With the School Holidays approaching, most people start to think what can we do with the kids? Well I had other things on my mind, I’d just been sent a contract for 6 weeks back under the Big Top. My worry was after last years prankster craze with people in rubber masks tarnishing the good name and work of us fools, would my new boss want me in my normal slap and motley ( make up and costume). I don’t wear a lot of slap anyway but I thought I’d check anyway as I had been working on a new look for some of my gigs at the music hall, This would give me a chance to try an even subtler look for Bobbo. I grabbed my new costume a lovely grey number that sets me apart from the stereotypical bright coloured clown look and started to pack my cases. I got to thinking as I was packing, I wonder who will be there? as most times I turn up, there’s always someone I know, with so many years in Circus under my belt and my family being in the business you can always rely on meeting at least one old friend or family member. So I said goodbye to my wife and kids, knowing I’d be seeing them in a couple of weeks when they come to join me on this new adventure, and made my way to the Train station. I must have made quite the sight with multiple suitcases riding a unicycle to the train station, although I was leaving my house I felt like I was going home.
Being on the train gives you time to think, I made myself busy writing notes on my upcoming performances. It was a very pleasant journey but I couldn’t help thinking of all the towns we passed as I saw their names speed by and remembering being there with my dads show and the other shows I’ve been with. I started to remember little bits of what had happened there, if the business was good and if there was any good book and chovey shops (second hand shops). I arrived at Northampton my new home for the season, but a homecoming of sorts as lot of my ancestors had come from Northampton and the surrounding areas. As most of you know I’m a Roberts and a Fossett and this was our old stomping ground. I got picked up by my new boss Josh Mack, we’d never met before now but we both knew of each other, we both grew up in the circus so as we tend to do, as drove to the tober (circus ground) we were chatting ten to the dozen on the people we knew. As we arrived and passed through the gates he explained that the venue had been doubled booked, They had another event booked so we not going to get built up and open on the day they had planned. We did get the Big Top up the next day, by golly it was so hot and took bit longer then normal. Luckily there was a pub nearby and they kept us topped up with lovely jugs of ice water that one of the lads kept going for. We still had a few acts to arrive but we busied ourselves with getting the tent up and wagons in place around the tent (someone once said cowboy style).
It’s not many jobs you can walk from your home to your office in seconds, I suppose that’s one of the many things I love about Circus. As I took a walk for the 1st time into the Big Top and set about getting my light and music queues sorted, Some of the other acts started to turn up like the Garcia sisters from Spain whose family, like mine are the backbone of many a circus, The vast array of different acts they do add to the stew pot of a successful show. In this one they’ll be doing a magic act & an exercise ball act with acrobatics (that I last worked with them on Charles and Rebecca Chipperfields Bollywood style Circus) They are also doing a Slinky act in the show and one of the girls is doing a trapeze act but with a giant spring prop that can only be describes as a big version of one of those big twisted stake’s that you use to put your dog on. I’ve not seen it before but it was very nice and it gave Kelly lots of moves to do from walking up and down it to toe hanging. The other acts we had on the show were a couple who did a roller skating act & a rola rola act, both very nice acts with lovely costumes. We had a lovely young Swiss girl doing 2 Ariel acts both very very good strong acts. We also had a great girl doing a hula hoop act that she also did upon a walking globe while spinning the hoops going up a very large ramp, She normally performed this as 2 acts but this time it combined in to one act which always got the audience cheering and clapping. We also had man from Hungary doing ariel straps, with costume and music from the film Spiderman, he did many pose’s and tricks and normally the case in these acts is the kids get bored but he kept them engaged for his whole act. His second act was a hand balance act, using blocks using 2 hands and 1 hand and as my own brother in law has done this act I understand just how hard it is to do. And completing the show were 2 of our youngest performers 14 and 15 (strange names but their dad was a math teacher hehe) Their first act was in mascot costumes having a dance off to all the crazy dance moves from the classics to modern ones like the floss it went well and. The Brothers had an agreement: every day the audience choose the winner of the dance off and the brothers kept track of who won the most throughout the season, at the end of the season whoever won had to buy the other a gift of their own choosing. It was always fun to watch as the boys was giving it their all. Their second act was a comedy trampoline act done in the style of the Blues Brothers, costume and music all matched the themes in a well thought out act using the music to great effect. They also had some clown called Bobbo (that some of you may have heard of) I never got to see his act as I was always busy in the ring when he was on but I think the audience enjoyed it. My gags were very short but to the point, that is all I need to make an impact though. Sometimes I wore my full make up and Sometimes I didn’t but everyday I wore a red nose and big boots. Fellow clowns try without make up one day it’s not easy but it is fun to try. I’ve only recently started working without the slap but now I love doing both. It was great to be back in the ring and I had a fab time being back in the business I know and love, working with lots of like minded people, and having lots of Barbeques it was very cave man like we all sat around a fire talking and laughing. We were all from different backgrounds and countries but each of us had 2 things in common we want to perform and we love Circus