"Familiarity Breeds Contempt" | G.L. Berg Entertainment

"Familiarity Breeds Contempt"

Sean Emery

Sean Emery has been entertaining audiences worldwide for over thirty years in a job that many told him he could never make a living doing. “Really?…you’re going to clown college and joining the circus?” All he knew was that for the first time in his life he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life and was doing it for himself.   It was frightening going off into the world and to a world that Sean really knew nothing about. But it felt right. And it all proved to be the right decision.   Anything was easy after spending three years traveling with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Circus touring the entire United States, performing 2 and 3 shows each day for 11 months of the year, all while living on a circus train!  After leaving the circus, Sean dropped the clown visage and started performing as just himself and has been going strong ever since.

As a keynote speaker, Sean Emery draws from his life experience as a performer and talks about Taking a Journey into the Unknown in 1979, and Always Being on your Way to the Star. This gets audience members to think about where they currently are life-wise or career-wise and not to get complacent. The next star may be a lateral move, but it is a move!  Sean energizes and inspires the audience as he incorporates humor and true stories of his life.

Sean also speaks about Familiarity Breeds Contempt – a lesson learned on his three years traveling with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus – just running by the elephants without a glance. As one fair manager said after the speech “It was great, and I’m taking his advice back to my staff – familiarity breeds contempt – we aren’t seeing the elephants!”





  • Three years with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Circus
  • Full-time professional solo entertainer, still performing 250 shows each year
  • Adjunct professor of Circus Arts at the University of Minnesota;  BFA Actors Training Program

“It was great, and I’m taking his advice back to my staff — Familiarity breeds Contempt — we aren’t seeing the elephants!”

–Fair Manager

“We asked Sean Emery to speak to our entire staff at Mora Public Schools…Mr. Emery did an amazing job. If you are looking for a speaker to do the following 3 things, then Sean Emery is right for you: 1. Entertain and energize each and every audience member, 2. Force listeners to reflect on their lives (between laughs), and 3. Tie the entire presentation together with a positive message.”

–Principal, Mora Public Schools

“Sean did an awesome job as keynote speaker for our association’s convention. His combination of humor and personal experience made the delivery of his message enjoyable to all that attended our closing session. We would love to have Sean back again as the opening speaker for a future convention!”

–Executive Secretary, Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs

In order to give you the best performance possible, Sean provides the following information as a technical rider to his contract:

Artist requests:

  • A wireless microphone (a lapel mic is preferable) and a basic P.A. system are needed so that your audience can hear clearly. If the group is 50 people or less this may not be needed.
  • Sean can provide his own sound and lights if needed.

Pricing for each act varies depending on a number of factors including: location of the event; popularity of the date; routing for each act; type of event; single or multiple day performances; length of show, etc. To get a specific and accurate quote for your event please contact our office by clicking here or calling (888) 654-6901. We respond very quickly to answer all our clients’ questions.