Expressive Dangler, Fantastic Light Tripper

Show biz, artist life, teaching, mothering, small business ownership, and circus every damn day.

On the Fly: show biz, artist life, teaching, mothering, small business ownership, and circus every damn day.

Six Weeks at Smirkus

The wonderful staff at Circus Smirkus, Summer 2016.

The wonderful staff at Circus Smirkus, Summer 2016.

I've spent the last month in Greensboro, Vermont coaching aerial at the Circus Smirkus Summer Camp. I'll be here 2 more weeks, so 6 in total. I got this job for a lot of reasons -- to get out of New Orleans for part of the long, hot Summer, to work with new people, to work with old friends, to gain skills to bring back to my job at ISL, and to see part of the world I've never explored. If I'm real honest with you, though, it's been on my bucket list for a while -- "Work at Circus Smirkus." I know and love so many people who have been a part of this organization over the years, and I have so much respect for what they do here. I wanted to be a part of it. I hope this can become a Summer "thing" for me and Oren. 

Smirkus founder Rob Merman addresses the staff during orientation.

Smirkus founder Rob Merman addresses the staff during orientation.

Circus Smirkus was founded by world famous Ringling clown Rob Merman in 1987. It is a youth circus organization; one of the oldest and most recognized in this country. It has two main branches, the Camp and the Tour. The Tour is a one ring circus show performed entirely by kids in a traditional circus tent that tours New England during the summer months. They are doing 66 shows this summer! The Camp, where I'm coaching, is in Greensboro, about an hour and a half east of Burlington, VT. We run summer camps from June-August for kids ages 5-18. Many of the Camp kids audition for the Tour at some point, and go on to spend summers with them before graduating high school and going on to college and/or formal circus school.

I feel like this place is doing good work. I say this all the time, but it's true: I believe in circus. At Smirkus, I see the circus at work in the kids I teach, making them stronger, more confident, and happier; more connected people. 

I've had a wonderful time with the kids and with the other coaches. I'm lucky to be in such good company. Oren (my son) came for a week to be a camper, and it was lovely to have him here. Here are some images from the past month...

The tents at Camp. The big one is Mama Mia, and the little yellow one is Natalie.

The tents at Camp. The big one is Mama Mia, and the little yellow one is Natalie.

Oren tried Spanish Web! (He mostly did it for me. He prefers clowning. <3)  

Oren tried Spanish Web! (He mostly did it for me. He prefers clowning. <3)

 

A sunny day off and hike up Wheeler Mountain. Gorgeous country!

A sunny day off and hike up Wheeler Mountain. Gorgeous country!

Working with the other aerial coaches (Bronwyn, Nina, and Glenna) to prepare a triple trap piece for the Staff Show.

Working with the other aerial coaches (Bronwyn, Nina, and Glenna) to prepare a triple trap piece for the Staff Show.

I'll be home in 2 weeks, New Orleans. I'll be putting up some new workshops on the FCS calendar in the next few days. If you have a moment, you can take a 4-question survey and tell me exactly what you want to see happening at FCS next month. I value your feedback!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6CQD2LF

Love y'all! See you soon!

ELIZABETH ROSE