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Learnin’ the Ropes
by Nathan Orme
Jul 08, 2012 | 1636 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Karen Quest spins a lasso and poses with 7-year-old Gianna Gonzalez of Sparks as her mother, Gianna, takes their picture. Quest, from San Francisco, performs three more times this week at Washoe County libraries.
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Karen Quest spins a lasso and poses with 7-year-old Gianna Gonzalez of Sparks as her mother, Gianna, takes their picture. Quest, from San Francisco, performs three more times this week at Washoe County libraries.
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SPARKS — With the right blend of rootin’ tootin’ fun for the kids and sarcastic humor for the parents, Karen Quest performed “Cowgirl Tricks” on Sunday at the Spanish Springs Library.

A longtime circus performer, Quest, began her rope-spinning, whip-cracking routine 15 years ago. Originally an English major in college, Quest said she got “sidetracked” by juggling and fire eating and eventually graduated from Ringling Bros. clown college. She has performed for crowds large and small all over the world and she has three more shows at local libraries this week.

“The rule in my business is there has to be more people in the audience than on stage,” Quest said. “So I just need two people to perform.”

A true performer, Quest’s act focuses on children but she uses her quick wit to get laughs from adults. On Sunday, she showed off her roping skills by tying up Tom Yturbide, a police officer and Spanish Springs resident, and wowed the audience by breaking apart pieces of spaghetti with a bullwhip while holding them over her head. She concluded by showing off her giant lasso skills, which garnered her a 2001 world title at the Wild West Arts International Convention in Las Vegas.

For this week’s performance days and times, visit www.washoecounty.us/library.
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