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Crystal Coronas, 28, is an integral part of the Coronas of Hollywood Entertainment business started by her mother and father, Serge and Stevie Coronas. The family run Coronas of Hollywood Entertainment group features a big top circus act, a petting zoo including a giraffe menagerie, Hollywood racing pigs, and, most recently, camel rides. Serge and his wife, along with their three children and grandchildren run all aspects of the business.
Coronas' main responsibilities on the show
are to perform her hoola-hoop and dog act during the circus performances and emcee the Hollywood racing pigs shows; "My first responsibility is the circus. That's who we are and that's what we as a family started with," says Coronas.
She started working with and caring for animals at a very early age . When she was just 5 or 6 years old, Coronas remembers trying out different circus acts as her parents encouraged her to feel out different skills and see what she liked and had a knack for. Coronas distinctly remembers watching the hula hoop act during one of her family's shows and being very interested in trying it. She practiced and practiced but was still a little nervous to take the ring in front of an audience. She recalls her mother showing her a costume she had made for Crystal and asking if she wanted to try it on. Then, her mother suggested she do her hair and make up to show Crystal what she would look like in the ring. Coronas says her mom said, "You look ready to go; you could perform tonight!" So, Coronas took the stage for the first time that night. She said she was in such shock after the performance, she started bawling; "of course my family caught it on video," laughed Coronas.
At about 16 years old, Coronas took over the dog act on the show. To this day, she is responsible for the training and care of 13 dogs which, as anyone can imagine, is a full time job.
"I think of the dogs as my children; there are no days off," says Coronas. Within the past year or so, Coronas began emceeing the pig race show which belongs to her brother, Serge Jr. "I love it. I never thought I would but it's simple, good fun for all ages and I really love being an emcee," says Coronas. Coronas' personality comes alive as she calls the race and jokes with the crowd.
Her daily life basically consists of being an animal caretaker and helping out her family in any way they need it. "I owe everything to my parents and could not have asked for a better upbringing. I was given everything I need and more." Coronas is especially appreciative of the work ethic her parents helped her build. "I was never handed anything. I was taught how to work hard for my money and am better off for it," says Coronas.
In addition to taking care of the animals and practicing her acts, Coronas has a large role in the business side of the family circus. One way Coronas has tried to modernize her family's business is by digitizing contracts and forms needed at each spot to which they travel. Coronas helps her parents with their computer and general electronic needs. As a millennial in the industry, Coronas is always looking for ways to modernize her family's business while still preserving the cherished circus traditions they practice.
When asked about the use of social media and technology in advertising Coronas of Hollywood Entertainment, Coronas had some hesitations. In general, Coronas feels that the ability to rapidly disseminate information, videos, and pictures to a wide audience has turned out to be harmful to the circus industry in a lot of ways. "You can edit a picture or a video and make people hear or see what you want them to hear or see, even if it's not the truth," says Coronas.
As a millennial in the industry, Coronas has found that the hardest part about being on the road and in the outdoor amusement industry is holding on to relationships. Coronas commented that she has received a lot of judgement about her lifestyle from people, many whom she considered to be friends. She also added that it's difficult to find people who truly understand what life is like on the road: working 14 hour days and performing hard labor for the show's success. Coronas has a boyfriend who is also in the industry but mentions that the distance makes things difficult and deciding if you want to leave something you've built and are so passionate about to start a life with someone else is not easy.
Despite the difficulties, Coronas would not trade her life for anything. Her favorite aspect of being on the road and working with her family are the strong bonds they have built with one another. "I could not ask for a better relationship with my family," says Coronas. Working with them every day and seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they perform is the best part of the business for Coronas.
When asked what advice she would give young people in the outdoor amusement industry, Coronas says the most important thing is to follow your heart. "Following your heart is the only way to be happy and if you're not happy then you won't be successful. I have done that and my heart lives here on the show," says Coronas. Life is short and is meant to be enjoyed, says Coronas. She thinks about how she almost lost her father when he was hit by a drunk driver last year. "He broke almost everything but thankfully did not hit his head," says Coronas. To this day, the accident reminds Coronas to stay positive and enjoy life in the moment.
Coronas of Hollywood Entertainment can be seen at the Georgia State Fair, Florida State Fair, New York State Fair and Louisiana State Fair this year. They will end their season in Missouri when they perform for the Shriners in order to raise money for their children's hospital. Serge Coronas is a Shriner himself and the cause is near and dear to their family. Coronas Hollywood Entertainment will also be attending the IAFE convention in Las Vegas where they will have a booth to visit with their fair clients.