Why some performers choose Circus Circus over Cirque du Soleil
The Skating Ernestos, Veronika and Paolo Ernesto, a roller skating duo from Italy perform at the Circus Circus Midway in Las Vegas on Thursday, August 2, 2012
By Ron Sylvester (contact)
Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012 | 2 a.m.
Paolo and Veronika Ernesto didn’t run away to join the circus. They grew up under the big top.
Before falling in love and getting married, they lived in families that had spent 150 years or more performing in sawdust rings around the world. They performed on television shows in Europe and in tents in Japan.
But the place Veronika Ernesto remembered most fondly was the casino midway at Circus Circus, where she performed as a teen. For years, she dreamed of returning there.
“She loves Las Vegas,” husband Paolo Ernesto said. “For six years we’ve been married, and all she could talk about was coming back to Circus Circus. We finally made it. She made it.”
Some might see Circus Circus, built in 1968, as a second-tier stage in a city where Cirque du Soleil is king. But there’s nowhere else Veronika Ernesto, and many other performers, would rather work.
“Some places, they tell you exactly what to do and what to wear,” Veronika said. “It’s not as relaxed. Here, everyone is friendly, and they make you feel comfortable.”
Circus Circus Entertainment Director Jill Breslaw has no problem finding eager talent. She sits at a desk surrounded by six two-quart Tupperware containers crammed with hundreds of discs of audition footage. Breslaw signs a dozen acts every year.
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