Thursday, April 28, 2011

“You Bet Your Life”

Every performance is a gamble; your life is the stake. Sing the wrong note, take a wrong step, or whip the lion just a little too hard, and it could all be over for you. Pull off that one legendary performance, and you could go right to the top. Either way you’re screwed.
If you flop, people will always remember your failure. It takes a lot to ever recover. If you are amazing, you will never again match those heights of excellence. The only direction you can go is down. It’s called ‘peaking’ and it’s as much a career ender as failure.
Tonight we have seen both, and a little in between. The elephants performed a satisfactory Rachmaninov, and the monkeys were comical, but average. Manny Fats, our strongman, was… incredible, if not inspiration.
Caliberini was the big surprise. He soared to his greatest heights in a performance that left the audience in shock and wanting more. Even I was amazed, and I’ve seen it all. After 40 years as a ringmaster, its hard to surprise me, but Caliberini’s routine did just that.
Our lowest point was Whiskey’s performance. The old lion finally let the drink beat him, and it was a sad display. He could barely stand, much less jump through hoops. I won’t fire him; he has been with us for too long. He’s family. But it may be time to move him out of the center ring.
There’s still one act remaining. A personal favorite of mine. Deadeye makes his return tonight, which is always a big thing for us. Whenever he is released from Branherst, he comes back better than ever. It is like the asylum grants him a renewed vigor. Sometimes I think he has no peak. That he is in another universe all together.
So, here we go. Everything is all set for the Juggling Jester. All he needs now is for me to go out and introduce him. Into the spotlight I step, Ringmaster here at El Circa de Cykoticas.
“At last we have come to the grandest finales. Tonight you have witnessed extraordinary feats of courage, beauty, and brawn. Your eyes have feasted on the visual food of gods! But nothing has prepared you for what is yet to come. “
“Turn your eyes, if you will, once more to the center ring, where soon you will see a performance that will be talked about for years to come. Tonight, after three months we welcome back to the Big Top one of our most beloved acts! Ladies and Gentleman! Boys and Girls! Without further ado, I give you…”

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