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Home > Author > Toby Philpott
Toby Philpott

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Member Since: Jul, 2010

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I ran away from the circus to join a library!

Background Information

My parents were performers, but I think my mother hoped I would avoid that insecure profession and use my intelligence to go to university and get a 'proper job'.

Sadly I let her down in that hope, as the draw to performing (and working for myself) proved too strong.

I began as a street performer (back in the days when that was an outlaw way of making a living, not the professional choice it is now) and that led to other perfoming opportunities, as well as teaching and promoting circus skills for their mental and physical benefits, particularly to non-academic children.

The fitness levels I acquired as a juggler and acrobat, combined with the experience of doing mime and mask work, led to work inside animatronic creatures for major feature films - originally trained and employed by Jim Henson (of the Muppets) but ending up inside Jabba the Hutt in Return of The Jedi.  That last job remains a claim to fame, and I am still contacted by fans, asked to sign photos, etc.

The film business is fickle, and after six films I returned to my first love, circus and variety, helping set up circus schools in the UK, and eventually running away with a circus created by some of my students!

Turning 50, I wanted a slightly more settled life, so took a winter job in the local library, and have remained here ever since - specializing in computer use (for staff and public).


I have completed four 'scratch' novels with the NaNoWriMo challenge, and one film script.

Additional Information

People keep suggesting I complete an autobiography (because of the colourful life) but I have put so much of it online already it has proved difficult to find a form for it as a book. This is why I have been flexing the writing muscles with various other projects.

Favorite Links

Toby Philpott's Lulu Store
A focal point for my current self-published projects.

Toby's labyrinthine old website
This website grew over a decade, and although it is old-fashioned looking now, it contains all my experiments, including an online life story...

A Compilation of Toby's Writing
This site has links to my online writing projects and collaborations.

Language 'Is' a Virus
I have several blogs these days, but this is one of the originals, containing several years of diary.

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