The circus isn't messing around. I would know... I tried to join it, and it nearly killed me.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. They offered me the chance to visit their training center and write an article about this new show they were putting on called “Out of This World.”
The show, which will be touring around the country over the next few years, is the first one in company history to feature a running plot and not use elephants (though it should be noted they're still using lions, tigers and other animals), so they were looking to get some press out there -- standard protocol for this kind of thing.
While I'm all for free trips, I had zero interest in traveling all the way down to Feld Entertainment's Tampa training center to just write about a new show. If I was going to go down to the circus, I was going to join the circus.
If they wanted me down there then they would have to accept me for who I am: a journalist second and a beautiful, limber circus being with the grace of a swan and the reckless bravery of a lion or Beyoncé.
I fully recognize how dumb this statement sounds. This is the equivalent of me saying, “YOU WANT ME TO BUY A TICKET, NEW YORK METS? WELL, GUESS WHO'S SUBBING IT AT SHORTSTOP THIS GAME!”
Also, I'm not really a limber circus being with the grace of a swan and the reckless bravery of a lion or Beyoncé. That was a lie. In truth, I'm a guy who has a hockey stick in his room so he can turn off the lights from his bed.
I still wanted to be in the circus though. I'm all for theatrics and really, I thought, how hard could it possibly be? You walk on some ropes, juggle a bowling pin and then feed a lion some raw meats on a stick. Bingo, bango, go see "Django."
So I told them, “Listen, I'll come to Tampa... but only if I get to join the circus.”
They responded, “OK.”
To which I replied, “Wait, really?”
I literally did not think that would work. I guess ironically reading “The Art of The Deal” last year must've done something to me subconsciously.
So I went with the idea in my head I would crush everything I did and be forced to turn down an offer to join the circus after my day of training.
What actually happened was I grossly underestimated what it takes to be in the circus and quickly learned I am in no way, shape or form able to come close to the MAGIC those performers accomplish daily.
Everyone was in prime physical condition and doing things I'd only see done in video games. At one point during the dress rehearsal I saw a stunt that involved six people driving their bikes in the same steel ball at the same time. It made me extremely queasy.
That show was like watching a live, two-hour version of “American Ninja Warrior” but with more clown makeup and fewer announcers yelling dumb stuff like, “THAT COMPETITOR JUST ATE HIS BEAN SALAD ON THE UNEVEN TURNING LOG!”
I feel double obligated to also let you all know everyone in the circus is beautiful. They're all jacked as hell and can move their bodies in really exciting ways.
I asked a bunch of them about what the hookup culture is like on the train and nobody would tell me. What I did learn though is that half the people on the tour are married to each other, which to me indicates that train of hot 20-somethings is like a mobile Olympic Village ~~IF YA KNOW WHAT I MEAN~~.
So, yes, the circus may be for children... but that doesn't mean you adults don't get some eye candy while you're there also. *Does awkward shoulder move*
The video above is a pretty good film diary of how my time with the circus went.
I felt like everybody else in baseball who played against Jackie Robinson. I wasn't just not in their league, I had to look up the definition of "league" after they were done with me to make sure I knew what the concept of a "league" was.
Enjoy watching these hot people give me a shot at their jobs.