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Head Coach Josh Shack Explains It All For You

Circus SmirkusDirector of Programming Josh Shack has held many positions at Circus Smirkus. He was a camper, and then performed in the Big Top Tour, he’s been the tour production manager, as well as a residency artist. Last summer he added a new title to the mix: Advanced Camp Head Coach at Circus Smirkus Camp. This year, he’s working on developing new curriculum for the Advanced Performance Camp Programs for campers who are training at the highest level.

“Smirkus is known for its performance,” Josh says, “and so I want to make sure our campers are getting the chance to really hone their performance skills through our three tracks in Advanced Camp, while leveling up their training with our dedicated staff of coaches  – who are all circus performers as well.”

The three advanced performance tracks are Performance Ensemble, Individual Acts, and Road Show. Each program offers a chance for campers to dig deep into a specific area of circus performance, developing skills to use in auditions and performances beyond Circus Smirkus.

“For example, in Individual Acts, the campers work with their coaches to develop the skills to communicate their creative ideas to an audience. They develop a discrete piece to use in auditions, and they’ll also build the creative thinking and problem solving skills to create new pieces for themselves in other settings, too,” Josh explains.

“The Performance Ensemble program this year will be the most different program from past years,” says Josh. “From day one, the campers will focus on show creation for their final presentation. They’ll learn the teamwork and production skills that it takes to put together a Big Top show from start to finish. This program really shares the ensemble spirit that is so distinctively Smirkus: campers will shine in unique characters that come from them in an ensemble of individual performers.”

Circus Smirkus“The campers in Road Show will get the most experience performing,” Josh points out. “They will have the opportunity to train in the tents, but after one week, those campers will have a fully realized show that they can take on the road. This is excellent for social service minded performers, too, as they will perform for free lunch programs, nursing homes, day care centers, and more, in events around the state.”

The best thing about Circus Smirkus Camp is that it has a place for every young circus performer. This year, applications for Advanced Camp are being accepted on a rolling basis until all spots are filled. To submit a video for our coaching committee to help you find the right program match for you, click here