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Being The First

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 10.05.2015 | Impact
Johnathan Lee Iverson

I was young and so very green, but I knew this was an enormous opportunity. However, it came with something a lot weightier -- history. Holst, himself a former Ringmaster, informed me that if I were to accept the position I would be the first black American in what was then the 129-year history of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey to preside as Ringmaster.

Astoria Characters: The Ghosts Guide

Nancy Ruhling | Posted 09.22.2015 | New York
Nancy Ruhling

Just when you think you've heard everything odd about Astoria, Marie Carter starts telling stories.

The Little Circus Dancer Who Could

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 09.17.2015 | Women
Johnathan Lee Iverson

I was naïve upon leaving The Greatest Show On Earth® in 2004. I thought I could simply walk into any audition and acquire the role. After all, I had the talent, right? Right, I did. But so did many others.

Speculation & Circus: A Conversation with Erika Swyler

Brandi Megan Granett | Posted 08.07.2015 | Books
Brandi Megan Granett

Erika Swyler's debut novel, The Book of Speculation, tells the story of a family haunted by their mother's past. As Simon learns more about his mother's life both inside and outside of the circus, he comes to view his family gifted with ability to hold their breath like sea creatures and see the past and future through the tarot to be both incredibly susceptible to death in the water and lacking insight into their own conditions.

Tips for Balancing Relationships When You Join the Celiac Circus

Celia Kaye | Posted 08.03.2015 | Healthy Living
Celia Kaye

If you have celiac disease, you may have friends, family, or a significant other who is hesitant about eating gluten-containing foods in front of you....

Wisdom from the Circus High Wire: 91-Years-Young & Still Flying High

Mel Sellick | Posted 07.17.2015 | GPS for the Soul
Mel Sellick

The first time my Aunt Rusty ever stepped onto a high wire was in front of thousands of people at Madison Square Garden. As she climbed up the wrong...

From Homelessness to Cirque du Soleil

Joe Putignano | Posted 07.15.2015 | Gay Voices
Joe Putignano

I had been struggling with heroin addiction for nine years and tried everything to get clean. I was barely keeping a job and frequently going to twelve-step meetings, but I could not stop using heroin because every time I did, I would end up with terrible physical withdrawal.

Love at First Flight: The Story of Ammed and Estefani Tuniziani

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 07.07.2015 | Arts
Johnathan Lee Iverson

Of all the many trapeze artists I've had the pleasure to present, not a single one ever considered such a career in flight as a plan B or something to hold them over until their real dream kicked in. The trapeze is either for you or it is not.

Matt Sheehan

Cirque Du Soleil Enters China With Big Bet On Rising Middle Class | Matt Sheehan | Posted 06.16.2015 | World

SHANGHAI -- Cirque du Soleil is coming to China, and the Canadian performance troupe will kick things off with its adaptation of one of the highest-gr...

Elephant Escapes From Circus, Kills Man In Germany

AP | Posted 06.13.2015 | World

BERLIN (AP) — A German man taking his regular morning stroll was killed by an elephant who had escaped from a nearby circus, police said Saturday. ...

A Little Person's Antidote to Bullying

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 05.13.2015 | Impact
Johnathan Lee Iverson

Imagine there's nowhere you can go where you are not the curiosity that tempts roving eyes and odd glances. Imagine that your very presence evokes a profile in the imagination of others, which instinctively limits who and what you are.

The Circus Wonder Woman

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 05.08.2015 | Latino Voices
Johnathan Lee Iverson

Adrielle Alves had a secret. A secret she'd been clinging to since joining Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey approximately four years earlier. Initially, she was hired to perform alongside the featured flying trapeze ensemble.

Acrobatic Conundrum's "The Language of Chance" Opens Two Weeks of Amazing, Intimate Circus at 12th Avenue Arts

L. Steven Sieden | Posted 06.29.2015 | Entertainment
L. Steven Sieden

Last night, Acrobatic Conundrum performed its show The Language of Chance to open a two-week series of circus events at Seattle's 12th Avenue Arts, and the show was spectacular.

