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Letter from a Trouper: Theo LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This post was written by Theo LeBlanc, 1st year trouper. 

Theo Leblanc in performance during the 2018 Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour: Vaudeville show.

Before circus (B.C.) I did your typical after-school activities – soccer, baseball, and marching band.  I never really fit in or felt like I was in the right place.

Around age 9, I started doing magic tricks for my friends and family.  Magic developed into a very fun hobby.

After seeing one of my favorite magicians juggling knives, I decided juggling was the coolest thing ever.  My dad had some basic juggling skills and I asked him to teach me – I was hooked!

One of my middle school friends did an after-school circus program. I talked to my parents and they agreed to let me try.

After my first class I was sold on circus!  In circus, I did cool things but, just as important, I got to be with cool people. I love circus for the community… these are my people.  Circus is a perfect mix of creativity, physicality and friendship.

Theo juggling clubs

I’ve attended Circus Smirkus Big Top performances throughout my childhood – and it’s always the highlight of my summer. My love of circus and juggling led me to attend Smirkus Summer Camp where I found the most accepting, loving, and kind community I have ever encountered. There I was able to further develop my juggling skills with amazing coaches and peers.

I am now just finishing my freshman year of high school. This year, I was allowed to incorporate circus into my school curriculum – thus adding to my training schedule. I practiced and performed with a youth circus troupe, trained individually many hours each week, and had online juggling coaching with one of my juggling heroes.

After years of juggling and developing other circus skills, I decided this year to audition for the Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour. Then after being invited to Live Auditions, I doubled down on my practice. I was determined to give it my best shot – to try to make my dream come true.

I was really nervous heading to Live Auditions. Though once I arrived, the nerves went away. The fear of making friends was gone – these were my people – such a kind group that welcomed all of us newbies with open arms and encouragement. Before Lives I didn’t know a single person and by the end of the weekend, it was like I had known them my whole life.

Since being accepted onto Tour, I’ve been training with other local Smirkos. The warmth, humor, hard work, and community make me so happy. In finding Circus Smirkus, I found where I belong.

Troupers Graham Reicher, Sam Ward, and Theo LeBlanc clowning around


Watch a video of Theo’s audition for Smirkus: