Confessions of a carnival showman
The "currency of happiness" is what Mr Frederick Stokes Jr, 34, lives on as a showman.
Hailing from Scotland, Mr Stokes' nomadic family has been operating carnival rides for several generations.
It began when his father's great-great-grandfather started working in funfairs in Britain, which were popular for freak shows and boxing rings then.
Generations later, Mr Stokes is continuing the family tradition.
As a showman, Mr Stokes owns and operates rides, and he has taken rides to carnivals in Dubai, Hong Kong, Oman and Bangkok.
This month, he brings his most thrilling rides, such as the 35m-high The Star Flyer, to the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival that opens on Dec 8 and runs till April 1 next year.
His tallest ride, the 55m-tall Booster Maxx, rotates at 96km an hour, testing even the bravest of carnival-goers.
This is Mr Stokes' first carnival in Singapore.
He told The New Paper: "I've never not been a showman. Since the day I was born, funfair carnivals and rides have been in my blood.
"I don't sit in big offices. I live and breathe my job - it is part of me and I am proud to present my rides."
But there was a time when it looked like football was going to be his career of choice.
Mr Stokes said: "I played football well and could have pursued a career as a football player. But that was also when my family started travelling around the world, and I had to make the call."
At 16, he was tasked with operating two children's rides in Dubai by himself for the first time, and he felt right at home.
"My football career probably would have been finished by now. But my career as an international showman is flying today," said Mr Stokes.
Coming to Singapore to join him is his family, including his four-year-old daughter who has spent Christmas in a different city for each of the last three years.
His family is used to his Christmas Day routine - spend some quality time together in the morning, before daddy has to go to work.
He said: "Yes, (Christmas) is a time for holiday. I'll still wake up on Christmas morning to have some family time, then I'd be here (working). We cannot close because we're a form of entertainment and the public always wants to be entertained during the festive season."
For Mr Stokes, one of the best perks of being a showman is experiencing fairs in foreign lands. Once in the Middle East, he was hired to operate a ride for a children's party that was held in a palace.
Meanwhile back in the UK, he operates larger rides at big annual music events such as Download Festival and V Fest.
He said: "I am going to continue being a showman until my (life's) end."
Secrets of the trade
The safety of carnival-goers is every showman's responsibility.
A good safety record is also imperative for showmen to be reputable enough for sponsorships by major companies.
Aim to offer the best customer satisfaction.
Carnival-goers should leave smiling and talking about returning to the carnival. Showmen need to provide a unique experience that cannot be replicated anywhere else.
Monitor the atmosphere
Be sensitive to a dipping level of enjoyment and subtly bring it back up by, for example, making the ride go faster.