‘Same genes, different dreams’: Checking in with Marty and Jake LaSalle

Marty and Jake LaSalle

The LaSalle Brothers: Identical twins Jake and Marty LaSalle (I assume left to right) Credit: Courtesy of Gillian Laub


Sarah Maslin Nir has a piece in Sunday’s New York Times about Marty and Jake LaSalle, checking in with them after they quit juggling. The 26-year-old identical twins performed an amazing juggling-acrobatics act for the Big Apple Circus, but now live on opposite coasts. Marty LaSalle still works for the circus in guest relations and business development, while Jake LaSalle is in medial school at the University of California.

They’re featured in the six-part PBS documentary “Circus,” airing this month.

“They had the same genes but different dreams, and that spelled the untimely end of one of the most celebrated young circus acts in recent memory,” she writes.

Their act earned $2,600 a week from the circus, and they made double with regular side gigs.

When they were much younger, Jake was so obsessed with gymnastics his mom offered him $1,000 to quit, but he wouldn’t take it.

There’s one passage that says a lot about their strained relationship, when a TV anchor jokingly asks if, when they have a spat, they ever throw the other brother a ringer.

“The brothers’ reaction was so stern that Steve Doocy, a co-anchor, interjected, ‘We’re just kidding guys!’
“Marty began to respond; Jake cut in sharply. ‘That’s unacceptable in our mind,’ he said. ‘We both have a respect for the stage. When we’re out there it’s pretty easy for us to put whatever issues we are having under the table.’”

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