With his talent and an uncanny ability to read people, Sean Emery will scoop up your audience and embrace them with his circusy skills, comedy, and showmanship. Sean is an eccentric and talented entertainer, wowing the crowd with jaw-dropping juggling stunts that will have you asking yourself “How does he do that?”
Professionally trained with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Sean is one of the most in-demand enteratiners for fairs, festivals, and corporate events around the country. When he’s not performing, Sean teaches circus arts at the University of Minnesota and also offers a workshop — Introduction to Antic Arts — to schools, libraries, and community events.
No one works a crowd like Sean Emery. Simply put, Sean has a lot of fun, and you will too!
A true original, Sean Emery was born in Derry, North Ireland, the son of an Irish mother and South Carolina-born father who met and wed while Sean’s father was stationed at the Londonderry Naval Submarine Base. The Emery family made their home all over the world, with a three-year stint in Athens being its longest stay. Understandably, young Sean developed a gypsy spirit.
After his father’s retirement from the Navy, when Sean was in fourth grade, the family took root in Charlotte, North Carolina. In high school he excelled in football as a linebacker and team co-captain, earning the “Most Valuable Player” award in the ninth grade and Honorable Mention as a linebacker on the All County Team as a senior in high school. Unlike his peers who dreamed of getting a college football scholarship or going pro, Sean used the confidence and determination he got from football to fulfill his dream of joining the circus.
Despite pursuit of a commercial art major in college, Sean knew that his career would take a different direction. He liked acting, but it was a role as the street performer in Pygmalion that led to clowning and juggling as a vocation. In 1979, he left his academic studies for Clown College with Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Baileys Circus. It was the right move; he became one of the few accepted to join Ringling Bros. after Clown College graduation, and was a clown on the Red Unit for three years. The time spent performing in arenas with seasoned professionals and traveling the country by circus train set the tone for his current life and career.
He met his wife Meg – also with Ringling Brothers – in 1980. The showgirl/aerialist and juggler/clown have been married for twenty years, and are proud that daughter Aerial is following in their footsteps with her hula-hoop act.
After the circus Sean left his clown make-up behind, moving to New York City to work as a street performer and honing his skills as an all-around performer. Interesting work followed, including the MTV Awards at Radio City Music Hall, corporate gigs, theaters, and cabarets. Frequent performances on major cruise lines afforded him the opportunity to travel to over twenty-five countries. He entertained in Japan three times and once at the White House. In the past, Sean has worked with acts such as the Temptations, Jerry Lewis, and Hanson, and has also appeared in television commercials. He landed a guest bit on the popular soap opera Search for Tomorrow.
Currently Sean presents his act at corporate events and state fairs, using the occasional theater show to round out his tour schedule. Along with his wife Meg, he teaches circus arts for the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program and the Theater Arts Department. He also teaches at Meg’s “Xelias Aerial Arts Studio.”
Sean takes pleasure in picking and singing bluegrass with his mandolin, backpacking for days and having campfires with his family. He also enjoys painting in his studio and working on the family home.
- Over 20 consecutive years, Minnesota State Fair, St. Paul, Minnesota
- 2011, Wisconsin State Fair, West Allis, Wisconsin
- Multiple Years, Northern Wisconsin State Fair, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
- Canadian Snowbird Association
- Great Harvest Bread
- Grand Casino
- Treasure Island Casino
- Mayo Clinic
- Mall of America
“As usual, the entertainment was SUPERB for our party!! EVERYONE loved Sean!! He did an amazing job of getting down here early to avoid a snowstorm and we truly appreciate that!! Quite a few people said that he was the best we have ever had!! Thanks again for your help in choosing the “right” entertainer.”
–3M Industrial Adhesives & Tapes
“…he was fantastic, I think everyone enjoyed the show, had one of my team members say he hasn’t laughed that hard in 15 years! He did a great job.”
–Keyes Chevrolet, Inc.
“…Sean was delightful to work with. People here in the office are still talking about how funny he was. Good time!”
–Eldon Stutsmans, Inc.
“Everybody LOVED Sean! He had amazing attendance as well, since many of the libraries tied this presentation into their summer reading program!”
