When we woke up on Saturday, there was a certain buzz of excitement in the air, as it was finally the day that the troupers would be arriving! Judy (Operations Director) lead the first full staff meeting after breakfast, where we went over important details and reminders for the day. Finally, it felt like we were all one big group (and an even bigger group now that the troupers are here!).
The next few hours were pretty hectic as there was lots to get done before the troupers were to arrive at three: equipment was assembled, rigging was set up, and everything was cleaned. As I began to draft this post, I sat on a wooden chair on the porch of the farm house, enjoying the first non-rainy day since I’ve been here, and though it’s still a little cooler than I’m used to for June, I couldn’t imagine a more idyllic setting. With the insanity of the circus-both behind the scenes and in the ring- living in such a peaceful setting is a pleasant contrast. At the end of the work day, though the tents remain standing as a reminder that tomorrow will be just as hectic as today- if not more so!- our green and mountainous surroundings offer us some peace and quiet.
After what seemed like forever, it was finally three o’clock, and the troupers began to arrive. For many of them, this was familiar: it’s their second or third or fourth summer as a trouper, so they know their way around and they know the policies and procedures of what was to be going on when they got to Smirkus. But for the first-year troupers, it was all new, and some of them seemed a bit nervous as they watched the returning troupers greeting their friends with hugs and hellos and “I missed you!”s. Yet by the time we all met up under the Big Top, everyone felt at home, and sat together in silent excitement: this is where all the magic is going to happen.
Parents, siblings, troupers, and staff gathered in the mess hall for a pot luck dinner, and after everyone said their last goodbyes, the family members headed home and the troupers headed to their trailers to unpack before the first council meeting. Council is a place for the troupers, counselors, and other members of staff to gather and discuss what went on that day and what’s in store for the next day. At this first Council, head counselor Dani explained the rules (go to bed on time, take care of yourself, and do your chores!), and troupers shared highs and lows from their day. While everyone was excited to be there, it was generally agreed that the low point was the fact that, due to flight problems, several troupers had yet to arrive- the troupers new and old were looking forward to meeting each other and becoming friends.
But they’ll be here before we know it, and soon enough it’ll be time for the first shows here at the Circus Barn on June 29th.
Molly Hudelson, PR Intern