When I was little I dreamed of going to the circus… not running away with the circus. The circus was fun but realistically I couldn’t live on cotton candy and big pretzels and frankly the roadies scared me. Recently I read the sad news that The Greatest Show on Earth is coming to its slow grinding halt after an astonishing 146 years of touring. I began to imagine, “What will the acrobats do now? What happens to unemployed clowns?” The animals will be placed somewhere safe… zoos maybe? But what will the elephants do now that they aren’t performing?
It made me consider our studio; the circus I run away to create in, to perform in, to practice and play and develop my skills…
What if art were to suddenly come to an end? All forms of art. Hear me… not just that there would be no place to work in. I’ve worked in tiny little closet-sized spaces before as well as outdoors when the light is good and there’s no rain. But what if there were no more paint, fabric, fire, or canvas.
Your constant urgent need for self-expression would suddenly have no home any more. The circus has closed. The show is over.
The answer is in the absurdity of the questions that got me going in this scary direction of thinking about a world without art. What will acrobats do? Being an acrobat is part of who they are. They will be what they are with or without the circus. Art will never leave us because it is in us. We are sharing little pieces of ourselves as we imagine, create, and perform in our own little personal three rings.
No one can take art from us. It is who we are.
The Ringling Brothers didn’t live to see their show come to its end. What they did do is inspire generations after them to carry on their legacy for as long as possible. Leave a legacy for others who don’t yet have the courage to say “I’m an acrobat.” Share your art with the world and maybe one of your showstoppers will help another artist to believe in who they are and what they were born to do.
Now stop reading and make art!