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My first experience at the circus as a 20-year-old By: Annabelle Smallwood

I remember being a little kid and wanting to explore everything. I was excited about everything that I was able to see, and I was able to see a lot. My parents took me many different places, as we traveled and took vacations. I remember going to Disney World and thinking it was the greatest place I could possibly visit. Even though I got to see and experience all of these wonderful places, there is one thing that I never had the opportunity to see: a circus.

I knew a little bit about a circus—clowns, elephants, magicians, etc. But I was never able to see it. This is something that most people have experienced, and I did not know if I was missing out or not.

That is why I decided to take it upon myself to go to the circus for the first time as a 20-year-old.

I drove to the mall one day and saw a huge circus tent, and I knew exactly what was happening. I immediately bought tickets and I could not wait to finally experience this thing that I had been dreaming about—the circus in Abilene (well, I just wanted to see any circus, really).

I was so excited, but I had many people tell me to not get my hopes up. I thought I knew all about what I was going to experience, because, after all, I had watched The Greatest Showman more times than I could count. The circus did not meet my Greatest Showman expectations, but it was a fun experience, nonetheless.

I did expect there to be many different animals, including elephants, but there were no elephants at this show—in fact, there were no animals. I cannot say that it was a huge disappointment, however, because they made up for it with their various acts of talent.

There were contortionists, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists, acrobats and clowns. Honestly, do not get me started on the clowns—my least favorite part. I loved every act and it amazed me what each person could do. The clowns were there to appeal to the children, but they definitely did not appeal to me.

I felt a little odd coming to this show as an adult when the room was filled with parents bringing their children, but I knew I needed this experience.

I have now had the circus experience, and I am—well— both impressed and unimpressed. Some acts had me blown away and sometimes I wondered why I was there.

However, if a circus has the capacity to impress a 20-year-old even just a little bit, I believe those who are keeping the circus tradition alive are doing something right.


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