2014 Convention



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Big Apple Circus 
by RJH • February 3, 2014

Big Apple Circus 
Verizon Amphitheatre 
through February 17, 2014 

What a treat to have the Big Apple Circus in town once again. As you may know they moved their venue last year to Alpharetta and it’s just as easy to get to as their previous locations east of town. There are plenty of specific directions to the facility on their website.

The show is not performed on the main stage; but is in the big tent as always. They have camped out at Lot A on the west side of the Amphitheatre facility with plenty of parking immediately adjacent to the entrance.

The Big Apple is an unique company in so many respects. It is a non-profit which expands their activities to help children, provide services for those with handicaps, and also helps to entertain older folks in various facilities. They also run with few animals, primarily fewer than ten horses and a few dogs. No elephants nor endangered species. Most of the performers are true circus folk, some Asian, some eastern European and almost every one of them a second or third generation performer. But, each a real master in his own right.

This program started off with Ty Tojo, and incredible young juggler, and included a balancing act on a device known as a free ladder performed by Canadian Daniel Cyr. The stage set is more or less about being in Times Square at the start, where street vendors and buskers may be seen and heard. Each act is unique, such as the Acro-Duo from Russia and Ukraine whose hand balancing is going to stretch your mind when you see them perform. There is one high wire act with husband and wife, Werner Guerrero and Aura Cardinali. They don’t climb up any ladder to get to the top, they go up from a slant wire as she sings several numbers while you hold your breath.

The animals are handled by Jenny Vidbel, a young woman who is a third generation circus gypsy. The horses and dogs seem to love her as much as she does them, and the audience gets a real pleasure from her two acts. The big act in the show is the Dosov Troupe which is the final spectacular balancing act put together and managed by Bulgarian Dzmitry Dosov. Men and women fly from springboards 30 or more feet into the air, every time landing spot-on to great applause.

There are the usual intra-scene schticks involving a comedian who works the audience. These days it is Rob Torres who has taken over after Grandma’s many years of pleasing audiences. I guess the bottom line is that these are a very professional troupe of wonderful human beings who do good work, and whose purpose in life is to enjoy their lives by bringing joy into the lives of others. They never fail.

I know we have other circuses coming to our area. But, trust me. This is the one for any family which wants to feel connected. You will always be seated close to the one-ring facility and every seat in the house has unobstructed view of the action. And a live band is right in front of you at all times. For tickets, driving directions and parking info you can visit their website at

Gandey's Circus is a thrill for all 

By Georgia Morgan  
3 Feb 2014  
Gandey’s Thrill Circus will suit every member of the family this February half-term at Speke Hall Road (opposite Dobbies Garden Centre), Liverpool L24 9HQ.

The circus, which will be on from Monday 10th February to Monday 24th February 2014,  is the country’s largest Big Top entertainment organisation and is back with an action-packed, all human circus.

Gandey’s Thrill Circus tells you to “prepare to be gripped by the electrifying excitement of the death defying aerialists high in the roof of the Big Top.....left breathless by the boisterous high-octane acrobatics of African physical totally amazed by the skill of the world’s most eccentric juggler... astounded by the acrobats who achieve the impossible by challenging the laws of delighted yet completely baffled by the stylish and graceful art of “quick change” enchanted by the giant puppet cartoon characters.... and laugh out loud at the antics of the hilarious clowns in circus spectacular for all the family.”

A family ticket for the circus is £40. (2 Adults and 2 Children or 1 Adult and 3 Children)Tickets are £8 for Children and £12 for Adults. 

The shows are on everyday with various times you can attend. Friday 14th - 7.30pm, Saturday 15th - 2.30pm & 5pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 16th - 2.30pm & 5pm. Monday 17th to Friday 21st – 2.30pm & 5pm daily,  Saturday 22nd - 2.30pm & 5pm & 7.30pm, Sunday 23rd - 2.30pm & 5pm.

If you want to buy a ticket visit or call  0843 208 0500. There is also a box office onsite from Monday 10th February which is open 9.30am – 8pm daily. 

 Circus comes to Jackson

Colleen Pages is pictured with one of the animals that opened the show Monday when Circus Pages came to the Georgia National Guard Armory in Jackson. (Staff Photo: Michael Davis) 
The circus came to Jackson on Monday when Circus Pages set up its show at the Georgia National Guard Armory.
from:n jacksonprogress-argus
by staff
February 4, 2014
Jackson. GA--The animal acts included white lions, tigers, camels, horses and elephants while the human performers took to the air for high-flying rope and ring demonstrations and trampoline acrobatics. Circus Pages also included motorcycle stunts performed inside the Globe of Death, an enclosed metal sphere in which riders zipped around seemingly barely missing one another and the unarmored female performer standing at the bottom.

