“Topsy Turvy Time Travel” is the perfect theme for a youth circus celebrating its silver anniversary. This year we traveled back in time, researching our book “Circus Smirkus: 25 Years of Running Home to the Circus.” Director Signe Taylor turned back the clock to 2006 with the release of the award-winning “Circus Dreams” documentary. Our cultural exchange with Cuba’s Escuela Nacional de Circo both recalled historic alliances with the Moscow Circus and opened the door to a rich future of international friendships and skills exchange. With one foot in the past and one in the future, this year seemed so up-in-the-air, it almost felt like being… well, like being a teenager.
The tween/teen years are a tumultuous time. Every kid wants to run away to Never Never Land, or Narnia, or Hogwarts, yet can’t wait to get the keys to the car. The alchemy of Circus Smirkus is that it allows kids to remain firmly planted in the magical, innocent, carefree world of childhood, and yet introduces them to self-discipline, cooperation, responsibility and a host of other tools they will need as adults.
As we start our capital campaign to build Smirkus Camp a permanent home, we face some of the same issues. How fast do we grow? How do we retain our innocence, charm and faith in magic? Do we wear a tie or a clown nose to meet the loan officer at the bank?
On reflection, a tie and a clown nose are the perfect solution. That’s been the Smirkus secret all along; being seriously determined to never take ourselves too seriously, while being casually and comically focused on incredibly high goals. Whatever you choose to wear, please join us as we enjoy our silver celebration and take our first steps into gold.
See you down the road,
Producer and Executive Director