6 Ways Circus Performers Keep The Magic Of Circus Alive, Even After Ringling Closed
Entertainment

6 Ways Circus Performers Keep The Magic Of Circus Alive, Even After Ringling Closed

As we adapt to the times, change, and expand, here are a few ways we stay true to our circus roots.

383
Torrey Mebust

After a 146-year run, the United States said farewell to Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey in May 2017, but the American circus is hardly dead. While critics claim the circus is outdated, even antiquated, and nothing but a nostalgic art form, the American people seem to be showing otherwise.

Counter all box office trends, Michael Gracey's The Greatest Showman has risen steadily each week to gather a miraculously large audience, a size not seen since Titanic or Chicago. Cirque du Soleil boasts an incredible seven shows on the Las Vegas strip alone, with a total of twenty-one shows currently touring across the globe. The Viva Fest, a brand new circus festival and competition in Las Vegas, just ran its second annual week-long festival with attendance more than doubled that of its first year. Perhaps more young people than ever have been inspired to "run away with the circus," and new circus schools and pre-professional programs are popping up all over the country, from Philadelphia to Chicago to San Diego.

Arguably, interest in the circus arts is growing. As we adapt to the times, change, and expand, here are a few ways we stay true to our circus roots:

1. We celebrate our story

Maybe we came to the circus arts because our mother and grandmother were performers. Maybe we're here because we saw Ringling as a child and always dreamed of running away with the circus. Or maybe we came to the circus just to try something new. Regardless, we became familiar with where our art form came from, and we know the history that made it possible for us to be here. We are a representative of the circus community, the symbolic offspring of many performers before us. We aim to honor them and do them proud.

2. We respect our elders

Newsflash: They know their sh*t. They want to share their stories, and we want to sit at their feet and soak up all of their experience. We allow ourselves to learn from them and be inspired by them, and we don't take their insights for granted.

3. We are not consumed by the competition

There is inherent competition in scouting for talent and auditioning for shows. However, we don't let that change the way we think of and treat other performers. We are first and foremost family, not competitors; it is in our circus blood to raise each other up, encourage one another, and celebrate our fellow performers' successes. Especially with the Viva Fest and other circus competitions popping up in recent years, we must be critical of our mindset and intention when entering circus spaces.

These competitions are useful to assess where we are as performers and to see where we are going. We come to improve, to be inspired by incredible talent, and to surround ourselves with other circus people.

4. We stay connected

People are the heart of what we do. The circus community is small, and everybody knows everybody. One of the best parts of the Viva Fest in Las Vegas was connecting to students at other schools and sharing our names as we shared our talent. We witnessed professional performers coming together to put on a one-night show, and we watched our coaches reminiscing with other performers on that time they toured together with Ringling 20+ years ago.

Because we are a family, world-record holding artists stay humble enough to meet, watch, and praise emerging performers. We don't miss out on this opportunity to belong to something bigger than ourselves.

5. We go see shows

I know you can watch a lot of circus artists on Youtube or get lost in #circusnation videos on Instagram. However, nothing compares to seeing a live show of fully costumed performers who have spent many hours putting together their acts. We support our people by going to witness the magic.

6. We pass it on

We owe our circus training to countless performers before us. Teachers, coaches, directors, and older students at our schools all contributed to who we are as performers and as people. As we grow up, we take our experiences and knowledge and pass them down to the next generation of circus artists. That is the heart of circus culture.

Is it harder to get bums in seats these days, for any show? Yes. But does that mean the circus is dying? Clearly no. Circus and variety shows are one of our oldest art and entertainment forms, with a shared deep history enriched by unique expressions of circus across the globe, and they show no signs of suddenly going extinct. The circus is not only an integral part of American culture, but it is a rich and thriving sub-culture in and of itself. Once made up almost entirely of circus legacies (as families would have multiple generations of performers), the circus world now also welcomes first generation trainees and retired Olympic athletes under the big top and into the symbolic family. All are welcome on stage and in the audience.

Here's to honoring our roots and continuing to share our love of circus with the world.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

This Survey Shows How Quarantine And Drinking Relate, And I Can't Say I'm Surprised

"5 o'clock somewhere" is more of a guideline now than ever.

As it stands, and my friends and I are finally 21. We're extremely excited to be able to go out to bars and "get lit" as the kids say, but due to the pandemic, all of our plans have been put on hold. We'd rather wait and go when it's safe than risk spreading the infection and hurting our loved ones. So, we've all been quarantining apart, getting on the occasional wine zoom call. This made me wonder if anyone else our age were doing the same thing.

