‘Managing a circus is a circus’—Paranormal Cirque share experience during pandemic


Circus performers share their challenges during a pandemic

The entrance to the Paranormal Cirque (Sal Castro- KVEO Photojournalist)

Mercedes, Texas (KVEO) — When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in 2020, it sent a shockwave of life-altering events.

Like all in the entertainment business, the Paranormal Cirque group had to stop their performances for two and half months. What started off as a well-deserved vacation soon became an intense wait for work.

“Only about two and half months, which is incredible,” said Ben Holland Unit Manager of the circus.

Incredible because they were able to start performing while everybody else waited.

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Ben Holland of the Paranormal Cirque group also performs as a contortionist. (Sal Castro- KVEO Photojournalist)

“For a while, there was almost nowhere,” said Holland. The struggle of having to find places that would let them perform. This left them in Odessa, Texas for a month and a half while the rest of Texas remained closed.

“We stayed there until a couple more places opened up and then we just kind of danced around,” said Holland.

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A year later, the group has been able to perform in various towns and cities. For performers Luigi Soto and his daughter Nikki Fernandez it is a welcome sight.

Luigi Soto is the Wheel of Death performer having to stay inside a 360-degree wheel without falling out. (Sal Castro- KVEO Photojournalist)

“As long as you see the reaction of that person wow that guy is crazy, we are very grateful” said Soto.

Soto has been performing for 10 years in the wheel of death. He’s been with the paranormal group for one year along with his daughter.

Performing since she was nine, performing is the only thing that Fernandez has ever known.

“When we stopped, I didn’t get to see new people, nothing it was just my house,” said Fernandez. Being able to perform again meant the world to her.

Nikki Fernandez performs as a handstand contortion with Bow and Arrow (Sal Castro- KVEO Photojournalist)

For other performers like Yura Belarus, a former gymnast its an experience unlike any other.

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“On the stage, I feel myself,” said Belarus. He performs on the Horizontal Bars and been doing so for 11 years.

Yura Belarus also helps out in the ticket sales with his wife (Sal Castro – KVEO Photojournalist)

Having to deal with various crowd sizes has not discouraged the group. The group will be performing in their second ‘packed’ house.

26 towns later the group has arrived in the city of Mercedes and is looking forward to their next performance.

Inside the tent final preparations are made (Sal Castro- KVEO photojournalist)

Masks are required for guests that attend the event and social distancing measures will be enforced, according to Holland.

Tickets are available at (https://paranormalcirque.com/The-Tour) and by calling (941)704-8572

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