MANILA -- Filipino circus performer Ehrlich Ocampo made headlines back in July for his one-of-a-kind performances in “America’s Got Talent.”
He received a standing ovation from the audience and the judges for his unique leviwand act, where he dances and moves around as a wand seemingly floats in midair.
Ocampo has been honing his art for years, even despite his family's objections. They encouraged a more standard career for him but he knew he wanted to reveal a magical world, one dance step at a time.
He used to practice on the streets and in parks, dreaming of the day he could afford proper circus training. Because of his family’s lack of funds and opportunities, Ocampo practiced gymnastics on a pile of rice husks, often training late at night to avoid passing cars.
When he received a job opportunity for Cirque de Soleil, Ocampo needed three weeks of seafarer training, several dozens of documents and certificates, and was even denied a visa once.
Still, he persevered, and did whatever he needed to pursue his dream of being a circus performer.
After having trained with the best circus performers all around the world, Ocampo persisted to develop his unique leviwand act. Now more than ever, he is grateful for the chance to show the global audience what Filipinos can do.
Hoping to inspire others with his story, Ocampo wrote "The Boy Who Dreamt Of Flying," a heart-touching fable of a boy who weaved a dreamcatcher to catch his dreams of flying.
He wants the book, which is inspired by his own life, to help foster a community of inclusion, and encourage local creatives to find a way to showcase their passion.
"The Boy Who Dreamt Of Flying" is available on Amazon.