Happiness Inside & Out With Ebon Grayman

Cirque du Soleil performer turned actor, teacher and photographer, Ebon Grayman is a master of all trades. He and Nuggett have been friends for a lifetime and recently caught up to talk about his journey and all things happiness.

"I first met Ebon on a show called Cirque du Soleil. I was working as a makeup artist when they were filming a Television/Documentary and Ebon was the leading Ring Master performer.

Ebon's performance captivated everyone around the world and still does to this day with everything he does. Many of the performers didn’t speak much English but for Ebon and I it was an instant connection, like a long lost brother and sister. You know when you just connect from the moment you meet! We can spend hours talking and laughing as we both love being happy, healthy and positive.
Ebon Grayman and Nuggett McCabe

After the show finished I invited Ebon to stay with me and I was his tour guide all over Sydney. We also travelled up to Queensland where I was able to show him the beauty of Australia. He is now settled on the Gold Coast with his family where he is teaching his amazing skills so people can learn the basic fundamentals of gymnastics with fun and fitness. Ebon's rolling tumbling and strengthening is a programme everyone should try."

Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, tell us about your childhood and how you got into gymnastics?
Growing up in the Bronx was rough. I’m the youngest of eight and grew up in a single parent home with not a lot of money. When I was 13, my mother suffered a fatal stroke and I went to live with my oldest brother. Although it was extremely unfortunate for me to lose my mother, it put me in a more positive environment in which I could flourish. My brother had a financially sound career that allowed him to support my gymnastics, as it is an expensive sport. Had my mother not suffered a stroke, I would’ve remained in that negative environment, with no financial support and extremely limited opportunities.

The most important lesson it taught me, is that there is no other choice but to work hard at everything you pursue in order to be successful.

Nuggett McCabe and Ebon Grayman


I know it’s the best place ever but what brought you to live in Australia?
I toured Australia in the year 2000 with Cirque du Soleil and we filmed the live show in Sydney. I met and worked with Nuggett on the show Alegria and she showed me the relaxed nature of Australians and the beauty of the land. I knew I would eventually end up in Australia with my wife Lola and our daughter Orchid. After touring the world we decided to settle on the Gold Coast.

From gymnast to performer, actor, teacher and photographer - you have definitely had an exciting and colourful career! What are some of your standout moments and how did each experience open new doors and allow you to grow as a performer?
I was initially recruited by Cirque du Soleil as a tumbling acrobat but they saw my versatility as a performer which gave them confidence in offering me new and amazing opportunities.

A highlight standout moment the role of Alegria’s main character, Monsieur Fleur. This opportunity gave me the utmost confidence because Cirque du Soleil recognised something in me that I wasn’t even aware of. It definitely changed my life in the sense that it gave me the confidence and recognition.

They did the filming of the Alegria show in Sydney and millions of people saw the Alegria DVD. When I finally left Alegria I had the opportunity to work with other amazing shows throughout the world. I can definitely say Cirque du Soleil changed my life in many ways.

Ebon Grayman Cirque Du Soleil Alegria

Being a gymnast and Cirque du Soleil artist would have taken a lot of training and discipline. How do you keep your body in such great shape?
I keep in shape with a  strengthening program I created using my foam roller.
It’s a mixture of Pilates, yoga and lots of gymnastics principles. It’s an overall body workout that targets every major muscle group, even the muscle groups you didn’t know you have. You don’t need a lot of space, you don’t have to be a gymnast, you don’t need flexibility. This program is for everyone.

What was the greatest thing about your time performing and touring with Cirque du Soleil?
I met so many amazing people from different cultures around the world that I really loved working with. A great learning experience about culture and everyday lifestyles. It gave me life long experiences about people and it taught me even more about myself. If I were to give anyone advice about life, it would definitely be to travel the world to learn so many valuable life lessons.

Ebon Grayman Aerial Silks

Watching you perform aerial silks is absolutely spectacular. How do you physically and mentally prepare for a performance? What goes through your mind when you are up in the air?
Competing as a gymnast for 10 years gave me the experience to be able to prepare mentally and physically for the show. I would do a 30 minute warmup and my thoughts are to go out there, touch their souls, take the audience with you on your journey, have as much fun as possible and give them the best show that they’ve ever seen.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue an athletic career in performing arts?
I would say, be sure that it’s your true passion. Performers are a special breed. To be a true performer, you have to breathe, eat, drink, sleep, live performance. It has to be your “true calling”. It’s not for the fragile or weak minded. There are plenty of ups and downs that will make you want to quit. This is why you need to “live it” and not just do it, as opposed to just going through the motions. You’re most likely to succeed rather than fail. Life is to live your passion and opportunities will become limitless.

You performed for Cirque du Soleil Alegría which is Spanish for "joy". What brings joy to your life?
Whenever I surprise my daughter and see her eyes light up.
Watching my students progress when I’m teaching them skills that they master.
When someone compliments my photography it always inspires me.
Watching someone laugh hysterically makes me feel joyful and happy.

Your Instagram @ebonchristopherimages showcases some of your beautiful photography, in particular the serene landscape shots. What made you get into photography?
My photography is another passion and I love to capture the beauty of what we see through the lens. Travelling throughout the world gave me opportunity to photograph so many amazing places, people and moments that I always wanted capture on camera. It's important to have other goals and hobbies you want to achieve in life.

Ebon Grayman - Nuggett and Charlie Skincare

Apart from starring in our latest brand campaign, what is next for Ebon?
It was a great opportunity to have been asked to star in Nuggett x Charlie’s Happiness Organic Vegan Skincare Campaign as I am a big supporter of looking after yourself inside and out with Happiness.

Having worked with the best of the best over the years in  Cirque du Soleil, I wanted to embrace fun learning skills and teach everyday people how to increase their flexibility, strength, body awareness and tumbling skills through gymnastics principles.

Im in pre-production stage of developing my foam roller along with several pieces of fitness equipment to use for the everyday person with my strengthening program called Happydays with Ebon. I will definitely let you know when we are launching!

What does Happiness mean to you?
Happiness is feeling free in your own skin, never being afraid to express yourself or your passion. Never being afraid to take risks in your life. Telling someone you love them and knowing they also love you. Kindness helping someone and reaching for the stars and touching one.
Ebon Grayman Gymnist Cirque Du Soleil

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