2014 Convention



Saturday, October 30, 2010



Arizona State Fair - Colorful, fattening and fun

End of a day at the Arizona State Fair
October 28th, 2010
The Arizona State Fair, located in the midst of urban Phoenix, may be a little different than you remembered as a kid, but it's just plain fun.
The 2010 fair, which runs through November 7th, is full of colorful games, rides and the inevitable fair food. And, it's a great place for a couple of seniors with a free afternoon to enjoy. Here's a decidedly senior perspective on this year's Arizona State Fair.

The Upside of the Arizona State Fair
Fairs are fun. As you walk from the midway to the animal barns, you can re-live your youth, talk about how you brought your little children to the fair and, for a few hours, become a kid again yourself.

There are some fairly good evening shows. Be sure and get tickets ahead of time for the headline acts. Even smaller shows, like the hypnotist, can be amusing.

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Photos copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose (used with permission)

Photos copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose (used with permission)

  1. Photos copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose (used with permission)

Photos copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose (used with permission)

 Photos copyright: Elizabeth R. Rose (used with permission)

Shayna Swanson Presents Solo Contemporary Circus Show - First Evidence

Thu, 28 Oct 2010

CHICAGO, Ill. (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) -- "First Evidence," a solo, contemporary circus show created by Shayna Swanson, founder and artistic director of Aloft - Chicago's "most badass contemporary circus company" - will debut this December. Utilizing 2,000 marbles, a ream of paper, a skinny rope, one freethinking wheel, precarious strips of cloth, a slingshot, spinning pole, a change of clothes, every available muscle and 15 years of journal entries, Swanson weaves together a stunning show filled with surprises and revelations.

To add an air of mystery, the exact location will not be revealed until tickets are purchased, it will be somewhere in the Chicago's near west side. Show times are: Friday, December 10 at 10:00 p.m.; Saturday, December 11 at 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $20.

Simple props and a deceivingly minimal stage highlight Swanson's signature power and intensity as she magnifies life's fleeting and defining moments - how grand possibilities can slip away and the subsequent regret felt when they are gone.

The show was inspired by the artist's questioning: Did the time invested pay off or just hold me back? What happens if trying never gets me anywhere? Why does practicing saying, "Everything is fine," not make everything fine?

The show begins with a lie and hurtles towards honesty with alternating restraint and release as Swanson climbs, spins and claws her way towards resolution.
Opening night for the Big Apple Circus in Manville on 09/23/2010. (Andrew Miller / MyCentralJersey)
Manville merchants: Big Apple Circus spurred business growth

Luciano Anastasini, an 8th generation circus performer, with the legendary Big Apple Circus.

MANVILLE — Cash registers were ringing more than normal for many borough businesses when the Big Apple Circus set up for a nearly three weeks of performances.
The circus last month set up its big top at the Rustic Mall property, intersection of Washington and South Main streets. The circus' 33rd season, titled "Dance On!," ran Sept. 23 to Oct. 11 and included about 150 performers twice a day, five days a week. When filled to capacity, there were more than 1,700 spectators, many of which frequented Main Street businesses, merchants said.
The Rustic Mall has sat idle following a clean-up in 2008 of contaminated soil and will not be redeveloped until a year of paperwork is completed to get the site off a national list of contaminated properties. A vacant site coupled with lost parking after a paving project in 2006 eliminated spaces along Main Street has led to headaches among merchants whose back doors face the property.
Many business owners are hoping for a new beginning once the site is redeveloped and said the borough hosting the Big Apple Circus was a step toward that vision.
Phillips said the circus' Vice President and General Manager Scott O'Donnell had passed out 8,000 coupons at the box office good for two free games of bowling with a maximum of 10 people. He continues to see people coming to the bowling alley with the coupons.
"When the Rustic Mall left, people thought we left to, especially tucked back here in the corner of the parking lot," Phillips said. "The circus people helped us get more patrons over here."
Manville Pizza & Restaurant owner Anthony D'Aniello said he had to keep more employees on staff during evenings the circus had shows to keep up with the demand for pizzas.
"The Big Apple puts on a class-act show," D'Aniello said. "It felt good to see a positive use of the Rustic Mall."
Victor Bukovecky, who owns The Closet on S. Main Street said he saw foot traffic not only from circus patrons and performers, but even employees working behind the scenes. He described the folks as nice, personable, articulate and interested in his goods. No one haggled for lower prices, he said.
"They spent good money and it was cash and carry, which was nice," he said.
Mayor Lillian Zuza during a recent Borough Council meeting said she was glad the town benefited from the limelight the event brought in just a few short weeks. Borough police reported no crime incidents at the Rustic Mall site during circus events.
Councilman Rich Onderko, who initially had struck down the circus coming to the Rustic Mall before it was approved by the rest of the borough council, said Wednesday he favors the circus using any other location in town. He was against the Rustic Mall site because the property owner had denied moving the fence surrounding the property back a few feet in order for the borough to gain additional parking spaces on Main Street.
Pamela Sroka-Holzmann

