On these pages the Wallenda family presents many aspects of circus history, professional high-wire thrills, skywalks, entertainment and the individuals involved who built these traditions. You will meet all the members of The World Famous Wallenda Troupe performing against the backdrop of these traditions.
Rick Wallenda still heads the families’ original enterprise—Wallenda Enterprises—exceeding the limits of tradition as The World Famous Wallendas. Karl would often highwire on a steel cable, rather than the older tightrope. All Wallenda troupes continue to look to new technology making highwire safer, better, and more thrilling.
If you are a first time visitor, a Wallenda fan, a potential client, or just curious; read these pages, check the archives for historical information, look for entertainment, thrills, stunts, or theatrical productions. If something does not appear, we probably just omitted it from this page. Please ask. We are here because of you.
Wallenda Enterprises is the child of The Great Wallendas. My grandparents called
their highwire act by that name from 1928 until 1978. At that time I assumed
leadership of the company, with my grandmother’s enthusiastic blessing.
My sister, Rietta, and I toured as The Great Wallendas until she married. I also
married, and my wife Debbie and I continued as The Great Wallendas. We performed
our highwire troupe, and a new duo act featuring Debbie as the first and only woman
in history to perform an incredible jump from my shoulders to the wire. That record still
holds. No other woman has attempted that trick. Debbie and I continued with the duo,
and the troupe, but added The Great Wallendas Circus.
The circus consumed time, and minimized highwire practice. On some occasions The
Great Wallendas highwire act remained in the truck sometimes replaced by other
Wallenda highwire acts. The main focus of The Great Wallendas Inc became show
productions, and eventually attracted the mighty Medinah Shrine Temple as our
opening engagement in Chicago for a seventeen day appearance 1995-97.
During this time I turned my attention to concept shows. As a response to spectators
requesting something historical, we fashioned Zirkus Wallenda. Zirkus is a turn of the
century show with a story line, and a real snake-oil salesman, Dr. Sauce, selling
Wallendas Wonder Tonic. The show successfully toured for several years, and
remains on our menu of offerings.
After the 1998 season I entered Eckerd College, graduating in just three years with a
3.95 GPA, and a B.A. in Creative Writing, and followed that with two years at Vermont
College, earning the MFA in Writing.
I now combine my literary degrees with my performing experience, creating and
performing concept shows, thrills, and exceeding the limits of tradition. Wallenda
Enterprises offers more room for creativity, and expansion into other areas of
expression. My memoir, Skywalk, and other writings are listed here under the book
tab, and available at this web page. We also offer several concept shows. Please ask
for anything special that you think is out of the box.
Do you have questions about what Wallenda can do for your event? Are you interested in collaborating on a daredevil or thrills project? Send me a message, and I will get back to you soon.