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Thursday, March 7, 2013

At the circus, ringmaster, animal trainer control all


Cathy Carden is a seventh-generation veteran animal trainer and presenter. / submitted image
from:  delmarvanow.com
Written by Josh Davis
For Go! Magazine
Mar. 6, 2013
SALISBURY,MD — They say the circus appeals to “children of ages.” With Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s latest traveling spectacular, performers of all ages have taken the center stage.
Two of the show’s most important players are rookie ringmaster David Shipman, and seventh-generation veteran animal trainer and presenter Cathy Carden.
Carden called growing up in the circus a “fun childhood.”
“My mom raised baby elephants, and I helped her with feeding and raising them,” she said. “That was pretty cool. We had a very close family, and we all worked together seven days a week, and we all traveled together.”
 
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David Shipman is the show's ringmaster. / submitted image
Shipman, dubbed the show’s “Mainframe Maestro,” saw his first Ringling show at age 2 1/2.
“It was actually the first show I ever saw, and I remember — even at that age — being so amazed with the lights and the performers, and all of the wonderful things that were happening around me,” he recalled. “I sat there with wide-eyed wonderment and complete amazement. It really ignited my excitement for performing.”
The performer, who comes from a theatrical background, said the show’s cast and crew have been a joy to work with.
“I was actually really nervous going into it, because I’ve never actually been in a circus before,” he said. “Going into it, you hear stories of people who have done it their whole lives — they have generations that have done it — and I was nervous about fitting in. But these people have been so warm and welcoming, and truly wonderful. It’s been great so far, and they’ve made the transition into doing it incredibly easy.”
Carden has a husband, Brett, who also works with the show, as well as children who travel with them.
For us, it’s all about our kids and it’s about our animals,” she said. “What I enjoy is training, so in between the six-minute performance, you’re caring for your animals and training your animals — having that relationship. No matter what, you have to start with that relationship.”
Shipman’s role on the show is something between host and hype-man.
read more:
http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20130307/ENTERTAINMENT/303070058/At-circus-ringmaster-animal-trainer-control-all

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