The Feld Sisters speak to the troupers before the performance

The backstage tent before a show is a busy place before a show. Troupers and staff come and go between the Big Top and the backstage tent with varying degrees of urgency while Production Manager Josh drops in occasionally to holler: “Fifteen minutes to Smirko!” The troupers acknowledge the news with a chorus of: “Thank yous!” Outside in the hot sun, some practice juggling while others bounce on the trampoline. As the clock winds down, the focus intensifies and after their usual “Smirko!” cheer, they are fully ready to throw themselves into the performance.

Yesterday was something special. While troupers were still putting on makeup and warming up, Artistic Director Troy Wunderle called a break and invited the troupers into the Big Top   for a special presentation from none other than sisters Alana and Nicole Feld, producers of the Ringling Bros & Barnum and Bailey Circus. The siblings said they were thrilled to visit the troupers, and spoke favorably of  Circus Smirkus as a whole.

“Circus Smirkus is one of the most well-respected circuses in the entire industry,” Nicole Feld said. “Sometimes people might put you down because you’re a ‘youth circus”’ or you play small towns or [they think that] it’s an amateur event, but that’s not the case at all. It’s an unbelievable training ground for future involvement in the circus arts.”

Alana Feld also praised the troupers’ professionalism and commitment to their craft. “The performers we have from Circus Smirkus are probably the most well rounded in circus skills,” she said, adding:  “Which is very rare.”

After greeting the entire group, the pair took questions from the troupe about their relationship as co-workers and sisters, the professional circus world, and the expectations of performers at such an elite level. They concluded the meeting wishing the entire troupe the best of luck. “We are really looking forward to seeing what you guys have to offer,” Alana said.

And as usual, the troupers did not disappoint, playing to a packed house in heavy, Rhode Island humidity.  The line for autographs after the show was long. Afterwards, the Feld sisters met with the troupers for a second time to take a photo with the cast.

“{The show} was very impressive not only because of what you did, but because of how you did it,” Alana said. “And for that, you should be commended.”

Evan Johnson, Communications Intern

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1 Response to VIP

  1. Another sterling Evan contribution to a wonderful Circus effort!!

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