Circus News

Soaring at CircusTalk–Our Interns

Meet Emily Holt, Monarch of Marketing
Emily Holt

Emily Holt started as an intern at CircusTalk in February 2020 and has recently been promoted to the role of marketing manager.

Emily is a recent 2-time graduate from Florida State University, completing her BA in Advertising in 2019 and her MS in Marketing Management and Communication this past April. During her time at FSU she was a member of the FSU Flying High Circus…like some other lovely CircusTalk people she knows. Emily was proud to perform double, triple, swinging and flying trapeze as well as teeterboard with this group of wild friends and continues to perform as a burlesque dancer and aerialist in the Tallahassee area.

We asked Emily what her favorite circus skill is and she replied, “I’d have to say the circus skill I respect the most is a passing leap on flying trapeze. The sheer amount of things that could go wrong in this trick is incredibly exciting to me — my palms are sweating just thinking about it. My flying team at FSU was able to nail this trick in early 2020 but we sadly never got to perform it in front of the audience. I’ve never been more aware of myself in relation to the air, the bar, the net and my teammates. Falling off the pedestal board? Having your teammate catch you, not the bar on the return? Giving up after the fifth tandem swing? It’s all a part of the learning process. I think a passing leap is a great way to get over any remaining fears of being in the air and I respect any team that sees it and thinks ‘Oh yeah, we gotta try that.’”

Emily performing flying trapeze at the FSU Flying High Circus’ 2019 Homeshow Series. Photo credit: Kaitlin Simpson

We asked Emily about her transitioning role from journalism to marketing and from intern to staff with CircusTalk. We also asked her if the circus world could use a makoeover in marketing or PR services. She answered, “Having these different roles within CircusTalk has definitely given me a more thorough understanding of how the circus industry operates internally and how it is represented in media, particularly through social media and video. Being a trained graphic designer and circus performer, I combine my understanding of both disciplines to create content that accomplishes what it needs to do while avoiding the cliche visuals of red and white stripes and clown clipart. I would love for there to be a design and marketing makeover within the circus world so the industry can be more seriously represented as the vastly colorful, powerful and artistic industry it is.”

Meet Lydia Nord–Journalism Hero
Lydia Nord

Lydia Nord began with CircusTalk as an intern in June of 2020 and has recently been promoted to the role of associate editor.

Lydia is a Sailor Circus graduate currently based in Florida who was featured in the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. She is a Florida State University alumna and former member of the FSU Flying High Circus who received a degree in Media Communication Studies and Spanish. Her disciplines include trapeze, aerial silks, and Spanish web. Lydia is happily a part of the CircusTalk team as a journalism associate editor, combining her love for media and all things circus.

We asked Lydia to share a circus memory, and she says, “My favorite circus memory is the first time I ever performed Roman Rings in a show. That act was always my favorite to watch, and I idolized the aerialists who made it look easy. When I started training on rings I felt like I might never be good enough — I definitely doubted myself all the way through dress rehearsals. I finally realized during my first show…this is really happening! During the performance, the time to worry and feel insecure was over. For the first time I felt all the things an aerialist should feel during their showcase: strong, beautiful, powerful. That night it dawned on me that not only was I capable of putting on a great show, but that I deserved to be there and feel confident in my abilities as an artist.” 

Lydia on trapeze. 2019 Flying High Circus Home Shows. Photo credit: Bob Howard

We also asked Lydia if being part of the wider world of circus brings her any insight or direction with her career plans. She replied, “Circus as a practice has helped me grow into myself. I always felt I had something to say, and no way to say it — until the circus gave me a voice. Learning how to express myself with my body gave me confidence I never had before. Circus makes me feel strong, like no obstacle is too big for me to tackle. I often like to say that being a part of the wider circus world has given me more soft skills than any academic program. I have learned how to be part of a team, how to take calculated risks, the importance of punctuality, and discipline. As far as career goals, the circus has taught me that anything is possible.”

Meet Kristen Emerson Gunter–Social Media Maven
Kristen Emerson Gunter

Our new social media intern Kristen Emerson Gunter is a two time graduate of FSU, having completed her Master’s in Spanish Linguistics and Literature. While a student, she performed alongside Emily and Lydia as part of the FSU Flying High Circus, with disciplines in Spanish web, triple trapeze, flying trapeze and bike for 5.  She now lives in Massachusetts and is happy to keep her involvement in the circus arts alive as the social media intern for CircusTalk. 

What is her favorite social media medium? “Circus artists are known for pushing the boundaries of what is humanly possible. When these moments are captured, performance and transient art becomes tangible and lasting. Instagram is my favorite social media platform for circus as it provides a space for artists to share this aspect of their art and inspire the work of others.” 

Kristen performing at FSU

As our 3rd intern from FSU! (We love FSU!) we can’t help but wonder what it is about FSU that turns out such skilled communicators and circus artists. We asked Kristen what motivated her about circus in a college setting and she replied, “I ran away with the FSU Circus my sophomore year of college, having previously known next to nothing about the circus, and I’d say I haven’t stopped running. The more I learn about the circus, the more involved I become, the more I love it. Circus often gets a rep for its wild and extravagant nature, inspiring awe with the ‘shock factor’. But one thing that surprised me about the circus culture is the structure, technique, and methodology at work with each act. Behind the entropy is predictability which allows for creativity. The more I learned about my acts, the more I enjoyed watching them performed and appreciated the training behind them (not to mention the teamwork!)”

If you are interested, CircusTalk is currently looking for a journalism intern for late summer of fall 2021. Visit our CAREERS page for a job description and to apply!

Main image of Emily, Lydia and Kristen. Design by Emily Holt.
Kim Campbell
Editor-in-Chief at CircusTalk.News, Writer -USA
Kim Campbell is the editor of CircusTalk News. They have written about circus for Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and were 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.
In 2019 as editor for CircusTalk News, Kim was on the jury at el Festival Iberoamericano de Circo (FIRCO) and presented the first CircusTalk Critic's Choice Award.

Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell is the editor of CircusTalk News. They have written about circus for Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and were 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. In 2019 as editor for CircusTalk News, Kim was on the jury at el Festival Iberoamericano de Circo (FIRCO) and presented the first CircusTalk Critic's Choice Award.