'Circus' reveals sweat and tears behind laughter and sighs
By John Crook, Zap2It October 28, 2010

A good circus performance can bring out the kid in almost anyone, with its bright colors, pratfalling clowns, and thrilling acrobats and jugglers.

Behind the scenes, though there's the different, just as enthralling world of the folks who labor long and tirelessly to put together the seemingly lighthearted fare on display in front of their audiences.

"Circus," a six-part documentary miniseries airing over three weeks starting Wednesday, Nov. 3, on PBS (check local listings), gives viewers an all-access pass into that shadowy (and quite a bit more adult) world behind the scenes, where performers and crew members from around the world form a makeshift, dysfunctional family as they hit the road with the acclaimed Big Apple Circus.

" 'Circus' really has everything that, as filmmakers, we look for in a story," says executive producer Maro Chermayeff, who created and directed the miniseries along with fellow executive producer Jeff Dupre. "(It has) a high-stakes environment where human drama and challenges are inherent to the experience, a world within a world with its own upstairs and downstairs, so that we could capture the high level of performance and artistry but also reveal the grit and substance of the hardworking crew that makes the circus possible every day."
read more at:,0,5483065.story


The magical Zingmaster Alex Ramon performs illusions.

Circus aims for the 'Greatest (magic) Show on Earth'
Friday, October 29, 2010
With the addition of magic tricks, "Zing Zang Zoom" -- this year's production of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus -- is so zany and different that it doesn't even have a ringmaster, the circus says. Instead, it has a "zingmaster."
That zingmaster -- Alex Ramon, 25, from San Francisco -- is the first professional magician to lead the circus, which is coming to Consol Energy Center on Wednesday for its annual five-day run. "Zing Zang Zoom" combines all the traditional circus favorites -- acrobatics, clowns, elephants and more -- with magic from the zingmaster, who performs tricks while directing the circus in between acts. Ramon says he'll make an elephant disappear, transform a clown into a tiger, and other seemingly impossible tricks.
"This is a show you'll never forget," Ramon says. "It's everything that you know and love with the Ringling Brothers with a special twist. ... Welcome to 'The Greatest Show on Earth.' "
Audiences will be dropping their jaws as they witness the animal acts, the difficult acrobatic stunts, the magic tricks and more, he says. Ramon will invite the audience to participate in the magic, too. In one instance, he calls kids and parents onto the floor and makes the kids his "student wizards." Then, the kids make their parents levitate, or float in the air.
"Magic promotes a sense of wonder," Ramon says. "Magic makes you scratch your head."
In this 139th edition of the circus, featuring 85 traveling animals, "Zing Zang Zoom" replaces "Abracadabra" as the magic words. The show contains 27 acts, 12 magical illusions and the Clown Alley Blow-off number prior to the National Anthem. The clowns perform their comical mayhem throughout the show, says Dustin Portillo, who is the circus' "Boss Clown." The clowns help Ramon with his magic. They have a popular number called "chari-vari," where the clowns jump off of an acrobatic trampoline, flip over a gymnastic pommel horse, and land on mats.
"It's a lot of flips and spins and jumps," says Portillo, who is from Independence, Mo. "At the end, there is a big surprise for the audience."
The clowns entertain circus fans throughout the show with little gags, says Portillo, whose clown costume includes a red, white and gray striped sweater.
"We're the salt and pepper throughout the whole entire show," he says. "We kind of keep the show flowing."
Ramon says everyone can find something to love about the circus.
"As a kid, I never saw a circus," he says. "Now I feel cheated; I really wish I had. I think everyone should have a chance to.
"It really is an American tradition," Ramon says. "It really is an icon in America and showbiz as a whole."

