Born in Ipswich and raised on the Sunshine Coast, then moving to Sydney on a pipe dream to study performing arts full time, Jessey Fullwood is now performing in France – proving it takes much more than just skill alone to become a dancer at the famous Moulin Rouge.
A dream of dancing professionally is held in the hearts of many young dancers across Australia, yet few are willing or able to fulfil their ambition. Jessey Fullwood is the exception, not only dancing professionally but can-canning her way across the stage in ‘Féérie’ – Moulin Rouge’s resident stage show. But behind the sequins, feathers, big smiles and high kicks is a wicked determination a lot of dancers don’t possess.
“I always thought it would be amazing to be able to dance for a living, but I didn’t seriously consider it until my final year of high school,”Jessey said. “I thought ‘what have I got to lose?’ and I might as well have a shot at my ultimate dream. If never try, I’ll never know.”
So, Jessey relocated from the Sunshine Coast to Sydney to study full time at ED5 International, one of Australia’s most prestigious performing arts schools.
The decision to move so far from home at a young age was tough, but one Jessey doesn’t regret, as it was in Sydney that she landed an audition for Moulin Rouge, but it wasn’t a sure-fire process, taking almost three years to secure a contract.
“The first time I took a day off from full time [school] was to attend the Moulin Rouge Sydney audition in 2014, which was my first real audition,” Jessey said.
“I made it to the end of the audition but it wasn’t until they came again two years later that I was offered my contract at the Moulin Rouge. I found out in February at the beginning of this year and began my contract two months later. I was actually with my mum when I got the email, and we were so shocked and excited!”
While Jessey loves living in France and exploring its rich history, architecture and (occasionally), delicious patisserie fare, she says her favourite part of working and living there is giving people lifelong memories.
“Every day I get to come into work, see my friends and entertain an audience,” she said. “It is such an unreal feeling to be performing the famous Can-Can, looking into the audience and seeing the excitement on people’s faces, and know that you are creating a memory for them that will last forever.”
Jessey’s advice for those wanting to follow a similar path: “work hard, know your strengths and use them, work on your weaknesses and train in as many styles as you can to make you a versatile performer to book more jobs. Be humble and be nice to everyone, because you never know who you could work with down the track. Keep inspired, motivated and strive to do what makes your heart happy.”
Visiting Paris soon? You can catch Jessey on stage by booking tickets through www.moulinrouge.fr/.
by Aislinn Dwyer