From Assured Surgeon to Hopeful Savior - CircusTalk

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From Assured Surgeon to Hopeful Savior

The latest issue of Spectacle Magazine is out, and as usual, it leaves no US circus stone unturned. Check in with us in the new year to learn more about editor/publisher Ernest Albrecht and his work. Until then, enjoy this article on the Big Apple Circus, and Ernest’s insightful interview with new owner Neil Kahanovitz.

The email provided a New York City address on West 62nd Street to which I was to go.  The only trouble was that there were no buildings on that side of the street, bordering the south side of the Big Apple Circus’s encampment at Lincoln Center.  There was only a security kiosk, where I stated my name and business.  The attendant made a phone call and within a few minutes I was greeted by the man I had come to interview—Neil Kahanovitz.   No assistant or minor underling was sent to fetch me.  Instead the circus’ top man presented himself to me on the sidewalk in a pleasant and decidedly non-intimidating manner.  From there we proceeded into the big top and took seats side by side to chat about his second adventure at running away to join the circus  as Jennifer Vidbel provided an appropriate backdrop by putting her horses through their paces in the sawdust ring.

Kahanovitz’ first such adventure came when he was a teenager and joined the Clyde Beatty Cole Brothers Circus as a candy butcher.  While in elementary school he had already devoured any book about the circus he could find, but the tipping point came one day while a senior in high school.  He played hookey to watch in awe as the Ringling Bros. Circus  moved into the Baltimore arena.  “It was one of those defining moments in one’s life,” Kahanovitz recalls today. “It was one of those special moments. It was like someone had turned a black and white movie into color.  To me it was like,’Wow this is magic.’”…


Read the entire issue at Spectacle Magazine

Featured image courtesy of Spectacle Magazine and Maike Schulz

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