Know Your History!

Why is it that few modern circus artists seem to know or care about the history of circus?

The job of an artist is to be creative, rather than recreative. Knowing the history of your discipline is important; You don’t want to merely repeat what others have done before you.

It’s a good idea to know the history of the genre you’re involved in and possibly the history of other related disciplines. In a world where we know ‘knowledge is power’, why would anyone not want to know as much as they can about their passion or career?

With this in mind, why can I still have a conversation with a professional who knows nothing about the history of what they are doing!?

I’m not saying everyone needs to be an expert or want to be on Time Team, but please take the time out to educate yourself, just a little.

7 thoughts on “Know Your History!”

  1. And information today is so available. Everything is just a few clicks away. Also, I like to do my stuff in honor of the people who have struggled with it before me.

  2. “The job of an artist is to be creative, rather than recreative.”

    That is your opinion! Mine too, to be honest. But I’m sure there are many people out there who just don’t care about trying to be creative all the time.

    “why can I still have a conversation with a professional who knows nothing about the history of what they are doing!?”

    Because they are professional performers, not professional artists.

    1. Artist vs. craftsman…

      Craftsman knows how to build something, artist knows why. Both are venerable trades.

      The point is, many (most?) circus performers now made the choice to pursue that career, rather than being born into it. You must have a great passion to take that route, and it surprises me all too often that people can have such passion without a matching and active desire to know all they can about their art / craft.

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