Friday, October 29, 2010

LaneInConn June 19, 2010
Tino Wallenda is widely renown for anchoring The Flying Wallendas' 7-person high-wire pyramids. But the 2010 inductee into the Circus Ring of Fame is also a first-class comedic performer.


Circus stars walk to work
Staff reports
Local News – October 27, 2010-Cleveland
Photos by TINA YEE staff photographer
Asian elephants, pictured above and below, with Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus parade down Broad Street on Tuesday on their way to their temporary quarters downtown.
Attention, bleary-eyed early morning commuters: Do not adjust your contact lenses. Those really were elephants.
The circus is in town, and elephants and horses paraded through downtown about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday en route to their temporary quarters near the Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial.
Nine female Asian elephants and 20 horses were unloaded from a train on Canal Street. They and their handlers, who held ropes to keep spectators away from the elephants, walked along Broad Street to Exchange Boulevard and Court Street.
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will have shows today through Sunday at the arena, and has also planned a free event, Pachyderm Pumpkin Picnic, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in front of the arena so the public can see the elephants.

If you go
Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is at the Blue Cross Arena, One Memorial Square, this week. Show times are 7:30 tonight, Thursday and Friday; 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $13 to $75 and are available through the arena box office and Ticketmaster, (800) 745-3000 or

Outrage over baby elephant's killing in Assam

Guwahati, Oct 27 (IANS)
Wildlife experts and conservationists Wednesday were outraged over the brutal killing of a wild elephant calf that was clobbered to death by irate villagers after it entered a human settlement area of Assam.
More than 200 villagers, armed with sticks, bamboo poles, and ropes went berserk charging the baby elephant along a paddy field in Morigaon district's Gubah village, about 60 km east of Assam's main city of Guwahati in India's northeast.
The incident took place Tuesday in front of at least two armed personnel, a forest ranger and a policeman, with the more than hour long gory drama filmed by an amateur videographer.
'This is an outrageous incident, it is purely barbaric to find villagers literally torturing the helpless elephant to death and that too in front of two security people,' Kushal Konwar Sarma, a noted elephant expert who also teaches at the College of Veterinary Science in Guwahati, told IANS.
Images beaming on both local and national TV channels were disturbing - villagers surrounding the calf from all sides and people literally pulling the tail and others attacking the elephant with sticks. The calf finally gave up on its fight to escape with the villagers tying its legs with a nylon rope.
'This was an inhuman act and need to be condemned in the strongest possible term. The government should hold an enquiry into the matter and punish all those involved in the act,' Bibhab Talukdar, secretary general of Aaranyak - a frontline wildlife conservation group, said.
State Forest and Environment Minister Rockybul Hussain said he would visit the area to personally investigate the matter.
'I would visit the spot and find out how it all happened,' the minister said.
Human-elephant conflict in Assam has reached alarming proportions. Only a fortnight ago, villagers poisoned to death at least four wild Asiatic elephants by lacing toxic chemicals in homemade moonshine.
In 2009, four elephants were poisoned to death by angry villagers after the pachyderms went on a rampage feasting on paddy fields and entering human settlement areas, tearing apart homes and killing at least two people.
Experts say wild elephants have been moving out of the jungles with people encroaching upon animal corridors leading to an increasing number of elephant attacks on villages.
'A shrinking forest cover and encroachment of elephant corridors have forced the pachyderms to stray out of their habitats into human settlement areas,' Sharma said.
In 2001, close to 40 elephants were poisoned to death allegedly by the villagers.
A recent report by the wildlife department said wild Asiatic elephants have killed about 279 people in Assam since 2001 while 289 elephants have died during the same period -- many of them victims of retaliation by angry humans.
The last elephant census carried out by wildlife authorities recorded about 5,500 elephants in Assam, more than half of India's count of 10,000.


Bob tells me that these stands were owned by Vanessa Townes.
But didn't mention the date.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


From: Gary C. Payne
To: Animal Welfare Committee and partners
Re: Error in the Call to Action - Fulton Cty GA matter

I'm putting this information out to those who, early on, put out the original call to action. There is an error for which I must apologize... I am not certain how I got this wrong.
Commissioner Pitts is the sponser of the resolution, as we stated. In our call to action we stated that there were 3 votes for and 3 votes against and that Pitts abstained. Pitts
did not abstain. He was one of the 3 votes "for". John Eaves, the chairman, abstained.

