Been to the circus? The ringmaster (traditionally a man, but often a woman) makes the announcements and acts as the 'host' of the show.
But there's a lot more to ringmastering than that. The ringmaster is the stage manager for the performance, and usually is also the 'artistic director' of the show, arranging the various individual acts in the best order and choreographing extra material such as opening and finale sequences. He (or she) is also the 'safety officer', checking that the performers' equipment is up to scratch and correctly used.
How I became a Ringmaster
I first became a ringmaster in 1976. I was able to draw on my theatrical training to present myself as 'the man in the red coat'. The stage managing and safety part was, at first, learned by practical experience, with the help of advice and tips from circus artistes; but later in my career, procedures became more formal.
As ringmaster, I have to be ready and able to do anything and everything - sometimes several things at the same time! - and that means I can now offer a complete service towards putting on shows, whether in Big Tops, the open air, theatres or halls.
· Organisation of your event
· Programming of your event
· Hosting of your event
· Location and booking of performers
· Health & Safety advice
· Licensing advice
Among many other successes over decades of experience, I have notably:
- Organised, stage-managed and hosted the County of Herefordshire’s ‘Royal Serenade’ for Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip on ‘Diamond Day’ when the Royal couple visited as part of their national celebratory tour.
- Managed, publicised, and acted as ringmaster for the Moscow State Circus on tour in Great Britain and Ireland, including the conception, production and presentation of a spot in the Royal Variety Performance.
- Presented the renowned Grand Cirque de Noel de Toulouse, France, for 15 years, including assisting the artistic director and latterly assuming his role. All in French language.