***We would like to announce Sarah Muench as the winner of our contest to win an autographed copy of Circus Smirkus: 25 Years of Running Home to the Circus. Sarah- please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address!***
I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that life moves at a slower pace when you’re in a rural area. Without the hustle and bustle of the city (where I went to college) or even the suburbs (where I grew up), there’s just simply less to notice and less to distract you from the task at hand- be that swinging on the triple trapeze or painting props and set pieces- and this allows things to pass by in a gentle, rolling manner. Of course, the days are packed full of rehearsals for Troupers, from warm-ups after breakfast at 8:30am till it’s time for dinner at 6pm, with many of them practicing during their breaks or after council in the evening, but the open space around us makes this feel exhilarating and exciting, rather than overwhelming.
After a full day of rehearsals, Sunday’s evening activity was the No-Talent Talent Show, a Smirkus tradition! The idea behind the No-Talent Talent Show is that it’s a chance for Troupers and staff to show off their non-circus talents. Dressed in a red dress, cat-eye glasses, and a brown beehive wig, Trouper Chase Culp hosted the show as “Peggy Sue”.
The acts ranged from funny to serious. One of the biggest crowd-pleasers was seeing several of the coaches get together to do a “finger circus”! With hula hoops representing the ring and an old umbrella as the chapiteau itself, they presented a hilarious, abbreviated and miniature version of Oz Incorporated.
It was really cool to see everyone show off their talents, and there was quite a wide variety. Trouper Eyal Bor solved a Rubik’s Cube in 20.4 seconds and Trouper Liam Gundlach applied makeup to Wire Coach Estelle Borel using his feet. Props Master Elisha Schaefer sung opera and Tour Administrative Assistant Gunna Bergsveinsdottir sung a song from “Les Miserables.” Everyone here is talented, it seems, and not just in the circus ring!
With only four days till Oz Incorporated opens, the excitement is building. So many things still have to happen before then, but as the days go by the reality that it’s so close and that it’s actually happening is becoming clearer. Troy Wunderle (Artistic Director) has been hard at work on carving props out of large pieces of foam, Trouper Sarah Tiffin has been putting extra effort into decorating a prop she’ll be using in the show, and all of the jugglers have been working together to cover the clubs in silver sparkly tape.
What’s exciting about the circus is that you get to see so many people showing off so many different talents all in one performance. It’s rewarding both to see the Troupers getting to shine in their own way by showing off their skills and what THEY know and love to do- Trouper Wesley Williams has been riding the unicycle since he was 4 years old!- and to see them expand and try new things, as well as working together- on the first day of classes, third-year Trouper Una Bennett attended clown class for the first time, and Wesley has also been working on his trampoline skills.
After nearly three weeks of rehearsals, I can’t wait for the first show! The training period is exciting, but the live performance is what we’ve all been waiting for, and the reason we’re all here. Oz Incorporated will not be a show to miss- you can pick up your tickets here!
Molly Hudelson, PR Intern