Circus Vargas cuts costs and nixes animal acts to keep its show on the road.
Circus Vargas trapeze artist Yasmin Rivera had donned her red, white and blue leotard and applied her heavy, glittery makeup. Soon she would be dangling from a cable under the big top, more than 20 feet in the air.
“In addition to assigning workers double duty to keep costs down, Circus Vargas long ago ended its animal acts, which eliminated the expense of caring for and housing the creatures as well as cut the need to meet strict animal welfare regulations.”
But as showtime neared on a recent Sunday night in Del Mar, Rivera had a task to perform: handing out tickets to the growing crowd.
“This is our relax time,” the 33-year-old aerialist said with a smile.
To keep this small California-based traveling circus profitable, Circus Vargas’ 100 employees each work two or three jobs, some less glamorous than others.Facundo Kramer, a juggler and acrobat, also hustles popcorn and cotton candy. At intermission, performer Annabel Bachliyski comes off the trapeze to paint children’s faces.“Every single person in our show wears many hats,” said Nelson Quiroga, who co-owns the circus with his wife, Katya, and drives one of seven big rigs that haul the giant tent and other equipment from town to town.
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