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The Circus Life: High wire, juggling and romance

LAWTON, Okla. - Life under a big top tent - how does the average person relate to the exotic business of travel, bright lights and amazing performances? Well, Samantha Kulinski and Victor Abadilla showed us.

"It's not for everybody," they said. "But, it is for us and everybody who does this."

They're both performers for a version of the Cirque Italia, which stopped for the weekend in Lawton's Central Mall.

Victor's a lifer in the circus who started developing his juggling skills as a second grader.

"I actually started performing when I was 10 years old," he said.

Samantha's only been with the show for year but had a good background in dance and rock climbing. So, she was both strong and not afraid of heights.

"Very used to heights," she said. "I would climb walls that were really high, so I was used to that."

Ask either of them if life is more like a juggling act or a balancing act, and they might argue.

But, life under the big top is a kind of life.

Other members of the circus saw it before they did, but Victor and Samantha eventually realized something more than just a mutual respect for their abilities. They're engaged now.

"Our boss jokes that she knew right away what was going to happen," Samantha said.

Throw in any kind of variable you might want: a little smoke, a fountain and a 35,000 gallon tank of water, hundreds of people watching. It's still life.

"It's the best job in the world. It's what I wanted to do," Kulinski said.

The only thing lacking in the circus story might be animals.

Cirque Italia doesn't use them in their show, but Samantha and Victor have that detail covered too.

"We're very excited."

A new member of the circus family joined them earlier this week.

Jack the house cat, something else to add to an interesting mix of life, something we can relate to and admire all the same.

The Cirque Italia bills itself as the world's only water circus.

Shows are scheduled for Thursday through Sunday.

For show and ticket information, click here.

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