Circus performing is for individuals who thrive on demonstrating their skills in front of a live audience who have a lot of energy and are coordinated agile and physically fit who have the discipline to constantly hone their skills with relentless rehearsing and are willing to work long hours and spend a great deal of time traveling far away from home.
According to Connexions-direct.com some of the acts circus performers specialize in are as follows clowning acrobatics tight-rope walking trapeze artistry stilt walking fire eating and sword swallowing. Most often a performer is especially gifted in one of these skills although being good at several skills enhances employment opportunities.
Aspiring circus performers usually have a longstanding interest in gymnastics and many have taken classes both in gymnastics or modern dance. There are centers that teach circus-related skills and some colleges offer courses in dance and other activities that could be helpful. However there are no formal requirements other than being able to consistently demonstrate a high level of skill which is the most important factor when it comes to opportunities as well as earnings.
A small proportion of these performers will be hired by a big name circus as salaried employees. However there is a great deal of competition for circus performer jobs. Most of them work freelance and are paid per performance in live shows and cabarets on cruise ships and in amusement parks.
Most circus performers have other jobs to supplement their incomes because circus work can be seasonal. Some circus performers eventually become teachers who instruct other circus performers on how to improve their skills.
The website Salary.com states that circus performers earn approximately $50000 per year.