Friday night I spent the evening at a two-ring circus with my son. Because our house is similar to a three-ring circus, I had some time to pay attention to the details of this one. The Aladdin Shrine Circus comes to Columbus once a year with fanfare, fairly inexpensive seats, as entertainment goes, and as a way for the Shriners make money. The entertainment was mostly people acts by folks who are MUCH more flexible and daring than I am. Other than people, there was a dog act and two elephants.
Because our seats were in the front row at the very end where the entertainers come in and out, I had a chance to observe. It was like being in front of and behind the scenes at the same time. The motorcycle on a tightrope guy with a woman sitting on the bar dangling underneath were revving it up to our left before the announcer got going. She was at eye-level while he was overhead until their cue to head up to the top of the arena. I was intrigued by the double and triple duties. The men holding the dogs for the dog show ended up in the juggling act later on, for example. While a woman in one ring was twirling by rope attached to the top of her head somehow, a guy in a sequined outfit was setting up the next act in front of us.
When the announcer began to rattle off the names of the circus acts and the countries from which they hailed, my curiosity grew. The first country mention was Argentina. Then came Mongolia. At the end of the circus, all performers came out with the announcer rattling off their nationalities. The Czech Republic, Poland, Mexico and the United States were added to the list.There were others that I don’t remember. I taught at American and International schools as one way to do what I love, make some money and see the world.
There are a whole group of people who boast out of the ordinary talents who travel the world in a different way. All you need to do is be able to do things like shoot an apple off a woman’s head with an arrow. The trick is you have to be blindfolded with your back turned listening to her directions. She’s speaking Mongolian. Other than that–piece of cake.