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Tuesday, September 05, 2006 

Some places just feel like home. For me the Catskill Mountains and the Hudson River Valley sing enchanting songs stirring long dormant recollections. I was young here in places like Saugerties, and Woodstock, and New Paltz in a time of utopian ideals and ideas. Revolt found fertile ground in these hills and in this valley. In Saugerties I phoned an old, old friend to say the circus was in town.

“Don’t you get tired of circus?” said she.

How can you ever get tired of circus, I wondered?

Entertainment is by nature a subversive business ultimately subsidizing radical art forms. Even the most staid of movie studios will on occasion surprise us with cinema so startling in its examination of social conditions it literally changes the way that we see the world. We like to say that circus is the friendliest of family outings. We like to say that beneath the bigtop we are a traditional entertainment. Both of those statements are true. Traditional circus is exciting, and magical, and family friendly, and at it’s best dazzling, and unforgettable. Each day we try, we work hard to be at our best. What’s unsaid is that circus, even the most traditional circus is ultimately revolutionary. Circus encourages us to dream that we too can fly like a sixteen-year-old boy on the trapeze even when we are feeling very earthbound. Circus suggests that any one of us can learn to balance on our fingertips when every day life leaves us otherwise unsteady. Circus reminds us to sometimes question authority, particularly pompous overbearing authority. Circus allows us to revel in beauty, and in fantasy, and sometimes teaches us not to turn away from the grotesque, for that can be human too. Circus, our circus is about mud, but it’s no less about wonder. All circus is a business with the cyclical ups and downs of business and sporadic paradigm shifts. We work to make the business work and every now and then because the business works we are entitled to remember that we are changing the world here. One child – young or merely young at heart – one child at a time.

How can you ever get tired of circus?

About me

  • I'm B.E.Trumble
  • From Everywhere, United States
  • Ben Trumble works in circus, carnival, and media relations
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