When Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Fully Charged circus arrives August 17, San Jose residents will be pleased to see one of their own leading the festivities. This year the show is led by ringmaster Brian Crawford Scott, a San Jose native who attended Live Oak High School.

The 25-year-old University of Northern Colorado alum has a degree in musical theater, but some of his earliest introductions to the stage were Live Oak High’s productions of West Side Story and Sweet Charity. He is now one of the youngest ringmasters in the storied circus company’s 141 years in the business.

“This is nothing like the theater that I’ve done in the past,” Scott said. “There are thousands in the audience and I’m working with extraordinary performers from all over the world.”

Instead of relying on shiny costumes and a loud voice, Scott engages the audience with original songs in large production numbers that can only be heard at the circus. 

“My job is to narrate and guide the audience so they can get the most out of the show,” Scott said.

In addition to Scott’s performance, attendees can look forward to acrobatics from the Danguir Family. Brian “The Human Fuse” Miser lights himself on fire before shooting out of a self-made crossbow and the Brothers of Brawn twirl giant telephone poles while acrobats balance on top.

Eager audience members can get more bang for their buck an hour before the show at the free “All-Access Pre-Show Power Up Party,” where they can take photos with the stars, learn special circus skills and watch an elephant paint a picture. 

“People don’t expect how personal and one-of-a-kind everyone’s experiences are when they come to the circus,” Scott said. “There’s so much going on that everyone gets a chance to take away their own unique experience.”

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Fully Charged circus runs August 17-21 at the HP Pavilion.

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