Circus Cat Freed From A Life In Chains

The Dodo | Posted 04.29.2015 | Green

A sad, emaciated puma who spent his life chained to the open back of a car — the only home he'd ever known — is finally free....

Fat Guy In a Little Coat

Al DeLuise | Posted 06.25.2015 | Comedy
Al DeLuise

I had a very nice suit at home, but I hardly ever wore it; weddings and funerals only. So with the impeding wedding of my niece on the horizon, I pulled it from hibernation and tried it on. It fit -- and if I didn't breath, move, eat or drink anything at the wedding it would be fine.

Jerry's Gift: The Art and Passion of a Circus Super Fan

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 06.24.2015 | Impact
Johnathan Lee Iverson

The arts cast a peculiar spell. Relationships are forged and avenues are explored that likely would have never been considered. For some time, Jerry was simply a character, a fun-loving fan of The Greatest Show On Earth whose presence and kindness was much appreciated.

The Last Ringmaster

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 05.25.2015 | Entertainment
Johnathan Lee Iverson

As both a ringmaster and a man, it is all at once awe-inspiring and humbling to look upon the enormity of a life such as Col. John Herriott's. A steep standard he has left, and it is well worth the ascent. In circus, we never say "goodbye," rather we say "see you down the road."

Love, School And Birthday Parties At The Circus

Jamie Davis Smith | Posted 05.20.2015 | Parents
Jamie Davis Smith

There was some backstage flirting, but nothing serious until Jonathan told Priscilla that he wanted to get to know her better. That summer they began dating seriously and fell in love. Dating was easy since they were always in the same city with the circus and had the same schedule.

Elephants Hit the Bricks

Michael Levin | Posted 05.11.2015 | Comedy
Michael Levin

"I'm an elephant." "I can see that." "I just got notice I'll be out of work."

Burnt Paws and Broken Spirits: What Happens When the Circus Lights Go Out?

Nancy Colier | Posted 05.05.2015 | Politics
Nancy Colier

How is it that we can believe we have the right to misuse these magnificent and wise wild creatures for the purposes of entertainment and profit, without any consideration or empathy for their wellbeing?

Elephant Acts to Be Taken Out of Ringling Bros. Circus

Rescue Idiot | Posted 05.06.2015 | Good News
Rescue Idiot

Good news coming out of the circus industry today! Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey have announced they will be eliminating elephants from shows by the year 2018 due to animal welfare concerns.

A Berlin Wall Moment for Animal Protection

Wayne Pacelle | Posted 05.05.2015 | Green
Wayne Pacelle

It's surely one of the biggest announcements of the modern era in animal protection: Ringling Bros. has announced that it will cease its use of elephants in its traveling circus. Get the confetti and streamers. Grab the kids and the dog. Put on the party hat. Head over to the parade. Jump on what remains of the fallen wall and raise your arms.

Ringling Bros. Circus To Phase Out Elephant Acts

The Huffington Post | James Gerken | Posted 03.05.2015 | Green

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, one of the United States' most famous circus companies, will eliminate elephants from its shows in the coming year...

The Old Man, The Impresario and the Making of a Circus Icon

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 05.03.2015 | Black Voices
Johnathan Lee Iverson

Much like the great Sammy Davis, Jr., the unicycle ensemble from the South Bronx beat the naysayers and racists, as well as the pitfalls of their neighborhood with their talent. They achieved this while breaking down barriers and leaving a smooth trail of unicycle tracks for others, like myself, to follow.

The High-Flying Adventures of Kristin Finley

Johnathan Lee Iverson | Posted 04.02.2015 | Black Voices
Johnathan Lee Iverson

"My father would be rolling over in his grave if he knew I gave up a secure, well-paying job to start a circus career." Most parents mean well. They sincerely want the best for their children. Unfortunately, that often means the best as they see it.