Ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson is the Voice of the Greatest Show on Earth. He began performing at age 11 with the world-famous Boys Choir of Harlem. For seven years, he was intensely trained in all forms of music including classical, jazz, hip hop and gospel. Johnathan experienced a string of unforgettable, inspiring moments as a member of the Boys Choir, which included being awarded the lead tenor role for the choir, singing at the intermission for Luciano Pavarotti's Concert in Central Park, performing in a live show on Broadway for two weeks and winning second place in the Lena Horne Vocal Jazz Scholarship.
Johnathan graduated from the University of Hartford's Hartt School in May 1998 with a degree in voice performance, and shortly after his graduation, Johnathan was invited to begin his professional entertainment career with the 129th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®. Johnathan couldn’t refuse the offer and felt his prominent role in the show was an unbelievable dream come true.
Johnathan toured with Ringling Bros.® all around the United States, and his charismatic charm and incredible voice caught the eye of Barbara Walters, who within a year of his first tour named him one of the ten most fascinating people in 1999. Johnathan’s historical tenure with The Greatest Show On Earth is featured in numerous publications, including: the New York Daily News, the Huffington Post, Black First: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events by Jessie Carney Smith, African-American First by Joan Potter, Live Life! Be Young, Black, and Successful by Quincy Benton, and Beat of a Different Drum: The Untold Stories of African-Americans Forging Their Own Paths in Work and Life by Dax-Devlon Ross.
Notes from the Show:
He was a nominal fan of the Greatest Show on Earth (Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus) as a boy.
His favorite act was Globe of Death/Globe of Steel
He studied to be an opera singer. He planned to move to Europe to launch his opera career.
He auditioned for the Fireside Dinner Theatre in Wisconsin, which was directed by the director of Ringling Bros.
He loved being around the late great Gunther Gebel-Williams.
He credits the Boys Choir of Harlem for his commitment to excellence.
He saw Placido Domingo in Tokyo when he was with the Choir, and at 13 years old, knew he had to become an opera singer.
He credits Dr. Walter J. Turnbull for so much of his success. "You have to walk boys to manhood."
He went to Fiorello LaGuardia High School.
Tyranny always targets artists and intellectuals.
"Believe me, when you're 40 feet up in the air, about to turn a triple somersault, you could care less if your catcher is black, white, gay, straight, speaks English, whatever."
"The Mongolian father has the same concerns for his kids as I do mine. The Chinese guy over there is just as romantic or he's vying for that woman's attention like I would have when I was single. We all have these same types of things. It's really fascinating. I think the arts open the gateway to our common humanity."
A check for the ego: the animals are the reason people come to the circus.
The circus is a singer's nightmare.
His first year was vocally traumatic. Working in the circus is a "learn-on-the-job thing."
Frank Sinatra was so much better after Ava Gardner.
Mortality is what distinguishes his colleagues from him.
The band is the hardest working band in show business.
"You can't phone it in in the circus. You have to be focused."
He puts Vaseline on his teeth and a lozenge under his tongue to have moisture in his mouth.
"I continue to be a student of my voice."
"I've never trained with an academic. Ever. I don't trust someone who's just learned it from a book. They don't know anything. People who've gone out and done it can teach it."
"It's a hard life to be a performer of any kind."
His wife is his boss.
"I consider myself the wealthiest man in show business."
Early in his career, it was all about self-promotion. But having wife and kids has changed his perspective. "How do I give?"
"The noblest art is that of making others happy." - P.T. Barnum
If you're a performer, be grateful.
Recommends the documentary "The Last Great Circus Flyer"
Adam Moskowitz is the wunderkind President of Larkin Cold Storage and Columbia Cheese, and he founded the Cheesemonger Invitational, an in-demand twice-a-year event that is considered the Olympics of cheese skills, an celebrates what are to cheese what sommeliers are to wine. The profits from the CMI, which Adam hosts as his alter-ego, "Mr. Moo," go towards The Barnyard Collective, an organization devoted to food education. Adam was responsible for the introduction of Challerhocker cheese to the U.S., just as his father was responsible for the introduction of cave-aged Gruyere to the U.S. But Adam bought out his own father's business long after Adam had pursued other entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors, and, in a decade Adam has grown various multi-million dollar revenue streams by focusing on "small ponds," "big trees," and "not chasing butterflies." He has been featured in the cover story of Cheese Connoisseur Magazine and has appeared as a judge and expert on the Food Network.
Notes from the show:
"New York's Prince of Cheese" - Politico
His grandfather was one of the first importers of cheese in New York. His father started up Larkin Cold Storage. Adam took over 10 years ago.
Adam considers himself a cheerleader.
Adam has always been entrepreneurial; in college, he launched a valet company, and sold pot.
In his early 20s, Adam worked for Yahoo, and earned a lot of money.
Adam used his earnings from Yahoo to launch his rap career as The Beat Poet.
His father saw an entrepreneur, even more than an artist, when he saw Adam at CBGB.
Adam worked at Essex Food Market to develop skills.
"Cheese is the perfect food."
He loves connecting to the land, to the animals, to families.
"I made a conscious decision early on to make choices that would lead me not to have regret."
He has 5x earnings in 10 years.
He loves helping people: artisans, cheesemongers, connect supply chain, employees.
"All life experiences are cumulative."
"I'm not going to regret that decision. I am simply going to make another decision."
Still uses pen and paper for inventory.
The conundrum of the perfectionist.
Adam fires toxic customers.
The Complete Counselor webinar on work-life balance: uncrossable lines.
"Food is the great equalizer. Food has no social class. A great piece of meat tastes the same--amazing--whether you're rich or poor."
Life's Too Short for Miller Lite
"I'm a mission-driven entrepreneur."
Flavor: taste, aroma, trigeminal stimulation.
Becoming a father reset Adam's notions of success.
Kids don't follow the entrepreneur's playbook.
"The return is giving."
On the horizon: curriculum and lexicon, empowering people with words.
Adam is interested in content creation.
Latest favorite cheese: Wrangeback from Sweden.
Favorite bubbly: Cremant du Jura.
Beer: Fat Tire Amber Ale
"Let go of your food fear."
Michael Prywes is Managing Attorney of Prywes, PC. For more information, visit www.NewYorkStartUpAttorneys.com