Posts Tagged ‘circus’

Former Ravens Cheerleader Sentenced After Raping Teenager


Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck has been sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to raping a 15 year-old boy while at a vacation rental home in Delaware.

Shattuck, now 48 years-old, fell to her knees sobbing at the sentence. She was given a wholly suspended prison sentence of 15 years, ordered to report every second weekend to a probation centre in Delaware, was registered as a sex offender, and must continue therapy.

The parents of the then teenaged boy had urged the judge to send Shattuck to prison as a warning to other potential paedophiles.

“At the end of the day, there’s nothing we can do to take this pain away from him,” his father told The Associated Press.

Shattuck pled guilty to one count of fourth-degree rape. The plea came only days before her scheduled trial on two other counts of third-degree rape, four counts of unlawful sexual contact, and three counts of providing alcohol to minors.

The young boy (a classmate of one of Shattuck’s children at the McDonogh School in Owing Mills, Maryland) told police that last September Shattuck began an inappropriate relationship with him near Baltimore. He alleged the relationship culminated in sexual activity at a vacation rental home in Bethany Beach over the Labour Day weekend.

The indictment against Shattuck alleged she provided alcohol to three boys under the legal drinking age on August 30 and 31 last year and that she had sexual contact with one of the boys on August 31.

Shattuck apologised to the teen, who was not in court, on Friday, and to his parents.

“I take full responsibility for what I did. I never, ever, ever intended, obviously, to hurt anybody. I will spend the rest of my life making this right.”

Shattuck’s lawyer told the court how his client had been publicly humiliated by the press coverage. He stressed that Shattuck was a “… caring, empathetic, good and decent person.”

Prosecutor John Donahue, however, disagreed, “This was not a momentary lapse in judgement. She (Shattuck) groomed him, seduced him, supplied him with alcohol, (and) then took advantage of him, all for her own gratification.”

A Day in the Life of a Circus Performer

circus ringmaster

As with all productions, celebrities, businesses or institutions, most people have no idea of what really goes on behind the scenes of a circus performance. What the public views is just the iceberg of a complex, time-consuming process that descends deep beneath the water’s edge. It is very easy (and only natural) to judge a performance based off what you immediately see and without considering the other factors at play. Here is a glimpse of the other 90% of the iceberg…

Skill – Act – Performance

A good performance will make most of the skills in a circus show look easy and undemanding. However, what you haven’t seen is the hours upon hours of gruelling training that has gone in to each individual skill. Most skills require a helluva lot of training and attention – drills to build up the muscle for a certain move, videos or help from trainers pinpointing errors in your technique, the frustrating moments when it all seems impossible, fixing said errors, and slowly chipping away at the skill until finally it becomes solid.

Once the skills are there, next comes the act development. Simply having skills goes nowhere in a performance – one needs to add music, a style or character, a reason for being there on stage. The movement between skills and the flow of an act is absolutely crucial in creating an entertaining and engaging production. This process requires a lot of attention and it often takes a lot of rehearsal time before the skills disappear and immerse themselves within the act.

Creating an entire performance is once again a whole other development process. Working with other people and putting your act within an entire performance takes plenty of time and effort. Collaborating with others is often much more time consuming and aggravating as people work in different ways and at different paces. The more people there are, the more variables there are in play, the harder it is to find time to train together and the more room there is for error.

Behind the Scenes of the Performance

Far from just waltzing on stage and performing the pre-prepared show like popping a frozen meal in the microwave, there are many other factors at play when it comes to circus. The dangerous nature of circus means that many artists often have injuries. This might mean that someone can’t do particular acts or skills, and hence the routines may have to be rejigged or replacement performers may have to be found at the last minute. Therefore, changes are always being made just days or hours before going on to the stage, but the performers must always look like everything is exactly as it should be.

For festival performances, bump in and bump out involves taking all the props, equipment and sometimes lighting on and off the stage both immediately before and after the performance. Performers are probably inside yelling for some strips of gaff tape, running around to find where their chalk got to, struggling with ladders or props up and down staircases, sweeping confetti off the stage from the magician in the previous show, fixing last minute costume malfunctions and breaking and replacing lights all while the audience is impatiently lining up outside blissfully unaware of why the doors haven’t opened yet so they can take their seats.

Or maybe that was just our show.



Circus Arts in Australia

la soiree

One of the most outrageous sports that has been dramatically increasing in popularity over the last few years, and which is more based on performing than competing, is circus arts. Although the foothold of the circus industry is maintained quite heavily by the internationally renowned production company, Cirque Du Soleil, there are an ever increasing amount of productions giving cirque a run for its money. There are an infinite number of performances and acts available for your entertainment and circus artists are constantly thinking up new and innovative ways to impress and show off their incredible skill.

Circus Productions Currently Touring Australia

There are often a variety of circus shows touring or featuring in Australia at any one time, and right now is no exception. Some of the most renowned companies are congregating in Brisbane this month as part of the very cultural and theatrical Brisbane Festival.

Opus is easily one of the most highly anticipated circus shows of the season. The physically daring, Brisbane-based company, Circa has collaborated with the majestic tunes of France’s renowned Debussy Quartet to create an enthralling display of beauty, grace and physicality that director Yaron Lifschitz believes will make you feel “an emotion that you hopefully didn’t even know you could feel until you saw that work”. Circa has been delighting sold out audiences in over 24 countries, only now just heading home after performing in Berlin and at the Edinburgh Film Festival. The 14 acrobats are thrilled to be returning home for the Australian premiere of Opus, and with one of the largest casts in Circa history this show will prove to be one of the boldest and most ambitious works yet.

La Soiree is another captivating circus performance featuring at the Brisbane Festival. La Soiree is a rather raunchy love-child of daring circus tricks and decadent cabaret that was conceived on a bed of comedy and delivered in the opulent interior of the Spiegeltent. Another must-see circus performances at the Brisbane festival is Urban, the upbeat narrative of the street told by hip-opera circus artists from Colombia and the UK. For an action-packed family favourite featuring the spectacular circus tricks we know and love, Topsy Turvy shouldn’t be missed. Featuring all your favourite acrobatics, aerials, handbalancing, tightwire, hula hoops, magic tricks and big top mischief, this show couldn’t be a disappointment even if it tried.

Solo Circus Artists

As well as the major shows touring the countries, there are also a whole suite of circus performers across Australia that make a living through showing off their incredible agility, strength, flexibility, humour and enchanting on-stage presence.

If you’re a circus or acrobatics performer trying to get gigs in your city, you need to ensure that you find yourself an agent who can find and recommend you for performances and you also need to ensure that you have high-quality video footage that shows off your performance skills. It is a great idea to utilise a professional video productions and video editing company to ensure you have the optimum footage that does your act the most justice in allowing potential clients to get a true sense of your abilities.

Alternatively, if you’re organising an event, you should consider looking for a circus performer to add a bit of extra spice and pizzazz to your function. There are also a range of corporate events management services in Sydney that can help you out with the organisational logistics. Scope Productions is an esteemed video production and event management company that can take all the stress away from you regardless of whether you’re a performer or an events organiser.