Brazil – Life as a carnie

Brazil – Life as a carnie

Feathers, fishnets and candy floss, clowns, eyelashes and one massive pink tent. Yes, I ran away with the circus, my life continues on the road touring through cities of Brazil as a carnie, (dancer) in one of South Americas largest circuses.

This is not your ‘Typical” circus traditionally set in a ring. Tihany Spectacular is set on a very large stage and with more than 60 years of touring North, Central and South America it is now a very highly regarded show in the circus world.

Originally owned by the legendary Mr Tihany (Franz Czeisler) who recently passed at the age of 99 living in Las Vegas, but originally from Hungary. The show continues its Brazil tour, soon to be ripping through Paraguay and then on to Argentina.

The real circus life

11 2Where to start with this unusual and unbelievable life style?, one with many highs and many lows, like any job and any place in this world. Onto my 18th city in Brazil and 25th month on this contract I have experienced some epic stuff. Calling “that” city or ‘that’ hotel room home for no longer than 6 weeks at a time before moving onto the next. Partying up hard during the FIFA World cup 2014 hosted in Rio. Mingling with hypo crowds during the carnival parades whilst watching some incredibly talented samba dancers show of there mint bodies and muscly thighs and enjoying the incredible weather and beaches whilst working in the stunning Florianopolis. With over 140 workers on and off stage, 24 different nationalities, Mexican, English, Mongolian, Kiwi, Cuban, Russian, Australian, the list goes on and its fair to say we all learn a lot about each others cultures and ways of life, which is what I absolutely love about my job. We are one big extended family from all different walks of life, everyone has a story to tell. Traveling with us are many children of all ages, many of the artists and back stage workers have families who also live at the circus. Bringing up children in a circus definitely has many highs and low’s. They attend school in every new city, constantly having to make new friendships and weeks later saying goodbye. Many are bought up in very minuet trailers so do not have the option of owning any pets. However these children are incredible, always enjoying life, playing outdoors, creating new games and playing together. Always seeing new parts of the world so many will never see and learning multiple languages.

Life lessons

I have worked in many countries before, none of which speak english as their first language (except my own) and it really opens your eyes and your mind up to how big this world really is. When we live in our own countries we tend to get stuck in our own ways, we forget the rest of the world is not like us and that there are so many un similar people. Living and working with so many different cultured people has taken me out of my comfort zone, it has made me grow up, It has ripened and matured me. It has taught me that we judge people to often, Its taught that to many of us care about unnecessary things and get too caught up in our own little worlds that we really do forget to see the bigger picture. Ive learnt new manners that are not practised so often in my country and more in others, and I'm especially reminded daily that we take to many things for granted. As long as we have family, friends, food and shelter we are pretty damn lucky.

Spare time

There are some good perks with this job, not to mention all the cities we are seeing but all the free time we get. The typical week is 6 days 10 shows mostly in the afternoon or evening which means we have our days fairly free to do what we want when we want. Living in hotels we are normally situated in the centre of the cities, so close to many things. there is still time to keep sane and enjoy everything we would normally do back home. Join a gym, sunbath ( a lot of sunbathing). There is plenty of time to study and catch up on sleep. pl The best part is of course move week. So the circus tent needs to come down somehow right?, yip and its not done by the dancers I can tell you that!. In order to have the whole circus torn down, packed up and moved to the next city takes a lot of hands and time, therefore those not involved have four free days. This is where our job of travelling and dancing becomes complete. With a mini holiday if you desire we are able to travel pretty much anywhere we want during these days as long as we are back in the new city for ‘Opening Night’. I have done some incredible trips during my time. Standing over the devils mouth soaking wet at the top of Iguazu Falls, eating alfajores in Argentina and enjoying many of the beautiful beaches in Brazil whilst drinking homemade Caipirinhas, one of the most popular drinks here in Brazil:. 0 With many trips to the City of God, I cant get enough of cheese on a stick whilst on Copa Cabana beach, or the samba beats in Lapa. Rio is truly one magical city. The beautiful landscape surrounding the beaches with the Favelas perched on and around the clean cut mountains adds to the beauty of this place. Oh, and I cannot forget my week long trip there during the final of the world cup….INSANE, they really do know how to be merry. At the end of the day the big pink tent awaits, the crowds of up to 1700 get louder and louder waiting to see what all the fuss is about and boy does the show give it to them. With many acts from all over the world the show is really a “Spectacular”. With Mongolians turning them selves inside out, legs coming out by there ears whilst balancing by there mouths, there is the magician of the evening pulling out some epic magic, dancers disappear into thin air 'pigs do fly'. Acrobats fly across the stage throwing in a number of flips, and a father along with his two sons walk, run, skip, jump and bike the eight metre high hire wire, with no harness. There is never a dull moment in this circus. 37 There is nothing more rewarding in this career than having a full audience in a standing ovation. We appreciate it, because its what we do. We thrive of this stuff, it excites us. We do it to please ourselves and at the same time to entertain you. Let my “life as a carnie” in Brazil continue.


Hi Im Kristy, born and bred in the fabulous ‘land of the long white cloud’, New Zealand. From the age of Three I have been involved in dance, many years later I decided to make a living from it. Always with the urge to travel I am now dancing my way from country to country, performing and seeing some epic stuff. Currently touring Brazil and other South American countries I decided it was time I shared some of my story’s.