Last Updated on April 3, 2021 by Sammie

The pandemic is forcing change throughout the entertainment industry.

Even if you ignore it, CoVid-19 has a way of knocking everyone on their a**. Some are being hit harder than others and some industries feel personally attacked. The entertainment industry being one of them. It’s pretty difficult to practice social distancing when you make a living balancing on someones head. Below is my experience in the entertainment pandemic world and my belief of it’s reversing progression.

Let’s chat circus.

A quick circus history…

There’s some disagreement to when/where/who invented circus. But many agree that an English fellow named Philip Astley in 1768 can take the credit. There was a horse school, there were “feats of horsemanship” and there was a clown to cause trauma to children like all good clowns should. Voila, a circus is born. Look it up.

But before there was any circus ring or flashy costume, before there was someone to take your ticket at the door to a big magnificent theatre, there were street performers. And this; THIS is where it all started.

Is circus even THAT old?

Yes. Even older than the can of beans in that back of your pantry. Jugglers date back to ancient empires in Egypt, China, Greece, and Rome. In Ancient Greece it was not uncommon to find both males and females setting up their booths anywhere that a dollar could be made and people could be entertained. Acrobatics has an even heftier history, greatly admired in many ancient civilizations. While tightrope walking was a specialty of the Roman Empire, tumblers found their stage in the Middle Ages at Renaissance fairs. From Western culture using acrobats to entertain court festivities to Eastern Culture using the art form in village Harvest festivals. 

The entertainment industry helps us grow.

This fascination with human ability, agility, and ambiguity does not have one home nor one place in history. It’s grown with us. It’s a part of human cultivation. And circus will continue to be a part of human history for as long we dream and want to believe in the impossible. For as long as imagination plays a role in prosperity, circus will be around.

It rejuvenates us.

Human evolution has always leaned towards “advancement”. Whether it be how we live, how we travel, or how to secure our future. No matter if you live in the East or the West, we have the urge to get s*** done. A part from ____ I don’t think we’ve ever hit a point in history where everyone throws in the towel and says I think I think we’re done now.

Nope, on the contrary. We learn more, we need more, we do more. But we can’t always go, go, go. We also need the chance to rest our minds. To make time for hope and inspiration. Without inspiration and curiosity how do seek all the “new”.

What do you think of when you think of the entertainment industry?

Personally I think of big beautiful theatres and long velvety red curtains. It would bring butterflies to my stomach as a child, knowing that I was on the brink of witnessing magic. Nowadays, there is glitter and things flying above your head, bigger and better orchestras and complicated life defying acts. It’s beautiful. But let’s not complicate what is simple; joy. We all need it, we and want it, and it is attainable to us all.

circus performing


Covid-19 is the drunk guy you can’t get rid of at the end of the night, seems manageable until you piss it off. And to carry this metaphor through, “drunk guy” sucker punched the entertainment world in the throat.

To many of us, we are taking this personally. We lost our jobs, we are being torn away from our friends and family. And we don’t know when we will return to our normal. There was blissuful ignorance thinking that it wouldn’t happen to us and now we are grieving while trying to figure out the next move. Theatres are putting up a lot of closed signs but no wallet big or small can close entertainment. That is within all of us.

Street performing is the name of the game.

I am the first to say I liked this idea of going into the rebellious circus world. I didn’t care about the money, I didn’t care it was unconventional (that was the draw). I thought I was secure enough as an individual to not need to rely on the security of the industry. But I was wrong and slightly hypocritical. I was secure enough because the industry seemed secure. I thought there would always be work and a theatre to train in. I thought there would always be mats and air conditioning and someone to tell me where to show up for the clapping audience. Now it’s different.

moving the entertainment industry outside

The entertainment industry is not dead or permanently closed.

It’s merely morphing into what it used to be. We are simplifying in a time of confusion and anger. We NEED this now more than anything. Entertainment is about giving people joy and a break from reality. We don’t need theatres for that. Personally, I am being tested. Myself as a performer was born from learning things with mats and and cushions in the comfort of a gymnasium. But I’m willing to try. Circus is not about the bells and whistles. It’s about catching the eye of the passer-by. It’s about going to the park with friends and finding new shapes and new angles that make people hold their breath just for a second.

We have lost our security and it’s painful. Most of us have lost our spark making it next to impossible to ignite it in someone else. But nobody took away our passion for what we do.

Our time in history is connecting us to our circus performer brothers and sisters from hundreds of years ago. We are lucky because we don’t need a plug for electricity or an alarm clock to tell us when or where to do our job.

Entertainment is in our blood not in the paperwork. 

Many of us are struggling to connect with fellow performers in the industry, if you know of a space available for performers to work on their craft, please leave a comment below!