Circus Voices, a new podcast brought to you by CircusTalk is pleased to present a podcast series called see u down the road with creators and co-producers Book Kennison and Zoë Kennison.
In each episode, a circus artist tells the story of a big, transformational moment in their life – and the aftermath. Heart-wrenching, funny, and real,see u down the road is an unprecedented piece of work in circus media.
In Episode 1, aerialist and acrobat Elliana Hentoff-Killian tells the inside story of her time as a human cannonball on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey.
- When Elliana refers to “the voice inside my head,” she means Nadia Tarasova, a member of her cannon team, who was responsible for hitting the launch button. When Elliana was in the barrel of the canon, she wore a wireless headset, which allowed her to communicate with Nadia pre-launch.
- A “high fall” is part of the training process for human cannonballs. The artist stands on a ledge, leans forward and falls off, then completes a half-turn to land on their back in the air-bag.
- “Vom door” refers to a vomitorium, a passage often situated under the stands in the type of arenas Ringling Bros. played.
- Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey traveled by train. At the time, it was the longest privately-owned train in the country.
- “Winter Quarters” is the name traditional American circuses use for their off-season headquarters. For Ringling, the name was synonymous with their creation period, which in the final years took place in Tampa, Florida.
- Elliana has a long-running solo show, which can be seen at Circus Harmony in St. Louis, Missouri. Circus Harmony is a social circus program with a permanent, one-ring circus within City Museum in St. Louis. Circus Harmony has multiple shows a day, which are free with admission to the museum.
- Read the show transcript here.