Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey DRAGONS opens tonight at the Colonial Life Arena. There are eight shows through Sunday. One of the acts performing is the Flying Caceres, a company of trapeze artists.
The Flying Caceres perform on a double-decker trapeze. We asked George Caceres, who has been flying under the big top for more than two decades, five questions about his circus life. The interview has been edited for space and clarity.
Your father was a well-known trapeze artist. What was it like growing up around the circus, and was it every kid’s dream? I have nothing to compare it with. I didn’t know any different. I was born into it and that was my life. I didn’t realize until after that it wasn’t normal. It was cool. I have fond memories of it. You get to see your family all the time. You’re surrounded by people all the time. As a kid not in the circus, I guess you’re surrounded by other kids. I guess the answer to the question is that I grew up a little faster.
According to show notes, the rigging you designed is four feet taller than the average trapeze setup. How did you who come up with that brilliantly scary idea? That’s actually a misprint. It’s actually eight feet higher. When you doing anything, you want to be competitive. I was always thinking of new ways to present flying trapeze.
The circus train has a dining car called the pie car. Is that where you eat most of your meals? I have my own kitchen. There’s also the pie car at the building. I eat there when I’m at work. At night or during the day, I usually cook in my kitchen. All the rooms don’t have it. I have my own shower, my own laundry, my own kitchen.
Do you help design your costumes? Usually the performers are not involved in the process. Only the fitting.
When you’re flying, what’s the No. 1 thing you can’t forget? You shouldn’t forget what you’re doing. There’s a certain checklist. There’s no moment when you’re flying when you can doze off. There’s no daydreaming.