We hope to correct this for future forwarding, but I suspect it will come up a few times in conversation, because many will continue to forward the original information. Naturally
I regret this error and I apologize. I was anxious to get the information out there - with only 8 days to impact this situation. I missed this error.

Gary C. Payne

Barry Lubin, Grandma in the Big Apple Circus, talks about clowing around in PBS' 'CIRCUS'

By Jacob E. Osterhout
Thursday, October 28th 2010
Barry Lubin, 58, a clown who plays "Grandma" in the Big Apple Circus, stars in PBS' 'CIRCUS' documentary.
Barry Lubin is as famous as a clown gets. Since 1982, the 58-year-old New Jersey native has played the role of Grandma in the Big Apple Circus. He's been inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame and has appeared four times on the "Late Show With David Letterman."

With the premiere of the PBS documentary "CIRCUS" on Wednesday, Lubin will again take center stage as cameras go behind the scenes for a year with the Big Apple Circus.

Not that filming was always easy. The documentary includes Lubin's battle with thyroid cancer, which forces him to temporarily drop out of the show. But Grandma's back, and New Yorkers can catch him at Lincoln Center through Jan. 9.

First, how is your cancer prognosis?

I am doing fantastic. I have a surgeon friend who is actually a New Yorker. When I told her the diagnosis, I was scared to death. She says, "Oh, that's great. If you are going to have cancer, have that cancer." It made me feel a whole lot better. I have one more followup exam and if I'm clean, I will be considered good to go. I am extremely fortunate.

What's the biggest misconception about clowns?

That we are depressed. It's like any other community of people. We're up and down and everything in between. We have our emotions, problems and joys. We just happen to have the best job in the entire world, which is making people laugh.

So what's it take to be a great clown?

Maybe the most important ability is to develop a thick skin and not take it personally when the idea that you think is funny is not at all funny to an audience. You have to want to make people laugh but not feel bad when they don't.

I constantly have ideas that don't go over very well. Just this year, we tried a few things in rehearsal that died in front of the audience. They got up and went and got popcorn. That's never a good sign.

Tickets to the Big Apple Circus are available at for $15-$92.

Read more:

Circus offers 'Clownselling' to conquer public's fears

Clowns Kakehole and Popol
A circus is offering special therapy to people in Bedfordshire to help them get over their fear of clowns.
John Lawson's Circus is currently in Houghton Regis and the madcap routines of clowns are at the heart of the show.
But not everyone is pleased to see them so they are offering what they call 'clownselling' sessions to remind people that they are figures of fun.
Ringmaster Attila Endresz explained why they had decided on this course of action.
"We find a lot of people come to the Big Top and say 'keep the clowns away from me'" he said, "and it's obviously a bit upsetting for us because the clowns do spend a lot of time on their costumes and their routines and to have someone dismiss them before they even come into the Big Top is something that we decided to face head on and tackle in any way we can.
"A lot of children will stay away because the adults are scared of the clowns and they transfer that fear to their children as well."
The circus's two clowns Kakehole and Popol are determined to ease people's anxieties and remind them that the clown is a comical performer and not something frightening.

.Sanctuary in Custody Fight Over Elephant

Tarra, a 36-year-old Asian elephant at the sanctuary in rural Tennessee founded 15 years ago by Carol Buckley, a former circus performer, and Scott Blais.
Published: October 27, 2010
HOHENWALD, Tenn. — They’re fighting like elephants.
A territorial feud that sounds like something out of the African savannah has erupted in rural Tennessee between Carol Buckley, one of the world’s leading authorities on elephant rehabilitation, and the sanctuary she co-founded 15 years ago.

This month, Ms. Buckley, 56, filed a lawsuit against the Elephant Sanctuary after its board fired her as president and chief executive, ejected her from her home on sanctuary grounds and barred her from visiting Tarra, the 36-year-old Asian elephant she raised from a calf.

The Elephant Sanctuary is the country’s first natural-habitat refuge for aging elephants — many bearing scars from lives spent living and performing in captivity — where they roam free, perhaps reclaiming part of their true elephant nature. It is a model for havens worldwide, and the dispute has rocked the normally tame world of animal conservation. Experts have written in support of Ms. Buckley, and some of the sanctuary’s roughly 85,000 members have stopped donating.

