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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Brittany J
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Re: What is so fascinating about circus life?

Post by Brittany J » 05 Jun 2018, 23:12

I think the circus is alluring because it has an element of danger. Most of us can not even understand how a person can perform some of those stunts. It's a way for people with unique talents to turn them into a career and do what they love. In a way, I can see that joining the circus would be like joining a new family, and it would provide a community to express yourself freely without some of the criticism or expectations that come with mainstream society. On the other hand, I think that once you are part of circus life, it would be difficult to leave it if you wanted to. Historically, circuses have been filled with exploitation and abuse of both animals and people. They are better today, but many still use animals in their performances, which I strongly disagree with. I have been to Cirque du Soleil, which I loved, but have not been to a regular circus since I was a child. I would not go to one if they use animals.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 06 Jun 2018, 00:47

Run away and join a circus is an old joke. I suppose people see the glamour on the outside but don’t see the constant upheaval or the people behind the performances.
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Post by Riszell » 06 Jun 2018, 01:35

The circus is both fascinating and terrifying at the same time. I cannot deny the fact that it is highly entertaining. It provides laughter and enjoyment. It gives escape or break from reality. As long as the acts won't harm the doer, if he knows what he is doing, and animals are not abused and of they are properly taken care of, I would love to go and watch circus.

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Post by simplymica26 » 06 Jun 2018, 04:33

I haven't read the book but I always had fun going to circus. The thrill, excitement and entertainment. Sometimes, I think I want to be like them. They have an awesome life, they are doing what they love and different from others. I am so excited to read this book and will add more comments about it. 😊

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Post by Laura Bach » 06 Jun 2018, 06:17

It was very important for Duke to escape his environment, so the circus life was better for him. I went to the circus only as a child. And I remember when my parents asked me what I saw there, and I said I saw dinosaurs. It was a magical world for me, but a dissapeared one also, because it vanished so quickly and as I grew up I didn't want to go anymore.

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Post by PeaceLoveNature44 » 06 Jun 2018, 07:47

1. What do you think of the mirage of circus life in general?
I think that it's amazing, and it's some peoples way of escaping life and creating a new one that seems fun and interesting. Hard, but a normal life can be hard as well.
2. Are you still going to the circus? What do you love/hate most about the circus?
I don't go to the circus anymore, even though I have kids. I have not decided on if we would or not. When I went as a child, I really didn't enjoy it that much, but I only went a couple of times. I also have a strong heart for animals, and sometimes it seems kind of mean depending on the circus I guess. I love the candy, colors, and the imagination the most though.
3. How is circus life described in the book?
It's describe as it is, intriguing, imaginative, and that it can be a hard life as well. But it's the attraction the thrills that keeps someone coming back.
4. Is Duke satisfied with his new life as a sword swallower?
So far from what I read, it's a paying life. He enjoys the circus season more, but it's part of the job to wait till then and it sounds like he is content in his everyday life with the circus from what I've read so far. It's done him some harm, but it may of helped him as well.

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Post by Jkhorner » 06 Jun 2018, 09:45

Circus life is certainly fascinating, but to me it's always held a sort of macabre, dangerous fascination. I have never been to a circus, because even watching movies that include circuses set me on edge. The daring acts give me all the negative adrenaline and none of the positive rush after completion.

I think the lifestyle appears glamorous to many people for several reasons. First, when you go to the circus, it's to have fun, and so you always associate enjoyment with every aspect of circus life, though clearly that's not the case for those who work there. Second, it's a completely different lifestyle. The constant traveling, new cities every weekend, and the late nights and late mornings give the circus an out-of-the-ordinary aura and therefore appeals to the average weekday worker. Lastly, a circus is meant to appear glamorous. It hides the ugly parts behind tents and mirrored boxes and tricks, and it shows you the glitz and pomp and excitement of amazement.

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Post by JR Mercier » 06 Jun 2018, 09:48

Christina O Phillips wrote:
01 May 2018, 10:21
I myself am drawn to the circus because it is so different from my day to day life: the activities, the food, the culture, the types of people. I enjoy stories that have a circus or traveling show as the setting (The Night Circus, a season of American Horror Story). I do not go to the circus anymore, but I do go to county fairs still. I am not done with this book yet so I can't answer the other questions.
The same from my side. I think it's just that in a circus almost anything goes and people that wouldn't generally be accepted are accepted there. You can't be strange if strange is the norm.
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Post by KristyKhem » 06 Jun 2018, 12:00

Speaking of circuses, I live in the Caribbean and a traveling circus just came to my island :D I think a circus is a great form of entertainment. They portray fearlessness, power, and mystique. I think this is so unique and it has a culture of its own. Over the years, I've visited circus, but the thing I hate most is the cruelty of the animals.

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Post by Chandler_Greg » 06 Jun 2018, 13:45

The idea of escaping your troubles by running away "to join the circus" has certainly been popular. The circus is a fantasy land, probably seen as less harsh than true life. It may not be "over the rainbow" but it bears a lot of resemblance to Oz. People are different there and there are many challenges, but we expect to have the ability to overcome them. Hey, it's our fantasy.

I haven't been to a circus in years, and with their loss of popularity the big circuses are dying out. Someday, kids who are mad at their folks will have to find somewhere else to ruin away too. The tragic life of most real-world runaways doesn't come close to the release from daily cares we seek.

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Post by Bianka Walter » 06 Jun 2018, 14:47

I think circus life is something that most people have no idea about. The constant travelling, the need to be the best, and the schedule must have a very straining effect on the performers. I don't think it's as glamorous as people think it is. I haven't been to the circus in a very long time. When I was younger, I was very put off by the animals in the performances. I know they have very few now, but it's something that's stayed at the back of my mind.
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Post by BriennaiJ » 06 Jun 2018, 15:18

To be honest, I don't think people are that attracted to circus life anymore. I remember reading older books from the 40s, 50s, and 60s where kids would get mad and say that they wanted to go live with the circus and be "independent." Now, circuses are closing down left and right, and kids understand how abusive they can be to the animals in the acts. So I think that the mirage or magic of living as a part of the circus has basically been dashed. I think the new going to live with the circus is going to be a Youtuber or something like that.

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Post by CaitlinGonya » 06 Jun 2018, 16:11

The main appeal of the circus for me is the traveling. There are no roots so people don't know you and make assumptions. I also like the fact that the people in the circus have to have a certain loyalty to one another. Its not easy to travel, but I can imagine it is especially harder when you are carrying your whole life in a caravan. I still go to the circus, and I am still terrified of the clowns. Don't ask me why. Maybe too much Stephen King

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Post by Elle Howard » 06 Jun 2018, 18:25

My fascination with the circus is because it is an environment where people can be happy being themselves and no one judges you for being different. There are exceptionally talented people performing there. But there is no jealousy or animosity. They seem to want everyone to do well and push their limits and boundaries.
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Post by RebeccasReading » 07 Jun 2018, 13:29

I have actually never been to the circus. It was never really available in my area as a kid. I think I would have enjoyed it as a child, but wouldn't want to go as an adult. I've seen too many stories about the dark side of circus life to be able to enjoy the show.

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