Congratulations! You Graduated from Circus School...Now What

Circus News

Congratulations! You Graduated from Circus School…Now What? 

Congratulations graduate! You graduated from circus school and are ready to embark on a career in circus. Perhaps you will form a small company with fellow graduates like many of your predecessors. Or maybe you’d like to take on a contract at an existing show for a season, or to try your luck with creating a show with a couple of friends and launching it at a fringe festival. These are some well-known ways to ease yourself into the professional circus mix, but as you know, the mix has been shaken up lately with a global pandemic, and the usual systems to find employment in the circus world have been disrupted.

Navigating those frameworks was tricky as the rules were slowly revealed to you, the circus student, through your circus educators, your circus school, and through the straight talk of your peers. Now add a pandemic to this elaborate system, in a year when graduation shows won’t be happening (in the spring at least), and the process has just become more mired in complexity. Will an agent recognize your skills and artistry over a video? Will the festival you dreamed of doing your breakout show in 2021 even happen? Will countries provide the proper visas? Will travel to certain areas be restricted? How will you create a show with if you can’t be in the same room with cast members or must be 6 feet apart? Will residency, training spaces, and venues open soon? No previous circus graduate will have an answer to these questions brought up by the uncertainty of the times. It is your graduating class that will be setting the barre for future circus graduates ...

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Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell has written about circus for CircusTalk.News, Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and was a resident for Circus Stories, Le Cirque Vu Par with En Piste in 2015 at the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival. They are the former editor of American Circus Educators magazine, as well as a staff writer for the web publication Third Coast Review, where they write about circus, theatre, arts and culture. Kim is a member of the American Theater Critics Association.