At the center of the dispute is the custody battle for Tarra, the elephant that served as inspiration for this vast landscape of gentle hills and fresh streams.

“They’ve taken everything: my dog, my bird, my cat, my home, my life’s work — my elephant,” said Ms. Buckley, who has moved to a house not far from the sanctuary. She added: “It’s not real. It can’t be real.”
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010



Shrine Circus Benefits LeBonheur

MEMPHIS, TN – What has clowns, tigers, elephants and daredevils?
The circus, of course.
The Shrine Circus is in Memphis October 22-24, 2010, at the Agricenter’s Showplace arena.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to the circus.” That’s how ringmaster Audrey Alvarez opens the show for every performance. One of only two female ringmasters in the world, Audrey says the circus is a family affair.
“There are lots of things where you can’t take the kids, or the parents won’t enjoy it. This is still something that the whole family can come and enjoy together.” said Alvarez.
One of the enjoyable “things” is ‘Vicky the Elephant’. Childlike and playful at 8,200 pounds, Vicky is one of the stars of the show.
There’s plenty on hand for thrill-seekers as well. Like The Espanas, an acrobat and daredevil act. Third generation circus acrobat, Martin Espana, likes coming to Memphis.
“The crowd always looks hot”, Espana told Eyewitness News, “they really like us here. They really like the show.”
Espana’s favorite part of the circus?
“The little kids sit in the bleachers, there’s suspense—then SURPRISE, laughing and clapping. That’s my favorite part.” said Espana.
Seven show stopping Bengal Tigers are also part of the Shrine Circus. Including a rare white tiger named Mohina. Mohina’s just four years old and weighs “only” 350 pounds, just a baby. I asked the secret to being a tiger trainer.
“The secret is being very careful”, said Bruno Blaszak, “you gotta have eyes behind your head at all times.”
And remember this.
“These are trained animals. They’re not tame. They are still dangerous.” said Blaszak.
Acrobat/daredevil Marilyn Espana, was born in Nashville and wants Tennessean’s to know that circus performers are athletes.
“We are athletes”, Marilyn told Eyewitness News, “we have to maintain our bodies. We can’t gain too much weight. We have to maintain our flexibility, our physique.”


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Monday, October 25, 2010

Fair tops magic number
A record crowd packs the midway during the final day of the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh on Sunday, October 24, 2010. Attendance for the fair topped one million on Sunday.RAY BLACK III -
BY J. ANDREW CURLISS - Staff writer
Good-bye, Krispy Kreme cheeseburgers.
So long, deep-fried Honey Buns.
Farewell, fair.
Sunday was The End for a record-breaking N.C. State Fair, with attendance eclipsing the 1 million mark for the first time thanks mainly to 11 days of mostly glorious weather.
For some of the people who help stage the fair, it was also the end of a grueling schedule that had kept them on the road for months: North Carolina's fair is one of the last major events in the fair industry's year.
That means magician Brad Matchett is headed home to Virginia for the first time since June 9 after crisscrossing a swath of the U.S. to perform at fairs in Florida, Minnesota, Virginia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and then North Carolina. He blew out five tires along the way.

Vicki Ketcham tries to lure players to her racing game.
Usually, my voice is gone by now," said Matchett, whose raspy throat held up Sunday for a packed crowd at his Agricadabra Magic Show.
Michelle Harrell and her team of performing poodles were headed home to Pensacola, Fla., after Sunday. On her current road trip, she has been to fairs in Georgia, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Mexico, Indiana, Connecticut and North Carolina.
Read more:
Circus Wraps After 4 Day Run

Panama City Beach, Fla: The marketing team for this year’s Cole Brothers Circus is counting cash tonight. Somewhere between 12 and 14 thousand people from all over the panhandle turned out for the big top this year at Frank Brown Park.
This was the first year Frank Brown Park served as the venue and the marketing team was pleased.Many acts fit the classic mold of the circus experience, including trained tigers and other exotic animals and the classic clowns and the human cannon ball.
The ringmaster says performers enjoy entertaining the crowd and working with the Shaddai Shriners to bring the circus to Bay County “…we’re in a new spot this year. It used to be at the mall. Last year we were at the fairgrounds. This is a beautiful location and it’s slowly building up. I think if we come back next year it’ll be fantastic here.”
The circus played nine shows over the past 4 days.
The Cole Brothers Circus plays to crowds from the panhandle to West Palm Beach.
Read more:


Circus mourns a feathered friend in Noble Park
Circus mourns a feathered friend in Noble Park Magician Simon Tait with one of the returned doves, Baldie. Picture: Valeriu Campan
Local News 25 Oct 10
SILVERS Circus in Noble Park is mourning the loss of a feathered performer.
Donald, one of three white doves stolen from the backstage area, was found dead near the Corrigan Rd big top.
Donald’s partner, Daisy, was found badly injured last Wednesday, possibly from a run-in with a cat or dog.
Magician Simon Tait said he was somewhat relieved to have two of his little mates back.
His most experienced dove, Baldie, was handed in to a Mount Waverley pet hospital earlier in the week.
The magician said Donald may have died from shock.
He believes the theft, last Saturday week, was probably a prank that went wrong.
“I hope (people involved) are feeling a little bit responsible,” he said. “They should hang their heads and think about how they carry on a little bit - think of the repercussions.”
Mr Tait said the circus was inundated with people calling with potential sightings and information about his “little mates, and work colleagues”.
“The local community has been fabulous,” he said. “We had people ringing all week. We even have a couple of extra doves now.”

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Lufuno the white lion has a bubble bath with his buddy Brian McMillian

Just clownin' around - daughter of Big Apple Circus clown says dad just wants people to laugh
BY Christina Merrill DAILY NEWS WRITER
Sunday, October 24th 2010,
Danielle Lubin's father has always been the family clown, and she couldn't be happier.
"I think my dad is hilarious," she said.
Lubin, 25, grew up watching her dad pull on wigs and costumes and lots of makeup. Barry Lubin has been clowning around the circus for three decades.
While he may play the fool with long yellow socks, a red dress, a curly wig and fake pearls as "Grandma" in the Big Apple Circus, Lubin is just dad at home.
"He really is the same person, no matter what he's wearing," said Danielle, who lives in Cranford, N.J.
Some clowns can be loud and obnoxious, but Lubin takes a more relaxed approach in the tent. "He's very laid-back as a person - and as a clown," Danielle said.
The 58-year-old funnyman came to clowning when he auditioned "on a lark" for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College while he was taking a break from Emerson College in Boston.
"I absolutely fell in love with the art form," said the 5-foot-2 jester.
Being a clown didn't come easy. He bombed in his first performance.
"When I teach, I talk about failure being the best possible thing that could happen to an artist," he said. "If you risk wildly, the chances are you'll fail wildly. But eventually you'll give yourself the opportunity to succeed wildly."
Having a clown as a father wasn't all fun and games for Danielle, especially when her family moved into a new neighborhood in New Jersey when she was 7.
"It was hard to be the new kid who came from the circus," she said. "You're that much weirder because you come from a place that no one would expect."
Still, Danielle's circus life has been normal. It is where she and her younger sister, Emily, grew up. During summers, they traveled all over with their dad.
The circus, she said, is like a tiny community. Everyone has meals together at the circus cookhouse, and the shows are only about four hours long, which leaves plenty of time for family. And everyone knows everyone.
"There's always somebody there," she said.
These days, instead of getting teased by peers, Danielle gets text messages from her friends when they see her dad's posters.
"I think he just wants everyone to laugh," she said.
The Big Apple Circus, which kicked off its 33rd season at Lincoln Center on Thursday night, will also be featured in a PBS documentary premiering Nov. 3.Share 1diggdigg .
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Yes, You’re Smart, but Can You Make Money?
. This interview with Kenneth Feld, chairman and C.E.O. of Feld Entertainment, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant. Feld Entertainment’s operations include Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus and Disney on Ice.
Kenneth Feld is chairman and C.E.O. of Feld Entertainment, which produces Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and other shows. He asks potential hires how their ideas have turned into profit at their companies.
Q. How did you get started in your family’s business?
A. In the summers I always worked with my father, and I think my motivation for getting in the business was to work with my dad, because we had an extraordinary relationship. I was fortunate that he was in a business that I loved and had a passion for.
He acquired Ringling Brothers in November 1967. I was in college, so my summer jobs for the summer of ’68 and the summer of ’69 were going all over the world, primarily Eastern Europe, hiring circus talent.
That was an extraordinary education because, at the time, there were still communist countries, and I spent most of three months in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Poland, East Germany. I would deal with the ministries in those countries because the circus was sort of their art form for the masses. So that was my first exposure to something pretty exotic and unusual.


