Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mark Gebel




From a "towners"  observation many children of "circus celebrities/circus owners"  think they have some sort of "entitlement."   Mark, the son of the greatest was the exact opposite.  He worked hard, very hard for what he had.   Nothing was given to him, he earned every bit of it.   Always offering to help when he and I were together.  Invaluable to me when I was learning to work his father's tigers.   It's too bad he left the business, as he was an asset sorely needed today. 


Jim A. said...

Talk about a guy in a tough position. Mark's a talented man, fine performer, and trained some fine acts. The "towners" probably didn't understand that the animals didn't know his last name. The animals don't work on your reputation. Agree, his early retirement from the ring is a loss for the circus.

John Herriott said...

Yes it is a shame that Mark with so many years working, learning and training a variety of animals in a very high level has not used that knowledge in this biz. He probably has more learning experience than anyone in the biz. here and overseas. I would think he would miss it, especially when he has obviously not gone into bigger and better things hungrey. However you are only as good as your next endeavor. We all certainly expected more, maybe no here but elsewhere. He would not get hired just for his name but to produce in the high level he came from. Too bad.tanglefoot

John Herriott said...

I believe his father would be surprised to see what has happened. He certainly had to take the bull by the hornsarting at the bottom. Fortunately he was involved in the great Althoff family of fine versatile animal trainers but doubt if they threw him very many bones.johnny

John Herriott said...

I never was able to live very long hanging onto my fathers coat tails and am so proud of my daughters doing their own thing at also a very high level. The Zerbini daughters are also a good example. And its harder for the females, especially when it gets to the nitty gritty of actual training.johnny

John Herriott said...

And then there are guys like you Wade, Roy Wells, Doug Terranova, and Beatty, Jacobs, Logan, Rex and others that came from no-where. I sure take my hat off to all of you. I always hoped that GGW would make his son go with other trainers and shows in those formative years. Too bad. johnny

John Herriott said...

When I went on my own at age twenty I had no idea what the future would hold and I sure had a share of hits and misses. Sometimes I wonder if the same dedication and work ethic in some other field would have been more rewarding.johnny. Then there is my wife who chose this way of life and has no regrets. how about that?

Wade G. Burck said...

John Milton,
I was just going to let these comments slide, but after thinking about some of what you said, I can't let them go without rebutting.

"especially when he has obviously not gone into bigger and better things" Come on John, what's bigger and better? Assuming you were wrongly insinuating that the circus is/was, do you think that maybe "why" he never did anything with another show except Ringling? Oh yes, he would get hired for just his name, and a nit wit that we both know at a "horse theater" in Wisconsin tried just that a a few years ago, as she has done often in the past. Pissed down her leg, just because he came to visit. I promise she wouldn't have been as impressed if his name had been Mark George Watson. The difficult thing for a person hired for that reason is that as you state, they are expected to produce at that level, and sometimes it is impossible to reproduce a legend, without the same marketing machine that gave birth to the legend.
I don't think his father would be surprised, and I have often wondered if it wasn't suggested/advised to him(Mark) years ago. It is surly what I would have advised my children and family.
Yes John, bones are going to be thrown to any family member/like family, long before they are thrown to an outsider. One of the reasons for the "sub par" showings seen in the circus is that the gig has historically gone to "family" and not the most qualified.
No one can survive long "hanging on their fathers coat tails". The name Manning opened a lot of doors for Peyton and Eli early on, but they were able to "produce in a high level" and "quite hanging on their father's coat tails." They are a rare, rare exception, John. I have always admired Herta Klauser Cuneo for the same reason, and she is also a rare, rare exception.
It is not harder for females, John. Females are often given opportunities just because they are female, and that is a fact all over the world in many endeavors. I have never known one that was not able to "solicit" masculine aid with any "nitty gritty" that may come up.
I appreciate the statement "came from no-where," John. To really appreciate the hard, long journey you need only step out of the world you have grown up in, and try to achieve the same fame, recognition, and acceptance in another line of work. Mark, I suggest has done that, and it is no easy task, trust me on that, John. I should think if Mark had chosen to go with another show, or if GGW had "made him" the only option's would have been Krone or possibly Barum. They would have treated him with the respect he deserved. Any other show/producer would have used him(Mark) to take shot's at his father, and relished in the fact that they could tell a Gebel what to do, and how to do it. My son was forced into a similar situation a few years ago, with some tigers, with one of the most loathsome individual's that has ever drawn a breath of air in show business, and I will always regret that he had to endure that type of debauchery, and I am sure GGW was fully aware of the sorry jealousy that makes up a large part of "circus."
Because you are candy ass and from Minnesota John, you didn't let go of the tit, and mature and go on your own until you were 20. Most of us from North Dakota had our nut's by the time we were 18, and struck out to find "fame and fortune." :)

Wade G. Burck said...

To John Milton continued,

"Sometimes I wonder if the same dedication and work ethic in some other field would have been more rewarding," is a statement that I have said many time's over the years, and it was always met with harsh criticism from the "fraternity" as it was wrongly taken as a knock at the circus. As the reality that this thing of ours is dying a slow death set's in, in recent years that statement ""Sometimes I wonder if the same dedication and work ethic in some other field would have been more rewarding" has become accepted fact, and not a knock.
Does Mr. Woodcock have any family "carrying on?" How many other "names" will die with the last generation, John. How many other father's, like GGW may have advised there offspring to "run, don't walk away from it?"
I don't have any regret's either John, but I also advised my offspring to "run, don't walk away from it." They are adult's and can make their own decisions, hopefully armed with all the facts.

With respect, ole hoss