renewed late last year. They hit the road again last December.
As it turns out, traveling the country by train is one of the things Moore has liked most about the job. “I’ve driven from New York to Florida,” says the Manhattan native, “but you don’t see much on the Interstate. On a train you see everything. It’s great! I’m getting paid to travel and skate.” But there are drawbacks. “I’m allergic to animals,” Moore says, sneezing, as if to make the point. “Having a stuffy nose all the time is definitely what I like least about this job.”
Moore, 31, was getting paid to skate even before the circus came calling. After leaving Stony Brook University in early 1986, the former business management major landed a broker’s job on Wall Street at Stuart-James Investment Bankers. Black Monday soon followed, and Moore jumped to portfolio management work for a law firm. In 1988, he took up skating as a way to relieve job tension and was immediately hooked.
A gifted and daring athlete, Moore soon became a certified skating instructor and began teaching in Central Park on weekends. That led to a drastic career change. He quit the law firm and started managing the skating departments of several sports equipment shops, giving skating lessons and making freelance appearances skating in films, music videos and commercials for companies such as American Express.
The circus gig, which will pay him more than $40,000 this year, is a plum (and when you factor in free board and the fact that he’s single, the money is quite good). So’s the attention. “At the end of the act, we do a victory lap where you really get to see the people’s faces, and they’re smiling and cheering and waving at you and hoping you’ll wave back,” Moore says. “I get off on that.” Who wouldn’t?
DEATH BECOMES HER
If Moore’s job is death-defying, Dr. Joye Carter’s position, as Houston’s chief medical examiner, is death-defining.
In its simplest form, Carter’s job is to “find the truth” behind a person’s death. She goes about it with a passion that comes through in everything she says, as does her reverence for the dead she serves, most of whom, to her dismay, are black.
“I believe that when a person dies, [the] soul separates from [the] body,” Carter says, going on to explain how much one can tell about a person’s life and health from fingernails and feet. “I give a body its last opportunity to speak for itself.” And, when necessary, she serves as its voice, even at the risk of upsetting the living.
As chief medical examiner in Washington, D.C., back in 1996, Carter, who generally supports and encourages organ donorship, caused a stir when she informed government officials that she and her staff would not comply with a law empowering them to harvest people’s corneas and heart valves without family consent. “I asked them, would you expect me to take a congressman’s loved one’s corneas without asking? Never. But it’s okay for me to