Ringling Bros. Circus, elephants return to downtown Savannah
The Carden Elephants
By Linda Sickler
January 24, 2013
David Shipman says he has a wonderful job.
Shipman is the ringmaster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus presents Fully Charged, Gold Edition. The circus is at the Civic Center through Jan. 27.
“I get to interact with all the performers and introduce the performers,” Shipman says. “I get the audience fully charged.”
Shipman digitizes the network as he introduces acts from around the world. In true modern fashion, he learned about the ringmaster auditions through Facebook.
“I was living in Orlando and sent off for information,” Shipman says. “I had been doing the 9-to-5 for several years.
“I wanted to do things and put myself out there,” he says. “It had always been my dream to run away with the circus.”
Ironically, it turned out that Shipman had missed the auditions. He called Ringling Bros. directly to see if there was any chance he could still try out.
“This wasn’t your typical role ― this was The Greatest Show On Earth,” Shipman says. “I had to take the chance.”
Fortunately, Ringling Bros. talent scouts and producers Nicole and Alana Feld liked what they saw. They sent Shipman to meet director, Fred Tallaksen, who offered him the job.
“I’ve done a lot of musical theater,” Shipman says. “I saw my first Ringling Bros. show when I was 2 1/2.
“That really sparked something and now it’s come full circle,” he says. “At that first show, I got a little baby elephant stuffed animal and it’s stayed with me.”
Originally from Pensacola, Fla., Shipman attended a performing arts magnet school where his first solo was at age seven. He was a member of the Pensacola Children’s Chorus, where he performed in front of thousands.
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