The greatest stuntman

Courtesy of Caleb Asch

Jocelyn Fetter , Opinion editor

Caleb Asch has worked with horses for years and had the opportunity to work as a stunt man in the feature film The Greatest Showman.  The movie is all based around the circus, and the story behind the Barnum and Bailey circus. (Read my last Column and you can hear more about the movie, and what I thought about it.)

Caleb has been a stuntman for about 24 years. Being a stunt man offers unique connections.

“I got to hang out with Hugh Jackman; he was a really nice guy. He is very talented, and he is a very nice man,” Asch said.

“I come from a family of artists. My brother was doing stunts before me, and so I got into it because of him,” Asch said. “My dad was very excited when I told him I wanted to follow in my brothers’ footsteps. My mom was nervous, but she was very supportive.”

Every job has pros and cons.

“The best part about this job is that you get to travel, and you get to meet the most interesting people. For me, I get to work with animals which I love. I think the worst part is probably the driving; we drive a lot,” Asch said.

Not only is Asch a stunt man but also a professional performer.

“When I get to perform, I zone out, I forget that I’m there, and I stop hearing the music when it’s playing,”   Asch said.

Many people attend circuses but few get to see what goes on behind the show.

 “I definitely want people to know how well we treat our animals. People think we don’t treat our animals well, and that is entirely not true. We spend 24 hours a day taking care of our animals,” Asch said.

Caleb has some advice for those interested in a circus career.  

Find a circus family, or find a group of people that do what you want to do, and become their slave. Do whatever it takes because if you don’t, you won’t make it. Also practice very often and always make sure to stretch after your work,” Asch said.

Working for the circus requires many hours of work. It is not a five day week or 40 hour work week.  

“I was born into this business and my mother and father did this before I was born. I grew up on a Greyhound bus,” Asch said.

With the release of The Greatest Showman there has been renewed interest in the circus. Many performers fear for the continuation of the circus.

“I really hope that this movie helped to bring their attention back onto the circus. I think they did a really good job with all the acrobats and with the cinematography and everything. I think that hopefully it will help shed some light back onto the circus,” Ashe said.

“This is my life forever,” Asch said.