Greetings from Greensboro! My name is Molly Hudelson and I’m the PR Intern for Circus Smirkus’s 2013 Big Top Tour.
I never thought I’d be running off to join the circus, but less than a week before my college graduation it was official: I would be joining Circus Smirkus on tour this summer. On Sunday May 19th, dressed in our caps and gowns, standing together as one for the last time, I felt like I was bragging about my post-graduation plans to my classmates, most of whom were bound for graduate or medical school or entering traditional 9-to-5 jobs. Nothing wrong with any of those options, of course, but after all, how much cooler of a summer job could there be than working with the CIRCUS? It’s something that a lot of people talk about doing, but here I am, and I’m doing it.
It was a long trip up to Greensboro on Wednesday. I left my parents’ house in the New Jersey suburbs at 6:30 in the morning, and after a long bus ride and then an hour and a half drive (I met up with returning counselor Andrew at the airport in Burlington, where we picked up a rental van), I finally arrived at Smirkus HQ around 8pm. I was tired from having gotten up so early and restless from spending so much time sitting still while I was traveling. Right away though, we were greeted by head counselor Dani and counselor Colin, and when they said hello and welcomed me to the Circus Barn, I knew that I was home.
I had never been to Vermont before, so while Dani showed me around I was distracted as I kept looking around, trying to take in my surroundings- the mountains and the sky and the fact that whichever way you look it’s green, for as far as the eye can see. After eating dinner in the mess hall and putting my things away in my bunk, I headed over to the bonfire. There I met some of the other members of the tour staff, and as we played songs on someone’s guitar and everyone shared stories of past Smirkus summers, I finally felt like I was settled in.
Logan, the PR intern for Smirkus Camp this summer, arrived yesterday, and Judy (Operations Director) gave us a full orientation and introduced us to Lauren (Director of External RelationsAffairs) and Ted (Marketing Ddirector). Lauren and Ted helped Logan and I get started with PR stuff, and I spent the rest of the day reading the blogs written by the past interns, taking pictures of what was going on on-site, and brainstorming ideas for my own blog, to get a feel for what the summer will hold.
Although yesterday (Friday, June 7th) was only my third day here, some of the staff have been here much longer. Some of the tent crew have been here since the end of May, and the cooks got here a few days before I did. It’s so cool to see so many different people from different backgrounds working together to make the show happen, but so far the most exciting part to watch has been seeing the Big Top get set up! Tent boss Nat talked about how much the whole thing weighs – with the goose neck, it’s 20,000 pounds – and how the whole crew has to work together to get it up. The bleachers were set up yesterday and now the side walls are up – every time I walk past, I get more and more excited as I anticipate the first show on June 29th.
Life with Circus Smirkus presents itself as a very different reality from life outside. The people are different, the place is different, and the work is different. But as unique as this reality is, I consider myself lucky to be able to say that, for the summer, this is my reality, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Molly Hudelson, PR Intern