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  • ByTheLord
    Jun 13, 2018


    The circus performer is an artist with unusual skills. Circus performers take the performing arts to unbelievable heights because unlike performers on the cinema or t.v. movies, they perform all their actions before an audience. There is no room for mistakes, as it can be extremely costly to the performer and the show. The essential ingredients to become a successful circus artist are basically to develop the ability to captivate the audience during the performance and in the development of certain "personal skills".

    But... How does one become a successful circus performer? Well, there is no clear-cut answer to this question, but there are strategies an interested person can follow to become a circus performer, and be successful at it. There are no defined academic prerequisites for becoming a circus performer. All that is required is to be skillful enough to create breathtaking performances that can keep the audience in awe. Aside from the special performance skills needed by the circus performer, there are some personal skills needed to succeed as a circus performer. They include:

    • A circus performer must be physically fit and able to withstand the rigors of the job.
    • Must be committed to putting in the effort required for success.
    • Must be love Team-Work.
    • Must have a competitive spirit because the circus industry is highly competitive.
    • Must be energetic.
    • Must be polite and diplomatic.
    • Must be creative and skillful.
    • Must be self-motivated.
    • Must be confident in their abilities to excel.
    • Must be willing to attend as many auditions as possible to gain exposure and experience.
    • Must be able to handle rejection.
    • Must be hardworking.
    • Must be respect show production rules.

    Tips from the Pro

    According to many successful circus performers, the trick to being a successful circus performer is to be a self-starter. You must be proactive and always strive to make things happen, rather than waiting for them to happen.  To become a successful performer, you have to find your way into the big circus shows where you'll have the opportunity to show your work and talent in front of thousands of spectators and develop both your artistic skills and your personal skills. Some very important points to keep in mind are:

    • Have a realistic budget: While it's desirable to have good material to work (costumes, props, etc ...), it is NOT necessary to spend all your money on expensive material. This doesn't guarantee success in any way. All you need to get are the basic things necessary to perform your acts and greater doses of creativity. If you can afford to work with better material, it will be a good investment anyway, but remember that "less" can be "more" in many cases.
    • Always honor your contracts: To be a successful circus artist, you must always offer your commitments. You must always be consistent with your jobs because circus agents will never hire you again if you bail on a gig. Manage your calendar well to handle in a practical way the availability you can offer to clients who consult you for it. Keep a fluent communication trying to understand and satisfy the needs of the client (producer, agency ...)
    • Respect the rules: Must be able to respect the rules of each production. Each country, each culture, each producer that you will find in your career as an artist will give you different ways of working. If you want to travel the world showing your talent ... you'll have to get used to it! Many times you'll have to accept to work in conditions that you are probably not familiar with. Never impose your criteria, try to listen others and extract the positive of other ways of working, try to adapt and understand better the social, cultural and artistic environment in which it is unfolding. There are no "better" and "worse" productions, but simply different ways of doing things. Respect them and it will always be well-received in any corner of the world.
    • Must be professional: To be a household name in the circus industry, you must put your acts together and be seen by players as a professional. Know how to raise a good invoice, prepare a professional contract for your services, and understand what insurance and risk assessment entails. If you don’t know how to go about it, seek advice from other professionals.
    • Avoid putting all your eggs in one basket: Instead of relying on one company, spread out your tentacles and try as many circus companies as possible.
    • Always Improve: The worst thing that can happen to you is to believe you are at the top of your game. Never allow complacency rob you of the chance to always improve your act. You never can tell, your coveted position may be hijacked by more talented actors.
    • Enjoy what you do: To be successful in the long run, you need to keep your passion alive. To keep the flame burning strong requires that you take mostly gigs that you enjoy doing. While it might not be expedient sometimes, you should always try to take jobs that will make you happy. 

    In conclusion, watch as many shows as you can. You will be amazed at the number of free shows that will help you build your portfolio. Practice, practice, practice. You can never have enough practice as a circus performer. Don't forget to be part of the social networks related with show business because it's the best way to get informed and a nice door to start the way to the big show productions.

    Meet your commitments humbly trying to always exceed the expectations of your customers.

    Javier Urbina - Artist, director & producer - ideas@TheLordOfTheBubbles.com