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Swampscott’s Gold shares his life under the big top

Journal Correspondent

Joe Gold

MARCH 29, 2018 – SWAMPSCOTT – Don’t look for longtime Swampscott resident Joe Gold around town. He’s usually on the road, traveling with high-profile shows, circuses, museum exhibitions, and other attractions across the country.

The 62-year-old married father of two sons is founder, president, and principal of the Gold Group. He specializes in marketing and promoting events and represents some of the world’s most recognized attractions. Wherever Gold’s events are held, he travels there ahead of time to scope out the community.

“I don’t think you can sit in an office and not go into the city and get to know how people respond. Every city is different,” he said.

As director of sales for the Big Apple Circus, Gold’s currently overseeing its publicity and marketing. “We handle all of Apple Circus’s work. They’re appearing in six cities, and I’ll be there, to every one,” he said. That includes Assembly Square in Somerville, where the circus is pitching its big white tent from April 7 to May 6.

So Gold will be home – briefly – with his wife, Anne, who runs Wheels on Meals for the City of Peabody. The couple has lived in Swampscott for 25 years, and are members of Temple Emanu-El of Marblehead.

Recently, Gold flew to Los Angeles to oversee the traveling King Tut exhibition at the California Science Center. He also visited his son, Max, 25, a music talent agent who lives in LA. His other son, Sam, 24, is an IT support specialist at Boston Garden.

Gold is originally from Silver Spring, Md., and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in business administration.

Gold’s first job out of college was with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, as an advance man in advertising, marketing, and sales, doing promotions before the The Greatest Show On Earth came to town.

“I made good friends all over the country,” he said. “I worked on the largest live entertainment company in the world, but worked on the road. I’ve pretty much been there ever since.”

Gold quickly climbed the corporate ladder, rising to vice president of marketing and sales before he left Ringling Bros. The company also owned Disney on Ice, which he introduced to Asia. He also took the circus to Japan in the late 1980s, and he represented Ringling’s dazzling show, Siegfried & Roy, in Las Vegas.

“Joe Gold is an innovative marketer with a proven track record of results, all while being a great leader, family man, and someone who cares deeply about his community,” said Todd Kline, senior vice president of the Miami Dolphins, who grew up in Swampscott and graduated from Swampscott High School. The two met locally years ago, when Gold hired Kline as his first employee.

The Big Apple Circus’s new producers, BigTop Works, and its chairman, Dr. Neil Kahanovitz, (who is also Jewish), are promising innovation and excitement in the two-hour show under the 1,700-seat big top at Assembly Square.

Gold gets to mingle with the bold, the brave, and great. “Circus performers like to keep people on the edge of their seats,” he said. “I’ve been around circuses all my life and, unfortunately, have had friends who were injured and died. The public doesn’t realize death-defying means [exactly] that.”

There will be two special shows in Somerville. On Sunday, April 8, at 12 p.m., a sensory-friendly show for people with autism will be presented, with decreased sound and light levels. A narrated circus with specially enhanced experiences for people who are hearing or sight impaired or have cognitive or developmental challenges will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11.

For tickets, go to bigapplecircus.com.

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