Circus Blogs: Camp News Big Top Tour News Residency News

The official Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour Blog

What Are Live Auditions?

Editor’s note: Watch the video above by Smirkus volunteer Andy Bell and read the post below to learn more about what the live auditions weekend is like, which occurs each year in January. Troupers who apply, submit videos for preliminary review, and are then chosen to attend the audition weekend participate in a series of evaluations, workshops, and open performances that judges review to choose the final Smirkus Troupe each year. HOW SMIRKUS AUDITIONS WORK Since 1987, The Big Top Tour has brought together 30 highly motivated young performers in a traditional traveling circus environment. These young performers (called Troupers)…

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Letter From A Trouper: Auditions

Circus Smirkus

Letter From A Trouper: Inside Circus Smirkus Live Auditions by Eva Lou Rhinelander My name is Eva Lou and I am a second year Circus Smirkus trouper and a third-year auditionee for the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour. On January 13th weekend, I drove with my family to audition for another chance to have amazing summer experience under the big top. Many of the forty-one kids and families that are invited to show their skill sets have come from all around the country, with just thirty spots open in the troupe. The audition process takes a total of three days,…

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Meet the 2018 Troupers

This summer come see Vaudeville: The 2018 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour featuring 30 young circus artists from all over the United States and Canada. This year’s troupe includes 16 returning troupers and 14 new troupers whose ages range from age 10-18. The troupers reside from the following states (CA, CO, IL, MA, ME, MO, NH, NY, RI, TX, VA, VT, and WA) and Internationally (Canada). Video by Andy Bell with footage from Andrew Levy.  

Welcome Jennifer Carlo

Editor’s Note: Below is a letter from new Executive Director Jennifer Carlo, followed by the original press release announcing her arrival to Circus Smirkus. Greetings to all the family and friends of Circus Smirkus! I’m writing this on my eight week anniversary here on Circus Road in Greensboro, and from the minute I stepped into the ring, it has been a whirlwind!  I was delighted to have the opportunity to attend our Big Top Tour auditions earlier in January and to meet all the sublimely talented young people who will amaze you in the upcoming summer 2018 Big Top Tour! We are…

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Circus Smirkus Performs 2017 First Night Burlington

Watch the video below created by Andrew Levy and Circus Smirkus Trouper Chase Levy. Circus Smirkus performed 2 action-packed shows at The Flynn Center for Performing Arts as part of First Night Burlington. The troupers entertained a house full of circus lovers with juggling, clowning, acrobatics, aerials and brought joy and magic to their year end celebration.

Catastrophe and Grace

Rob Mermin Marcel Marceau Circus Smirkus

Editor’s Note: This article is by Erica Heilman of Rumble Strip and was originally published on October 16, 2017 Acclaimed Smirkus founder Rob Mermin speaks with Rumble Strip podcast host Erica Heilman about his career as a mime clown and circus performer, his Parkinson’s Disease diagnosis three years ago, and the connections between the art forms of mime and movement. Click below to listen to the podcast, entitled “Catastrophe and Grace”. About Rob Rob Mermin trained in classical mime with Etienne Decroux and Marcel Marceau and has performed in European circus, theater, TV and film for forty years.  He is an author,…

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Hideaway Circus Interviews Director Mark Lonergan

Mark Lonergan Hideaway Circus

HIDEAWAY CIRCUS EPISODE 51 – MARK LONERGAN, CIRCUS AND PHYSICAL THEATER DIRECTOR Editor’s Note: This podcast was originally published by Hideaway Circus on November 6, 2017 On Episode 51 of Hideaway Circus, former Circus Smirkus Trouper Josh Aviner and co-producer Lyndsay Magid recount their experience at the newly revived Big Apple Circus and sit down for an interview with Smirkus Creative Director Mark Lonergan. Mark also directed Big Apple Circus and Circus Smirkus the past two seasons. They talk about the differences between directing theater and circus, and compare the old Big Apple to the new one. The whole interview is fascinating and…

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Wesley Williams: Emerging Circus Star at 19

Watch a video below created by circus enthusiast Lane Talburt. Watch this video about 19 year old Wesley Williams, who is taking unicycling to new heights and getting national acclaim along the way. Also called  “The One Wheel Wonder”, Williams was a Big Top Tour trouper from 2013-2015, and also competed on America’s Got Talent in 2015. In this new YouTube video from Lane Talburt, learn more about Williams and how his early experiences with Smirkus shaped his understanding of circus life and helped him launch a successful circus career.  

Circus Smirkus: A Life-Shaping Experience

Watch a video below created by circus enthusiast Lane Talburt. With generous infusions of comedy and teamwork, “Midnight at the Museum” showcases the talents of 30 troupers in this life-changing professional youth circus during Circus Smirkus’ 30th anniversary tour in the Summer of 2017.  Lane Talburt interviews troupe members and key staffers on this big top production.

In Memoriam: Toby Schwartz

Rest in Peace, Toby Schwartz. For anyone that didn’t know Toby, she was an avid Smirkus fan from the very beginning. Along with her husband Hank, Toby typically attended 15-20 Big Top Tour shows each year. The couple had their favorite seats in the tent and everyone on the set knew where they were by hearing their familiar laughs, shouts of encouragement to the troupers, and notable ill-timed clapping! Each summer the Smirkus Troupers were invited into their home on a jump day to eat more Ben & Jerry’s ice cream than humanly possible, gorge themselves on home-baked goods, eat an overflowing bounty of fruit, swim in…

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