Circus Mojo is an ever-changing group of talented performing artists. With each new show, Circus Mojo proudly showcases new individuals!
Paul Miller: Circus Mojo’s Creator and Motivational Clown
Paul holds a degree in Drama from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music (1998) and a degree in Higher Hilarity from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College (1996). On the ’96-97 tour with Ringling Bros. Circus, he drove the clown car, walked stilts, and entertained “children of all ages.” Paul taught his first circus classes in Kentucky for My Nose Turns Red Theatre Company, a non-profit youth circus organization founded by Steve Roenker and Jean St. John, and then in New York City for Circus Minimus, a program created by Kevin O’Keefe, Founder of the American Youth Circus Organization. In 2001, Paul created CircEsteem, a Chicago-based organization designed to build self-esteem through the circus arts. Aside from teaching, he has performed as Pauly the Clown at home and abroad, including six months in an international show in Japan. See Paul in action: Pauly the clown, CircEsteem
Letters of Recommendation: Navy Pier, Chicago; Francis W. Parker School; Sacred Heart School
Sharon Alvarez-Miller: Circus Mojo Company Artist, Aerial Silks, Juggling, Walking Globe
Born and raised in Mexico City, Sharon took aerial silk lessons as part of a successful government program that keeps youth out of the streets. In 2010 she moved to Cincinnati with her husband and after weeks of searching for a place to practice silks, she found Circus Mojo. Because of the distance (a 90-minute bus ride, one way) between her house and the Circus Mojo studio, Sharon says she was reluctant to commit to the project at first. But after getting her Immigration work permit, working with Paul and the rest of the staff and students, volunteering for some smaller gigs and seven weeks of summer camp, Sharon became a full-time employee for Circus Mojo. Since then, she has performed in dozens of shows and taught countless classes, including being a part of Circus Mojo’s Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Hillcrest Detention Center programs. She’s looking forward for all the shows to come!
Cherie Bevans: Aerialist
Cherie comes to us from College Hill via Pikeville, Kentucky. Having always wanted to fly, she found a trapeze rig on a trip to Los Angeles and literally took a flying leap. She has studied flying trapeze and aerial silks with Flight Club Fitness and TSNY-LA.
Elliot Campbell: Circus Wellness
Elliott has been on the Mojo team starting as a teen apprentice and now as a guest performer/instructor for approximately three years. He is studying biology and chemistry at the University of Kentucky and still works on the Mojo Medicine project at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center as a circus therapist in the child life department along with Paul Miller. During the summer, Elliott is a part-time teacher and performer.
Cherie Dawn Haas: Fire Eater, Tribal Belly Dancer, Poi Spinner, Juggler
Editor for The Artist’s Magazine by day; fire dancer by night. Cherie Dawn holds a BA in English/Literature, Journalism Minor, from Northern Kentucky University (NKU). She has danced since she could walk, and has studied tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern/contemporary at NKU and the Contemporary Dance Theater in Cincinnati. In 2007 she began studying tribal belly dance, and performed with Dante’s Gypsy Circus for five years. Cherie Dawn is a fire eater who also spins fire poi. She has taught tribal belly dance as well as poi, but most recently has been a trainee, studying traditional circus arts through Paul Miller and the Circus Mojo team. She comes to Circus Mojo with a passion for movement arts as well as a desire to give back to the community through the vocational training and other avenues that Circus Mojo supports.
Renee Harris: Circus Mojo’s Operations Manager
Who’d have thought she’d wind up in a circus? Circus Mojo that is. All of her life, Renee has used both sides of her brain: her business studies include Accounting, Economics and Communication while her music studies include Piano, Voice and Choral Conducting. Renee has worked in a variety of small businesses and schools, taught thousands of students and raised a blended family. With a passion for life, commitment to family and church, Renee now joins up with Paul Miller to help in his social circus venture.
Donald Keme: Featured Juggler and Clown
Circus Mojo’s Togolese juggling coach, Donald Keme, has performed and taught circus skills for the past eight years. Donald has performed in thousands of shows for diverse audiences nationally and internationally. Just to name a few shows: Chicago Bulls Half-Time, The opening of Millennium Park in Chicago (2005), Willow Creek Church in Barrington, IL (2007), Chicago Cultural Center on Halloween events for Mayor Daley (2004-2008), and he has performed on TV countless times. His skills include juggling seven balls, five rings, five clubs, torches, and knives, plus unicycling, tumbling, the rolling globe and last but not least clowning.
