The Hectic Traveling Life

Here today, gone tomorrow — the life of the circus. As the tour goes down the road, the entire operation becomes smoother, more concise… and life becomes a bit more routine.

After our final show on a lot, the tent crew swings into action dismantling the tent — starting with the sidewalls, followed by removing the bleachers, and then the Big Top — without ever touching the ground — is lowered to the flatbed trailer. Our first load-out in Greensboro was a bit slower than recent days. Our last teardown took fewer than five hours.

The next morning the lot looks completely different from the day before when the show was taking place. Where once stood a tent is a shallow imprint in the ground from the spectators’ footsteps, the weight of the bleachers, and the lengths of cable running around the site. Usually by 8:30 in the morning the entire operation has hit the road and is en route to its next destination.

Once the Big Top arrives to the new lot, the tent crew is at it again — pounding in stakes, lifting tent poles, hoisting up sidewalls, and raising the Big Top’s cupola to its glorious position. By the end of the evening, what once was a vacant lot, now stands the Circus Smirkus village — Big Top, concessions tents, back stage tent, pie car, and the staff living quarters.

The Big Top on its way up

Tonight, after our 6 p.m. performance, the entire process will begin again. Down come the sidewalls; out go the props, bleachers, lights, speakers, and ring curb; the smaller tents will all be dismantled; and by morning, the circus community will revert back to a soccer field and we’ll be en route to Brattleboro, Vermont!

Circus Smirkus in Williamstown, Mass.

The circus life is a nomadic one… and I sure do love seeing all the sights along the way!

Tour Communications Intern

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