Gina Rock's Dedication to Bob Yerkes

I met Bob Yerkes at my High School gym; Cleveland High School in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County; right about 1973. I was on the girls’ gymnastic team and tumbling when Bob walked in with a troupe of teeterboard artists.

Bob was watching me tumble and approached me and asked if I would like to try some circus stunts, and of course, I said, yes.

Bob proceeded to have me stand on his shoulders and then wrapped a belt around me so I could get shot off the teeterboard and not get hurt.

I was so enamored with the thought of trying to learn circus performing I was invited to train in Bob’s backyard on his flying trapeze, low wire, trampoline, high falls, Russian swing, single trapeze, as well as sword fighting, and performing stunts with Hollywood stuntman. There was an array of circus performers of all types that were willing to teach, and I was more than willing to learn. Fortunately, I lived only a mile from this amazing yard full of rigging and very talented performers.

Bob’s wife at the time, Dorothy took me under her wing and taught me aerial ballet on the soft cotton rope, (not silk) it had not been invented yet. I think she told me to climb it at least 20 times per day to gain strength, and my ballet training certainly paid off when it came to having form.

Bob encouraged me to learn to fly trapeze, so I did and was fortunate enough to have Tony Steele as my first trainer, he was an amazing comedy trapeze artist that was unafraid of anything. I was quite the opposite and was so scared the first time, even though I was in a belt.

I continued to train in Bob’s backyard and became proficient at aerial ballet, single trapeze, and walking on a low wire. I also met a troupe that was seeking a performer for their motorcycle act, and slide for life, (hanging in a neck loop), from very steep heights.

My first performance as an aerial ballet artist was at a local fairground, and I believe I was also a stand-in for the trapeze act. It was one of Bob’s local bookings.

In 1974 I joined the Winn family performing with their family for Shrine Circus, I started out in Texas, performing the daring slide for life, and riding a static trapeze under a motorcycle as it drove up a high wire. From there I tried out for Ringling Bros. Circus and became a showgirl in 1975-1977, the Bicentennial edition, with Gunther Gable Williams. The audition for showgirl was on the aerial ballet rope and I had already had so much experience, I was hired on the spot. I owe that to meeting Bobby, and his wife taking the time to teach me aerial ballet. I soon joined the flying Farfans in their motorcycle act, (I was asked to do so because of my experience with the Winns and their motorcycle act), and this gave me performer status in the circus world as a truly recognized performer.

After I left Ringling Bros. I went back to Bobby’s yard and kept practicing acrobatic feats and learning more about trapeze flying, and static single trapeze. About 1978 I was asked to travel overseas to Taiwan with a combination show of Circus, Rodeo, and Ice Skating. Bob oversaw this show, and I had my first trip to a foreign destination. I was asked to perform a single trapeze act with one other performer, and aerial ballet with several other aerial artists. This was a large show and very exciting to work with rodeo and ice skaters.

I am not sure what year I started helping to train the Hollywood Stars for, Circus of the Stars but I believe it was 1977-1979 with Lee Meriwether, (Aerial Ballet) Tony Fonda, (Motorcycle Act), Jamie Curtis, (Aerial Ballet), and Richard Hatch (Flying Trapeze). This was a very special experience watching these stars find out what type of athletics it really took to perform amazing feats in the air. I owe that all to Bobby asking me to help train these stars.

When I returned from Taiwan, I still practiced at Bob’s but decided to go to Las Vegas and see if I could join an act there so I could be close to California and my family.

I met an agent named Billy Woods and he was informed that I had some training on the flying trapeze. Billy asked if I wanted to join the Flying Ramos at the new Circus Circus opening in Reno Nevada in 1979. I will forever be grateful for the ongoing training Bob supplied me with, I never would have found Circus life without him.

I stayed in Reno with the Ramos for 2, 1/2 years until their daughter Angela was old enough to join the act. I had a wonderful experience learning how to fly and never really performed any harder tricks than a 1 and ½ somersault, and a double to the net. I had a very healthy fear of never going beyond my abilities. I also joined another motorcycle act, performed some comedy juggling, worked as an MC part-time, and rode some carousel horses as an aerial ballet artist. I was also asked to model for Circus Circus Hotel by the CEO of the new hotel.

It was because of Bob Yerkes that I was able to keep adding circus skills and joining various acts over the years. Bob always believed in me!

After I retired from the Flying Ramos, I left Reno and tried to figure out what I was going to do next when I was asked to fly trapeze in Japan with the Flying Redpaths, for the Paul Kaye Circus, this was about 1981-or 1982. I also joined a dog act there and performed aerial ballet as well.

