Circus and stunting jobs are some of the few career opportunities involving the continued use of the physical skills gained through gymnastics. Circus includes a multitude of different apparatus (too many to list here!), many of which have significant overlap with various gymnastics events.
Stunt acting is the career of performing stunt work – getting filmed doing dangerous things instead of being actors in movies and tv shows.
Stunting is really a subset of acting, and there are limited opportunities for minors in the field, but if you’re really interested, then opportunities can be found. A search for local stunt training centers (e.g. the LA Stunts Training Center) is a good place to start. This article gives some helpful tips regarding how to get into stunt acting.
Circus has activities and entry points spanning a larger age and ability range. The first steps for getting into circus arts depend on what level of gymnastics you’ve achieved:
For both circus and stunt acting, there is a significant performance aspect that isn’t always present in gymnastics. Like any artistic pursuit, success isn’t guaranteed, and competition can be fierce for high-profile roles and companies. Stunt acting is generally concentrated on the west coast, where most of the movie industry is located, but circuses travel all over. There are also a lot of circus opportunities abroad, especially in Europe, for those that are interested in traveling as part of their career.
If you or your gymnast is itching to try stunting or circus, the first step is finding a way for them to try it out through a camp or class in your area. There’s no centralized database for these opportunities, so you’ll have to do the legwork yourself, but the opportunities are out there for those that are interested!
Some gymnastics facilities may offer introductory courses for circus arts. Contact your local club for more details. For higher-level circus-focus opportunities, search your local area for available circus schools.