Circus life is always moving, always changing. The weather doesn’t seem to stay the same for very long, either! In St. Johnsbury, Vermont, we were welcomed with a heat wave. Before the shows, the Troupers sat on the ground in front of fans as they did their make-up, hoping that the slight movement of the air would cool them down.
Outside, little kids ran through “Mr. Mister,” an arched trellis that gently misted them with water offering a much needed relief to the heat. At the very top of the Chapiteau, sprinklers danced back and forth spraying cool water over the canvas. This technique is used to cool the inside of the Chapiteau making it comfortable for the audience and performers. When the water touches the hot canvas, it evaporates, thus bringing the temperature down.
In our final show in St. Johnsbury, Thursday evening, the heat finally began to break. Inside the tent, performers climbed up and down fabric sails in an act representing a storm at sea, while outside the tent ominous clouds began to fill the sky. Then, as the final acts took to the ring, the clouds opened up and a torrential downpour began. Once the show ended, the audience dashed through the rain to their cars to head home, but the staff and Troupers were far from done. Thursday night was tear down and everything had to, once again, be packed up to move to the next site: Hanover, NH. Tent crew hastened their pace to even faster than usual as they took down the tent. They laid boards over puddles of mud to transport vehicles off the lot. Troupers ran scenery from the Chapiteau into the backstage tent, taking every effort to keep it dry. Anything that touched the ground was suddenly coated in mud. Even rain boots filled with water. Though the downpour made conditions difficult, spirits stayed high as the urgency of getting everything packed away mixed with exhilaration.
Now we’re in Hanover, NH and the weather has settled to a happy medium. It’s not too hot and not too cold. The sun shines across a mostly blue sky as a light breeze drafts over the site. The first show of the day was sold out, but there’s still space tonight at 7pm or during Sunday’s shows at 11am and 4pm!!! In heat, in rain, or in perfect sun, no matter the weather, the circus goes on!