Yesterday was another day here at Smirkus, and with the pie car serving homemade donuts for breakfast, the day was off to a great (although gray- the sky was a bit overcast) start.
Warm-ups were shorter yesterday morning to allow for half an hour of director’s time before lunch. With days packed full of classes and practices for their own acts, the troupers used breaks in their schedules to rest, catch up on sleep, and- in many cases- watch each others’ classes. It’s pretty cool to see the Smirkos attending classes to watch their friends rehearse. They seem eager to support each other, whether that’s by watching each other learn new skills or practicing what they’ve learned during breaks.
By some miracle, the sun actually came out by the late afternoon! A little bit of sunshine was a welcome way to end another day of training, and feelings of anticipation are building in the air as June 29th and the opening of Oz Incorporated grows closer. The weather seemed to bring out the energy in everyone, with a bout of “unicycle derby” breaking out after dinner.
Circus Smirkus, I’ve come to learn, is a family, with many people returning year after year. Being a first-timer, I was a bit of an observer at first, unsure of what the traditions were and unfamiliar with circus culture. However, as of last night I felt like a part of the group, when I witnessed my first mass pie-ing!
Last night, instead of the usual council meeting, the troupers helped participate in the making of a video documenting Smirkus’ initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint. Who knew “going green” could be so fun! Troupers lined up by the Academy Tent to get pied in the face with a green pie. A bunch of clowns plus a whole load of pies equals a giant pie and water fight! It’s a good thing today is laundry day, because even after being hosed off, everyone was pretty messy. The pie-ing was a chance to laugh and smile and bond with each other, and after a long day of training and work, a great way for everyone to relax.