After meeting Paul Kaye, I got it into my head to ask him about Tinker Bell because his X-wife Judy Kaye performed this for many years at Disneyland Anaheim California. I met her one day while performing at the Anaheim Convention Center at Ringling Bros. Circus.

When I returned home from Japan, I made a mad dash to Disneyland and inquired about Tinker Bell and found out they had put the flying Tinker Bell on hiatus for seven years while they were building New Fantasyland. I secured an audition with Stan Freese the talent resource director and acquired the job as Tinker Bell in 1983-2005, now known as the longest-flying Tinker Bell in Disneyland history at

(Reverting back to the 1980s). Now there is more to this story because, around 1986, I asked Bob about how to achieve a license as a talent agent because I had an affinity for spotting great talents. I soon opened my own agency and started booking variety artists and hired them as independent contractors for my talent agency, World Wide Acts. Disneyland asked me if I wanted to book talent for them for corporate, and media events from 1989-2000. It was so wonderful to perform as Tinker Bell and also book talent at various times with all types of variety performers. You can read about this on my website.

I also ran a circus school as the director at L.A. Gymnastics in Los Angeles in 2008, and Bob hung all the rigging at the age of 76, much to my surprise. This is when I presented Bob with the plaque dedication of me flying as Tinker Bell, and thanking him for my wonderful circus career, I owed Bob a lifetime of thank you’ s for bringing me such exciting career sets. Please see the photos of me with him on my website,

When I received this call about Bob being nominated for Coach of The Year at the Circus Ring of Fame, I was more than willing to dedicate my entire career to Bob. I happen to be writing my memoir and this dedication to Bob is a large part of my book. I want to thank Bobby for introducing me to a world I would have never known, much like a quantum leap into time. I proudly nominate him for this amazing award.


Gina Rock

Here is the article about Bob Yerkes as Boba Fett in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Bob was Boba Fett

If you would like to learn more about Gina Rock and her time in the circus, her time as Tinker Bell in Disneyland, listen to interviews, or get a signed autograph, please visit her website.

Tinker Bell Interview with her Tink Crew - Bruce & Jim

Gina Rock With Her Tink Crew 

by Joshua Shaffer

This interview project was a long time in the making. Gina Rock made contact with two of her Tink Crew members from the 1980s, Jim Moore and Bruce McGuire. She was able to get ahold of never before seen photos and video footage from Jim.

Richard and Sarah Woloski from the Skywalking Through Neverland podcast conducted the interview. Gina was interviewed along with Bruce, but at the last minute, Jim wasn’t able to make it on the call. Bruce and Gina told stories about their time together in Disneyland. Bruce worked in Disneyland from 1973-2001 and was with the Tink Crew from 1984-1987. Jim worked in Disneyland from 1976-1988 and was with Gina from 1985-1989.

Here is the interview with Skywalking Through Neverland episode #399 aired December 8, 2022.

You can also listen to it on your favorite podcast platform or directly from their website

Jim was able to send us this never before seen footage of a daytime flight test with sandbags from 1983. This safety test was conducted to make sure everything was safe for Gina to fly for the nightly fireworks.

Sometimes Gina would come in for a hard crash landing. The mattress at the end was held by two Cast Members, referred to as spots. You can see Gina coming in hard in this footage from Jim. The radio chatter is the Cast Members and that countdown voice you hear is Jack Wagner, "The Voice of Disneyland."

While watching the fireworks, it does appear that Tinker Bell is flying right by the castle. In fact, the cable is further behind the turrets than it appears. Here are different angles to show Tink’s flight path from the top of Matterhorn Mountain all the way to the landing platform on the other side of Fantasyland.

Here are some images of what the landing tower looks like now and what it looked like after it was built.

Here are some photos of Gina with her Tink Crew.

Here is Gina's first interview with Skywalking Through Neverland November 15, 2017. 

If you enjoyed this article, please visit Gina's website

Tinker Bell and Me: Adventures of a Disneyland Dresser

 Tinker Bell and Me:  

Adventures of a Disneyland Dresser #1

by C.A. Jaymes

Photo by steven lozano on Unsplash

I was employed in the Wardrobe Department at the original Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California from December of 1977 to August of 1985. During that time I worked in many areas of the department dressing performers in parades, stage shows, and other entertainment venues throughout the Park. But one of the most interesting assignments I ever got handed was the summer I was tapped to dress Tinker Bell every night before she was pushed off The Matterhorn.

