A City Without A Zip Code!
What was it like to live and perform in a circus in the 1800's? If you enjoy moving from one town to another, day after day and being away from home for long periods of time, circus life may be for you. A circus is like a small town where everyone knows each other, where children grow up under the Big Top and most become circus acts themselves.
On the East Coast, where a circus is housed in a brick and mortar building, it's easier to adjust to life in the Big Top. During the early 1800's, before railroads were connected, many circus's in the Mid-West traveled by wagons, packing up and moving almost on a daily basis to reach the next town.
Circus life isn't easy. Weather and the elements like storms, cold weather, extreme heat and even injury can make daily life difficult. Being away from home for long periods of time is something a person who wants to be in the circus has to consider.
Most performers will tell you they do it because they love show business. A performer becomes part of the culture and falls in love with the romance of living the circus life. Learning opportunities are everywhere. Moving from town to town, working with other people from different cultures and having a different part of God's scenery in the backyard each day makes circus life so appealing.
Everyone helps to take care of the show kids, no matter what job you do or what your specialty is. Schooling the children is important and while on the road, sometimes the owner of the circus will hire a teacher for the purpose of educating the children. But, they basically live and learn more just being on the road and experiencing life under the Big Top.
When someone calls out FLAGS UP! it means food is done. Everyone rushes to the cookhouse, which is a tent that houses the food and eating facilities. There's also a tent and later on a car called the Pie Tent/Car where circus workers can go after hours and buy food and snacks.
In my story in my new release An Agent for Carolina, the agents' assignment is to find an assassin who is hiding in the circus. Carolina uses disguises to try to dig deeper and see who may have cause to commit murder. It's a fun adventure for both Pinkerton detectives and I had so much fun learning about the close knit family called a circus.