Blazing A Path Less Traveled - Black Enterprise

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Black Enterprise Magazine July/August 2018 Issue

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“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” So the saying goes, and anyone who has ever loved — or hated — their job can surely attest to its truth.
While no one ever promised that making a living would be fun, exciting or even remotely interesting, the fact is, having a career that you love enhances your life immeasurably. And if what you do also makes for good conversation, you’re luckier still.

We found four such fortunate individuals. They each have let their deepest interests guide their careers, in spite of those who might find their choices odd, frivolous or worse. Although two of the four earn six-figure salaries, none of them cites income as a career determinant. Nor status. Nor benefits packages. Nor fancy perks or advancement potential.

Instead, their eyes are firmly fixed on doing what they love, now and always. They also strive to be the best they can be within those roles, embracing their responsibilities with a striking degree of gusto and commitment. In so doing, they transcend “work” and all that such a mundane word implies.

Eric Moore is actually living out the quintessential childhood fantasy of running away to join the circus. “Most people start out in jeans and sneakers and work their way up to a suit and tie,” says Moore, captain of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Oxygen Skate Team, laughing at his own pithy observation. “I went the opposite route.”

That’s putting it mildly. When Moore steps into the Hippodrome of the Greatest Show on Earth, he’s not even in sneakers, he’s on wheels — inline skates to be exact. And he’s as comfortable on them as a shark is in the ocean, and about as fearless too.

The one-time stockbroker leads a team of daring athletes who perform the finale for a crowd of 12,000 awe-struck onlookers. They execute aggressive skating stunts that include flips, airborne tricks and launches from heights of 10-15 ft. at speeds that could leave a champion cyclist in the dust — all without a net. In a pinch, the only things that stand between them and potentially serious injury are a helmet and some padding. (In fact, last year, they lost one team member who sustained a torn ligament.)

But the physical risk wasn’t what gave Moore pause when a talent coordinator for Ringling Bros. approached him and a friend, Steven O’Donnell, in New York’s Central Park two years ago. Nor was it the idea of performing up to three shows a day (including weekends and holidays) in 45 cities. Rather, it was the idea of life in the 127th Edition of Ringling Bros., which requires traveling around the country for a solid 11-month stretch — living, eating and sleeping on a mile-long train (the same one that houses the elephants). However, once Moore checked the train out (“…a little tight, but it has all the comforts of home,” he says.), he and O’Donnell assembled a team and signed a contract, which they

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