An Open Letter to the Cast of the FSU Flying High Circus

When I received my acceptance letter to Florida State’s School of Communication, I was ecstatic! It was one of those moments where I knew that this would set me up for years to come for both my education and career path.

Courtesy: Sammie Rice


On, my first day of class I dressed in my favorite baseball tee and calculator watch (mock me all you want, but it’s a perfect conversation starter). I strutted across campus as a fresh and new undergraduate of the university my father graduated from; iit was an unforgettable feeling of pride and appreciation.

However, there was this nagging feeling that something was missing.

Honestly, I never anticipated caring about extracurricular activities. I’d been pretty comfortable staying in my bubble of close personal friends and family throughout high school and my first two years of community college. Nevertheless, there was that voice in the back of my head saying that I could be doing more to grow as a person and to challenge my preconceived notions of what I was really capable of.

Suddenly, I came across the words, “Open Circus Auditions” on a flyer outside my classroom and my heart gave a little flutter as the word “Ringmaster” was slowly creeping through my brain. Could this be it? Could this be my opportunity to try something so new and outside my comfort zone that I end up having the time of my life? There was only one way to find out! I circled the audition date in my calendar and that was that.

Courtesy: Live Journal


Walking into the auditions was probably one of the scariest moments of my life; filled with sudden anxiety, low self-esteem and the overwhelming desire to just turn around and drive home, but I didn’t do that. I shuffled into the tent, signed a few forms and waited my turn. As I started joking around with some of the other potential candidates for ringmaster, I remember thinking, I can seriously see myself fitting into this place.

When my audition time came, I walked up to the center ring with a microphone. The circus directors watching my audition were all smiling at me, which struck me as odd. Why were they smiling? Were they excited to see me mess up? What kind of sickos were these people?

Suddenly, I was struck with a new thought: These people aren’t out to see me fail, they just want me to try my best and to have fun.

And what do you know…I GOT THE PART!

Courtesy: Katilin Simpson


Life is just too dang short to be caring about what other people think of you and your choices. I’m 23 and still learning this lesson. Use your time in college as an opportunity to try and fail, or try and succeed, because I promise you will learn something either way.

Being in the circus has been such a rewarding experience to me in so many unexpected ways. It has taught me to persevere through nerves because doing so means bringing hundreds of people an unforgettable night of wonder at the circus! One of my favorite things, by far, has been meeting dozens of little girls after the shows who tell me that they want to be ringmasters too when they grow up. Be still, my cold heart.

Courtesy: Wordpress


It may seem trivial and silly, joining the circus, but as I write this in the shadow of the big top, I am filled with a sense of peace; a sense that I’m doing something I truly enjoy and that others can enjoy as well. All I know is that I’m forever grateful to my past self for taking a chance on my future myself. I want to thank the entire circus cast and crew for this opportunity to allow my loud voice to echo through the tent. I’m so proud to be among your ranks.

Courtesy: Keenan Rogers