as an academic law writer.

His performances follow a 1920s-themed show which tells the story of a circus on the brink of bankruptcy that is saved by an inventor who builds the world’s first human cannon.

Close to 20 performers, including jugglers, acrobats and tight-rope walkers, take part in the show inside the 1,400-seat tent – the largest in the UK - which Stocker has funded.

Recent articles & video

HWL Ebsworth partner makes the switch to McCullough Robertson

Axiom Australia announces new managing director and country head

Town planning runs strong in the veins of this Clayton Utz partner

Maddocks welcomes midyear with 64 promotions

HSF pitches in on industry-first deal

SA Supreme Court orders sale of family land despite resident brother’s objections

Most Read Articles

MinterEllison partnership balloons after nine promotions

Lucky seven promoted to partner at Lander & Rogers

Allens guides Morgan Stanley in landmark infrastructure deal

New chair takes the lead at Barry Nilsson