At long last, the bread-and-butter of what this blog was always intended to be: an archive of stories and images of the people of the Gold Unit. We’re starting off with the lovely Gabby Perry.
Golden Circus Days: What was your role with the show? Please describe your job.
Gabby Perry: I worked in concessions. I made snow cones, cotton candy, etc. I also made children and co-workers laugh and smile. It was part of my job!
GCD: What path did you take to get to the Gold Unit?
GP: Coming to the show was a strange turn for me. I was an after school teacher/tutor/mentor/etc. I got my degree in Sociology and Social Sciences and then, three months later, I was here!
GCD: Which of your coworkers kept you sane and why?
GP: My friend Theresa [Rone] kept me sane. She’s there when I’m bored, happy, mad, etc. Even when she was not working she came by to see me during shows. No matter what, she was there for me and I love her for it.
GCD: What was your favorite part of your job?
GP: I loved when little kids would watch me make snow cones. They’re always amazed at the rainbow-making technique. Just their reactions to the show would make me smile all the time.
Also, I went to the CEC (Center for Elephant Conservation) once and I got to feed and touch big elephants and little baby elephants. It was amazing! I’ve also gotten to help out with feeding and grooming the horses, camels, dogs, and other adorable animals during my time with the show. I loved it!
GCD: Does your family history include any circus stories?
GP: Nah. My mom is terrified of clowns so getting her to even see a show was not likely!
GCD: Do you have any travel stories to share?
GP: Pensacola, Florida was my first circus city and this past tour [editor’s note, Gold VIII, or 2015] it became one of my favorites. Earlier in that week we had barbecues, beach hangs, and relaxing in the hot tub at the hotel. When work started that week everyone was in a good mood and we laughed and played way too much. During load out, we used the truck ramps and heavy rolling boxes and crates as a workout. Sounds boring when describing it verbally but it was a fantastic week.
GCD: With the closing of the Gold Unit and the retirement of RBBB elephants where do you see the circus arts heading in the United States? What might a circus look like in fifty years?
GP: I think the circus arts will never die. It seems like so many acts are going towards stationary shows in Vegas. I’ve also noticed an increase in circus acts performing in night clubs. That said, I hope the circus doesn’t change that much. It would really be a shame.
GCD: What are you up to these days?
GP: I’m in Portland, Oregon, another former Gold Unit city, attempting to live a non-circus life! I miss the road but I love building a new chapter of my life, and I’m grateful for the years I spent with the circus.
Gabby, thanks so so much for being part of my project!