As a traveling performer I have encountered my fair (no pun intended) amount of characters in this world. I’m lucky to be part of a team that travels around the country performing shows for kids as well as running what we fondly call “A Disney-esque hand-washing station.” I have acquired labels such as “Cutest Show Girl,” “Sudsy’s Girl” and “That badass girl driving a truck and trailer.” These labels have wormed their way into my self-identity and I gotta say, I’m a fan.
For those of you reading this and already lost – let me slow things down and tell you a little bit about this crazy life I’m actually living.
My name is Paige McDaniel and I currently work for Fusion Talent Group. This umbrella of a production company owns, among many other amazing acts, Sudsy’s Barn and The Cutest Show on Earth. These two “acts” were acquired by Fusion Talent Group in late 2014 after a tragic accident limited the previous owner, Elisa Hays, and required her to hand over the gloves to someone else. I was with Elisa off and on since 2012 and when she passed the torch to our courageous new leader, I followed. This year I am a lead tour actor with The Cutest Show on Earth and I lend a helping hand for Sudsy’s Barn when needed.
So what do I do exactly?
The Cutest Show on Earth is, at its rawest form, a kid’s dress-up show. We have four shows – Circus, Wild West, Pirate & Farm Time – and we begin recruiting kids before our shows, get them in costume and perform a live show for audiences at fairs and festivals around the country. As the leader of the show, whether that be as a ringmaster, cowgirl, pirate captain, or flight attendant, I have the pleasure of watching kids come out of their shell and show off to their friends and family on stage. We do anywhere between one and three shows a day and it’s an absolute blast and amazing way to travel. Check out more about The Cutest Show on Earth here.
Sudsy’s Barn is, like I mentioned before, an interactive “Disney-esque” hand-washing station. Fairs around the country have struggled repeatedly with E. coli breakouts due to livestock and people not properly washing their hands after interacting with animals and other things at the fair. Elisa Hays came up with this brilliant idea to make handwashing a fun experience that kids and adults would actually look forward to. This 2-ton trailer transforms into an actual experience where you can get water from a goat, cow, alpaca or donkey who will also talk to you! All I can say is – you have to see it to believe it!
Thanks to these two acts, I am able to travel around the country 6-8 months out of the year meeting amazing people, seeing new things and having quirky and amazing experiences. I have discovered a true family made up of hypnotists, jugglers, tractor-pullers, animal trainers, trapeze artists, comics, clowns and more because of choosing to be a touring actor.
When I’m not on the road with Fusion Talent Group, I try and explore different places around the world. I recently spent a three-week gap in Costa Rica volunteering at a Spanish immersion school called Tico Lingo. Before my last tour I was in Europe backpacking for three months. The opportunities are out there and jobs exist that you may have never thought of that allow you to travel. I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities wherever and whenever you can!