Sunday, July 03, 2011

Sunday Morning with Fred Bradna: No Deadbeats in His Greatest Show on Earth

"He must be at once a showman, a stage director, a martinet, a diplomat, a family counselor, a musician, a psychologist, an animal keeper and a weather prophet. Since horses are the keystone of circus entertainment, he must be an accomplished equestrian. He must know sufficient about all circus techniques [tumbling to tight wire] to discern at a glance whether specialists in these areas are shirking and, in the case of animal acts, whether the sin of commission or omission is the fault of the human or the animal star.

"This is not just theoretical. A carton by Mr. H.T. Webster, originator of 'The Timid Soul.' was pasted on mirrors in Ringling dressing tents for years. It depicted two aerialists standing on a high platform in the big top. One says to the other: 'If I thought Fred Bradna wasn't looking, I'd skip the next trick.'"

From his book The Big Top. Bradna served as equestrian director for Barnum & Bailey and then Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, retiring at the end of the 1946 season.


rcblues said...

Good Morning Mr. Biz... Congrats on your book deal...Would enjoy a signed copy... Keep us updated...You will do well. I will be at Circ. Vargas today with the little one and a case of vino. Met Nelson ans Victorio on Tues and Wed. Got a good number of pics...
Victorio really is a unique character. You need to get some time with him. Observed the tent raising process Tues eve 2 hrs... amazing... Victorio says he has the older tents at Victorville... Come on... Let's start our own show. That would give you a chapter or two...rch Oh yes... have yet to see you on my blog...See you

Showbiz David said...

i'll try to make a cameo on your blog, rc ... gotta take a break from photo fishing for my book ..