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Catastrophe and Grace

Editor’s Note: This article is by Erica Heilman of Rumble Strip and was originally published on October 16, 2017

Rob Mermin Marcel Marceau Circus Smirkus

Marcel Marceau & Rob Mermin at Circus Smirkus

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, director, university lecturer, former Dean of Ringling Bros. Clown College, and founder of the award-winning international company Circus Smirkus (

Rob’s awards include Copenhagen’s Gold Clown; the Bessie Award; Best Director Prize at the former Soviet Union’s International Festival on the Black Sea; the Lund Family Center’s “It Takes A Village Award”;  the Vermont Arts Council Award of Merit, and the 2008 Governor’s Award for Excellence, Vermont’s highest honor in the arts.  Rob lives in central Vermont.