Supply and Demand

Show business has not changed a bit in one hundred years. Take for example this article from the September 24, 1903 edition of the Chatham Record:


Veteran Showman Says There Is Fascination in the Life.

“There is a charm, a fascination about circus life that is hard to explain,” said a veteran showman. “It is surely a tough existence, being buffeted about from place to place, often without a bed to sleep in, and the wages, outside of the salaries paid to a few stars, are amazingly small. Yet when a man once gets a taste of circus life it’s all up with him. He’s never good for anything else, and never wants to be. There must be a germ, bred of the sawdust, that gets into the blood. Take the canvasser, for instance. They get $20 a month and their board, which usually consists of bad grub and an impromptu bed in a wagon. Often they don’t take their clothes off for weeks at a time. There’s one fellow I know who possesses more than the average intelligence. He has a trade, and during the winter he makes, on average, $20 a week. And yet just as soon as the circus season opens he throws up his job and goes out on the road with a show for $20 a month. In almost every town the management is besieged by men and boys who want to go along, and many of them offer their services for their board. It is a queer state of affairs.”


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