Dear Smirkus Friends and Family,
What an exciting weekend and start to a week! Sunday, June 28, we opened our 2015 Big Top Tour, Bon Appétit! with a bang and a packed house. The hard work Troupers, Coaches, Directors and support staff put in during rehearsals really shined through and what an extravaganza of wonder and whimsy the entire day was! I could go on and on, but instead here are my favorite shots from the show! I hope this little taste has you hungry for more when Bon Appétit! comes to a town near you!
As it is my first time traveling with a circus, I have learned and discovered so many things about circus-life and more specifically Smirkus-life. The first is that this is the most passionate and hardworking group of individuals I have ever encountered in my entire life. If you have ever had the blessing of being a part of this team then you know what I mean and if not, I shall elaborate.
After the last show we have in any given tent site, and even before the finale has danced its way into your hearts or the last round of applause has been clapped, we begin what is know as “tear-down.” It can take anywhere from 6 to 2.5 (record time) hours and sometimes it will fall into the wee hours of the morning. It is a time where everyone chips in and gets ready to haul out to our next site and do it all over again. The next morning we run around, finish packing everything and batoning the hatches, then hit the road. Sometimes we drive two hours and sometimes six hours, but no matter how long it takes as soon as we get there we set up as soon as we arrive.
Yesterday, June 29, when we arrived in Essex Junction, VT, for our July 1-3 shows at the Champlain Valley Expo it took approximately 11 hours to set up Millie (Concessions Tent), the Chapiteau (Big Top Tent), Helvetas (Backstage Tent), the Pie Car, Dining Area, Bunk Houses, get power, get water and set up generators. Not to mention set up lights, sound, and the bandstand for tomorrow’s show…which has spilled into today as well!
Our veteran Tent Boss, Nat Brown, ensures we safely get the tents up with a crew of roustabouts that have a range of experience from years to a week and under his tutelage they are well on their way to being seasoned professionals. Furthermore, Ben Scheff, our Technical Director has worked around the clock to make sure we have all the bells and whistles (literally) during our performances.
The work may be hard, but it is so fulfilling and worth it to bring this show to fruition. Not to mention I am learning so many cool and new things! So far, I have helped tear down tents, bleachers, rigging, and production, plus I helped put up a (very small) tent and the best part…I got to use a sledgehammer to put enormous tent stakes into the ground! I don’t know if I am ready to join our industrious and tireless tent crew, but there is always next year.
Until Next Time,
You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
- The Beatles