Riding inside the 'globe'
is the life for circus boy
Six-year-old performer with Circus
Pages aspires to be a ringmaster
|Jimmy Earhart, 6, will be one of the featured performers during the Eastern Michigan Fair in Imlay City Aug. 7-11.|
July 04, 2007IMLAY CITY — At an age when most kids still haven't mastered the art of riding a bicycle, 6-year-old Jimmy Earhart is already adept at navigating a motorcycle within the inner circumference of a large sphere.
One of the youngest members of Circus Pages, Jimmy is in Imlay City this week with his family members for a brief period of rest and relaxation.
Having been taught the art of motorcycling by his father, Circus Pages' coordinator and ringmaster James Earhart, the youngster is used to accomplishing feats most kids can only imagine.
Riding inside the "globe" at angles that defy gravity, Jimmy's talents are among those currently featured during circus performances.
Because the globe is a recent addition to Circus Pages, Jimmy had to spend many hours learning how to ride inside the sphere, at speeds approaching 25 mph.
"I've been riding in the globe for about a half-year," said Jimmy, exuding the confidence of someone much older. "It's pretty hard to do. You have to learn how to lean just right—and to keep the gas steady."
One of the biggest challenges for a rider, said Jimmy, is learning how to come to a stop.
"To stop you have to press the brake as hard as you can and then you turn the wheel to the left," said Jimmy. "It's not easy. It took me like three months of practice to learn. "
Riding motorcycles is only one of Jimmy's duties with Circus Pages. He also juggles, sells peanuts, is a clown, and takes part in the trampoline act.
"I used to ride in the dog car with a dog named 'Junior,'" he said, "but now I can't fit in the dog car."
James Earhart and his wife Yolanda, who reside in Myakka City, Florida, have been with Circus Pages for 13 years. Their daughter, Kayla, 4, also performs.
"We have about 30 performers and workers," said James. "Everybody has a lot of jobs and we all have to work together.
"We pretty much work seven days a week," he said. "This time out we've been going for 23 weeks solid," adding that the stopover in Imlay City has been a welcome respite for everyone.
"We're off on Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, Valentine's Day and Memorial Day—that's all we take off."
Despite the heavy workload, James said circus life is satisfying and family-friendly.
"It's a good life for the kids," he said. "We always know where they are and what they are doing. It's a lot better than sending them off to day care. It's like a big family here and we all look out for one another."
During the stopover in Imlay City, James said circus members take advantage of the extra time to make repairs and practice their routines. It's also an opportunity to enjoy some play time.
"We plan to go to one of the local water parks for a day off," he said. "We'll be heading out again on July 9 for the Oakland County Fair (July 10-15). We've never played there yet."
"Little" Jimmy is looking forward to performing in at the new venue, although he aspires to assuming a larger role with the circus.
"I'd like to be a ringmaster some day," said Jimmy.
If you want to take in Jimmy's act, Circus Pages will return to the Eastern Michigan Fairgrounds Aug. 7-11 during the Eastern Michigan Fair.
For more information about Circus Pages, go to the Web site at: www.circuspages.com.