Hey I know this is super late but I've been tangled up with school work, friends, and family. But here it is this is my paper that I did for english class about the Ringing Brothers.
Under the Big Top
The circus has been around for ages; it is like a city within its self, it has greatly impacted the entertainment world. From the start the circus has always been bringing cheer to people all over the world. The circus keeps its show up to date keeps up with the times. The circus started out traveling on wagons then when the times changed and so did it and it started using trains. The circus has acts from all over the world, so because of this the speeches are translated. The circus also performs all over the world. ! The Circus has an impact from around the world, but to understand this one should learn about its history. Ringling brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus was originally two different circuses the Ringling brothers and also Barnum and Bailey. Each circus has it own unique history. In 1907 The Ringling Brothers bought the Barnum and Bailey circus, they combined shows a decade later. When The Ringling Brothers combined shows the group renamed the show to “Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey, the Greatest show on earth” (Ringling brothers).
The Ringling Brothers consisted of seven brothers born to August Rüngeling. The seven brothers that opened the circus were Albert Ringling, Augustus Gustav Ringling, Otto Ringling, Alfred Theodore Ringling, Charles Edward Ringling, John Nicholas Ringling, and Henry Ringling. In 1889 the Ringling Brothers started using the railroad (Ringling Brothers). The circus used the train to haul the big top from destination to destination. The performers for the circus would spend eleven months out of the year on the tracks (Coates 26). The circus has to be close together because the performers spend so much time together.
The Barnum and Bailey was started by P. T. Barnum who was born on July fifth, 1810 to a poor family (McGill 1-2). Growing up Mr. Barnum worked at a number of things such as: editing a newspaper, being a performer, promoting shows, and later on in his life running a circus (April). Mr. Barnum ran his own newspaper in 1831. He used this paper to covey his views on everyday issues and the often got him put in jail (McGill 1-2). Mr. Barnum got in to show business when he moved to New York City and opened a museum in 1842. Mr. Barnum’s museum held all forms of oddities such as: a house of mirrors and stuffed wildlife (McGill 1-2). While the museum was getting famous the civil war was at its end. Soon after the war ended Mr. Barnum’s museum burnt to the ground, people quickly rebuilt it and it re-opened a year later (McGill 1-2).
In 1871 Mr. Barnum was introduced to his competitor in the entertainment world, James A. Bailey, they combined shows in 1881 and created the Barnum and Bailey circus. When the circus first opened they bought a big attraction that made this circus the leading circus in America at the time (McGill 1-2). Mr. Barnum’s shows invited and changed the lives of many people. The circus was going strong until 1891 when P.T. Barnum died (McGill 1-2). The shows combined in 1907 to become the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus and this circus was run by John Ringling north until 1967 when the circus was sold to a businesses group (“Ringling Brothers”).
The circus is still going strong today. The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus still travels by train, in the off-season the train goes to the shop in Florida (Coates 26). The performers are living on the train for 11 months out of the year. The main use if the train is not only for transportation of the performers but also it moves all the equipment for the show, such as the famous three rings and big top. During the performance year the circus has to keep the trains up to a standard safe to use them, they check the trains three times a year and makes sure everything is up to date (Coates 26). The train holds all the sound equipment and all the animals it is what the performers call home for most the year. Although the circus uses the train for most everything now before trains came along they had to travel from place to place by wagons.
Even though the animals in the circus are trained they still have the animal skills, so the circus has to keep the feuding animals away from each other. The Ringling circus is still going on today and they have hyped up the show with lights and new music. The current ringmaster is Johnathan Lee Iverson he is Ringling Brothers youngest and first African American ringmaster (Feiler 114). During the off season when all the performers are learning the act the ringmaster goes into special training where he learns how to calm the crowd and control the animals in the ring if something goes wrong. It is the ringmaster’s job to be inviting and make the crowd happy and enjoy the time the people spent at the circus (Feiler 114). When the circus is in the training season each opening speech is translated into different languages because the performers are from all around the world. The performers spent a lot of time training for the show and they can get in fights with other performers so the circus has just one rule leave all the problems of the outside world at the edge of the big top (Feiler 114).
The Ringling brothers opened up schools for people who want to join the circus or for people who love to clown around; the school is a clown college. The corporation that runs the circus holds auditions each year for a limited number of spots. Going through this course does give one the chance to go and perform with the Ringling brothers circus but it does not give the guaranty that one will get a job at this or any other circuses. The Ringling brothers also has many summer camps for kids where they can learn what goes on behind the curtain, how much practice and work goes into performing a show this big every year.
The circus has been mentioned in books and stories ever since the first circus appeared. P.T. Barnum was showcased in a few short stories my Herman Melville in 1847 (April). Many books about the circus talk about what goes on behind the scenes of the circus. From the stagehands putting up the big top to the performers when the circus is open. Some talk about how hard it is to raise a family on the road (April). Some will talk about how People Joined the circus and about the times and everything that led up to then joining the circus. Many books about the entertainment world at the time that the circus got big will showcase the circus or parts of it.
In conclusion through the years the circus has grown and has started to impact the entertainment world more than it ever has. From the way it started to the way it is now. From beginning to the end the circus will have you on the edge of your seat and in no time one will have memories that will last a lifetime. One can never know just how much affect one thing can have on another. The circus has affected many people from all over the world many of whom have never even been to the circus. How does one think the circus has impacted the world and everyday life?
April Gentry. “P.T. Barnum in the works of Herman Melville.” Blooms
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Coates, Rhett. “Circus train A-Coming.” MAS-Ultra
Trains 71.2 (2011): 26.
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McGill, Sara Ann. :P.T. Barnum.” MAS-Ultra.
Biography. 2005 1-2.
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“Ringling Brothers.” MAS-Ultra.
Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, 11/1/2011
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