Circus performer follows in parents’ footsteps as human cannonball, feeling 7 G’s with each launch

The circus is full of compelling acts, dangerous stunts and entertaining performers. One performer who is part of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey is Skyler Miser, who stars as the Ringling Rocket. 

During the show, in some cases three times a day, Miser acts as a human cannonball — she’s blasted through the air out of a rocket. 

Even though this is Miser’s first time performing as the Ringling Rocket, she’s no stranger to circus life. She was born into it, she told Fox News Digital during a stop in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

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Her parents, Brian and Tina Miser, performed as human cannonballs before her, making her upbringing extremely unique. 

“Growing up in the circus has been the best experience. There’s not a lot of people that can say that they grew up in the circus, but I did,” Skyler Miser said.

Skyler Miser standing on top of rocket

Skyler Miser has followed in her parents’ footsteps as a circus performer. (Ashlyn Messier/Fox News Digital)

“It’s not an experience that everybody gets to experience. I don’t know anything more. It’s been my life since I was born — Ringling has been my life since I was born. So to actually be here and to be performing is really incredible.”

Even though a childhood spent traveling with her performing parents in their motor home was less than ordinary, there was still some normalcy in her day-to-day schedule, she said.

“We had a nursery. We had a school there, so I did grow up on the show learning regular school stuff, playing with other children. But of course, they didn’t think that our lifestyle was weird, either,” Miser said.

Skyler Miser of Ringling

Skyler Miser grew up around the circus and quickly grew interested in being a performer herself. She spoke to Fox News Digital while in Massachusetts. (Ashlyn Messier)

It was not long before Miser started to perform herself. Her first professional performance came at age 13, but her very first time on stage came far earlier.

“My first professional performance, I did the aerial silks. My dad was working, and he was doing the rocket on another show, and he thought it would be fun for me to come and join them, so that was my first professional experience,” Miser said. 

She will never forget the feeling of flying through the air.

“My first time ever actually being out on stage was on Ringling. I was 2. My parents did an act in the pre-show for about five minutes. So my dad would do a high fall and my mom would give a little speech about the cannon and that act.”

Although Miser does not remember the details from her first, smaller scale launch that she completed at 11 years old when the family was based in Indiana — one thing she will never forget is the feeling she got flying through the air.

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“My very first time I was 11 years old, so I don’t really remember much from then. It was February and it was freezing cold outside. So my dad had made an eight-foot-long cannon for a clown act in England,” said Miser. 

“Before he sent it over, he asked if I wanted to be the ‘test dummy.’ So, of course, I said yes. I only went about 18 feet, but I remember that thrill and that big adrenaline rush I got even from that 18 feet … When I started going farther when I was 18, I didn’t realize that that very first shot I did was very baby compared to what I’m about to do.”

What does it feel like to fly through the air at the speed Miser does with each show? 

She described the feeling as “a mini car crash.”

The Ringling Rocket

During each show, Skyler Miser is launched through the air by a rocket. (Ashlyn Messier/Fox News Digital)

“I think the rocket is more mentally challenging than physically. Obviously, it takes a physical toll on you, because you’re going at 7 G’s,” Miser said. 

“I like to think of it as like a mini car crash every show. You have to make sure that you’re really warmed up and your body’s well-prepared,” she told Fox News Digital. 

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“Otherwise, you can get hurt. We do lots of checks before the show. So I’m going and I’m checking things every 30 minutes, just because if you don’t check something, you might forget something. So it’s just a lot of mental preparation, a lot of stretching.”

On the days Miser is not being launched through the air for her daring circus act — landing on what looks like a giant inflated pillow — she enjoys exploring whatever city she is in and trying some of the local cuisine.

“The typical day off is interesting. Normally, I like to sleep and just kind of recover from the week that we just had … Depends on the city. I like to go out and find historical things to do. I’m a big foodie …so finding fun restaurants,” Miser said. 

The finale of Ringling circus

The circus is made up of 75 performers from all over the world. (Ashlyn Messier/Fox News Digital)

As someone who has grown up around the circus for her entire life, Miser has been able to see the way it has evolved and changed over the years. 

“I’ve seen the show change completely. Even from when I was a kid to before when they closed in 2017,” Miser said.

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“It took a switch, but I think that’s what you have to do in order to keep up with the current times of the entertainment industry.”

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