“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages… WELCOME to the UniverSoul Circus,” followed by the roar of the crowd, leading to the City of Opalocka Mayor Myra L. Taylor standing in the center of the ring, under the big tent, as guest ringmaster for the opening of the show, at Opa-locka Night, held in conjunction with WEDR-99 Jamz on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, during JEBA Media Group’s special discounted ticket night at SunLife Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
“Being IN the circus takes on an entirely different perspective than being AT the circus,” said Mayor Taylor of her experience in the spotlight as ringmaster at the circus.
“Most children love going to the circus, some even have dreams of joining, but as an adult, can you imagine being a part of the ‘big act,’ among the lions and tigers and elephants…oh my,” laughed Commissioner Rose Tydus, who had no idea the Mayor, who was scheduled to set-the-tone by appearing at the start of the circus, was going to share the honor of opening night by inviting her to have a “co-starring” role in the center of the ring, while presenting UniverSoul with a proclamation from the City of Opa-locka
Like kids in a (cotton) candy store, Mayor Taylor and Commissioner Tydus beamed with excitement, from the preshow to the final act, as they sat “up-close and personal,” while interacting with animals, performers and circus staff. The Mayor stated that the experience with UniverSoul gave her an even greater appreciation for the skilled and gifted professionals who train so hard to entertain the public. “They dedicate years to perfecting their acts and sometimes place themselves in extremely dangerous situations, just to bring us (children and adults) a smile,” she noted. “Everything from performing on high-wires to entering cages with ferocious animals requires talent, expertise, precision, patience, nerve, prayer and LOTS of faith,” observed Mayor Taylor.
Commissioner Tydus, who has had a life-long love for and years of experience in performing, commented, “The circus is one of those annual events where people look forward to dropping the remote control and going OUT of the house, as a family unit, to experience one of “The Greatest” forms of entertainment on earth, and…,” She added, “the UniverSoul Circus adds a new and unique angle to an old American tradition!”
UniverSoul sponsors food drives and promotes community involvement, They can be defined as “ a highly interactive combination of circus arts, theatre and music that spans genres including Pop, Classic R&B, Latin, Hip Hop, Jazz and Gospel. It embraces and celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of pop culture globally by bringing them center stage.” With a cast of international performers, Mayor Taylor was thrilled to be among the ranks of legendary ringmasters such as Johnathan Lee Iverson who, in 1998, became the first African-American ringmaster, in the 129-year history of circuses. UniverSoul Circus is rated as one of the top three circuses in America .
In spite of the fun, laughter, enjoyment and the prestigious honor of being IN the UniverSoul Circus, both Commission members declined to take one of the “audience participation” elephant rides around the ring… deciding to “Think about it for NEXT year!”