Then, I discovered this survey: We Surveyed Millennials And Gen Z About Their Quarantine Drinking Habits — Cheers. Here are 3 things that I discovered through the survey results.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Easy Summer Mocktail Recipes You Can Make With Items You Probably Already Have On-Hand

Keep these drinks in mind next time you're visiting your local farmer's market — you might want to grab some extra mint and limes.

With Summer 2020 in full swing comes the addition of many fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten up your dinner plate, but also your glass! Farmers markets are my personal favorite place to look for produce that is in season to make fun mocktails with.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

5 Ways To Celebrate The 4th of July — Without Fireworks Or Social Gatherings

We created a list of things to do since social distancing may create a dent in our typical, planned traditions.

With the Fourth of July on Saturday, the usual tradition of popping fireworks, grilling out, and being surrounded by family has been modified due to the pandemic. Whether you're a loner or surrounded by family, there will most likely be some changes to your celebrations.

For weeks on social media, people across the country have been complaining that they have been subjected to fireworks going off at all times of the night into the early morning. This has sparked concern and questions about why this is happening and how are people even obtaining the fireworks.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Carb And Cheese Lovers, Unite — These Are The Best Mac And Cheese Recipes On The Internet

Whether you need to get through the current pandemic or want to spice up your Fourth of July celebrations, these mac and cheese recipes will do just that.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxIKdnMHcGr/

My favorite food is mac and cheese, and it always has been. All it requires is noodles and cheese — it's so simple to make. Although it's my favorite, it can also get kind of mundane because it's such a simple recipe. This, of course, has led to many people all over the world experimenting with the American staple.

With our lives currently being turned upside down due to the pandemic, a lot of people are seeking comfort. These are scary times, and in order to make it day-to-day, we need to have our favorite foods as a standby. These recipes can also be used during your celebration of the Fourth of July.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

17 Things To Make You Feel GOOD This Week

Because some purchases are just necessary.

Y'all, we're struggling. You don't even have to tell me, I know. What a mess we're all in, right? This year is not going how we planned and the world has turned into one giant struggle bus. I guess you could be super philosophical about everything happening for a reason, but sometimes life is just hard.

There are plenty of ways to bring yourself out of whatever rut you're in. You could go for a run, have a snack, or read a book. Or, if you're really looking for an adrenaline rush, go shopping. This is obviously not going to solve the world's problems with one swift click of the "checkout" button, but hey, it may just give you the little boost you need today.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Wore A Butt Mask Every Day For A Month, And It's Officially Essential In My Daily Self-Love Routine Now

Thirty days later, my booty's as smooth as a baby's.

- Blissfully unaware that butt-care beyond squats was even something I should be considering in my self-care routine, I tried one of Bawdy Beauty's butt masks for the first time a month ago.

- I've never really given my butt a second though till I took a look at improvements that could be made with the mask — if one of the hydrating, firming, detoxifying, or brightening masks in the kit I received could either smooth out cellulite or tone my skin a bit more, I wasn't going to complain.

- Each Bawdy Beauty sheet mask comes in an individually-packaged sheet, soaked with a serum I massaged into my skin after removing said sheet. The clay butt mask comes in a convenient stick format I simply draw on to my skin and leave to set for about 10 minutes before hopping into the shower.

- I set a goal of committing myself to butt-care every day for one month. Between the regular use of sheet masks, clay masks, and their CBD Butt Balm in between, I didn't have many expectations.

- I thought the whole concept may just be a gimmick, but my butt has never looked so toned in my life, and the cellulite I had is almost completely gone. I wear one every single day when I get the chance.

I'm incredibly skeptical when it comes to marketing ploys and gimmicks in the beauty world. I'll be the first cynic to try out the latest serum on the market every influencer is raving about just to negate every grandiose claim it makes.

Keep Reading... Show less

Friends, you don't have to be quarantined to use a personal massager, you know? Because, sure, quarantine made for a lot of extra quality time with yourself, but no matter what phase of the reopening process you're in, it's normal and actually healthy to take care of your sexual needs on your own.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Books I Didn't Realize Are About Gay Women

If you read primarily LGBTQ fiction, then this list might help to expand your TBR list.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Frequent readers of LGBTQ fiction might feel like they're reading the same book over and over again, with few exceptions.

Most of these books were on my TBR list for months and I didn't realize they were about gay women until I was reading them, hopefully, this list of books can interest you in expanding your reading material and seeking out different stories.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments