Audition For Smirkus

Audition for the Big Top Tour


Are you a gymnast, clown, dancer, juggler, unicycler or physical theater performer looking to have the summer of a lifetime with a real circus? Read below for your opportunity to become a Circus Smirkus Trouper.

★ BIG TOP TOUR APPLICATION INFO – 2022 Auditions are now closed

In keeping with our diversity and access goals and with respect to ongoing COVID-related concernsauditions for the 2022 Big Top Tour will be virtual

 Who should apply:
If you are between the ages of 10 and 18, training in circus or other physical disciplines, possess strong teamwork skills and excellent stage presence, and are interested in gaining more experience in performing and traditional circus arts, we encourage you to apply! All applicants must submit a video audition and application form. The Directors and Coaches are seeking performers who have the potential to become exemplary Smirkos: candidates who can demonstrate fluency and dedicated practice in their chosen discipline(s), a strong work ethic, a positive and generous spirit, and a boundless passion for circus.

Circus Smirkus celebrates all types of peoples, cultures, and skills to showcase the multifaceted triumph of human abilities, particularly among our youth population. Joining Circus Smirkus – as a participant, an employee, a volunteer, or an audience member – means you belong. And to all who join, Smirkus asks for you to embrace our values and to help us create joy and magic for everyone who encounters a Smirkus program. We commit to providing everyone equal opportunity to shine— both in and out of the ring.

 There are two rounds to the audition process:
Round 1. The initial application with video requirement (as outlined below). The application includes a google form, video, recommendations and assessment. DUE January 14, 2022 at 5 PM EST. 2022 Auditions are now closed.

Round 2. The virtual audition. Applicants from round 1 who are selected for round 2 will receive next steps as part of an invitation to the virtual audition. Invitations to the virtual audition will be sent no later than January 26, 2022.

 Application Video Requirements:
Your application video must be submitted using an online source such as YouTube or Vimeo. YouTube will give you the option to mark it as a private, public or unlisted video. Please make it UNLISTED.

The Directors and Coaches are seeking candidates who can demonstrate fluency and dedicated practice in their chosen discipline(s), a strong work ethic, a positive and generous spirit, and a boundless passion for circus. Be proud, be brave and most of all, be YOURSELF!

Your video should include a personal introduction that incorporates the following points:

  1. What is your name, age, and background as a circus performer?
  2. Why do you want to become a Circus Smirkus Trouper?
  3. A performance of a 3-to-5-minute circus act in costume and makeup. If this is not possible, please provide us with 3-to-5-minutes’ worth of performance footage of another kind.
  4. Up to 5 minutes of technical footage showcasing any of your additional skills. The Big Top Tour features a full company opening and finale in which we aim to showcase a wide range of circus and performance skills, drawn from what our troupers can offer. For the purpose of this application video, you can share footage of you training or additional clips of you performing.


  1. Our decision will NOT be based upon the professional quality of your video but rather on the talent you display, the personality you show, and the potential we see.
  2. If you wish to be considered as an aerialist – please show us a minimum of 5 pull ups and 5 pull-overs plus any other strength exercises that you would like us to see.
  3. If in your video you are performing with another person or as part of a group act make sure you identify yourself in the video. As a example you could add a voice over “I am the juggler with the orange striped pants” or “I am the one on the left”

If you have technical issues with uploading your video to YouTube or Vimeo please feel free to reach out to and let us know.

We understand that some auditionees may not have access to everything they need to show us their best selves. If you are having difficulty accessing equipment, a place to film, or a friend to help, please don’t hesitate to email us at We will do everything we can to support you!

LASTLY, DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE FINAL DAY TO UPLOAD YOUR VIDEO. It always takes longer than you think and technical issues pop up.

 Important Dates for the 2022 Big Top Tour:

  • Application Deadline: All 2022 Big Top Tour applications must be submitted by January 14, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST. 2022 Auditions are now closed.
  • Town Hall Meeting: Town Hall Meeting for interested applicants with Smirkus staff to answer any questions, January 10, 2022 at 8:00 PM EST.
  • Tour 2022: The program will begin in June 2022 and run until mid-August 2022. Anticipated drop-off date is June 11, 2022 and pick-up on August 15, 2022. (The dates will be finalized in the spring.) 

 Tuition & Scholarships:
Tuition will be in the range of $8,000, with scholarships available (final pricing will be announced in early 2022). Tuition cost covers training, housing, food, uniforms and coaching costs for the program. No one is denied participation because of financial need. If you are accepted into the troupe, you may apply for scholarship aid at that time. As part of our continued work in removing barriers to access in our organization, we have ended our practice of requiring audition fees.

 2022 Covid-19 Policies:
Circus Smirkus requires proof of full vaccination (including boosters as recommended by CDC) against Covid-19 with a CDC or WHO authorized vaccine for all staff, campers, and troupers. Additional Covid-19 protocols will be updated in the spring based on current public health guidelines, and are subject to change following state and/or local ordinance, guidance from the CDC, and at the discretion of Circus Smirkus for the health and safety of our participants and staff. You may want to use our 2021 guidelines for reference as you plan for this coming summer. Our current vaccination requirement supersedes any previous policy.

We recommend that if you plan to apply for the Big Top Tour, but are also interested in Smirkus Camp, that you make sure to apply for Smirkus Camp as camp sessions tend to fill quickly. The 2022 Smirkus Camp registration forms will be available on our website: on January 10, 2022. You may be asked to create a placement video for audition-based camps – you may use your tour video for the camp placement video as well. Click here to fill out a Placement-Based Camp Application (this is not for tour). If you are accepted to the Big Top Tour, any deposits made to Smirkus Camp will be applied to your tour tuition.

A video submission is part of the audition application process. Watch the video above to see some excerpts of last year’s submissions – as you can see, home videos are fine and professional quality is not required.