Hello Smirkus Family,
It’s been a few days and, in that time, so many exciting things have happened! I woke Sunday morning to music blaring out of Trailerville, the bunks in Greensboro where the Troupers live during training. But now, training was over. Classes and rehearsals came to a close. It was showtime! Following an early lunch, everyone began readying themselves. There were props to place, costumes to change into and clown noses to put on!
Meanwhile, in Millie the front-of-house tent, concessionaires were adding finishing touches to their beautiful displays. At noon, the ticket-booth opened and families began to wander around Millie. Little children in tutus carefully counted out their pocket money to buy buckets of popcorn. There were murals of underwater scenes to take pictures with and a clown on stilts wandering around entertaining people before the house opened.
Once the house was open, the Chapiteau filled with people. Young children gathered on floor next to the ring curb, allowing them to be as close to the action in the ring as possible. The rainbow colored bleachers were soon hidden under a sea of people. Then, after a year of dreaming and three weeks spent training the acts for this, opening show began.
The opening performance came and went, and suddenly it was time for the evening show. As soon as that show came to a close and the last audience members were filing out of the tent, it was time to begin tear down. During this, everything that had been a part of our home for the past three weeks was packed up and moved into trucks to take down the road, in this case to St. Johnsbury, an hour away in Vermont. The bleachers, the tents, the props, the food, anything we would need over the next seven weeks was loaded. The work it takes to raise and lower the tents is often underestimated, but it became evident what a huge endeavor it was as tent crew worked tirelessly until 2am lowering the three tents. The next day, once we reached St. Johnsbury’s Leonard Field they reversed the process and raised the tents again on new soil.
A move from one site to another is called a jump. During this day, the staff drive the trucks, trailers and bunks to the next location and begin preparation for the shows. As tent crew began pounding stakes and raising the big top, we had other tasks to complete to ready our home for the next few days. The pantry needed unloading and freshwater lines had to be hooked up. The trailers had to be unhitched and concessions arranged.
This morning, the Troupers arrived on site from their first night of home-stays and began their load-in jobs. They unpacked the props, set up the ring curb and unrolled the ring rug. Through the sweltering heat, a slight breeze waves the international flags that line the top of the Chapiteau. With two shows today and two tomorrow, it’s only a few days time before the process begins again. From one site to the next, we’ll bring the circus to fifteen towns with summer!