Bob Bramson

A third gernaration circus artists and legendary juggler, highly respected all over the world by audiences, agents and jugglers. Bramson’s act is a classic, full of charm and packed with signature tricks and touches that made him successful on stage for over half a century.
 
If you’ve had the misfotune to never have come across his work before read this and this.
 
I started this blog with the aim to engage with circus performers, to share experiences and thoughts with others. So when heard Bob Bramson’s memoirs were coming I knew it would be a must read for me.

When my signed copy of ‘An Artists’s Luggage and Other Baggage | A Memory Kaleidoscope’ came through the letter box it was with more than a little excitement that I began to read.

My signed copy (showing off!)

The book is easy to consume, written in both German and English (Circus Geeks own Luke Wilson did the translation) and broken down into short paragraphs and chapters that flow nicely from one to the next. In the middle of the hardback are some historical photos and circus posters featuring Bramson and his family.

There are many anecdotes and incedents that standout; black market dealings, facing down tigers, running into the queen and techniques to quieten a crying baby. Bramson lived through the second world war and under Stasi enforcement, he took his art to new levels and had a varied and exciting career working with some of the biggest stars in the best venues – it makes a great read.

I’d recommend this book to anyone but particularly to any current or aspiring performing artists. And of course it’s a must read for anyone interested in circus.

The book is available on Amazon.

Hobby

“Beware the hobby that eats.”-Benjamin Franklin 

For many modern circus performers the ‘career’ starts out as a hobby; An interesting and enjoyable way to spend a few hours a week. Over time the passion and obsession creeps in and before you know it you’re filling in your first self-employed tax return and cursing the day you passed on a ‘proper job’.

I’ve never really thought about the transition from hobbyist to professional. I’m sure for some there comes a time when they say “right I’m going to make my living from this”, and go on to do so. But for must of us it’s a gradual incline (or decline depending on how things are going!) which we hardly notice.

Occasionally important choices will come our way and remind us that this is more than ‘just a hobby’. Whether it’s applying for circus school, dealing with a serious injury or taking a 12 month contract away from home these difficult choices are not often faced by a hobbyist.

I believe a hobby can (and should) be almost always ‘fun’ but a career is (and should be) challenging.

Does trying to pries a living from an ex-hobby take the enjoyment out of the work? Possibly. From my own standpoint I still love playing with objects, getting on stage, sharing the few good ideas I have with the world and getting a reaction and connection with an audience. I hope that if there comes a time when I don’t enjoy performing then I will change what/how I do it or move onto a new profession.

I still have to pinch myself from time to time, remind myself that I survive and even thrive (at times!) thanks to my hobby, my chosen profession.

Are there times you regret being a professional, do you aspire to be one or think your passion is best kept as a hobby? Love to hear from you on this one…

Who is David Eriksson?

Good morning circuslovers.
Writing today’s first post is David Eriksson, circusartist from Sweden. Before I start posting more frequently here on Circusgeeks I want to introduce myself so you all have a chance to get to know me a bit before you decide if you should read what I have to say, or not.
You already know my name and that I’m an artist from the north. I perform juggling, acrobatics, aerial and I also like to add elements of comedy into my acts. I work with Fofo Rakez since nearly 9 years and we do a couple of acts together.
At the moment we are touring Scandinavia and Europe with a company called Cirkus Cirkör and our new show “Wear it like a crown
My posts here on circusgeeks.co.uk will be about touring, struggling and having fun in the wonderful world of circus entertainment.
I will speak soon again.
//D