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Becoming a Circus Performer

A circus acrobat performs with Cirque du Soleil's show, Quidam.
Circus Performer

Ever dreamed of running away from home and joining the circus? Think you have what it takes to be an acrobat or trapeze artist? To find out some of the ins and outs of becoming a circus performer, Kidzworld spoke with Philippa Hayball, an acrobat and dancer with Cirque du Soleil's circus show, Quidam.

Circus Performers - Getting Started

Not just anyone can go and join the circus and become an acrobat or trapeze artist. You need to have a specific talent, the right body type and be very determined. Philippa's road to circus stardom started when she was five years old. "I did musical theatre and ballet and all kinds of music, singing, acting and everything to hone my craft," says Philippa, who also trained in rhythmic gymnastics for years. "When I was 11, I knew I wanted to be a performer, so I went for it. I gave up everything else and concentrated on my dancing and performing. There are so many people out there who want to do what you do, that you have to go for it. You have to put your heart into it and be certain that that's what you want to do."

Circus Performers - The Upside

One of the upsides of being in the circus is that you get the chance to travel the world. Philippa has worked all over the planet, including Australia, Japan and all over North America. "The circus has given me the opportunity to go to so many different places and meet so many different people. I travel on the road with 100 people who are like a circus family to me, who are with me the whole time. When you're young, it's the time to do it. It's the time to travel, the time to grow and experience your life."

Philippa also gets a thrill from performing in front of a live audience. "I get to play and have fun every night. It's great to see the faces of the audience just jump alive when I make eye contact with them during a performance. You can see the audience being transported to another world."

Circus Performers - The Downside

Despite what many people think, the life of a circus performer isn't all high-flying fun and games and clowning around. It's more glamorous than being an accountant, but there are some drawbacks. Circus performers work long days and spend a lot of time away from home. "On tour, you don't really have anywhere to call home and you're always thinking about that night's show," says Philippa. "I miss my home and garden and I don't see my family. You have to work a lot of long hours and weekends as well."

Circus Performers - How's the Circus Bling?

How much money you make in the circus all depends on what your act is, how much experience you have and what circus company you're working for. For example, the lead acrobat or trapeze artist with Cirque du Soleil or Ringling Brothers is going to make more moola than the guy who sells programs or shovels up the crap from the lion's cage. Entry-level jobs in the circus might pay around $300 a week, while featured performers like acrobats, contortionists or trapeze artists can make between $40,000 to $70,000 a year. You also get free room and board while you're traveling with the show, which is an added perk.

Circus Performers - Finding a Circus Job

For more info on job openings with a circus, check out the following links.

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Comments

JennyD

JennyD wrote:

The help of not so me
commented: Fri Sep 06, 2013

Kaitesparklestar
That cool to see though
commented: Fri Sep 06, 2013

JennyD

JennyD wrote:

I saw some acts las vegas
commented: Tue Sep 03, 2013

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Awesomeme234
Awesomeme234 posted in Style:
I think you should be you wether or not your tomboy or girlie your being you. You have your own style and don't let nobody change that because THEY don't like it it only matters if YOU like it
reply about 5 hours
MissD
MissD posted in Style:
This is such an interesting question.. I'll tell you why I think so. I am BOTH the biggest tomboy ever and the girliest girl. I think being either or BOTH is more in YOUR mind than in anything else - it's an internal feeling. Femininity is so personal. I always, always, always have my nails done. BUT they are Gel so they never chip and when I am climbing up mountains or pulling on my wetsuit to things that I find typically damaging to your nails - they stay perfect. So I am doing these rather "tomboyish" activities but my nails are awesome :P I wear a lot of dresses but that doesn't deter me from any activity, the key is shorts underneath. I don't wear make up, not usually but I do love lip gloss. One think I guess I think is important though, feel it. Remind yourself how awesome and unique you are, no matter what you wear - hold your head high and remind yourself you are a QUEEN. Not a princess, lame. BUT a queen! Good Luck, and I love all the practical tips everyone provided. Great job you guys! 
reply about 5 hours
Moxie_Girls
Moxie_Girls posted in Style:
Is it a movie?
reply about 6 hours
blakbutterfly
blakbutterfly posted in Style:
I'll say some stuff that 'girly-girls' do, and the stuff in the brackets would be things added by my best friend. Who is also very annoyingly sarcastic! -.- Paint your toes (get obsessed to them too, all of these girls are!), wear cute little dresses (don't mean huge ballgown style dresses, duh?) , or just fun-cute tops with jeans, maintain your nails (perfectly), take a lot of care about your skin, maintain it, cleanse, moisturize and exfoliate, and start doing make up. (Also, I would suggest to learn how to do a good hair flip, for some reason girly girls are like 'ERMAIGAWD' *flip hair*) Yes, my best friend is annoying but she's girly enough to be able to have a say in here. Here's a bit of advice from me, don't try to change your style because of what people might think or say, do it if you want to and if you feel comfortable with it. You are more than perfect the way you are, whether a tomboy or a girly-girl and it doesn't really matter what you are.
reply about 7 hours
Kirsteeeeen
Kirsteeeeen posted in Style:
Personally I think you should just find things you like and wear them without worrying about what style it fits in to. You should express yourself, not conform to other people's views/standards. :)
reply about 7 hours

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