For 14-year-old Franchesca Cavallini, it is everyday life.
“I was practically born in the circus,” she said. “I’m the sixth generation.”
She’s a trapeze artist and performer with Carson & Barnes Circus, which will give two shows a day on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Lee County Agri-Center in Verona.
“I really enjoy it. For me, there’s no better life. I’m happy here. My family is here. Everybody is here,” she said. “I feel like I’m at home here. The circus is my home, you know?”
Under the tutelage of her family, Franchesca began practicing on trapeze at age 3. She was a dancing performer in the show at 4, and she joined her father’s hula hoop and teeter board act at 5.
Two years ago, she joined the trapeze act, and she perfected the double somersault last year. Now, she’s on a mission to become one of the first female circus performers to master the triple somersault.
“I’m almost there. Almost,” she said. “There are still some kinks I have to work out, but I’ll get there.”
While you’re sitting under the big top and watching the trapeze artists, know that Franchesca is taking things seriously up there.
“I still have butterflies. Even though you’ve done it a long time, each town is different. The fairground is different, so either it’s higher or lower,” she said. “You have to really concentrate. I try my hardest. At each show, I try my hardest because it’s always different.”
Franchesca said she hopes to go to college someday, but she expects to keep returning to the circus. The family atmosphere is a big part of the draw, so is the thrill of performing.
“I feel more awake up there because you’re flying. Come
on, you have to feel more awake,” she said. “Sometimes, it feels long, like, when it’s one of those hot days, then it feels long. Then somedays it goes fast, and you don’t want it to go fast because it feels so good to be up there.”
Each performance of Carson & Barnes Circus will last about two hours. In addition to Franchesca, you’ll see elephants, camels, horses and dogs. There will be clowns, acrobats and much more.
“They have to come to the show because, the circus, it’s an exciting place. It’s, like, full of magic,” she said. “If you’re in a sad mood, you come to the circus and it lightens up. You feel happy. It is magic because it’s stuff you don’t see every day.”
Contact M. Scott Morris at (662) 678-1589 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What: Civitans present the Carnes & Barnes Circus
When: 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.
Where: Lee County Agri-Center Verona
Tickets: $25/family tickets, $18/age 12 and older, $10/age 20-11. Buy one, get one free tickets at area merchants.
Info: (662) 566-5600