From left, Preston Mason, 5, Christian Mason, 10, and Ahmani Graham,11, take a ride on Free Fall during the opening day of the Greater Gulf State Fair.
When the Greater Gulf State Fair opened at 4 o’clock Friday afternoon, Tiffany Watson, 24, was one of the first in the gate. With her younger cousins Cortez Watson, 12, and Amaya Gonzalez, 11, Watson strolled the midway, past the corn dog stands and whirling rides. "We love the fair," she said.
Watson and her family had purchased Midnight Madness tickets — $20 in advance, $25 at the gate — allowing them unlimited rides until the fair shut down at 2 a.m.
Watson said they planned to enjoy themselves on the midway the entire ten hours.
Under blue skies and a rising full moon, Watson and thousands of others enjoyed opening day at the fair. The temperature was balmy, and fairgoers in shirtsleeves sat on benches eating Polish sausages, jambalaya, candy apples and funnel cakes as evening descended. READ MORE AT:

Greater Gulf State Fair features fun, food and furry farm animals

Scenes from the 2010 Greater Gulf State Fair

PBS Explores the Circus in new Documentary
Big Apple Circus Founder Paul Binder, PBS president Paula Kerger, CIRCUS producers Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre, and WNET president Neal Shapiro.
By Chris Ariens on October 22
FishbowlNY headed uptown last night for the big top event celebrating the new 6-hour PBS documentary “Circus.” Debuting Wednesday, Nov. 3 and running the subsequent two Wednesdays, “Circus” tells the story of the Big Apple Circus, going behind behind the scenes exploring a distinctive world with its own rules and lingo.
Last night’s party, at Big Apple’s Lincoln Center home, included typical circus fare: hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and Grandma the clown who roamed the room greeting guests before he/she put on his/her own show for the crowd. After performances from several Big Apple acts, the audience, including some big-time PBS and WNET donors, were treated to a sneak peek.
“Circus” gives an intimate look at several members of the Big Apple team: including juggling brothers, one who’s ready to leave the circus; the “oldest newbie” who’s a real clown; to members of the tent crew, one who goes off his meds one too many times.
Five weeks of training, 10 months on the road, a half-dozen languages spoken, and a 150-person team. Chaos, drama, intrigue all at the “Circus.” Who knew?

PETA offers alternative for old circus arena
Mayor calls "Elephant Empathy Center" idea not serious
PETA suggests an arena that “used to force sad, lonely, beaten animals to perform” be “transformed into a tribute” to them.
By TERRY O'CONNOR Correspondent
Saturday, October 23, 2010
VENICE - PETA believes it has a better idea for the city's old circus arena than remaking it into a museum.
Officials from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have asked Venice Mayor Ed Martin to allow them to convert the building into an “Elephant Empathy Center” to evoke public sympathy for pachyderms. But Martin said PETA's proposal did not appear to have any real substance.
“I actually did not give that any serious thought,” Martin said. “I didn't see that as a serious offer, no.”
The Venice Circus Arts Foundation has been working for the past six months on plans to revamp the decrepit circus arena into a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus museum. It will continue its fundraising this weekend at a “Save the Venice Circus Arena” event Sunday at Centennial Park.
As an alternative to the foundation's plans, said Tracy Reiman, PETA executive vice president, a center should be built featuring interactive, educational displays, including one where visitors could volunteer to be chained and confined to a replica of a cramped, poorly ventilated box car to simulate how circus elephants often spend days at a time standing in their own waste while traveling between performances.
“With the Elephant Empathy Center, an arena that was once used to force sad, lonely, beaten elephants to perform will be transformed into a tribute to their intelligence, sensitivity and family values,” said Reiman in a letter to Martin. “Elephants are loving animals who never deserve to be beaten, shocked or shackled.”
Martin said he takes animal rights seriously, contributing to wildlife and nature groups.
“Not that I'm unsympathetic, but what would we have in addition, a chicken museum? A cow museum?” he said.
The Venice City Council agreed earlier this month to support the Venice Circus Arts Foundation's efforts to try to save the arena from demolition.
The foundation has outlined a business plan and is seeking contributions toward a $10 million renovation of the 5,100-seat more at: