Photo of Jack, me, Harper and Rachel from the circus a couple months ago. I also invited Chloé to come along on our trip to the circus and to write a guest blog post about it as well. The video of our outing and part of documenting it in my traveler's notebook is at the bottom of this post. Take it away, Chloé!
You know you’re an English major when an internship opportunity requires you to see a circus! But not just any old circus. Old? Yes, but only with historical and successful credibility—The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus!
My initial thought about going to a circus was, I’m excited to see how my experience will change as a young adult. Needless to say, I was equally, if not more impressed. However, for different reasons than five year old me.
First, and most obvious, I was impressed with the skill. Being your average no-yoga-barely-touch-my-toes-self, it doesn’t take much to out-stretch me. As I was walking to my seat, pretzel in one hand, and my ticket in the other, I felt like an A-class juggler. Conquering the leg stretch over the row of seats and (not so) graceful landing, I felt pretty accomplished. “Sign me up Ringling Bros., I’m ready!” But I quickly revoked my offer, because above me were women doing the splits in glass spheres, looking like the pretzel I had stopped eating long enough to pick my jaws up from the ground.
The talent was not only spectacular; it was genuine! The circus reminds me of a body. All the parts moving and working together was an art itself! There were moments where the audience was a little scared and uncomfortable, but that’s what made the circus so beautiful: this was real. The acts were exactly what they should be—intense. There was success and there was failure. But every single time an error happened, the performer never skipped a beat—continuing what they set out to do—combining the ordinary with the extraordinary. Just the attitude of hard work and unity was impressive.
In addition to the spectacular show, I was equally impressed with the family-friendly atmosphere. Being an aunt and older sister to four toddlers/kids, I know a thing or two about the art of shh-ing. Any parent, aunt, uncle, nanny, baby-sitter, etc. can agree there is nothing more stressful than having to quiet a kid who just wants to express their emotion. And let me tell you, seeing kids verbally and emotionally engaged in the show was refreshing! The ambience was energetic and playful. Never once did I hear a parent quieting or trying to accommodate to the environment. Babies, toddlers, kids, and adults were welcomed to enjoy the show as loudly or as quietly as they pleased, without hindering the experience for those around them.
Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, sports fanatic, entertainment seeker, animal lover, or laughing advocate, The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was truly an “Out Of This World” experience.