Karen Lukes: Clown
Karen graduated from Clown College in 1994 and spent four years on the road as a clown with the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. Circus, the Kelly Miller Circus, and Ringling Brothers. While on Ringling she met the best friend of another clown and decided move to Northern Kentucky and marry him. Eleven years and three kids later, she’s back in the ring and remembering how to be funny.
Lauren Smith: Hula Hooper
Lauren started hooping in 2010, and with the influence of fellow friends/hoopers/manipulation artists, it consumed her life. She also has two years of ballet, tap and hip hop, dancing, which has reemerged and worked its way into her hooping craft. One of Lauren’s favorite aspects of Circus Mojo is the “intention for helping people not only grow within themselves but to grow outside of themselves, and find what it means to be a community.”
Matt “Rambles” Whitehead: Clown, Juggler, Magical Entertainer
Born and raised in Northern Kentucky, Matt moved on to training in Los Angeles, California at the Elegance International Makeup Academy. Matt started his career as a magical performer, juggler and clown traveling through out parts of Los Angeles, Burbank, Santa Monica and Venice Beach visiting these cultural areas as a street performer, later moving on to perform along the East coast and Northern Kentucky regional area as well as in Europe, where his venues included Cabaret, restaurants and International festivals. His continued education as an entertainer, have included training in the clowning/circus arts educational facilities of Espace Catastrophe, Brussels, Belgium. Matt has helped build and produce a creative circus theater show with an ensemble cast of jugglers, clowns, hula hoop artists and hand-balancing performers, also with a myriad of other unique and creative team members: a great cast of people who made this show, “A Ticket To Your Dreams,” (performed in Dubland, Ireland, 2011) a huge success. Matt also studied and facilitated workshops in independent clown studies, including taking an intensive workshop with Philippe Gaulier (Clown Master and Performer), a proponent of clown theater from the famous Ecole de Jaque LeCoq, Paris, France. Matt’s current efforts and continued education include training with Paul Miller and Circus Mojo. Matt aspires to help in the Sales, Marketing and P.R. field as he has a real passion for the work Circus Mojo is undergoing and wants to help fulfill its growth potential.
Andy Deimling (sales)
Jesse Suttles: Juggler, Unicyclist, Acrobat
A sophomore at Dixie High School, he’s been working with Mojo since they first opened in Ludlow. “I enjoy working with Mojo! I like to make other people happy and enjoy the people I work with. Mojo has taught me how to be patient, and how to socialize and perform in front of others when initially I was very shy. I hope people enjoy our performance as much as I enjoy performing.”
Additional Circus Mojo Artists
Rebecca Anne Bedel: Resident Artist
Rebecca grew up in the arts and is a graduate of the School for Creative and Performing Arts. Rebecca has continued her studies in movement at Nosara Yoga Institute in Nosara, Costa Rica with a Masters in Interdisciplinary Yoga, and received her Pranassage Practitioner training through Nosara. Rebecca is a student of Balance Body University studying under Nico Fitness for continuing education in Pilates. Nimble Art’s is Rebecca’s home base for her aerial silks training. Rebecca enjoys traveling around with her aerial silks for where ever they may find a place to hang. She has participated in Cincinnati’s annual Fringe Festival several times under Jeremy Millsaps from Jamming Talent Productions. Rebecca has been accepted twice in Choreographers Without Companies, presented by the Contemporary Dance Theatre, where for six years she taught a fusion of dance/yoga/pilates. She teaches at Mercy HealthPlex in Fairfield, Ohio and at It’s Yoga, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has recently brought a new type of yoga to It’s Yoga called Udharma Yoga/Uplifted Yoga. Thanks to Rebecca, It’s Yoga will be Cincinnati’s first studio to offer a group aerial yoga class. Rebecca is a musician with Destiny-N-August, who compose and record their own music for music meditations or whatever inspires them. Rebecca found Circus Mojo while searching for a home in which to hang her silks and train. She looks forward to her future with Circus Mojo.
Amy Chen: Single Point Trapeze, Fire Breathing/Juggling
Amy began her circus training at the Actor’s Gymnasium and worked briefly with AMEBA Aerial Dance before her introduction to the world of social circus, teaching with CircEsteem. Amy also taught and performed for The Acrofabulous Circus and continued her acrobatic training with Nourbol Meirmanov for several years in Chicago before relocating to New York. In New York, Amy continues to share her love of circus as a teacher with Cirque du Soleil’s Cirque Du Monde and Big Apple Circus. She juggles as often as possible with her husband, Aaron. In addition to circus arts, Amy has extensive ballet training and holds a Juris Doctorate in intellectual property law.