Colleen Pages finishes a performance with four camels during a Circus Pages show in Jackson on Monday. (Staff Photo: Michael Davis)
Clowns kept the show going with antics involving audience members, and kids and adults alike also got to take in the full circus experience with peanuts, popcorn, cotton candy and various souvenirs.
Robert Laird, a vendor with Circus Pages, stands by some of the plush toys and other souvenirs available at Monday’s shows. (Staff Photo: Michael Davis
The show was capped off by a performance involving two trained elephants with which circus goers could also have their picture taken.
Colleen Pages gives a wave to the crowd at the Georgia National Guard Armory in Jackson as she works with an elephant during the Circus Pages show. (Staff Photo: Michael Davis)
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Monday, February 3, 2014

Lee Stevens

 Thank you so much President Gloria Myers for the FABULOUS plaque you presented to me tonight ! I am still in shock !

Happy Super Bowl Sunday. 
Yesterday it was Super Circus Saturday in Sag Harbor, New York where the Teachers' Association raised money for the high school scholarship fund. The families turned out in style for our 3 shows, the scholarship fund grew and we'll be back in 2015! Thank you
Obituary for James M. Hamid, Sr.
January 29, 2014 
Galloway, New Jersey

James M. Hamid, Sr.,68, of Galloway passed away on Wednesday January 29, 2014 
Jim was a third generation Circus Producer. He began his career working 
summers carrying huge tin letters used to advertise the current attractions on the electrical billboards of the world famous Steel Pier in Atlantic City, NJ.

After a stint in the U.S. Army and his graduation from La Salle University in 
Philadelphia, Hamid returned to the family amusement businesses, this time as Director of Public Relations and Advertising for the various Hamid holdings, including the Steel Pier, New Jersey State Fair and the Greensboro Agricultural Fair.

When Hamid's grandfather, circus founder George A. Hamid, Sr., fell ill, James, Sr. was thrust into the role of Vice President and Production Manager of the big 3-ring extravaganza. Just like his father and grandfather, James, Sr. grew to love the circus.

James was a member of Atlantic Lodge #221 F. & A.M., a member of Crescent and Murat Shrines, and an honorary member of Arab and Kalurah Shrines. He is also a Past President of Circus Producers Association, Inc. and a member of Circus Fans of America and the Circus Historical Society.

Jim is survived by his beloved wife Lorraine (nee Latini), his children Christine Davis (John), James M. Hamid Jr (Shirley), Carolyn Hamid, Alisha Hamid and Gina Latini. He is also survived by his grandchildren Belinda Hamid, James Hamid III, Haley Hamid, Lexie Davis, Brett Davis, Catherine Davis, Julia Davis and Lily Davis, his sister Elizabeth Roberts (William) and brothers George Hamid III (Patricia) and Timothy Hamid (Linda). He is predeceased by his grandson John Davis III.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Jim's Life Celebration on Monday February 3, 2014 from 10 to 11am at the Jeffries and Keates Funeral Home, Tilton Road and Infield Ave Northfield.

Memorial Service will follow at 11am at the funeral home. Entombment Laurel Memorial Park, Pomona. 
To share your fondest memory of Jim please visit

The family requests in lieu of flowers please make donations to the Shriners Hospital for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Drive Tampa Florida 33607 or Children Hospital Foundation, Lockbox #1352 PO Box 5800 Philadelphia PA 19176-1352.

UniverSoul Circus hits high note with audience
An act from Trinidad featured stilt walkers, puppets and flaming limbo during Sunday's performance of the UniverSoul Circus.
By Teresa Stepzinski 
Feb 2, 2014
DeShawne Hendricks nodded with approval Sunday as he watched spellbound as an acrobat balanced with his head on top of the head of a fellow acrobat, while making the seemingly gravity-defying maneuver look effortless — at least to the 7-year-old Jacksonville boy.

“I can do that … well, maybe not just exactly like that on the other guy’s head. But I can stand on my head,” DeShawne told his grandmother, Estelle Marquease, as she hugged him to her while they watched the center ring.

“Oh, Lord, he’s going to be trying that as soon as we get in the car until his mom tucks him in tonight,” Marquease said with a chuckle in anticipation of her grandson’s upcoming efforts to mimic the acrobats.

Sifiso Kamela, 23, has been performing with the circus for seven years. A native of South Africa, Kamela is a comedian whose act includes getting members of the audience to join him in the center ring and duplicate his antics, whether it’s strutting like a fashion model on a catwalk, rocking out on air guitar or banging away on an invisible drum kit. He was a maestro directing the audience without a word, just a few toots on a whistle. Before he started doing comedy with the circus, Kamela was an acrobat. No two shows are ever alike, he said.

“We try to keep everything original,” said Kamela, adding he is continually updating his comedy routine. “There are little things that you change to keep it funny.”

