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What is the secret of a successful circus performer?
- You need to be talented.
- You need to be passionate.
- You need to find a talent that you are passionate about.
Presenter: Today in our studio we meet Steve, a young man inspired by his job. You’re welcome, Steve! So, at what age did you decide to become a circus performer and what inspired you to join the circus?
Steve: My father and grandfather were both performers in the circus, so I was really born into it. My grandfather had taught my father and my father taught my brother and me but it wasn’t until I was about 10 years old that I decided to follow in their footsteps because I was very shy. After a couple of years of practicing to become a clown, I became more confident and outgoing. We started with a circus in my home country of Italy and now we are traveling the United States.
Presenter: What is a typical day like at the circus for you?
Steve: It’s hard to describe a typical day at the circus as there is always something new and different going on, but normally I’ll wake up, drink a cup of coffee, eat some breakfast, and then begin to do my spiky hair while I listen to music. My hair normally takes about two hours. I then go into the arena and put on my makeup on and practice the Diabolo, which is a juggling accessory that consists of a spool being tossed and whirled on a string attached to two sticks, it’s my specialty, and then I get ready for the show. Some days I get up early to do interviews and or visit schools and hospitals to put on a special performance.
Presenter: What is one of your favorite routines?
Steve: My favorite act has to be the act that my family and I perform in. The act is called Boom Boom Pow; it’s my favourite act because I get to interact with the audience and have fun with them. Plus, I get to perform with my brother and father, so it’s a good combination.
Presenter: Are you part of a traveling circus, or do you typically stay in one place?
Steve: We travel all around America by recreational vehicles so every week we are in a different city and usually a different state, and I get to meet different people. It’s a cool experience and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
Presenter: How many hours do you have to practice in a week?
Steve: I try to practice my Diabolo as much as possible, but it depends on how many shows we have each week, how much I have to travel, and how many events we have. Overall I probably practice about four hours a week not to mention show rehearsals.
Presenter: What is it like living and working with other circus employees all the time?
Steve: Living and working with other circus employees is an amazing experience. We have performers from all over the world so to be able to learn different cultures, languages, and trying food from their country is really cool. We have nine different countries represented and we all help and learn from each other. It’s like we are one big international family.
Presenter: What skills do you think are needed to be a successful circus performer?
Steve: In order to be a successful circus performer I think you need to find a talent that you are passionate about. I was passionate about clowning because my grandfather and father were clowns and I really looked up to them. They were able to combine their love for music with the art of clowning to create a new unique style and I loved that. The other reason that I got attracted to clowning was the ability to put smiles on the faces of thousands each night; it’s an awesome feeling that I can do that.
Presenter: Are you planning to be involved with the circus your entire career or do you have other plans?
Steve: I hope to be a circus performer for as long as possible. Working with my family and being able to perform is something that I truly enjoy and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Presenter: Who has been a mentor for you that has helped you reach for your dreams?
Steve: Other than my family who I’ve looked up to and have helped me and supported me throughout my career, I would say that I am my own motivation. I want to be the best that I can be and that is what motivates me. In order to create and build my own character I watched a lot of comedy shows to get inspiration from but a lot of my character has come from within me and my desire to succeed.