FYI Vol. V – No. 1

The Next Step for Clowns Steve and Ryan American clowns Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs, who will be spending the season at Circus World this coming summer are in the process of trying to raise money to fund their own show, a long-held ambition. It’s to be called Nothing But Nonsense, and for more information including how you can become an angel and help make it become a reality, you can find the link to the fund-raising site from their blog

The Other Side of the Animal Issue Gets an Airing If you happen to be one of the people who actually support animals in the circus, Martin Lacey, Jr, older brother of Alexander Lacey, now with Ringling’s Legend show, has decided to do something to get the other side of the story out there to as wide a public as possible.  He has a website  that shows the positive side of the issue and also accepts funds to help  keep the effort moving forward.  Lacey was recently at the Monte Carlo festival with a huge collection of lions, both male and female that comprise his two acts, although only one group took part in the festival  They were all on display in their comfortable enclosures in the festival’s menagerie and a video of Lacey’s efforts was continuously streaming on several TV sets on either side of the passage way through the animal enclosures.

Circus Survey I recently received an email from a graduate student who is conducting a survey about the financial status of circus performers. What is needed, instead, is a survey that documents how much money the circus industry as a whole contributes to the national economy.  I am often asked by journalists for a list of active circuses, but I know of no such complete listing.  Since, as we all know, money talks, it is important to be able to convince legislatures, local and national, that the circus needs to be protected, because  it contributes significantly to the economy.  To get that kind of information another sort of survey needs to be undertaken.

900 Horses In April of this year England’s Queen Elizabeth will celebrate her 90th birthday.  What has that to do with the circus?  Perhaps nothing…or perhaps something important.  As part of that celebration a parade of 900 horses will perform at Windsor Castle, in a ninety minute spectacle that will run for four nights.  It has already lined up appearances by the Royal Cavalry of Oman, the Chilean Huasos, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and 100 military and Commonwealth pipers.  But where will they get all the rest of those 900 horses.  Hopefully Vienna’s Spanish Riding School will be represented, and wouldn’t it be great if the stables of Alexis Gruss, Flavio Togni, and the Knie family also participated?  The event will be broadcast live, hopefully all over the world, including the US.

Social Circus Reaches Mexico Cirque du Monde, Cirque du Soleil’s social circus arm, has announced a deal to offer social circus programming in conjunction with the Mexican government. The idea is to reduce street crime, give disadvantaged youth a possible vocation,  and finally help Mexican circuses, once the departure of all animals is complete, to have trained professional artists to take their place, as has been done in other countries.