Circus set up in full swing - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Circus set up in full swing

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March 16, 2006

Albany -- It's called the Greatest Show on Earth, two hours of clowns, elephants, acrobats, and more. Thousands of people will fill the Albany Civic Center to see the circus this weekend. But there's a side of the cirus they won't see.

It's non-stop setting up and tearing down to perform in two venues in one week. The circus was in Macon Wednesday night. Thursday night, setting up is at the Albany Civic Center.

"You can see the rubber being laid for what will be the ring right now. They're taping it together so when the horses and elephants are in the ring they won't trip or any of the performers trip," said Brian Newman.

Production Manager Brian Newman says safety is the most important part of piecing together a crowd-pleasing show. And why performers get on the floor and set up their own acts.

"It's the piece of mind to know that it was done the way you want it done," explained Newman.

Building the set can take up to 20 hours or even as little as six.

"It looks like nothing is happening then you turn around five minutes later and it's done," said Newman.

Building started today at 10 a.m., marking where the stage and lights go.

"They're going to keep working until 8 or 9 o'clock tonight before we can call it quits for the evening," said Newman.

After a good night's rest, circus workers will wake up, double check the set, and rehearse all day. Preparing for the show lasts right up until the curtains open and empty seats are filled.

The Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus pre-show will start one hour before all show times Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Families can meet and take pictures with all the acts.