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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Shriners Circus comes to town: Anything can happen — and does, ringmaster says

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
Tigers sit and growl for the trainer at the El Korah Shriners Circus Tuesday afternoon at the Bannock County Fairgrounds.
From: idahostatejournal.com
By Jimmy Hancock
Jun 18, 2014.
POCATELLO — As a ringmaster for the El Korah Shrine Circus, Tess Emerson has a motto she’s come to work by.
    “Just keep smiling, just keep singing and just keep talking,” she said with a smile. “No matter what happens.”
    And with live acrobatic, aerial and stunt performers — not to mention a host of different animals — included in the Shrine Circus, a lot can happen.
    “It is a live performance, so you never know what is going to happen,” Emerson said. “You always have to be ready for anything — to cut this act, to get this act on. I have a lot of people helping me, but ultimately, I am responsible for letting everybody know what is going on.”
    As ringmaster, Emerson is literally running the show. She’s not just standing out there letting the audience know what is coming, she’s making the decisions based on some of those unplanned circumstances.

Doug Lindley/Idaho State Journal
Tess Emerson is the Ringmaster for the El Korah Shine Circus.

As ringmaster, Emerson is literally running the show. She’s not just standing out there letting the audience know what is coming, she’s making the decisions based on some of those unplanned circumstances.
    The Shrine Circus, which hosted two shows at the Bannock County Fairgrounds on Tuesday, is often performing outside, making weather one of the most unpredictable of all the variables involved. Based on that weather, Emerson sometimes has to make the call to cancel a particular performance, or shuffle the lineup in hopes of avoiding or waiting out certain conditions.
    “You really have to have good judgment,” she said. “It is stressful. But it’s part of the job, it’s what is required. I would be in the position if I couldn’t do it and I know that our owners have a lot of trust in me.”
    And it’s trust she’s apparently earned relatively early in her career. The fact that she doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold of a circus ringmaster — an older, well-seasoned male — is not lost on Emerson, who is still a few months shy of her 30th birthday.
    “It’s definitely very different,” she said of being a woman ringmaster. “I do get a lot of positive feedback, especially from moms and little girls. They are so excited to see a woman in charge of things, and running things.”
    Becoming a ringmaster wasn’t something Emerson ever intended to do. But then, she never left college with a bachelor of fine arts in musical theater performance thinking she would one day join the circus.
read more:
http://www.idahostatejournal.com/members/shriners-circus-comes-to-town-anything-can-happen-and-does/article_feb04648-f6ae-11e3-95f3-001a4bcf887a.html?mode=story

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