When I woke up Monday morning, I realized that I have begun to feel comfortable here. Tour hasn’t started and the rehearsal period has provided us all with a chance to become accustomed to the circus lifestyle before opening day. As I sit in a wooden Adirondack chair on the porch of the farmhouse, beginning to draft this post, troupers Keenan and Bekk are a few feet away on the stairs, talking about training with Nick, the head rigger. It’s a pleasant warm day and the sun is out, offering us a chance to peek at the blue skies.
Life at the Circus Barn has instilled in me an appreciation of wide, open spaces; though I’m a city person at heart, I’ve found the vastness of the mountains to be calming. To be able to do my work while sitting on the porch, the dark red paint peeling and dusty beneath my feet, while watching the day go by and watching people go about their jobs as I do mine is something I can’t put words or a price on.
I’ve gone running down Circus Road and through the woods nearby, just to explore- Friday afternoon I came across the “Oz Bus”, the blue school bus that, many years ago, was used to drive troupers from site to site- and each time I see something new I feel as if I’ve discovered an entirely new world.
On my first or second day here, I remember being struck by the thought that there was no way this place could be real. The staff are such a unique and varied group- Ellie Mallardi, the Lighting Technician, has coached figured skating and worked at an amusement park, and Joy Powers (Concessionaire) and Eric Allen (Tent Crew) were both troupers a few years ago, and were featured in the documentary film about Smirkus, Circus Dreams– and living, working, and hanging out with all of these people from so many different cities and backgrounds is exactly why I am going to grow and learn so much from this experience.
After council it was time for one of the troupers’ favorite evening activities… Panic! Lead by the counselors, Panic is a game that splits the troupers into teams by their trailers where they compete against each other doing various silly activities. Some of the activities were timed, where the fastest trailer would win- the first trailer to have every member come out wearing an eye patch or the first to have a member get a kiss from Joy’s dog, Honey. Some of the activities were on a quality basis, where the best trailer would win- write and perform a song for and about Troy Wunderle (Artistic Director), or create a paper snowflake without using scissors.
All three trailers put in an admirable effort, but after an hour of hard work, laughter, and running around, the residents of trailer 28 were declared the winners of Panic 2013!
Molly Hudelson, PR Intern