We’re Glad You’re Part of the Family

Author Archives: Circus Smirkus

We’re Glad You’re Part of the Family

It takes a lot to raise a circus kid.  It takes a lot of time and resources and love and support.  It takes the strength to believe in a child’s dreams and the persistence to help those dreams become reality. It takes an ability to encourage and challenge as needed, and the wisdom to know what balance is needed at any given time. And it helps to have a bit of whimsy and circus spirit yourself! Recently Judy Gaeth and I had the great opportunity to gather with a group of alumni parents in the Boston area. Since Circus Smirkus…

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Letter from a Trouper: Scott Raison

Scott Raison Circus Smirkus

Editor’s note: This post was written by Scott Raison, Smirkus Camper and 1st year trouper.  WATCH Scott and LilyRuth’s audition video from the 2019 Live Auditions for the Big Top Tour On January 23rd I was pacing around my house right before the news came in on whether or not I got accepted to Circus Smirkus’s Big Top Tour. A flurry of emotions was swirling around inside me. Every five seconds I looked up at the clock to see if it was seven yet. After hearing the phone buzzing from across the room, I grabbed it and read the email…

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Alumni Profile: Emily Gare

China. Europe. UK. South America. Australia… I was lucky to catch former Smirko Emily Gare while she was at home for a short stint in Melbourne, Australia. Originally from Wellington, New Zealand, Emily is now booked full-time as a career circus performer. You may remember Emily from the Big Top Tours: 2011 Frontpage Follies & 2012 Topsy Turvy Time Travel. So how did someone all the way from New Zealand make their way to Vermont? Emily learned about Smirkus from another New Zealander, past Smirkus coach Jennie Ritchie, who encouraged Emily to audition. So at age 13, Emily sent in her audition…

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Why I Come Back to Smirkus Every Summer

Editor’s note: This post was written by Salima Sarken, 5th time Smirkus Camper.  When I first got to Circus Smirkus Camp, I felt excited and scared. I was seven years old and it was my first time at overnight camp. However, everyone was smiling and welcoming and as soon as I got in the tents, I was having too much fun to miss home. I remember sitting on the trapeze for the first time and feeling really brave and happy. 2019 is going to be my fifth summer at Smirkus Camp, and camp now feels like a second home to…

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Welcome Our New Summer Camp Director

Smirkus Camp is pleased to welcome William Forchion as our new Summer Camp Director. William is a seasoned circus professional, actor, writer and theologist. He is also a father to 3 children. William has been involved with Smirkus for many years. He was a coach at Smirkus camp in 1996,  a Big Top Tour coach in 2007 and 2008, and has since coached many young circus artists training for Smirkus, primarily on clowning, aerial straps & partner acrobatics. William says, “I’ve been passionate about circus for over 30 years. Now is the time in my life to take the knowledge I have…

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Letter from a Trouper: Frederick Buford

Smirkus Camp

Editor’s note: This post was written by Frederick Buford, longtime Smirkus Camper and 1st year trouper.  WATCH: Here is Frederick’s fall audition video for the 2019 Big Top Tour, which includes footage of his summers spent at Smirkus Camp. When I first arrived at the magical Circus Smirkus Camp in 2016, I had no idea that, three years later, I’d receive a call saying I would be accepted to perform on the Big Top Tour. I’ve loved circus for as long as I can remember. I was first introduced to circus when I lived in France and got to see one…

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How Smirkus Saved My Life

Editor’s note: This post was written by a 2017-2018 Smirkus camper who prefers to remain anonymous but willingly shared this beautiful essay about Smirkus Camp. During the summer of 2017 I was in a dark place. I had just gotten out of an abusive relationship and felt worthless and unwanted and that I was a burden to everyone around me. I was lost and depressed and my OCD was getting the better of me. I had no idea of what I was going to do with my life except a vague “art”. This was all until I stepped foot at Smirkus Camp…

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Announcing the 2019 Troupers!

Will Ciardialli

Watch this video to meet our 2019 Big Top Tour troupers! Congratulations to the 30 young circus artists, ages ranging from age 11-18, who will go on the road this summer performing nearly 70 shows all over New England in our beautiful circus tent! There are 21 returning troupers and 9 new troupers, consisting of 15 Girls and 15 Boys. The troupers reside from the following United States (CO, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA, VT, and WA) and Internationally (Canada). Stay tuned for our tour schedule and ticket information. Tickets go on sale May 1, 2019. Special thanks to Andrew Levy and Andy Bell for filming the…

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From Our Executive Director

Circus Smirkus

Lives Auditions for the 2019 Big Top Tour took place last weekend! Every January, the Circus Smirkus staff gathers at the New England Center for Circus Arts in Brattleboro, VT with approximately 40 young performers and their families as they audition to become a part of the summer tour. It’s somewhat ironic that we kick off our preparations for the summer tour on a January weekend when the temperatures plummet and the snow piles thick. This weekend, we awoke on Sunday to more than a foot of freshly fallen snow. It’s a very typically Vermont juxtaposition! For me, the highlight of the weekend…

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