Under the Big Top with the Cole Bros. Circus
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After graduating, a friend from circus school told her about a job opening and in less than 24 hours she was in her first professional show, a motorcycle high wire act that she worked for one and half years.
Kaplan is a newcomer to the Cole Bros. family — having been with the circus for four months now — and is thrilled to be a part of the tradition. “ The circus is so different from any other form of live entertainment. It pushes the boundaries of what you believe.”
Hundreds of circuses have come and gone since the mid-1800s, when Cole first introduced his circus to villages and small towns throughout the U.S. Circuses large and small, carried by horse-drawn wagons or on dozens of railroad cars, three-ring circuses and dog-and-pony shows alike crisscrossed North America bringing entertainment to the public. Cole Bros. Circus has survived all this time still appearing much as it did over 100 years ago under the Big Top. Since 1884, generations of Americans have been caught up in the sights, smells, sounds and feats of skill that typify the Cole Bros. Circus – including the new generation of young performers, such as Kaplan.
“I am living my dream,” she said. “I always wanted to work in a Big Top circus and to be here is fantastic. There is so much I want to do here.”
Kaplan is thrilled to be part of the circus “family.” “We love what we do,” she said,” and we do it all together very day for nine months out of the year. We live together and we eat together. We get to be really close and look out for each other.”
Despite artistic “temperaments and an occasional flare-up of “sibling” rivalry, the cast members of the Cole Bros. Circus really act “just like family,” according to Connors, “living in a small, very special
“We’re there for each other in times of trouble,” Connors said, “as well as when it’s time to get together and have fun.” Performers gather under the Big Top for birthday parties, to attend baby showers, and even celebrate weddings.