Alright, let me try this again. Originally, I had begun writing this long-ish blog post about my life and what I do and who I am, and how I came to be in this Cirque Us Raggedy Tag-tastic show. But, I got bored reading it (I don’t have the most interesting life, you see), and shortly thereafter decided to scrap everything and just start over. And so here I am, leaving almost everything out. If you’d really like to know more about me, call me up and ask me out on a grilled cheese date. But only if you have a gas stove. Or a fireplace. Anyway, about two months ago, Doug sent me a magic voice recorded facebook message and asked me if I had plans in March and April. I said no, of course (since I don’t have the most exciting life), and he invited me to join the 2020 cast of Rag Tag. I said yes, of course, or else I wouldn’t be here writing this blog post for you today. Duh. And that’s pretty much all there is to it! What a relief, I’m done. See you in the audience!

Oh, wait. I’m not done? You need more? Yes, whatever you say.

Mariah at the Cirque Us Benefit Show 2019
Photo by Marisa Diamond

Alright ragazzi, I’ve returned. Let me take you way, WAY back to 2007, when RickRolling first began. This was also the year of my first trip to Las Vegas, as well as the summer I first attended Circus Smirkus Camp in the middle of nowhere in Vermont. I absolutely loved Smirkus camp, so much so that I went back every year for the next twelve summers in a row! What was so great about it, you may ask? Getting to do circus stuff? Ha! No. I mean, sure, that was cool… but not really what was attracting me.

What I totally fell in love with was the accepting atmosphere, the encouraging environment, and the let’s-make-everything-ridiculous-and-super-duper-fun-all-the-time-always frame of mind that everyone had. You see, a lot of kids came to camp for the circus, and stayed for the fun. But I was always just the opposite. I came to camp for the fun, and then eventually just happened to learn a little bit of circus here and there along the way.

Camp has various sessions for varying skill levels throughout the summer. At the beginning of the summer, the kids can be so little that they can’t even stand still, much less do anything acrobatic. But at the end of the summer, there’s an advanced session, Session V, which the kids have to audition for. And by then, they can do things like handstands, hip circles, or juggle a zillion clubs. And so, so, SO much more. I always just went to the sessions in the middle.

Mariah’s Balloon Act at the Cirque Us Benefit Show 2019
Photo by Marisa Diamond

I never auditioned for Advanced Camp. Me? I thought, Advanced? I’m not advanced! I can juggle three balls, water spit, ride fifteen feet on a unicycle, and do a candy cane rollup. And that’s it! Well, actually, I don’t mean to brag or anything, but I do have a pretty nice cartwheel, and I can spin a mean plastic plate on a pointy wooden stick. But really, I thought, that’s it. And so I was perfectly happy only going to the middle sessions, summer after summer.

Fast forward now to 2013: the year I went to Las Vegas for the second time. Originally, I was going to be at camp for only sessions III and IV that summer. But I guess not enough kids had signed up for Session V that year, because without having auditioned, or ever shown any interest in Advanced Camp at all, I was invited to stay. Me?I thought, Advanced Camp?I’m not advanced! Blah blah blah. However, the opportunity to delay starting my summer homework for another two weeks was way too good to pass up. (Just so you know, though, I’m not sure if I ever did any summer homework, regardless of how much time I spent at camp). But anyway, I decided to stay, and that may have been the best decision I’ve made in my entire life thus far.

Mariah at the Cirque Us Benefit Show 2019
Photo by Marisa Diamond

There are a lot of reasons for why, and how, the extra time at camp that summer made such a lasting impact on me. For now, though, I’ll just briefly touch upon what’s most relevant to this never-ending blog post. It was during Session V of 2013 that I discovered how much I like clowning. And, perhaps more importantly, that I’m actually fairly good at it. After that, I did more clown stuff at camp for the next couple summers, and since then, I’ve taken a bunch of clown workshops, performed a handful of times, and even went to clown school in Spain!

And now, as I sit on an airplane dressed as Elvis, on the way home from my third trip to Las Vegas, I write this blog post and wallow in self pity about how mundane my life is. But I am so excited to join Rag Tag as the clown and to finally have something interesting to do! This will be my first circus, and my first tour, and I can’t wait to share it with you! See you in the audience!

Tickets for RagTag are now on sale! www.TheCirqueUS.com

About the Author Cirque Us

A company that expresses the freedom of play through circus and performing arts, Cirque Us is a circus collective on our fourth summer tour. Our upcoming show, "RagTag: A Circus in Stitches" will open on June 22nd in White River Junction, VT and will tour around the east coast performing a total of 25 shows. We will use this space to engage with our audiences in a new way by sharing the on and off stage details of what it is really like being a part of a circus. This blog will document the creations, experiences, and shenanigans that are bound to occur while on the road. Thank you for joining us on this journey and we hope to see you down the road. For more information on our upcoming show please visit our website. www.TheCirqueUs.com

One comment

  1. Mariah, I enjoyed reading your blog, start to finish. We will be seeing your performance with Cirque Us in Manhattan on Sunday, April 5th and hope to catch up with you after the show! Break a leg on your tour; it sounds wonderful.
    Diane Reilly

    Like

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