–Lake Agassiz Regional Library System
“Sean gave a awesome presentation for the keynote. Everyone enjoyed him and the adults (especially) appreciated his comments about finding your passion, different types of art, need to practice, etc. The students that participated in his small group classes were thrilled also. He was very easy to work with, very personable and enthusiastic!”
–Student Activities Coordinator, SW/WC Service Cooperative
“Everybody I’ve talked to so far loved Sean Emery’s entertainment. Said it was the best ever…As I was leaving the building last nite I heard a voice call my name and turned around to see Sean Emery sitting outside. We ended up chatting for an hour or so…someone I’d describe as very passionate about his craft. I guess you have to be in order to remain successful in that business for as long as he has. He’s traveled the world. Someone I’d describe as a true gentleman.”
–Ontario Provincial Police Veterans Association
“The picnic was a huge success and I have received lots of great comments about Sean. He was great to work with and made my job a lot easier! We look forward to having him again sometime.”
–T & R Electric Supply
“We completely enjoyed Sean’s performance! He is a wonderful entertainer and catered to our audience very well. We were very pleased and would recommend him to anyone!”
“Sean was great – he interacted so well with the crowd, included our presentation within his jokes, etc., not to mention his amazing physical talents! We truly appreciate Sean’s time, and I thank you for your time as well!”
“Thanks so much for helping us to make our holiday party a huge success! Sean was great — personality, caring, and entertaining — a great sport even with the snow.”
–Chippewa Valley Homebuilders
“Sean Emery was a lot of fun. He provided a perfect blend of showmanship and comedy. he is very talented and quite good at reading people.”
“Sean was a hit…again. On a personal level, we really enjoy having Sean join us for these events. On a professional level, all other performers shudder if they have to follow Sean. You should be very proud of that.”
–Medipak International Communications
“Sean Emery was a great comedian. He is a class act. I would recommend him to anybody. Thanks for your recommendation…”
–City of Northfield
“He was wonderful. He sent the nicest thank you note! He was very, very personable and a perfect fit for our crowd! Everyone absolutely loved him. He was so nice. He stuck around for a while afterwards and was able to socialize with people and everyone really loved getting the chance to talk to him. You can use me as a reference anytime.”
–Albertville Lioness Club
“Sean did a fantastic job. I thought our entertainment last year was good and would be a hard “act” to follow. Sean, however, proved that wrong. I had lots of people go out of their way to tell me how much they enjoyed Sean!”
–Lake Region Healthcare
“I just had to drop a quick note to tell you of the many wonderful comments I have received from co-workers on your performance at our company party…They all thoroughly enjoyed it…Thanks again for the pats on the back I’m receiving for booking your show.”
The following is a sample introduction you might use when introducing Sean Emery to your audience:
“Sean Emery has appeared at the White House, on MTV, and around the world on cruise ships and with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. He has performed for the past fifteen years at the Minnesota State Fair and performs over one hundred corporate events each year.
Let’s get ready for showtime….please welcome…Sean Emery!”
In order to give you the best performance possible, Sean Emery provides the following information as a technical rider to his contract:
- 12′ x 12′ Stage is a preferred size to accommodate Sean’s show with use of unicycles and juggling. A stage provides proper sight lines so your audience does not miss any of the show. It is understandable that in some venues a stage is not possible, so we can work with you if that is your situation.
- Sean will pre-set his props and sound and lights (if needed) on or around the stage prior to the show and your evening plans.
- Standard 110v power will be needed near the stage.
- The stage will need to be cleared of podium, tables etc. prior to Sean’s show.
Sound and Lighting
- Sean will provide his own sound for his portion of your evening. Also fill-in lighting will be provided if needed.
- If flying to your event or if the event exceeds the limit of Sean’s sound or lights, Client will provide sound and lights. Sean will bring his own Lavalier Microphone.
- A private dressing room should be available as close to the performance space as possible. This could be a storage room, meeting/breakout room or hotel room (same room as provided for Sean’s lodging). This excludes public restrooms.
- Lodging – A single hotel room will be provided and pre-paid by client if needed.
- Meals are not necessary…but surely appreciated to have a to-go meal for Sean after the show. This is totally at Client’s discretion.
- Payment — A reminder that show payment should be made to Sean Emery the day/night of the show as stated in the contract.