Juggler Cindy Marvell says her hardest gig was in Saudi Arabia, just before 9/11.
"I could only perform in a special show with only women in the audience," she says.
Her troupe, Lazer Vaudeville, had been hired by a Saudi Arabian resort that found out about the show through the Internet. Due to gender segregation in the conservative Muslim country, Marvell had to sneak in to perform with the male members of her troupe. The rebellious juggler performed under blacklights, with masks, or under a 7-foot-tall dragon puppet, where no one could see she was a woman.
Although a life of juggling tours can be rough no joke Marvell knew she wanted to be a professional juggler as early as high school.
"I still went to college and did all that, but one summer I toured Europe as a street juggler," says Marvell.
Europe exposed Marvell to federally funded training centers and schools that offer college degrees and tent time in circus school. In 2004, she, along with her husband and Lazer Vaudeville founder Carter Brown, opened the Boulder Circus Center. The Boulder Circus Center fulfilled Brown and Marvell's dream of providing practice space to vaudeville artists and circus performers all over the country.
Brown and Marvell met when she joined Lazer Vaudeville in 1994. They celebrated their nuptials in 2000, walking under an arch of flying clubs created by two rows of jugglers.
Along with Brown and Marvell, Lazer Vaudeville consists of Nicholas Flair and his "box-balancing brilliance," and Alfonzo, the 7-foot, fluorescent, fire-breathing dragon and master of ceremonies. The troupe's eponymous show includes a three-person juggling routine, a neon cowboy rope show, a hoop act in which Brown twirls and rolls 10 rings at once, acrobatics and more.
Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Ave., Pueblo
Saturday, March 31, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Tickets: $6; call 719/295-7222 for more information or visit lazervaudeville.com.