We recently took Danielle to see Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus. It was her first time seeing the circus and the first time I’d been to the circus since I worked for Ringling Bros.
For those who don’t know me well, I was a professional trumpet player prior to CS STARS and I worked for Ringling Bros. for about 9 months. Seeing the circus did give me flashbacks, particularly during the tiger act. I hated the tiger act as a trumpet player. Not that there’s anything wrong with tiger acts, but the next time you are at the circus, listen to what the band is doing during the animal acts.
The band simply loops through whatever music they happen to be playing for the act. Over and over. Endlessly. Because, obviously, you don’t know exactly when the animal will do the trick. Tigers are especially unpredictable (i.e. slow). The bandleader is watching the tiger, the band is watching the bandleader. When the
stupid animal graceful creature finally does the trick the bandleader cues the band to do a “ta-da”. And then back to the endless loop for the next trick. Tigers can make a trumpet players lips fall off. The circus is a particularly grueling gig for brass players. We typically iced our lips after the show.
I was with the circus during a tour of Japan. That was very interesting. The ringmaster did not speak Japanese. He opened the show in the traditional manner, which I can still quote:
Ladies and Gentlemen, children of all ages,
Kenneth Feld is proud to present the international edition of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus,
THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH!
I think this sticks in my brain because it was the only thing in English. The ringmaster was taught the rest of the show phonetically in Japanese. We would later meet actual Japanese people who went to the show. They couldn’t understand a word he said.
But this was all about Danielle and the circus, not me. You get to go down to where the show will be prior to the show and see clowns and some smaller acts.
Ringling Bros., ever the marketing geniuses, sells cotton candy with a special hat included. How else could you charge $12? At the end of the first act a bunch of confetti was shot out and landed near/on us. Danielle felt obligated to collect as much as possible:
But of course the cotton candy was more important than the hat:
All in all, a very good time was had by all.