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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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GlimmeringSky16
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Starflyamme
Starflyamme posted in Friends:
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staystrong123
staystrong123 posted in Friends:
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jordand08
"supernaturalblackcat" wrote:I know i have depession and i have been to the doctor for it. It's starting to get to that point again for the 3rd time this year that i want to be alone. It feels like no one cares about me at school. I really can't trust anybody either. I started to quit eating at home and at school only eating snacks every now and then. I am also losing Weight. I used to get called fat and i wasn't even fat. I have been abused by people who say my butt is smexy and huge and it's not. I have even been slapped on by them. I tell my mom and dad that i've been called fat and my dad ignore's me and continues whatever he's doing. I'm getting to the point again where i'm losing my temper and emotions right on the spot. I can't be bipolar cause it has to run in the family and my mom says i don't have it. People get mad at me when i don't laugh at their jokes when they expect me too cause i really don't listen. But when i say something funny they roll their eyes and give me mean looks. I don't even want to be around people that much. I just want to be outside in the fresh air during school but it's high school so their's no outside time. I also fake smile's at people to make them happy. But i just hurt on the inside. I just want advice.  Hi there. I'm sure you have people who care about you at school, just sometimes it's hard to see it. Dear, you have to eat. I assure you, you're not fat. (smexy isn't necessarily a bad thing)  You have to understand, that people say things just because they can, or to make themselves feel better. Never give them that opportunity, just ignore them. When you're about to lose your temper, think of something that makes you really happy.  If you need someone to talk to, you have your guidance consular, trust me I have social anxiety, and reallly hate talking about my problems, I find it easier for me, to message them. It's their job to listen, but not only that, they really care for all of their students. Talking helps, believe me.
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jordand08
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