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tightrope - The W1nners' Club


They say that everything happens for a reason but your reason for being unemployed is simply that you haven’t yet managed to find another job.

Whether it’s because there have been stronger candidates than you competing for the same roles or it may indeed mean that your old boss wasn’t joking when he uttered the words, “you’ll never work in this town again,” upon handing you a P45.

Whatever the reason is for your current state of penury, at some point you’re going to have to start working again.

Have ever considered becoming a circus performer?

It’s a whole load of fun and you’ll get to travel far and wide entertaining the masses whilst wearing colourful costumes.

If donning a spinning bow tie whilst being blasted out of a cannon sounds (ahem!) like a bit of a blast, there’s here’s what you’ll need to do to become successful:

1.    Develop a skill


There are many different types of jobs that make up the cast of a circus and added to that, there are also lots of different types of circuses that you could potentially join. You’ll therefore need to develop a particular skill that will be useful to a circus if they’re going to hire you. The skill in question will need to be more substantial than your run-of-the-mill pub trick involving a pint of lager and a beer mat however. Such activities are likely to be things like knowing how to do Silk aerials, trapeze, acrobatics, juggling, trampolining, tightrope walking, clowning (a common talent here at The W1nners’ Club offices), stilt walking, or anything else that people might consider remarkable and/or unique.

2.    Get in shape


Most circus acts require months of careful practice before it’s ready and safe to be performed in public. Acrobatics, aerials and the like require you to be very flexible. For acts like the trapeze, you’ll need lots of upper body strength to keep yourself swinging through the air. Most acts will ultimately result in you getting injured at some point so the more in shape you are, the more punishment your body will be able to handle when you inevitably miscalculate the distance between the tips of your fingers and the trapeze bar whilst careering through the air at 80 feet.

3.    Consider what type of work you’d like to do


You won’t necessarily have to work for a single circus, instead you could be part of a show; a bit like an actor who appears in different movies. Alternatively, it might suit you more to be part of an official circus. If this is the route you decide to take, you’ll need to be able to perform at the top of your game constantly. There are pluses and minuses to each argument and it’ll come down to a matter of personal preference – or indeed whether or not the lions enjoy working with you.

4.    Create the act you’ll be performing


Being a circus performer is nothing like being on a show like Britain’s Got Talent because unlike the people that appear on Britain’s got Talent, you actually need to have a modicum of talent to become a professional circus performer.  Before you find a circus that will ultimately take you on, you’ll need to have your act ready to pitch to your potential employers so your grade four gymnastics badge earned at infant school might finally prove useful.

5.    Film a demonstration video


The really big gigs like Cirque du Soleil will probably require you to make an audition tape that demonstrates your skills. This is your golden opportunity to showcase your act so it’s important that you follow the appropriate submission guidelines and make sure your tape is as professional-looking as possible (you can always create your own circus fail You Tube channel with the inevitable hours of blooper footage you have left over).

6.    Make a name for yourself


Most well known circus acts usually start out doing small gigs before they break through and get noticed. In order for you to do the same, you’ll need to take every opportunity you can. Your local cricket club’s annual dinner, church coffee mornings – the lot. If you can build up a decent enough resume, people will start to take notice of your act. It’s probably best if you don’t ask your previous employer if you can do their office Christmas party again as that’s why you got fired in the first place.

7.    Get some work on cruise ships


Longer term work on cruise ships involves working in shows that are put together by the cruise line for 6-9 months. This is can be a great stepping stone to getting your foot in the door with one of the larger, official circuses. It obviously helps if you aren’t seasick of course, or it could be a very long 6-9 months indeed.

8.    Join a big time circus troupe


Now that you have a super hot resume and an act that’s nice and polished, you’re ready to join the the big league. Cirque du Soleil, Barnum & Bailey’s, the sky’s the limit – especially if you’re getting fired out of a cannon every night of the week!

Good luck!


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