Greeting Smirkus Family and Friends,
From the beautiful beaches of Sandwich, Mass., to the bustling sidewalks of Waltham, we have just landed in Northampton. We have 40 shows under our belt and it is that time in the tour where we go from slow-mo to hyper drive. In Sandwich we welcomed two coaches from pre-tour, Hula-hoop Coach Timea Zimmerman and Clowning Coach Jay Stewart with warm reunions and lots of laughter. In addition, we had a bevy of friends plus current and former Trouper parent volunteers to help us out in the tent. So I would like to take this time to thank Leslie Carleton, Dylan Gundlach, Malka Benjamin, Elizabeth Stubbs and Annie Stubbs, Debbie Landa, Maureen Devlin, Debbie Stein-Sharpe, Beth Ryan and Jenn O’Flaherty for all of their hard work and dedication, we couldn’t do it without you!
In Waltham, we have also had a bustling tent filled with many of our wonderful board members, friends, past Troupers and honored guests. Friday, we honored the tradition of blessing our tent with Father Jerry Hogan. Father Jerry is the official national circus chaplain and has blessed tents, baptized babies and ministered to the circus since 1992 and we were “blessed” to be able to host him in our Big Top. We even have one of the many children he has baptized on staff with us! Tent crew member and roustabout Robert Cipriano was baptized by Father Jerry in 1992 (one of his first!) at a Ringling Bros. show in New York City.
We also had the Ring Master of the Big Apple Circus, John Kennedy Kane, attend the tent blessing and grace our ring with words of wisdom. He spoke of his journey to becoming a ringmaster through clowning and fire eating and gave sage advice to those who wanted to make a career out of circus.
Finally, we had a full house of board members volunteering and in attendance! Circus Smirkus Board President Michele Levy attended or volunteered at all six of our Waltham shows. Michele shares her enthusiasm for Smirkus with husband and Chef du Smirk, Andrew Levy, who keeps all of us fed well and happy, along with son Chase who is currently attending Smirkus Camp in Greensboro, VT. We were also lucky enough to have former president and current Vice President of our Board of Directors, Miriam Rosenblum and husband, Sheldon Benjamin came as volunteers and attendees, as well as their son and former Trouper, Rafi and daughter Malka Benjamin who helped take tickets. Smirkus Secretary Neil Saunders, Treasurer Jane Culbert and Board members Pamela Lodish and Fred Nanni assisted with parking cars, ticket taking and ushering. We also had board members Ben Winship, Susan Norvich, Josh Aviner and Dick Plotz in attendance, Dick hasn’t missed a season since 1992 and is a former Trouper parent.
Last, but certainly not least we had a great turnout of parent and family volunteers and attendees! So another thank you to the Biedrzycki family, Ryan-O’Flaherty family, Eric Schondorf and Anne-Marie Wood, the Stein-Sharpe family, the Saunders family, the Norden family and the Kaufman clan for pitching in and thanks to the Landa family and Devlin-Zuckerman family too!
‘til next time,
The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
- Christopher McCandless