Coming Home

Dear Smirkus Family and Friends,

Last night, after over ten weeks and 66 shows we completed our 2015 Big Top Tour here, in Greensboro, Vermont.  Friday we had our “Joke Show” where the staff and Troupers alike get to be a part of added gags and inside jokes, it was a fun and hilarious way to kickstart our finale weekend.  

The opening of the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

The opening of the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

Clowning fun in the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

Clowning fun in the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

A piece of the bubble act from the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

A piece of the bubble act from the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

A piece of the bubble act from the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

A piece of the bubble act from the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

The jump rope act in the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

The jump rope act in the annual Circus Smirkus Joke Show for the 201 Big Top Tour.

Saturday, we started our day with final council.  At this emotional final council the Troupers gave superlatives, spoke about what Smirkus has meant to them and what a huge role the friendships made over the years have played in their lives.  

Executive Director Ed LeClair opens final counsel with a heartfelt speech.

Executive Director Ed LeClair opens final council with a heartfelt speech.

Superlatives given by senior Troupers to first year Troupers at the final counsel.

Superlatives given by senior Troupers to first year Troupers at the final council.

Second year Troupers at the 2015 final counsel.

Second year Troupers at the 2015 final council.

The 2015 first year Troupers from the Bon Appetit Big Top Tour.

The 2015 first year Troupers from the Bon Appetit Big Top Tour.

the 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Troupers at the final counsel of the season.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Troupers at the final council of the season.

Yesterday after the shows, there was a parents soiree, where the Trouper parents spoke about what Smirkus has meant to them and their children, and how they wish they had a group growing up that had as much love for each other as the Smirkos have one another.  As a crew member, I can attest to the fact the message is  universal throughout the Smirkus family, Circus Smirkus will forever change you and your life.  Being a part of something this powerfully moving that brings so much joy to others is rewarding in its own light, but the fulfillment it has given each and everyone of us to go down the road together is immeasurable and inexplicable.

Artistic Director Troy Wunderle hug daughters and Troupers Emily and Ariana Wunderle at the final show of the 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour.

Artistic Director Troy Wunderle hug daughters and Troupers Emily and Ariana Wunderle at the final show of the 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour.

Operations Director, Judy Gaeth and Assistant Operations Director, Sara Wunderle kick off the 2015 crew procession at the final show of the 2015 Big Top Tour.

Operations Director, Judy Gaeth and Assistant Operations Director, Sara Wunderle kick off the 2015 crew procession at the final show of the 2015 Big Top Tour.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Counselors.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Counselors.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Concessions team.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Concessions team.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Tech crew.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Tech crew.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Tent Crew.

The 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Tent Crew.

Circus Smirkus Founder Rob Mermin closes up the last show in the 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour with kind words.

Circus Smirkus Founder Rob Mermin closes up the last show in the 2015 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour with kind words.

The Landa family hugs son and Trouper, Sam Landa.

The Landa family hugs son and Trouper, Sam Landa.

Ivan Jermyn and Emily Wunderle hug after the final show of the 2015 Big Top Tour.

Ivan Jermyn and Emily Wunderle hug after the final show of the 2015 Big Top Tour.

Best friends Lola Picayo and Maedya Kojis hug after the final show of the 2015 Big Top Tour.

Best friends Lola Picayo and Maedya Kojis hug after the final show of the 2015 Big Top Tour.

I want to close with something many of the Troupers expressed in their final speeches.  Smirkus is a magical place that is wonderful, kind, communal, fair and accepting of all walks and I will carry a little bit of Smirkus out into the world with me forever and will never forget the magic I experienced my summer with Smirkus.

See you down the road,

Angelia

“It’s a funny thing about coming home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You realize what has changed is you.”

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
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4 Responses to Coming Home

  1. Liz Milbrodt says:

    A great finale! Bless you all. Good luck “down the road”.

  2. Lee Stoodley says:

    I was very much moved by the professionalism and dedication that you could see between each Smirco and it actually made me think a little about what my family has and the strides we had made. Huge inspiration and definitely going again next year!

  3. Miriam Rosenblum says:

    Angelia – You have beautifully captured the magic of Circus Smirkus and spread it via your vivid and moving reports all summer. Thank you!!

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