About This Blog
I started this blog not only to chronicle my adventures on the road with the travelling, traditional American circus, but also to provide others with a unique, behind the scenes look at what really goes on when the circus comes to town. The glitz and glamour of the ring does not always follow outside of it, but life outside the ring is, indeed, every bit as exciting and magical as life inside-- if only you know how to look. These are my personal stories.
I've been performing all my life. With a background in dance and theater as a child, as well as cheerleading in Jr High and High School, I always loved being on stage! I always wanted to do something creative, but also secretly athletic, with my life, but it wasn't until college that I discovered that circus (a beautiful blending of the two) was a very real possibility. I was born and raised on the north shore of Long Island, New York-- not exactly the first person you'd pick to become a travelling gypsy woman. And yet, that is where my heart is fullest!
For my first degree, I attended Hofstra University on Long Island, where I earned my bachelors in Publishing Studies and Literature. It was during that time (2007) that I took my first recreational circus class-- flying trapeze at TSNY, on top of the Parks Building in Manhattan! My college bestie had read about it in an airline magazine, and decided we needed to go! My first lesson was... less than spectacular. I was scared, nervous, and totally out of shape. But wouldn't you know, the instructor told my friend and I about another flying rig out on Long Island-- ironically, right down the road from where I had gone to high school! I spent that next summer at IFly LI, making friends and learning to fly. Soon, I also started learning static aerials, too, such as lyra (aerial hoop) and Spanish Web.
After graduating college in 2008, a close friend I had started training lyra with soon invited me to perform with her at nightclubs around the NYC area, and this was my first introduction to paid aerial work. (Though not enough to pay the bills, as we both also worked together at a super un-glamourous data-entry office job.) At this time, I was also putting together a video audition to attend the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne, Australia. I had heard about the school through Facebook, and knew that this was my chance to truly make circus a life-long career. NICA is an elite, 3-year program that offers an actual bachelor's degree in Circus Arts through Swinburne University. Sadly, however, I did not get in.
I spent the next year working my little bum off. I worked hard to improve basic circus skills like handstands, tumbling, and flexibility. I even hired a personal coach, as there were no adult gymnastics classes being offered near me. I made sure to film any local performances I did, mostly cabarets and showcases. I put together a new and improved audition video. I mailed it off to Australia.
And I got in!
In January 2010, I moved across the planet to Melbourne, Australia by myself, with four large suitcases and no idea what I was doing. I spent the next three years learning what hard work and humility truly were. In December of 2012, by the grace of God, I graduated with specialties in aerial silks, object manipulation, and some clowning skills. I then spent one more year in Melbourne, training, teaching recreational classes at NICA, Circus OZ, Women's Circus, and Little Devils, and performing gigs here and there. In December 2013, just before Christmas, I moved back home to America and restarted my life again, state-side.
I soon began working with the National Circus Project, a circus educational program based on Long Island, that goes into schools and teaches circus skills to children. There, I was able to better improve my manipulation skills in juggling, plate spinning, diabolo, etc. I also got to learn basic skills in walking globe, rola bola, and tightwire. I worked with them for two and a half years before receiving my first full-time, touring-circus contract. The past nine years of hard work had finally begun to pay off!
Since then, I have been blessed to tour with King Cole Circus, Valentine's Mighty American Circus, and Carden Shrine Circus International. I have performed silks, lyra, Spanish web, and showgirl production numbers. I have performed comedy and I have performed drama. I continue to travel and perform today. And I love every minute of it-- even the minutes where I feel I don't love anything at all, but still dream of bright, sparkly tomorrows.