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This 21-Year-Old Works as a Human Rocket and Loves Every Bit About It

Skyler Miser works as a human rocket in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s circus.
Cover Image Source: Skyler Miser | Instagram
Cover Image Source: Skyler Miser | Instagram

Skyler Miser loves her unconventional job which involves being catapulted from a cannon before thousands of spectators. Miser, 21, works as a human rocket in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey’s circus. Miser is used to hurtling through the air as she's propelled from a rocket. "I love the adrenaline rush, I can’t imagine a more fun job," Miser tells CNBC Make It. "I also like seeing the reactions from the audience. People don’t expect a young girl to do such a daredevil stunt."

According to Miser, working in a circus was her dream right from her childhood days. That's because she was born to parents, Brian and Tina Miser, who were both in the earlier versions of the Ringling Circus in the early and mid-2000s, also as human cannonballs. "One of my earliest memories is watching my parents fly out of the cannon," she told the publication.

Miser says that she was only 2 when she first performed in a circus, joining her parents on stage. Miser who grew up in Peru, Indiana, performed in the circus joining her parents on stage to introduce their act. The town in which Miser grew up was known as the Circus Capital of the world and therefore, it's no shocker that she loves the circus so much.

Growing up, Miser spent her summers training with the Peru Amateur Circus, learning trapeze as well as acrobatic skills. "My dad had made an eight-foot-long cannon for a clown act and before he sent it over, he asked if I wanted to be the test dummy," Miser told CNBC. "I was like, 'Absolutely.'" She could only fly 18 feet in the air now, which is just a small fraction of the distance she can fly today. Today, she is propelled close to 70 feet in the air at speeds of up to 65 miles an hour. Ringling approached her in 2022 when it was planning a comeback after it shut down in 2017.

“That email was the end of my college quest," she said, adding that it came at a time when she was just finishing her senior year of high school. Miser later attended the live auditions in Las Vegas, after which she received the official word that she was now part of the circus.

Miser typically performs in six shows every week. She travels with the circuits company to perform in cities across the United States. Her work schedule varies leading up to each weekend performance. Miser says that she plans to tour with this circus company until April 2025 after which her contract expires and does not know if she will continue to perform in circuses.

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"I could see myself going back to school and becoming a physical therapist or athletic trainer, it depends on how my body feels … but on a good day, I could see myself doing this my whole life," she said. While her exact salary is not known, as per ZipRecruiter, a circus performer gets around $30 an hour, which is around $62,000, a year.