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Thursday, January 15, 2015

David Shipman Runs Away With the Ringling Bros. Circus


Yesterday, I had the honor of having lunch with David Shipman, the Ringmaster of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Baileys Circus.

As myself and other bloggers from around Jacksonville sat and ate lunch {sponsored by Chickfila}, we asked David questions about being a Ringmaster. I mean, how cool is his job? He gets to travel the country with performers of ALL types, meet people from around the world, have the spotlight shone on him every night AND earn a paycheck!

Ringling Bros Circus Xtreme 2015
{David reads a story to the children at the Main Library in Downtown Jacksonville}

Want to know how he learned about the job? Facebook. Talk about modern technology at its finest. A twist in the story is that David didn't see the ad until after the auditions were over. He thought it couldn't hurt to send in his resume anyways so that Ringling Bros. would have it on file for a later date. Well, they called him an hour after he sent over his information and invited him for a private audition. He was hired ON THE SPOT!

David shared a story with us about how he can remember his first time at the circus, he was around 2 1/2 years old living in Pensacola, FL. On his second tour as Ringmaster, he went back to the same venue that he once watched the circus as a child in amazement. Talk about destiny coming in full circle!

Ringling Bros Circus Xtreme 2015

We were all enjoying the time spent with David Shipman. Of course, he didn't only talk about himself. He shared with us some facts about Ringling Bros. that you may not know already. A few of them I found to be fascinating! I think you will, too.
  • Did you know Ringling Bros. is a family-owned circus?
  • In 145 years, Ringling Bros. has only had 38 Ringmasters! That's pretty incredible...they must treat their staff well.
  • There are about 110 performers in the Circus and about 300 Crew Members. {I wonder how many pooper-scoopers there are?}
  • There are performers from 13 countries. USA is, of course, one of them!
  • Ringling Bros. will stop in 48 cities in only 46 weeks! WOW! That's a LOT of moving and shaking!
  • Here's my favorite fact David shared with us; Ringling Bros. has a traveling school and nursery for performers with families! That's right, mommy and daddy performers don't have to leave their families behind to go entertain the masses. Their family comes on the road with them. Fun side note on that favorite fact; the school will take a "field trip" once a week to go see their performing parent in the circus. AND, on off-time from performing, the kids are taught their parents act. So, a lot of times one can see a child walking a low-wire in preparation for the high-wire or learn to do trick on the trampoline. How fun, right?!?!
Today was more than I expected. Thank you, @thelizmorganpr for the invite! Now, let's go to the CIRCUS!! #RinglingBros #CircusXtreme #jonahbonahinjax #dtjax

Have you ever been to see The Greatest Show on Earth? Do you take your family? Tell me your most favorite circus memory in the comments!

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