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Water, water Everywhere!

Howdy Smirkus Fans!

It was another lively day here in Greensboro. The troupers are well on their way to creating a very memorable show for audiences young and old to revel in. The pleasant weather has continued to stick around, which definitely has raised morale (the weather forecast is threatening to bring back the rain…let’s hope the predictions are wrong!).

The clowns took advantage of the 82-degree weather by practicing their water spitting techniques. To a layman, spitting water may not seem to be a difficult task, but surprisingly, there is a certain finesse that allows for optimal distance, fullness, and coverage. The absurdity of this skill adds to its hilarity.

John Stubbs' impression of a fountain.

After their lesson in water spitting, the clowns began writing gags for the production. This creative process is incredibly influenced by audience reaction, and today former Ringling clown and current Smirkus Camp Coach Dan Berkley and Camp Head Rigger Lisa Soverino observed the clowns and aided the creative process. I can’t wait to see the honed and polished (and dare I add a news-related pun?…edited) gags in action come July 3.

Dan Berkley, Lisa Soverino, Jesse Dryden, and Troy Wunderle observe gag-writing.

In one of the training tents, known to the Smirkus staff and troupers as “The Academy,” Troy Wunderle, Artistic Director, trained the troupers on safely falling when walking on stilts. It is a reality that all stilt-walkers try to avoid, but at some point it may happen. When the troupers are properly trained on falling safely and controlling their bodies, serious injuries are avoided and the trouper will be able to simply get back up and continue performing. It was pretty funny watching Troy test the troupers’ balance and stability.

In the Wire Tent, I watched as some of the wire-walkers balanced and gracefully moved across the wire. I gained a new appreciation of wire-walking yesterday when I was briefly “trained” on wire-walking. It takes intense concentration and physical endurance to stay on the wire (which is only as wide as my thumb).

In my role as “communications intern,” I wear many hats. I work closely with public relations, marketing, and development. One of our new marketing ideas is to participate in the viral phenomena of “Planking.” What is planking? Check out this site and prepare to be blown away: Official Planking Facebook Page. Meanwhile, check back to our Facebook page and see our “Daily Plank” and find out what kind of odd places our troupers, coaches, office staff, and counselors will get into next.

Owen Winship's "Wire Plank"

Tomorrow’s forecast is 70% chance of thunderstorms with a 100% chance of circus!

Hup, Hey!
Tour Communications Intern