New Zealand’s got talent — but so has Raglan.
And Alfred the Circus Nerd is out to reinforce it on this Sunday’s New Zealand’s Got Talent semis when he balances on pipes — and goes through hoops — in a bid to make the finals of the popular television show.
It was his recently televised New Zealand’s Got Talent audition — among 35 or so others from around the country — that has earned Alfred, aka Matthias Goed, a trip to Auckland this week with a few “better tricks” up his sleeve to impress the judges.
Whether his practised-to-perfection rola bola routine using a balance board, combined with a contortionist act in which he passes his body through small hoops, does the trick is anybody’s guess but “yeah I’m hoping”, he told the Chronicle.
The 17-year-old Raglan Area School student will once again have his “beautiful assistant” and number one fan — his mother and aerial artist Irene — with him backstage for the circus act. They’re skills taught to him at the tender age of nine by dad Damian, seen downtown in summers past disguised as one of those eerily motionless ”living statues”.
Matthias learnt also to juggle when he was eight years old, and last month told the NZ’s Got Talent judging panel he thought back then that everyone could juggle.
The young performer never even had to run away and join the circus because his whole family, including younger sister Artemis, have always been travelling performers.
His parents themselves established Circus Aotearoa — billed as New Zealand’s very own circus — after a life on the road with the long-established but now defunct Whirling Bros Circus, which put up its Big Top a final time five years ago.
Since then, from their home in Waitetuna where the kids have grown up and gone to school locally, Matthias’s family have taken their circus all over the country including down to the South Island for two years. They’re about to start the season again in Raglan at Christmas-time.
Matthias is used to performing in front of people — albeit in a circus tent — and says his television auditions are no big deal. “The only difference is the cameras,” he says.
But they didn’t seem to faze his alter-ego, the spectacled Alfred the Nerd, one bit in the audition round as he slickly whisked a comb from his pocket and did his hair, then straightened his tie before wowing the audience and judges with his balancing skills.
That involved climbing atop a board balancing precariously on top of a horizontal cylinder or pipe that was itself balanced on top of a slightly more stable-looking stacker which was in turn balanced on top of another pipe cleverly arranged the opposite way from the first.
“Astonishing!” was judge and Opshop frontman Jason Kerrison’s reaction to Matthias’s tricky act.
In response to fellow judge Rachel Hunter’s question as to what else he could do, Matthias told the former supermodel simply “I can go higher”.
Alfred the Circus Nerd looks likely to do just that and move his whole act up a level or two come Sunday’s show (TV One at 7.30pm).