Byni, Chessie and Khatlyne Dugan: Acrobats
These three sisters attend (still?) Ludlow Middle School. Byni is a track star, Khatlyn is a youth member of the Cincinnati Ballet, and Chessie spent her summer demonstrating and teaching circus skills such as tightwire, juggling, and plate-spinning at summer camps in the Cincinnati area. They hope to follow in the success of Clement’s three other sisters (who?) who grew-up in the circus.
Douglas Grew: Ringmaster
Douglas is a renowned ringmaster, clown, juggler and performance artist. He has performed as a core member of Chicago the circus/theater troupe, the Midnight Circus, and is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. Douglas has taught college-level Physical Theater through the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Commedia dell’ Arte workshops at the Chicago Improv Olympic Comedy Theater.
Jesse Himmelsbach: Acrobat
Jesse has been training as a gymnast since the age of five and is a member of the Jr. Olympic Men’s Gymnastic Team. He is a Sophomore (current?) Dance Major at Cincinnati’s School for Creative and Performing Arts. An accomplished tumbler, he has found many places to shine with Circus Mojo!
Paul Matthew Lopez: Free Standing Ladder, Tightwire
Paul received his BFA in Theatre from Roosevelt University, and after beginning his MFA at Dell’Arte International School of Physical and Ensemble Theatre, he decided to join the circus! Paul was most honored to be a member of the Seven-Person-Pyramid with the “Fabulous Wallendas” which was featured in Circus Sarasota 2010, and most recently at Looking Glass Theatre’s production of Hephaestus at the Goodman Theatre. Special thanks to his parents for “putting up with a clown in the family.”
Harry Moeller: CyrWheel, Clown, Juggler
Harry was born and raised in Cincinnati and is thrilled to make his tri-state debut as a circus artist. Fourteen years ago he was denied when he rolled into town (with Paul Miller) when on tour with the Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus:the flood of 1996 had cancelled the Cincinnati stop. He was recently on the Britney Spears “Circus” tour as a clown where he juggled, unicycled, and worked the lasso in front of thousands of screaming fans. Harry, otherwise known as “The Human Spoke” joined Circus Mojo for “Cirque Devou” in 2010, where he made his homecoming debut.
Luisina Rosas: German Wheel, Aerialist, Acrobat
Luisina Rosas is a professional circus performer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has a special passion for the German Wheel, but she also loves doing aerials, floor acrobatics, trampoline, juggling, dancing and clowning. Starting as a gymnast at age seven, she has been both performing and competing around the world for the past 10 years. Luisina was the first Latin American ever to participate in the Wheel Gymnastics World Championships, in Germany, 2011. Luisina is currently based in Chicago, where she continues her circus career as well as her education on the German Wheel, coached by the eight-time World Champion Wolfgang Bientzle.
Meshu Tamrat: Acrobat Clown Juggler
In Ethiopia, children spend hours outside everyday without the supervision of adults. Unencumbered by fear, and without the protection of gymnastic mats, children teach themselves to flip, roll, jump and climb. When Meshu was only seven years old he helped start a circus team with other youths on the streets of Awassa, Ethiopia. This circus team (Debub Negat or “Southern Dawn”) was later to lay the foundation for the Awassa Children’s Project and the Awassa Youth Campus. Traveling and perfoming circus-infused street theater, The Debub Negat circus taught villages and towns about HIV-AIDS and other social issues affecting community health. Since Meshu was 11 years old, he has lived at the Children’s Project orphanage and taught circus arts at the Awassa Youth Campus. Meshu worked as the circus’ Artistic Director for five years.
Emmanuel Tawiah: Circus Mojo Resident Artist (on leave)
Emmanuel was born in Ghana and spent his childhood in Italy. As a teenager, he moved to Chicago, where he apprenticed and taught with Paul Miller. He has performed for more than six years, inspiring youth in more than 300 circus shows and 200 workshops. Emmanuel knows mojo: “Some say I am special, others say I am unique, but I just say I am dedicated to excellence.”
Samuel and Sylvia last name? as “Duo Rose”: Trapeze
The passionate, romantic trapeze performance of Duo Rose combines unique elements with aerial contortion. The seamless flow of highly technical skills and intense passion overwhelms the audience and never fails to elicit a powerful emotional response. Samuel and Sylvia have worked together for three years to combine their backgrounds in aerial arts, gymnastics, and contortion to create this dynamic aerial adagio act. In February 2010 they competed in the 3rd International Circus Festival of Albacete, Spain, where they were invited to perform and received the prestigious Critics’ Choice Award. In August (what year?), Duo Rose competed in the International Circus Festival in Havana Cuba (CIRCUBA), becoming the first American circus artists to perform in Cuba since 1959.