The time I ran away to join the Circus

Updated: May 16, 2021

Like many little girls, I grew up wanting to be a dancer on the stage.


I would always be found with my ballet shoes on, creating shows for my family and imagining my name in lights. It was no surprise that at 16 I left home to follow my dreams and perfect my art and passion at dance college for 3 years. Upon graduating from college and stepping successfully into the exciting world of ‘showbiz’, I was lucky enough to perform professionally on stage and screen. My career took me around the world and working with the most amazing talent and inspiration. My dreams were everything I had hoped they would be and more but my ultimate goal of being in a West End musical always seemed to elude me.


It’s funny though as what you think you want isn’t always what you need and I have learned this many times throughout my career.

One particular opportunity does stand out and has become my go-to story at dinner parties. It was the opportunity I really had no intention of taking, I certainly wasn’t looking for it and yet it’s the one that has inadvertently shaped my life.

I was offered the opportunity to run away with the circus in my early 20’s. It was not an instant or obvious job to accept, as it really didn’t feature in my then ‘masterplan and vision’ for my dream career BUT something niggled me for far too long to ignore. I was haunted by the thought that opportunities that appear out of nowhere must be a push from somewhere….the universe? Law of attraction? Who knows! I couldn’t ignore it and in the end, I took the contract. The funny thing is that I based this big shift in career path direction on the simple fact that it would be a ‘great story for the grandkids! That’s the bit that still tickles me now and little did I know it would become the beginning of the most wonderful journey.

Fast forward nearly 20 years and it has become more than just a tale to tell, it has been the foundations of my successful entertainment business, Manic Stage Productions. I have used that gift from the universe to build my dream business. My experience, skills and knowledge from my time in the circus have shaped my ‘pop up entertainment offerings. They feature circus skills as our core offering and have won contracts on P&O Cruise Ships, at The Natural History Museum and Twickenham Stadium.

My time dancing under the big top gave me the most wonderful gift. Learning and performing with fire way back then has allowed me to confidently create one of my most popular pop-up acts. The art of fire is something I have loved teaching my team. It’s lovely to reflect on the years gone by and the start of an incredible journey into the unknown (no Frozen reference intended!). It makes me realise that once again I must trust the universe and my instinct. The pandemic has been more than shattering to my industry but I’m taking this as an opportunity to reimagine the vision for myself and Manic Stage Productions I am certain all will become clear and exciting in the end.

My COVID pivot and latest business venture is a year old already and has become a very big part of how I see my future within the entertainment industry. I want to help performers believe, expand and thrive. Encourage them to be more business-minded, strategic and visible as the entrepreneurs they are.

From performer to producer, entertainer to entrepreneur and now leading the next generation of ‘Performerpreneurs’


Instagram @manicsp_entertainment or @performerpreneur

LinkedIn: Nicole Louise Geddes

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