By Sheena Barnett
TUPELO – Andrew Hicks was once faced with a tough decision: Continue his career as a research biologist, or run away with the circus.
He’s performing this weekend as a clown in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s “Super Circus Heroes,” so guess which one he picked?
“Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be a clown for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. I never thought it was possible,” Hicks said in a phone interview with the Journal.
While he focused on his biology career, he started street performing and learning how to become a clown. He studied with Ringling Bros. clowns and started with the circus four years ago.
“It’s really, really exciting. Not only do I do the job I’ve wanted to do, I perform material I wrote. The other performers inspire me. They do these amazing things that I can’t do,” he said.
The clowns host the pre-show that begins an hour before the circus.
Hicks and the other clowns write their material based on the show’s premise and collaborate with directors to make the show as funny as possible.
“What’s awesome is that we took these already amazing acts and stepped them up to super human,” he said of the “Super Circus Heroes” show. “Every act is a display of super ability. It’s a show no one else has ever come close to recreating.”
Hicks is happy he’s a clown, especially in this show.
“It’s all jam-packed with amazing acts, and none of it is CGI,” he said. “It’s awesome.”
• What: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey: Super Circus Heroes
• When: 7 p.m. tonight, 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
• Where: BancorpSouth Arena
• Cost: $52/VIP floor, $47/VIP ringside, $32/VIP, $27 and $17. Opening night tickets start at $7.50.
• Info: bcsarena.com, (662) 841-6528.