FYI Vol. II, No. 3

Feld Entertainment Expands Yet Again

Kenneth Feld has announced that Feld Entertainment will be partnering with Marvel Entertainment to create a new genre of live entertainment, in which the Marvel comic book characters would presented in a new live action arena spectacle.  This once-in-a-lifetime touring event will feature the largest assembly of Marvel heroes and villains in one place, on a scale of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and will combine aerial stunts, martial arts, special effects and pyrotechnics.  The new production is projected to be ready to debut in the summer of 2014  will travel to 85 American cities after which it will tour internationally.  Marvel’s parent company is The Walt Disney Company.

 

 

Cirque du Soleil Casting Department Updating Talent Files

The casting department of Cirque du Soleil is now using a new one-of-a-kind contact and candidate management system called BAAZ.  It contains more than 75,000 entries (representing individual talents) from around the globe.  The new system allows the casting department to process applications more efficiently as well as managing auditions and talent scouting events.  It also encourages interaction, communication and follow-ups with candidates and business partners.  Those interested in having a career with Cirque du Soleil are encouraged to keep their personal files up to date in order to make communication easier.

 

Circus World Museum’s Future Clouded Once Again

Under Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget for the State of Wisconsin the long-standing agreement whereby the Circus World Museum Foundation operated the museum for the Wisconsin Historical Society, which owns the grounds and collections, would be terminated.  Under the proposed plan the state would funnel $1.2 million to CWM over two years to pay the salaries of ten workers who would become state employees.  But since state employees must be hired according to civil service rules via a mandated application process there is no guarantee that the current employees would be able to keep their current positions.   The museum now employs a full-time staff of eight.  An overhaul of the staff could mean the loss of “decades of institutional knowledge,” said Jonathan Lipp president of the foundation.  However the Historical Society contends, “ an overly optimistic budget puts the site at risk of failing to make payroll again this year.”    At best Circus World Museum faces another state of flux and how it will emerge is anyone’s guess at the present time.

 

Circus Mojo’s Mojo Continues to Expand

Paul Miller is, as he puts it, “leading the charge” to host an annual College Circus Fest and Job Fair at the headquarters of his Circus Mojo in Ludlow, KY, which is just outside of Cincinnatti) on May 3 – 5.  The first night will feature a meet and greet open stage which Miller says is being marketed to college age folks  in the Cincinnatti area.  On Satruday two shows, a matinee and evening performance, will be staged with each participating group presenting a five to twenty minute performance.  On Sunday each of the participating groups will present a workshop of an hour and a half’s duration.  Schools that have confirmed their participation are Gamma Phi from Illinois State University, Cirque du K from Kalamazoo College, and the Flight Club, an aerial group, from Indiana University.  Other groups’ participation is still pending.

On the job front, Circus Mojo is searching for interns 18-22 years of age who have graduated from high school.  They can earn $9 an hour for up to 40 hours a week, and in addition will receive  training in circus skills which they will be taught to adapt to social development in the health and wellness fields.  Discounted housing is available at the adjacent Circus Suites apartments.

The always energetic and amazingly accomplished  Miller has just purchased an old church from the city of Ludlow for $1, which he is developing into a training center, plans for which will be showcased at the College Circus Festival.  Ludlow, KY, it would seem, is the place to be for circus artists of all stripes and levels of achievement.   Check out the Circus Mojo website www.circusmojo.com

 

 Another New Circus Film Proposed and Seeking Funding

A group of MFA students at the American Film Institute have come up with the idea of creating a circus film against the backdrop of a fictional traveling circus during the era of the American Dust Bowl.  It will be appropriately titled Dustland and will require not only a recreation of a fictional traveling circus of this era, but dust storms as well.  This sounds vaguely familiar, and appears as if will be another grimly depressing view of the scruffy, shabby side of the circus that seems to fascinate filmmakers so, what with its juxtapositioning of tawdry glamour with real, soul-searing hardship.  If the team has any hope of making this movie, they say, they need to raise $30,000 by April 20th.  Anyone interested in helping financially should contact Erica Lang at erica_lang@ymail.com or 323-309-8082.

 

Facebook Page Devoted to Tales of Circus Days

Jack Ryan, ex-Ringling press agent, maintains a very popular page on his Facebook account based on the phrase he first coined in 1968 for his boss Irvin Feld, and which has now become universally quoted.  The slogan is, of course, May All Your Days Be Circus Days, and his page can be found at www.facebook.com/pages/May-All-Your-Days-Be-Circus-Days/1398407.