From Camper To Trouper: Asom Hayman-Jones
Editor’s note: The video interview below was conducted at live auditions in January at the New England Center for Circus Arts. Asom Hayman-Jones is a former Smirkus camper and now first year trouper; read his blog post below.
Me? I’m an athlete born in New York but raised in a small town in Vermont. For most of my life, I had no connection to the circus. All that was on my mind was school, sports, and music. I lived most of my life going to a public school, in the band and playing 3 year-round sports. At that time, this was all that was important but much changed after these years. I chopped my dreads off, moved out of my home to a private boarding school and found my new love of the circus. This wasn’t exclusive though, I didn’t lose my other loves of sports and music but this love stood out from the rest. The feel of being in the circus was not one of a team or a squad but instead, it felt like a family. Which has defined me as a person today.
Two summers ago, my mother was working as an office assistant at Circus Smirkus. As the summer winded down she took our family to the final big top tour show of the season. She took us to meet her colleagues and bosses who were such friendly people. Then we went off to see the show. The vibe in the air was so wonderful and almost magical. I was fascinated and left in awe like what I had just seen was a magic act. Yet it wasn’t. Instead, it was really years of practice and perfection to create this spectacular feat for the eye. I sat there never knowing that one day I would be given this opportunity to leave someone in awe like I once was. That evening, I was invited to circus camp session three. That was where I started my circus journey and where I turned a dream into a reality.
I’m considerably new to circus. In less than a year, I went from being a beginner who had never before touched a juggling pin, to having the opportunity to perform in the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour. This would never have been possible if I hadn’t attended Smirkus camp during the summer. It introduced me to so many things and sparked my passion for the arts. All the training I received from those 4 weeks was enough for me to build off of and be in the position I am today. Many of the coaches from camp have personally helped me in their free time, giving me tips and assistance that I could bring back home when I was practicing by myself. The camp is the perfect place for anyone and is exclusive to none. It is the perfect place for beginners or experts or someone who is just interested in having an amazing summer experience because that camp is more than just circus.
At the camp, I made lifelong friends and great relationships with my counselors and coaches. My brother and I actually found our twins born on the same day and year. We made international friends with people from across the globe. For me, Smirkus Camp was one of the most influential weeks of my life. It gave light to a whole other world that I had no idea existed. It felt like a home away from home where there were no limits to your creativity and personality. There was also no pressure to be perfect and no need to be someone that you weren’t. I’m so thankful for having that opportunity and I would definitely recommend it because it helped define and put me in the position I am in today.