Circus Marquee

If you like clowning around, and juggling a lot of things at once, you may be of the right caliber to become a circus performer. You may in fact be the right caliber of human cannonball.

In all seriousness: if you have ever wanted to run away from home and join the circus, now would be a great time. The American Youth Circus Organization is hosting a five day festival in Seattle from August 14-18 to bring circus performers and enthusiasts together to build a strong community. You may just find out that your big career step will be joining up with a traveling circus.

You will enjoy all the perks of traveling, shoveling elephant poop, swinging from wires, and juggling. If you are not acrobatically inclined, but would still like to receive all the perks, you could also be the ticket-taker or the balloon animal maker.

The festival offers 150 different workshops that vary from contortion, to tumbling and acrobatics, to aerial techniques and many more. The American Youth Circus Organization was founded in 1998 to establish a stronger community among circus performers. If you want to join this growing community of performers, here are some steps you’ll need to take:

Find a skill: There are many different options of circus acts, some of the specialized talents are trapeze artists, tightrope walker, fire breather, juggler, bearded lady, clown, unicyclists etc. You will have to determine which of your natural abilities can translate into a good circus act.

Practice makes perfect: Regardless of how good your female beard looks, you will still have to practice an act. Simply being a good juggler will not secure you a job, you will need to be able to perform and put a great act together.

Think about it: Make sure you are prepared for the circus world. While there are some non-traveling circuses, the majority spend quite some time on the road. You may also need to go to a circus school to perfect your act, or enhance and develop it for future shows. Joining the circus is not a way to get out of going to college.

Circuses have been hiring people and it’s not impossible to clown your way into a job.

Human cannonball Tina Miser practiced for a long time before she perfected her act, and she admits that being shot out of a cannon for a living is not an easy shot to fame. She worked for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus and graduated from college and served in the Air Force Reserve before finally making the leap into becoming a professional cannonball.

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