…Memorable. It was also great, exciting, wonderful, fun, scary sometimes and brought back some very interesting memories…
I couldn’t remember the last time, if ever, I had been to a circus.
Memory number one: Years ago when we lived in Milwaukee, we went to the Ringling Brothers Circus Parade. That was the neatest thing – we could watch them set up, hang around the backlots.
Tom was so engrossed in taking pictures of the Budsweiser Clydesdales that he nearly got run over by them while he was trying to take their picture. Unfortunately, those are on actual film so maybe sometime I’ll scan those in.
Last night we got to the circus in the nick of time. I was sure we would be late but we got to our ringside seats a few minutes before the show started. We were literally in the front row. There was a raised platform running around the ring right in front of us where performers (and some animals) would stand, run, walk. It was amazing being so close to them.
The red in this picture is the actual ring in front our seats. I’m sorry I’d had the flash turned off!
I started looking around and took the picture of the “stage” to my left. This is where the larger props came from. The band was in the “mouth”. Most of the performers came down the aisles through the audience.
Memory number two: You can’t really see it in this picture but about halfway up on the right side is an “imagination chair”. It’s a sort of throne-looking chair with a helmut and wires sticking out the top. Seeing that took me right back to my childhood, to an unpleasant memory.
At some point when I was a child, someone had the bright idea that you could prevent crimes by making a mockup (although I was sure it was real at the time!) of a wooden electric chair and turning it into a mobile exhibit. This trailer travelled around Connecticut and scared me out of a life of crime!
Not the best way to start a circus for me.
The circus did start and there were great acrobats, clowns, a woman climbing a rope, Grandma, a juggler, a comedy magician act, beautiful horses, dogs, a porcupine(!) followed by a potbelly pig and a…
…capybara. Memory number three. This one is freaky.
When my son was about 6 I’d take him to Delaware to visit my parents. On a couple occasions, they’d take us to the zoo where there were some capybaras. My father and son both seemed fascinated by these large rodents. They are kinda cute.
I hadn’t thought about capybaras for about 25 years and here they are back, on the anniversary of my father’s death. How odd. I keep thinking maybe my Dad is sending me a message. But through a circus?
Whatever, the coincidence was astounding and helped knock the electric chair right out of my head.
We did have a great time at the circus and I’d go again, even though I got a bit more out of it than was expected – or planned.
Profiled on the PBS series Circus and dedicated participants in community-outreach programs, the international performers of Big Apple Circus stretch one ring to new limits with this year’s original show, Dream Big!. The all-new performance garnered glowing reviews in the Washington Post for its kid-friendly entertainment, talented entertainers, and fashion-forward clown shoes.
With every seat within 50 feet of the ring, eyes clearly catch the nuances of intricate acts, such as Melanie Chy, a third-generation circus performer who woos audiences with her body contortions, or theShandong Acrobatic Troupe, a group of 11 young men ranging in age from 13–27 who walked away from the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo in 2010 with the prestigious Gold Clown Award and a delicious recipe for crêpes.
Leading the charge in his final year with the circus is lovable clown Grandma, a marquee member of Big Apple Circus since 1982 and inductee into the International Clown Hall of Fame. Grandma has also been seen on CBS’s Circus of the Stars and in multiple appearances in Macy’s famed Thanksgiving Day Parade and lesser-known Boxing Day Stand-Still.