While Five Trick Dogs and a Scarlet Macaw are the highlights of my show, I made a good living traveling the world as the main juggler, clown, and unicyclist with The Royal Lichtenstein Circus and those skills have been enhanced by my constant training in Improv and working at Comedy Clubs. I have learned to keep audiences riveted by simply talking so when I add cute dogs doing amazing tricks it becomes ridiculously fun. Each circus skill has an associated story and all of the music is my own recordings, much of it original music, written by me. Also included are yo yo tricks, lots of other circus skills and a circus balancing act-this is a show I always wish I could see!
Was not able to attend but heard it was good.
Wow! Circus Chickendog just performed at my daughter's 8th birthday party. It was great fun having all the dogs and seeing all the amazing crazy tricks! Darren and the dogs - and Lauren, the bird, gave a 5 star performance and Gig Salad made booking super easy!
Price Range: $350 for birthday parties. >$1000 for large events
Gig Length: 15 - 240 minutes
Insurance: $2,000,000 - Liability
What to Expect
The formal show lasts about an hour and includes five dogs, a scarlet macaw, juggling, unicycling, circus balancing acts, storytelling and original fables throughout, a really nice set (great for pictures!) and lots of other circus acts. Each element has an associated story and all of the music is my own recordings, much of it original music, written by me.
My set fits into as small as a 6 foot wide by 8 feet deep space and recreates an actual circus tent and circus ring-everything has been custom designed and made by me. My mother sewed the ring mat and backdrop. I built all of the boxes and magic tricks-pretty much nothing but the juggling props were bought. It looks great for pictures and totally counts as art in its own right.
As the audience enters, I also like to play live accordion music for pre show entertainment. This gives me a chance to greet the audience, say hi, and we can get to know each other a bit.
I was the main clown, juggler, and unicyclist on the Royal Lichtenstein Circus for two years before starting my dog act which now steals the show with Lauren Macaw (a real live Scarlet Macaw) coming a close second. But still, those human skills are stellar and create a great change of pace while my extensive improv training (I do shows and sit in on classes constantly) let me just make up new stories on the spot-when other performers are trying to get audiences to quiet down or behave, those are my magical moments to engage them and tell them a totally new story based on our conversation-I appreciate the chance to do something new and that's where a lot of my current show comes from. But trust me, I always have my regular routine to fall back on if nothing better presents itself.
About Circus Chickendog
The creation of longtime professional performer and circus veteran Darren Peterson, the Circus
Chickendog troupe includes five rescued circus dogs and a scarlet macaw along with James, Darren's brother who has Downs Syndrome and is the master Dog Wrangler.
Dog tricks, bird tricks, juggling,
unicycling, accordion-playing, and giant bubbles are woven into an imaginative, humorous story
that’s peppered with dog training tips and a few positive life lessons.
Circus Chickendog's popular annual shows, "The Muttcracker (SWEET!),” “I Ruff You (A Circus Love Story),” "1,001 Tricks in One Hour," and “The Wizard of Dogz!” play to sold-out houses throughout the Contiguous U.S. of A.
About Darren Peterson
The Dashing and Incomparable creator and ringmaster of Circus Chickendog is the master
multi-tasker and SIX-time Ironman, Darren Peterson, born right here in Austin, TX . You may have seen Darren on his National TV appearances on David Letterman, the Animal
Planet, and the Donny & Marie Show....or his regular theater performances around Austin,
including juggling for years at Esther's Follies, various Circus Chickendog shows around
town, standup at The Velveeta Room, Improvised Shows, as well as major events and
venues throughout Texas.
Darren has a B.S. in Mathematics from UT Austin, has taught high school math, worked as a
textbook math editor, lived in France, ridden a wheelie on a motorcycle for more than a mile,
worked as the main juggler, unicyclist, and clown for The Royal Lichtenstein Circus, and has taught four dogs to jump rope and two dogs to sneeze on command.
But mainly Darren is the owner, producer, director, writer, animal trainer, juggler, unicyclist,
carpenter, painter, purchasing agent, casting director, underwriter of, and is indeed, Circus Chickendog, The Family-Friendly Circus.
When he is not performing, Darren is either reading literature, running 50 miles per week, or tackling 50+ mile bicycle rides on the challenging hills of Central Texas.
About James Peterson
James is Darren's younger brother, diagnosed with Downs Syndrome, and master dog
wrangler. James takes care of much of the feeding, watering, crate cleaning, and keeping the
waiting dogs happy and feeling loved while Darren concentrates on train just one dog. James'
passion is music and has several thousand CD's.
Additional Booking Notes
Stairs are a problem but can be dealt with as long as we have a plan in place. Like a piano mover, I do charge more when needing to navigate them. I can provide a sound system for larger audiences. I don't generally provide lighting but have a system that works when needed and planned for.
Upcoming Booked Events
|March 24, 2018 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm||Children's Birthday Party|
Past Booked Events
|February 23, 2018 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm||Teen's Birthday Party|
|Darren Peterson||Owner, Booker, Performer, Trainer, Set Builder, Musician|
|James Peterson||Dog Wrangler|
Influences & Inspiration
Traditional Circus-NOT Cirque Du Soleil (too artsy!)
Rituals of all kinds, especially religious (This is a non-religious show but does include life lessons in the form of original fables)
Mark Twain- Stories such as The Celebrated Leaping Frog of Calaveras County (I did a college research paper on Twain in College-got the only A in the class on that project).
Stand Up Comedy-I did Stand Up for years and learned to really hone those stories and making them work for all audiences.
Aaron's Fables-Talking animals with human attributes, engaging plot twists, and unexpected lessons.
I generally need a 10ft by 10ft space but can fit into as little as a 6ft wide by 9ft deep space