Circus Ringmaster

Take center stage as the Host of a circus.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
Highly Variable

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Circus Ringmasters do?

A Circus Ringmaster is paid by circuses to be a Stage Manager, Announcer, and Host. Long before there were movies, there were circuses. Without a giant movie screen, however, circus spectators weren’t always sure what was happening, when it was happening, or where it was happening. To properly focus audiences’ attention, therefore, circuses needed Circus Ringmasters to direct the action.

Traditionally, circuses took place in circus arenas that featured multiple ring-shaped staging areas for performances. Before the advent of high-tech lighting and sound systems, audiences relied on the Circus Ringmaster to tell them which ring to watch and when. As a modern-day Circus Ringmaster, however, you have soundtracks and spotlights to give audiences all the cues they need, but it’s still your job to serve as Master of Ceremonies.

As circus Emcee, you entertain and excite audiences by introducing and narrating each of the show’s acts, from the Acrobats and Aerialists to the Clowns and Jugglers. Known for your hyperbole, you have a vocabulary that’s littered with words like “spectacular,” “amazing,” “astonishing,” and “sensational.” The job of a Circus Ringmaster is more than showmanship, however. It’s also management: In between acts, when performers are getting ready and equipment is being set up, it’s your job to keep the show moving, maintaining flow and continuity by entertaining the audience during lulls and gaps.

Although Circus Ringmasters are known for their flamboyant coattails, handlebar mustaches, and booming voices, you don’t have to have facial hair and a top hat to be one. You do, however, have to be well versed in pomp and puffery!

Should I be a Circus Ringmaster?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Circus Rider, Puppet Master

    How to become a Circus Ringmaster

    We recommend at least an Associate's degree. Check out these schools offering Circus Ringmaster-related education!
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