- Do not wear green costumes.
- Do not bring a peacock feathers into the Big Top.
- Take care not to touch other people’s props.
- And Circus Ladies should not knit!
- Do not go back for a prop once you’ve headed towards the ring.
- Do not step into the ring left foot first.
- Do not sit with your back to the ring.
- Never count the audience.
- Never move a dressing trunk more than once or the circus will end up moving the same number of times.
- Do not pick up money found in a big top it will bring you bad business and do not count your money on your bed.
- Never sleep inside the Big Top.
- Do not eat peanuts in the dressing room.
- Boots, Slipper, and shoes should never be seen in a trunk tray or on the dressing table.
It is not just mud out there!
- Do not look behind yourself in a Circus parade.
It brings the sadness of the past with you.
- Do not whistle
1 – Because you will never work there again
2 – A long time ago ring boys were old sea hands and communicated through whistles.
If you whistle you may confuse them and be responsible for potentially dangerous consequences!
- Do wear something under your costume, please!
- Do show elephants in your posters with their trunks up.
- An elephant’s trunk pointed downwards symbolises mourning.
- A circus band should only play “Stars and Stripes” in an emergency (secret signal).
- Beware; if a bird gets trapped under the canvas someone will die.
This is an Ancient Greek belief where birds are departed souls who come back to lead the way!
To bring good luck
- It is traditional to say ‘Merdre” instead of “Break a Leg” before a show.
- Keep an elephant hair in your pocket.
A few buskers notes
- When busking put your hat on the ground with a few coins in it – tails up.
- If you mess up a trick do it again or all your tricks will be messed up.
- Do not juggle yoghurt.
- If you get a boy to help you hold the hat – give him a bottle in his other hand with a fly in it, tell him not to let the fly escape!
In this photo the we were lucky to go on a tour of Blackpool Tower Circus, with members of Blackpool Youth Circus. This was arranged for us by Yuri & Tonia Gridneff. We were able to see where animals were kept, props stored and performers changed. It all added to the excitement of seeing the show later. On the tour we found some new superstitions and began to understand others. From the Blackpool Tower Show we collected a move called a “shlep”! It is a sort of silly attitude or Tah-dah!