It was the summer of 1983, and as I had done every summer since I’d started at the Park, I was working as a wardrobe crew member on The Main Street Electrical Parade. The parade crew reported for work at 4:00 p.m., changed into our costumes (ugly blue polyester pant suits), collected a couple of bins of freshly laundered sweat socks, T-shirts, and towels, loaded them into our utility truck, then drove via the backstage perimeter road to the parade warehouse where the floats and costumes were stored.

At the parade warehouse, we would put away the laundry, then begin handing out costumes to the parade performers as they began arriving. About 30 minutes before the parade began, the performers boarded trams and were driven to the “step off” area which was backstage near the It’s a Small World attraction. Once the performers were dropped off, they would report to their respective floats which had already been driven from the warehouse and parked in parade order on the service road.

The wardrobe crew followed behind them in our own specially-designed tram called the “head cart.” The head cart carried costume heads and battery packs along with our crew. As soon as we parked, we disembarked and got to work. Battery packs were inserted into hidden pockets of each performer’s costume, plugged in, and inspected to make sure every light was working. We also helped performers finish dressing. If a performer’s costume included a character head, it wouldn’t be put on until right before show time. The heads were often cumbersome, heavy, and difficult to get into. Zipping and fastening the cumbersome costumes also required assistance. That was our job.

Tinker Bell, however, did not get dressed at the step-off area. She dressed inside The Matterhorn. As soon as we finished getting everyone suited up and the first float had driven through the gate, I would grab a navy blue garment bag containing Tinker Bell’s costume, slip out the gate, and hot foot it over to The Matterhorn. When out in the park, I was supposed to keep my head down, move fast, and not draw any attention to myself.

When I arrived at The Matterhorn, the ride operator on duty would greet me and wave me across the bobsled track when it was safe for me to pass. From there, I entered The Matterhorn through a “secret” entrance and climbed up a series of staircases to Tinker Bell’s “green room” where I helped the woman playing Tinker Bell into her costume. After she was suited up, I took my garment bag and skedaddled over to the backstage area behind Main Street where the parade ended, so I could help the performers out of their costumes.

The year I was chosen to dress Tinker Bell was a special year, because the park had a brand new Tinker Bell. Her name was Gina Rock, and she had previously been an aerialist in circuses. I doubt she would remember me as I only dressed her for a few weeks that summer. But I was there for the dress rehearsal, and that is one of my fondest working-at-Disneyland memories.

On dress rehearsal night after I’d helped Gina into her costume, she asked me if I could run down into the park and watch her as she made her flight. Specifically, she wanted me to watch and see if she released her “fairy dust” at the right time. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking for, but she was so beautiful and vivacious, and I wanted to help, so I hurried out of The Matterhorn and down Main Street.

I was the only one in the Park because it was closed for our rehearsal, but the fairy lights were on and blinking in the trees lining Main Street. I stood at the top of Main Street and looked up at The Matterhorn. All the spotlights were trained on Gina as she began her flight. She flew across the sky, tossing her handful of sparkling fairy dust up into the air at what I thought was the perfect moment. My assignment finished, I ran backstage to the “landing” platform where the stage hands “caught” Gina in a giant catcher’s mitt of a mattress. As soon as she was back on the ground, she asked me about the fairy dust. I told her it had been perfect.

I don’t know how many people can say they’ve had a private Tinker Bell performance at Disneyland, but I can, and it was pretty darn awesome.

This article was written by C.A. Jaymes and shared here with permission. If you would like to see the original article, click HERE.

Tinker Bell Donates to the United for Waukesha Community Fund

In light of the horrific event that took place in Waukesha Wisconsin last week, Gina will be donating the money from her December autograph sales to the "United for Waukesha Community Fund."

Here is the direct link to the DONATION PAGE.

Visit Gina's website to order a photograph and/or pin.

Walt's Apartment Podcast Interviews Gina Rock

In April 2021, Gina was interviewed on the Walt's Apartment Podcast.

"We are so excited to bring this interview to you. Sam and Shawn had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Gina Rock. Gina is the longest flying Tinkerbell at Disneyland. For 21 years would travel from the top of the Matterhorn (160 feet in the air ) During the nighttime fireworks at the Happiest Place on Earth. Join us as Gina takes on the journey of her exciting career. From the Circus to Disneyland and now her great work in Emergency Management. Sit back relax and look high above the sky over Disneyland as we bring you Gina (Tinkerbell) Rock.  Thank you for the continued support for our shows and as always,  We hope you enjoy the view from Walt's Apartment."

LISTEN ----> Walt's Apartment on Spotify

If you would like to learn more about Gina and her time as Tinker Bell, or to get an autograph, visit her website

Gina Rock's Dedication to Bob Yerkes

I met Bob Yerkes at my High School gym; Cleveland High School in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles County; right about 1973. I was on the...