Profession circus artist

Circus artists develop original performance pieces showcasing great artistic and performing skills, emotive depth and artistic proposals for the general public. Alone, or collectively, they may perform one or more traditional or original circus disciplines, which are usually based on physical capabilities such as strength, balance, agility, flexibility, ability and coordination of body parts, and combined with performance disciplines such as dance, theatre, mime etc. The physical nature of the exercises performed often includes a certain level of risk for the performer.  

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  • Acting and directing techniques

    Range of training and rehearsal techniches that seek to encourage emotionally expressive performances. Techniques to address all aspects in making a film, play, performance in general. 

  • Circus vocabulary

    The specific terminology related to the circus activities.

  • Circus dramaturgy

    Understand how a circus show is composed.

  • Circus aesthetics

    The way the circus concepts and traditions have evolved through time and their artistic meaning.


  • Define the visual universe of your creation

    Define the visual universe that will surround the creation using painting, drawing, lighting, projections or other visual means

  • Manage artistic career

    Present yourself and your artistic approach. Position your work in target markets. Promote and market yourself and your oeuvre.

  • Adapt artistic plan to location

    Adapt plans to other locations with respect for the artistic concept.

  • Manage feedback

    Provide feedback to others. Evaluate and respond constructively and professionally to critical communication from colleagues and customers.

  • Check the production schedule

    Check the daily and long term schedules for rehearsal, training sessions, performances, season, tour, etc. Check the project timeline to be aware of the expectations of time dedication, paying special attention to calls for training sessions, rehearsals, costume fittings, makeup, hair and props, trips, holidays, set-up time, warm-up or stretching period during the day planning, rehearsal time, break times, time and duration of performances, tear-down/strike time, etc. More over this skill is related to transversal skills like:Process information, attend to detail, Meet commitments, work efficiently.

  • Practice circus disciplines

    Have a very high level of practical and technical skills and competences of one or several chosen circus disciplines in order to enter into the professional circus field.

  • Carry out physical training

    Plan and carry out a physical training regimen (daily) to maintain a good physical condition.

  • Describe your artistic aspirations in relation to artistic trends

    Identify your areas of interest and ambitions. Relate them to artistic trends.

  • Analyse own performance

    Understand, analyse and describe your own performance. Contextualize your work in one or various styles, trends, evolution, etc. Self-evaluate your work in rehearsals and performances.

  • Renew artistic practice

    Stay up to date on artistic and aesthetic trends, ensure your professional development and diversify your artistic experiences.

  • Check circus rigging before performance

    Check the rigging installation for circus acts in order to ensure safe and correct operation.

  • Define artistic vision

    Continually develop and define a concrete artistic vision, starting from the proposal and continuing all the way through to the finished product.

  • Balance the project requirements with health and safety concerns

    Adjust the level of effort required for the artistic production. Adapt or adjust movements and movement sequences. Set performance limits. Allow recovery periods and take other measures.

  • Make up performing artists

    Use cosmetics on artists for stage performances.

  • Select artistic materials to create artworks

    Select artistic materials based on strength, colour, texture, balance, weight, size, and other characteristics that should guarantee the feasibility of the artistic creation regarding the expected shape, color, etc. - even thought the result might vary from it. Artistic materials such as paint, ink, water colours, charcoal, oil, or computer software can be used as much as garbage, living products (fruits, etc) and any kind of material depending on the creative project.

  • Manage artistic project

    Manage an artistic project. Determine project needs. Establish partnerships. Manage the budget, schedule, contractual agreements and assess the project.

  • Apply company policies

    Apply the principles and rules that govern the activities and processes of an organisation.

  • Work with circus group

    Work together with other circus artists and management. Make sure to do your part while keeping the performance as a whole in mind.

  • Coordinate artistic production

    Oversee the day-to-day coordination of production tasks so that the organisation fits within the desired artistic and business policies and in order to present productions in a uniform corporate identity to the public.

Optional knowledge and skills

maintain rigging equipment use body language assess artistic proposal use rope access techniques define rigging needs for circus acts select music for performance ensure safety of exercise environment instruct riggers on assembly of circus rigging equipment