What is so fascinating about circus life?

Use this forum to discuss the May 2018 Book of the Month, "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson
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john abbart
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Re: What is so fascinating about circus life?

Post by john abbart » 23 May 2018, 23:13

Circus makes you happier.
If you were wondering whether circus is also considered a recreational activity, you are right. And with every physical activity we do, be it practicing a handstand or balancing on a rope, our body releases chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are released while we exercise and reduce our perception of pain. These endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, make us feel good and give us a positive outlook on life.

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Post by dtb » 24 May 2018, 15:46

There is a romance associated with a life that is so different from the norm and the aspect of constant travel and meeting unusual people.

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Post by liftedbooks » 25 May 2018, 01:41

I can't say much about circus life because I myself have never been in the circus, it is however very entertaining to watch. I only went to the circus once when I was small and always dreamt of going back. As an adult, I go as often as it comes to my town.

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Post by ValBookReviews » 25 May 2018, 13:21

Great question, wherefore, I think the mirage of circus life in general is absolutely fascinating. I refuse to be turned off by the notions of what happens or what may happen behind the circus scenes; therefore, there is no question, I'm still going to the circus because I love the sheer entertainment and death defying thrill of it all; whereas, there's not too much I hate about it, except for the drugs and the level of deceit that was portrayed in the book; however, circus life described in the book is more a like a "dysfunctional family unit of misfits" and I believe, according to the story line, Duke was very satisfied with his new life as a sword swallower.
"And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life". (Revelation 20:12 (NKJV) :reading-7:

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Post by VirgoRules2018 » 25 May 2018, 21:24

I think that for an outsider looking in at the circus...that life may seem like an adventure, where you get to travel the world and perform. The glamour and the acts under the beaming lights might all seem captivating, and one might think that is all there is to it. But really, most of us would not want to live that life for a prolonged period of time. Once the novelty and the excitement of being away from home fades....the circus life may not seem that fascinating.
There is alot of hard work involved (as with anything) that most people do not think about. A lot of training and effort must go into a production like that. In reality circus life certainly is not for most. :!2:

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Post by Yolimari » 26 May 2018, 12:16

I do not go to the circus but my parents took me a few times when I was a kid. I think the circus is entertaining because the performers do extraordinary things and acts.

I think that, yes, Duke felt at home in the circus because it represented freedom from his past life. He also did not have to behave according to society’s standards. He made friends who were weird like him. The freaks as he called them.

What I got from the story was that the circus made Duke very happy. He also loved performing his acts, particularly the sword swallowing one.
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Post by KRay93 » 26 May 2018, 18:22

I never went to a circus in my life; it never particularly called my attention. Regarding its description in the book, I have seen in many television series how a sort of "family" is built around its participants, and this book goes hand in hand with that concept. I don't know if Duke is satisfied with his profession, but surely he feels better living in that way than if he had opted for a more traditional lifestyle.

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Post by Rukayya_107 » 26 May 2018, 19:20

I have mostly read about circuse in books. Have never been there before. But everytime I read something about it, it makes sense like how artist show up Woth stories, new ideas and dialogues. How they make things funny and enjoyable. I feel them and imagine being there. That's the beautiful feeling of being surrounded by new ideas everyday. Visiting places, different culture etc.

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Post by lavellan » 26 May 2018, 23:23

I think circus life is fascinating because of the sense of freedom it brings to the performers. Circus attendees often come to ogle the oddities' of the performers. Since the performers are already being judged, I think they almost feel free to be themselves.

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Post by 10mile72 » 27 May 2018, 17:17

cristinaro, I got the impression that the sword swallower loved circus life, but I also got the impression that circus life isn't what most would imagine it is. 22 hour work days? That's a tough way to make a living.

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Post by BoundlessLaughter » 28 May 2018, 02:34

I haven't read the book yet but it seems immensely fascinating.

And I would like to answer some of your questions:

1. I think the circus life is a very challenging life to have. Imagine meeting new faces every day and performing such dangerous stunts. You'd have to be something like an adrenaline junkie to do that or pretty desperate.

2. The best performance I've seen is the one I saw on TV. I forgot what it's called, probably french. It was magical I just wished I could have been there in person. The worst circus troup I've seen is the one who came to our little town. They're a bunch of tired people who jus wanted to earn a living. They earn pennies for dancing on a tight wire rope, with a great possibility of falling to their deaths. You just know that the person is scared to perform. It's not very enjoyable.

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Post by holsam_87 » 28 May 2018, 16:58

bootsie0126+ wrote:
20 May 2018, 12:47
holsam_87 wrote:
19 May 2018, 17:00
cristinaro wrote:
18 May 2018, 03:37


Try going to the circus once! :) It's one thing reading about it and quite another experiencing it. I agree with you about the animal abuse, but the circus world is much more than that.
Unfortunately, I live in a fairly small town. We don't have circuses come through here. The closest thing is our county fair and the Chinese acrobats that come sometimes to perform at the local school.
If you ever get the pleasure of going to a circus, make sure it is a true circus and not simply a carnival where the main attraction is "freak" shows. I could have recommended The Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, but after 148 years of performing, closed down this past fall in 2017.
I'll have to keep an eye out for one. I live in a rural area that focuses on farming, but I sometimes hear about larger events that take place in bigger places
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Post by Morganncall » 29 May 2018, 13:41

AmySmiles wrote:
01 May 2018, 12:12
I believe the circus, to many seems like an entirely different life. A whole different world. So much so it becomes a comical saying, I quit and I'm going to run away and join the circus. It's an escape maybe from the ho hum life that we seem to fall into. I imagine it would especially be alluring if you liked to travel. What a great way to "see the world". I myself have never been fascinated with the circus. I find the death defying acts to frightening, the clowns silly and the lion tamers crazy. But that is just my opinion. I'll stick to my old routine that I am comfortable with.
well said! I even think that the elements of the circus that we still have today are so different than what they used to be. There are communities that have taken activities like accorbatics, pole dancing, and hoops and made them a sport. It really makes me wonder, what parts of our lives will our children romatasize and think about?

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Post by Lunastella » 29 May 2018, 18:32

Circus life creates kind of a morbid fascination for me. All the out of the ordinary characters, amazing feats, and nomade life seem so far away from my own life.
I don´t go to the circus anymore, I like getting an inside view of circus life in books or tv series but I don´t really enjoy the show.
In my opinion circus life in the book is portrayed as an escape. It´s for people for whom boring 9-5 to lives are not suitable. And I think it´s all this uniqueness and rush that attracts Duke to it, but I have to finish the book to give a complete perspective on this last topics.

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Post by ChrisChatfield » 29 May 2018, 19:59

As a child, I went to the traveling circus and was terrified. It wasn't the clowns, but it was the treatment of animals...absolutely horrifying. I'm not sure how much it has changed in the past 25 years or so, but I don't think I would ever go back. I can see how people would like it because it is a different world where you see what you don't expect. I guess my imagination was more captured by books than things like a circus.

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