To the staff, jump days are times to move ahead to set up the next site, but to Troupers, they are the rare times they get to enjoy summer as normal kids. Each jump day is started by gathering in the place where the ring used to rest. Troupers hold hands in a circle, and learn about the coming jump. General announcements are made, home-stays are announced, and then, a Trouper will reflect on tour. They contemplate where they have come from and where they will go. They appreciate the moment.
On past jumps, Troupers have swam in rivers, explored Boston, and relaxed, watching movies. Circus seems to go with them everywhere though, as they casually do contortion and two-highs where ever they happen to be. A few jumps ago, they toured the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA) taking artsy photos with the exhibits, almost blending in with the artwork.
Yesterday we jumped from Freeport, Maine to Kennebunkport, Maine. The Troupers spent part of the day at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center performing parts of the show for children who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see Circus Smirkus. Performing in a hospital is a very different experience than performing under the Big Top, both rewarding in their own ways. Under the Big Top, there are hundreds of people counting on the performers, cheering for them. In the hospital, there may be only a dozen people watching, but the impact on those people is much more personal. Trouper Lindsey reflected on the visit, knowing that she helped a family to momentarily leave the hospital and run away with the circus, all without leaving the room. The Troupers bring circus with them everywhere they go: to the beach, to museums, and to hospitals. Everywhere they go they bring joy.