In my last entry, I asked you all "If you were to run away and join the circus, what kind of performer would you be?". I was amazed at your answers. I had such cowardice, and would only agree to be a clown. You all were brave! You gave answers from lion tamer, to trapeze artist, to contortionist to many things in between.
But what amazed me most, was there were a couple of people who replied to the question who have performed in a circus.
One is Astaryth of Adventures of an Eclectic Mind. Here's her comment:
Ummmm... what if you really -did- run off and join the circus once upon a time?? LOL! I think if I went back I would want to work with my beloved Tigers, but would also enjoy the horses, or even some of the other exotics. I much prefer taking care of them to actually putting on the costume and performing every day (which I have -also- done!)
Another person who commented was Dan Meyer. He presently performs as a sword swallower!
Comment from: halfdan
"Since I've already worked as a real circus clown, juggler, elephant rider, fire-eater, and for the past 6 years one of the last few Sword Swallowers left in the world today, I would probably have to pick something else new that I've never done before!
Since I LOVE animals (I work with horses and parrots now), I have always wanted to be either a Big Cat trainer or to fly on the flying trapeze.
If you get get any responses from others who really want to learn sword swallowing, please send them my way!
When I emailed Dan and asked him if I could tell his story in an entry, he emailed me back and said yes. He told me this:
Hi Krissy! Sure.
I'm curious to hear what other responses you get back on your website! As a kid, I always used to set up a blanket in my back yard and try to train our kittens to stand on stools... I always wanted to raise the big cats, ride elephants, and run away with the circus. When I was in college, I learned to juggle, got into clown ministry, learned fire-eating, and ended up working with a variety of small circuses around the midwest. Then I hung out with Ringling Brothers for a few weeks in Madison WI, and got invited to go to Ringling Brothers Clown College. But instead of going to Ringling Brothers Clown College, I ended up moving to be a missionary in India where I learned to ride elephants and saw sword swallowing first-hand. Then after 20+ years of clowning, juggling, stilt-walking and fire-eating I finally learned sword swallowing after 3 years of daily practice. Now this is all I do, and I enjoy performing on TV programs and documentaries, but also getting to perform with the occasional few sideshows that are still around. I'll include a link that I filmed with John Strong's Sideshow at the TN State Fair in Nashville about a month ago, as well as a few photos. As a matter of fact, this past weekend, I got to work with several Ringling Brothers clowns in TN, and to juggle and pass clubs with the TOP female juggler from Russia! All this coming from a NON-Circus kid who just really wanted to work with the circus! All this is just to say, if there's a WILL, there's a WAY!
Linda of Footprints in the Sand emailed me to provide us with this link in case any of us would like to join the circus: SO YOU WANNA JOIN THE CIRCUS? Thanks Linda!
Finally, I want to end this entry with photos Dan sent of himself to me to share with you all.
Dan as a clown
Dan applying his clown makeup
How cool is this? Here he is in the Ringling Brothers Parade!
Dan fire swallowing
Almost done here. Now for the finale, and what Dan does today:
He's a sword swallower! According to Wikipedia, only a few dozen are in existence today.
I hope you enjoyed this entry! It was fun!
EDIT: Earlier I put in a link for Dan Meyer's website. Unfortunately I wrote an incorrect website address. If you want to check out his website the URL is now corrected.
Tags: circus, SO YOU WANNA JOIN THE CIRCUS, astaryth, Footprints in the Sand, Dan Meyer, fire swallowing, sword swallowing, http://www.swordswallow.com, fun and silly entry