Circus Business - Starting Out
Circus Business - Starting Out
How to Start a Career in Circus
Since stepping into the world of professional circus work I have found that as much as I enjoy the performing aspect I am equally enjoying the job finding process.
Finding circus work is like a game, there is no set method you have to follow but there are methods and strategies that really do work. Unfortunately a very large number of aspiring circus artists and students are not aware of any of these.
As a first year circus school student I often got lost in the excitement of training the skills I loved. This was all well and good until I begun to realise the reality was that when these 3 years finished I would be completely on my own. Aside from travelling circuses and Cirque du Soleil I still had absolutely no idea what sort of work was available and no idea how to find it. Honestly I had never seriously considered ‘working’ as a performer and the main appeal of circus school was within itself.
As my time in circus school went on I begun to worry more about my future, I started to seek the advice of my peers and teachers, asking probably an irritating number of questions about life as a professional. I was spending hours on my computer each night; putting everything together, following advice and sending emails. The result? I graduated and went straight into a 6 months of solid work; split over a 3 month Opera contract and 3 months at a themed restaurant. On my days off I performed at corporate parties, public events, nightclubs and childrens parties. To date my career has progressed in a similar fashion.
I’m not trying to brag, I know there are many others who have achieved far greater successes than I did but I am very grateful for the opportunities I received. But I do think I played my cards right. I certainly felt some degree of success to undertake such an amount and variety of work so early on in my career. It did wonders for my performance experience, self-confidence and bank account.
What I do know is that not everyone is fortunate enough to have the same experience I did and many aspiring artists will venture out into the circus world but return with empty pockets and disgruntled hearts. I think one of the main reasons for this is simply lack of preparation.
Having the skills doesn’t equal getting the job.
Having the skills, selling the skills, gets the job.
The process involved in selling the skills is often one left too late by performers which can often lead to worries and stresses. It’s not what you want at the start of your career, but it can be avoided!
Over the last year and a half I have been working on a full length guide detailing every aspect of what to do when starting your career as a circus performer. This all comes from what I have learnt through personal experience and experience of others far more knowledgeable than me. It has certainly proved to be successful and I would have benefited hugely to have all of this information readily available when I was starting out.
Circus Business - How to Start a Career in Circus
Part 1: What can you offer?
- Costume, Make-up, Props
Part 2: Marketing your product
- Circus Toolkit
- Photos & Videos
- Online Presence (Social Media, Website)
Part 3: Selling your product
- Types of Work
- Researching the Market
- How much should I charge
Part 4: Admin for your business
Finances and Tax