My time at Circus Mojo

IMG_6043My name is Kira Haid and I’m one of the two volunteers from Germany. Since I’m a child I love it to travel. So I decided very early that I want to do a year abroad after my High School. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the culture, the people, the land and at least the language. While my research for a volunteer year I found the Organization IJGD which offered a year abroad in a Circus in America. This project sounded perfect for me. Not only the fact that the USA was one of my favorite target. I also love to do circus and was in the German Circus Maronie for 5 years. After some paper work and a bunch of seminars I finally flew to the US. And now I’m here since more than 4 months.

Circus Mojo is different than my German Circus. For example at Circus Maronie we just have one big show once a year and a bunch of small shows in my area. I never did the entertainment for birthday parties or worked in schools. So at the beginning it was for me a lot of new things here.

Another big and for me new task at Circus Mojo is the work at the children hospital. Circus Mojo works at the hospital for almost 5 years. It’s an enrichment program that helps those who are sick become active participants in the circus arts.

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The first times when I went to the hospital I just observed Manny and Sharon. After 2 months observing and a some medical tests I finally get my own badge. The work in the hospital is difficult. You have to pay attention about a lot of different things (clean everything after you use your stuff, don’t be in the way of the nurses/doctors, pay attention to the kids).

But I have to say that I really like this kind of work because beside all the sadness in this job there is a very nice side. I can’t describe this feeling if you get the kids and their family smiling and if you can give them some nice minutes where they can forget everything worst. We also give the kids some circus stuff like balancing feathers or ribbons what they can keep. And I saw seldom kids which are so thankful for such small things. Also their enthusiasm for the circus makes my day often better.

In our first 4 months we already had the possibility to travel. I already told you how much I love it to travel and so I was even more happy about that. Our first trip was to Chicago. It was just Rosa and me and we traveled to Chicago to visit a friend. We were never before in Chicago, but we felt in love with this city. IMG_0891After our 4 day trip we get picked up from the Circus Mojo team and drove to a big gig in Minnesota. The name of the gig was Cirque-du-Stress and it was in a college. It was one of my highlight since I’m here. It was a very big show with a lot of talented people from different countries. It was interesting to talk to them and to interchange the own circus experience.

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Because of the fact that we really enjoyed the Show in Minnesota Rosa and I decided to make our own Circus Mojo Christmas Show. After the team agree to do the Show we started to prepare it. First we looked for some local sponsor and we get three donations from Wynners Cup Café, Second Sight Spirits and live Music from Folk School Coffe. After we found our sponsors we designed our poster and flyers and spread them out in our area. Than we looked for music and started to create our acts. At the same time we also started to clean the Auditorium and get the stage ready. One week before our show happened we had a rehearsal where we did our whole show. Sadly I sprained my foot during a dance in our juggling act. I was glad that I could do at least the juggling, acrobatic and poi act. But I wasn’t able to do my wire act. So I was very happy that Tate could perform on the wire instead of me. We created in the last minute a new wire Act. Tate is a very good wire walker from Ludlow and she will go this year for the second time to Germany to Circus Pimparello. But this time she will not only spend a few weeks their, she will spend a whole year in Germany which is pretty cool.

To sum it up I would say the Show was a success. The room was full of people and we get a good feedback. Even though we had a stressful time we had a lot of fun and I’m glad that we did it.

A note from Paul Miller: Tate and 12-15 other young people from Ludlow will be participating in Circus Mojo’s immersive culture and circus exchange program to Germany’s CircArtive Pimparello this summer!
This program takes circus beyond a performance- or amusement-based activity to become a vehicle for instilling in young people the cultural competency and awareness necessary to be accomplished global citizens, in much the same way that the Kentucky Department of Education is approaching students’ international literacy*.
Circus traditionally relies on the bizarre and exotic to attract audiences, and it is in that same spirit that Circus Mojo draws audiences and participants.  I am extremely grateful for the IJGD organization which has connected us with various valuable circus artists who bring to Ludlow not only their talents as performers, but also their foreign accents and unique perspectives- they bring the world to Ludlow.
If you are interested in this opportunity please email info@circusmojo.com for more information.
*To that end, Circus Mojo is beginning the inaugural term of the Institute for Social Circus Vocational Training Center, a program for adults to learn how to use circus arts to build relationships in various cultural and medical settings.
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