Circus Blogs: Camp News Big Top Tour News Residency News

Opening and Our First Jump!

Editor’s Note: This post was written by summer Tour Communications Associate June Mello

The time since our last update has been full to the gills with activity, as well as new experiences and fun. After concluding the final week of creation, we opened the touring season with two shows on July 1st at our home base in Greensboro. Both shows were sold out and we had some press coverage that day as well. The troupers did an amazing job, and it was great to see all the work they had done come together at last.

But there was no time to rest! Immediately after the show, we began teardown for our first jump to Waterbury. Teardown went late into the night, but the more we do it the faster it will go. The troupers were a great help, finishing their portion with the efficiency of a well oiled machine despite both their tiredness and many of them never having done this before.

The next day, after some delays, we made the jump to Waterbury, a new site for the tour. I navigated with Stan in the smaller box truck, and once everything was situated in its place on the lot, I was on the team that connected all our sinks, showers, and washers to the gray water pumps and tanks.

The troupers and the counselors went in the vans to have lunch and explore town a bit, then joined us on the lot in the late afternoon. During this stop, we’ve been at Farr’s Field, a wide open expanse along US Route 2. It’s a pretty flat lot, making trailer stabilization easier and the backlot much closer together than our arrangement in Greensboro. There are bathrooms and one shower on the property that we’ve been able to use, something not common to most lots we’ll be going to, so an aspect that has been greatly appreciated.

There’s also a wide river running next to us opposite the road, which has provided both troupers and staff some nice, close swimming opportunities. These have been a godsend over the last few days, as temperatures have been more than uncomfortably hot during the day at times. Overall, I think everybody has pretty much liked this lot, the only slight problem being a lack of data signal, but that is hardly anything compared to all the benefits. (I almost forgot to mention it, but they also have a Creemee stand here, which I heard was quite good from those who went during the short time it was open while we’ve been here).

As far as other events go, the troupers, counselors, and myself all attended the 4th of July Parade in Colchester a couple of days ago. Three troupers held our banner as we walked down the street, with the rest handing out flyers for our Waterbury and Milton shows, or entertaining the crowds with tricks and juggling. The people seemed to really like the troupers, and I think it was definitely a solid marketing effort, both for getting people to our shows specifically, but also in getting many small kids interested in circus.

It wasn’t without its drawbacks though, the 4th was an especially hot day, and walking for that long in direct sun definitely took it out of us. When we got all the vans back to pick up the troupers from the end of the parade route, I think I can safely speak for everyone when I say the AC was greatly appreciated. The van I was in also stopped at a Dunkin on the way back to the lot, allowing the troupers to get some iced coffee or cold snacks to further beat the heat. It was a lot of fun.

The shows in Waterbury have all been sold out shows and the people have definitely been enjoying them. Last night I could hear the crowd cheering from my bunk for a majority of the show runtime. Concessions sales have been going well, and yesterday during the daytime show we had a few reporters from the Waterbury Roundabout as well as a nearby college come to cover the events. They interviewed several troupers, and seemed to have a wonderful time.

Also, during this stop I edited a short trailer for the show based on footage collected by myself and trouper Ian during the two shows in Greensboro. That trailer is now up online for you all to see if you’re interested in getting a peek and what the show looks like. Ian is editing a longer trailer which will come out later this summer, which I also encourage all of you to check out when it is released.

The day I’m writing this we have our final two shows in Waterbury. The first one is currently five minutes away, and after the second we will be tearing down the lot and in the morning leaving the state of Vermont for our first tour stop in Massachusetts – Northampton! I can’t wait to see what the next phase of the tour holds, and I’ll be sure to update you all again soon.