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comment by bfv
bfv  ·  614 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Famed Ringling Brothers Circus closing - CNN.com

My mother went to the Clown College. So did mike. I've been hearing the circuses were in trouble most of my adult life and it's still weird for Ringling Brothers to be closing down.




mike  ·  614 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This is a big surprise. I have a lot of friends in Ringling who are heartbroken. I agree with thenewgreen's assessment that circuses are going the way of Cirque du Soleil. I myself like to see smaller circuses with artistic performances and a storyline.

Yes, I went to RBBBCC (Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College) in 1993 and toured part-time with Royal Hanneford circus as a clown the following year. Then I went back to school and was in the FSU Flying High circus for 3 years performing juggling, double-trapeze and slackwire. But alas that was 20 years ago and I have discovered that the muscle turns to fat.

I still harbor a plan of putting together an artistic circus-style math show. We've recently applied for a cultural grant to put together such a show, and if approved we'll put together a 40-minute 3-person show where math will come alive with music, dance and visual deliciousness. We'd then perform 10-20 shows at schools or wherever.

goobster  ·  613 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I used to be on the business side of Circus Contraption, who toured frequently with the New Old Time Chataqua. And we did a lot of stuff with the Flying Karamazov's, the Pickle Family Circus, and - of course - the Moisture Festival (the world's largest comedie/varieté festival) in Seattle.

I'm also affiliated - loosely, nowadays - with the School for the New Circus Arts (SANCA) and Emerald City Trapeze in Seattle, and the Vespertine Circus in SF.

I'm pretty sure we have a few friends in common!

mike  ·  612 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Awesome! Circus Contraption sounds incredible. Must have been good days...

goobster  ·  612 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It was some of the most important and amazing work I have ever done. I will be forever proud of the role I played in that movement.

steve  ·  612 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    we'll put together a 40-minute 3-person show where math will come alive with music, dance and visual deliciousness

Need a roadie?

Devac  ·  613 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I would not be surprised if someone would just direct me to a post about it, but would you mind filling the gap for me:

1. Mathematician.

2. ?

3. Circus performer.

Or perhaps even more intriguing:

1. Circus performer.

2. ?

3. Mathematician.

What's the story? Was it anything like this? ;)

mike  ·  612 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That is an awesome comic you point to!

I learned to juggle in college and by the time I graduated with a BS in math I just wanted to perform. So I did street juggling, taught juggling classes, took up clowning, did some small gigs, then went to RBBBCC and toured with Royal Hanneford for a year. Then I really wanted to be a math teacher. Took the GRE and scored high enough to get free tuition and a TA position at FSU, which also has a student circus.

Fell in love with math at grad school and stayed on for a doctorate. Circus is far in the taillights now, but I continue learning new things and making new things. Very much into math art now, of all kinds, and have made digital art, print, videos, sculpture, jewelry, music, drama, literature and poetry.

Running my own math creativity center now. Don't know what the next career is, but there is still time...

mknod  ·  614 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I really want to attend the Phillip Gaulier clown school one day. Clowning is so cool and a great way for performance to be engaged in an honest way.

I. Do wonder what Ringling Bros would have been like too

thenewgreen  ·  614 days ago  ·  link  ·  

A good friend of mine's sister is a trapeze artist. I think circuses will re-emerge and be less "disney" and more "art." I went to this circus recently and it was big business consumerism.