My Mom And Dad Actually Know The Ringmaster: A Trip To The Big Apple Circus
By Leah Clancy
December 21st, 2012
It’s Christmastime. A family is gathered, dressed to the nines, taking photos in front of the fountain at the Lincoln Center. Is this a classic New York Christmas, two parents taking their young daughters to see The Nutcracker? No, it’s my mom, my dad, my 20 year-old sister, and me. It was yesterday. My mom is eating a falafel sandwich, and we’re about to go to the circus.
It’s the Big Apple Circus to be exact. My parents are in town to move my sister out of her dorm before she goes abroad next semester and drive us both home. It just so happens that one my dad’s friend’s from high school, John Kennedy Kane, is the head ringmaster in “Legendarium”, the Big Apple Circus’s 35 Anniversary spectacular.
Kane has been known as “Circ” (short for Circus Man) by family and friends since he was just a kid, performing one-man shows in the basement of his childhood home.
His longtime love for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey shows has come full circle. After clowning around as characters such as Eggroll, Salami Salami Bologna, and Jingle, “The World’s Largest Elf,” he’s made it to the big time, or well, the Big Top, performing alongside acrobats and animals alike.
Like a grandma, I am in a shawl, drinking hot tea, sucking on ginger candies. I enter the massive white tent, likely scaring the toddlers that run between my ankles. I have been sick since Thanksgiving with an unnamable illness that has kept my lymph node the size of a pingpong ball, and has only been aggravated by a week-long jaunt in the library. I am unsure about much of this. I keep hearing things like, “Nanna has to go potty,” and “Take care of my Barbie.” Okay circus, I haven’t done this since I was nine. Let’s try it out.
We find our seats. The chair next to mine is empty. My mom says, “OOH Leah, your future husband is going to sit there!” The seat remained empty for the entire show.
The house lights fall, the spotlight flashes wildly, and voilà, there is Circ, the jolly, jovial, ruddy-cheeked ringmaster in all his glory. His booming voice welcomes all the boys and girls of the audience. The average age has to be ten. Every single kid is squealing.
While I didn’t want to be on my phone like some bratty preteen, I managed to take some notes on the show. So I will retroactively live-blog the circus. (Lived-blog? Dead-blog?):
I am definitely the oldest kid here. No big deal, I know the ringmaster.
Read more: My Mom And Dad Actually Know The Ringmaster: A Trip To The Big Apple Circus · NYU Local http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2012/12/21/my-mom-and-dad-actually-know-the-ringmaster-a-trip-to-the-big-apple-circus/#ixzz2Fkm5TzKL