Working with the audience is unpredictable but that is also what makes it fun, he said.

“We have people that will be hard on you and people that will be soft on you … but it all gets good in the end,” said Kamela, explaining some audience members catch on quicker thanothers when he gets them into the center ring.

Kamela said circus life is good. He’s made a lot of friends from around the world. But among the best parts is working with the audiences.

“You get to interact with the audience. That’s what we do here with the UniverSoul Circus, connect with the audience, and we have a great show,” he said.

Northeast Florida residents have one more chance to see the circus before it leaves Jacksonville for Tampa, which is the next stop on its 20th anniversary tour.

Its last show at the Prime Osborn Convention Center will be at 4 p.m. Monday. Tickets cost $16 to $35, but admission is free for children under 1 year old.
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Clothelines puts spin on circus act HANNAH MCKEE

ROUNDABOUT: Tess Munro Pedreros, creator of the Fringe Festival show Between the Lines, where an strengthened everyday washing line is turned into an exciting circus apparatus. 
photo by Matt Duncanf NZ 
by Hannah Mckee
Wellington circus performer Tess Munro Pedreros is keen to defy the stuffy circus stereotypes of clowns and somersaulting dogs with her new show Between the Lines. 

Her team will be bringing their circus to the Fringe Festival, with the unique twist of the entire performance taking place on top of a clothesline. 

The 26-year-old, who lives in Newtown, says this is her first self-produced show in New Zealand and her first time at the festival, after beginning circus performance five years ago. 

"About five years ago I did a gap year in Chile because I'm half Chilean. So I went over there to meet everyone and learn Spanish," she says. 

About five years ago I did a gap year in Chile because I'm half Chilean. So I went over there to meet everyone and learn Spanish," she says. 

While in Chile, she met up with a friend of her father who was involved in stage art and mentioned circus school. 

"I ended up going there for two years. It was really good but really hard work." 

Munro Pedreros says that enrolling at the circus school was somewhat out of character for her. 

"My mum is really excited about the show but she didn't believe me when I said I wanted to go to circus school because I wasn't big on exercise. She's amazed at how it's changed me." 

But she says circus has opened up international opportunities, with nine months at a circus school in China and three with a circus troupe in Nepal. 

"That gave me the confidence to develop my own show, which I've always wanted," she says. 

Other performers in Between the Lines include aerial dancer Andrea Knox, poet Ben Fagan and Evelyn Coulson. 

Munro Pedreros says she was interested in turning everyday objects into performance props for a while. 

"We had the apparatus built especially. It spins and has the big crossbar, pretty much like a standard washing line only a lot safer. Don't try it at home." 

The different aspects of the show connect the concept of the laundry cycle to the cycles of life, she says. 

Munro Pedreros says the Fringe Festival is an incredibly helpful platform for emerging artists. 
"There is something for everyone. Humour and wit, beautiful dance and talent and a bit of audience participation too." 
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"Distressed" hippos forced to perform conga in Eastern European circus

from: AOL Travel
Feb. 2, 2014
Home Travel news 

Three hippos were pictured being forced to perform a conga in an Eastern European circus.

The seven-year-old females were reportedly paraded around in the freezing temperatures of Minsk, Belarus, far from their native Africa, the Daily Mail reports.

Zlatyi, Yana and Aida were made to bounce balls on their heads, climb ladders and build pyramids.

A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals told the Daily Express: "Hippos, along with other luckless wild animals who are chained, caged, whipped and intimidated by the circus industry, are deeply distressed when they perform.

"In the 21st century, with all the countless ways we have to amuse ourselves, there is absolutely no excuse for these shows to be taking place."

The government in Belarus has not yet introduced animal cruelty laws.
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Children enter the ring before circus’s last show

Children stand still as a pair of clowns juggle clubs around them during the pre-show.JASON VORHEES
by Amy Leigh Womack
February 2, 2014
Six-year-old Hollister Forzetting glanced from left to right as juggling pins whizzed past his nose.Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performers gathered six pint-sized volunteers into a line between two jugglers during a pre-show exhibition Sunday, the performers’ last show before leaving the Macon Coliseum.Forzetting, of Dublin, was in the middle as jugglers tossed pins simultaneously in front of and behind the line of children.Children and their parents crowded around the center ring for about 45 minutes before the show to meet the clowns and performers

Children climb atop shoulders to get a view of Duchess the elephant during a pre-show of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Super Circus Heroes Sunday at the Macon Coliseum.JASON VORHEES 

Forzetting also was chosen to jump a giant jump rope and dance with performers as part of the pre-show festivities.His mother, Brandy McDermitt, said he was excited when she told him last week that he’d be attending his first circus show.“He said he was ready to see the elephants, the camels, the clowns and the motorcycles,” she said.
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