The family that plays together stays together! Famiglia Gentile is the highest flying family around.
You think you've been wowed and amazed enough by Orlene and Carlo Gentile, but then their kids start popping up and they juggle them! First oldest son Gianluca, then daughters Julia and Joya, and finally one-year-old Giuseppina steals the show!
They say she just started working the crowd on her own!
“She just knows that when you're on stage, you have to communicate with the audience,” said Orlene. “And she recently learned how to wave and I think she just thought, ‘Okay, now's my time!’”
“It's always been an open invitation for them to join us,” said Carlo.
Off stage, life is like any other family between learning to play the piano and a sink full of dishes.
They are artists in residence at SANCA, living behind the Seattle Circus School. Just steps from their motor home, they train inside.
They hang out together, share blueberries, and bouncing off the walls is encouraged, but Carlos says Orlene keeps the family grounded.
“I don't really get distracted by what's going on and I just always think….” Said Orlene.
“Except when you're tired,” interrupted Gianluca.
Gianluca clearly keeps her grounded. Orlene's mom thought she would go to med school.
“I never imagined, like that you could do it,” said Orlene. “I mean, I know people do performing arts, but I never thought, ‘Oh that's the life for me.’”
She'd been a dancer as a kid but had never even been to a circus. That's when she met Carlo while both attended Santa Clara. They got married and got their act together.
“The things we were passionate about, or the things we want to keep as central focus in our life are traveling, performing and being together,” said Carlo.
While touring in China a decade ago, Orlene had a baby boy! And pretty soon...
“Kids always just want to do what they're seeing or what their parents are doing,” said Carlo. “Or they think ‘Oh then this must be what I'm supposed to do, too.’ So they start coming into the ring.”
They never force their kids to try anything.
“We take things really slowly, especially if the kids aren't comfortable with something,” said Orlene.
They acknowledge the danger. Most people assume Gianluca sprained his wrist doing acrobatics, but he actually fell on a hike.
“My son's running down a wet trail full of rocks and stumps and mud and of course that, my heart is racing there,” said Carlo. “Whereas when he's doing a front tuck on my feet here, I'm very relaxed.”
Their life may appear unusual to some, but for them…
“This is just a part of what we do in the day I guess,” said Orlene.