Tag Archives: German circus

George’s Story: Germany 2016

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George is a freshman at Thomas B. Doherty High School in Colorado Springs and a fifteen-year-old acrobat whose dynamic  flips wowed the crowds in Germany. He traveled with us as a guest artist from Salida Circus. Billed as “Colorado’s most unique circus troupe,” Salida Circus has a professional troupe along with social circus outreach development, which makes them a perfect partner for both Circus Mojo and Circus Pimparello.

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When my boss, Jennifer, from Salida Circus got the text from Paul about Germany, I wasn’t sure how to feel. I was hesitant to join a Kentucky circus that was a three-hour flight from my home and then take another flight to Europe. Getting the chance to go to Germany was amazing, though, even if I was nervous.

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It was a pain in the butt getting to Germany, yet it all paid off in the end. I improved my ball juggling and tumbling and matured quite a bit. A few of my funniest stories have come from this trip, ranging from getting a bad haircut to slipping in the mud and accidentally eating some. The point is that not only does the trip here benefit my skills, my trade,and my maturity but it also has taught me important values and life lessons, all while having fun.

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What I’ve noticed about Circus Mojo and Circus Pimparello members is that all of them are young people who are getting the opportunities they need to work and learn in an expressive outlet–CIRCUS! This is a rarity in today’s world. I’m glad to be a part of such an important project and hope to participate again.    

george 

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All the way from Germany

Hey my name is Rosa, I am one of the new volunteers from Germany and I have been working at Circus Mojo now for almost 5 months. The reason why I decided to come as a volunteer to Circus Mojoprofil picture was because circus has been my passion since I was eleven. I got the opportunity doing Circus from my high school in Germany which offers a social circus program called Circus Calibastra for their students from the 6th grade to the 13th grade. During this years I got involved in the circus world a lot. Because I am in a Show Group now called Variatistic and loved it so much I decided to want to do a volunteer year abroad in a circus. Through IJGD, a company which offers volunteer programs, I found Circus Mojo and here I am.

 

Even though the work here can be very exhausting, I really enjoy it most of the time. Especially the work in the hospital and the teaching is what I love to do. My favorite thing is, when I can teach the skills which became my own. Trapeze, hand balancing and acrobatic are the skills I have been focusing on the last years the most. For me it is a pleasure to give my experience in this skills further to the Kids.

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Enjoying Lake Michigan in Chicago

 

In Germany it is a very common thing to do a volunteer year abroad after finishing the high school. It is a great opportunity to see other cultures, countries, working places and people from all around the world. You learn how to deal with a lot of different challenges. For example living on your own, being without your family, how to deal with money and of cause also how to handle with all types of people and personalities. For me this volunteer year is a good possibility to get the ground skills you need to live your own life. What I am talking about is for example independence, creativity, flexibility and the willingness to compromise. I do not expect to become perfect in all this things, but it can be at least a goal to grow in all this things.

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2015 Circus Mojo’s Christmas Show at Saints Boniface & James

“Physical education” is the name of the program of the Dohn Community High School where Circus Mojo has been part of since the end of September 2015. Every Monday and Wednesday morning a part of the Circus Mojo Team sets up to the Dohn School down in Cincinnati to teach for one hour a Circus Class. The kids are between 14 and 16 years old and have not done or seen any circus before. We teach them basic skills include juggling, acrobatics, plate spinning, globe walking, rhythm and tight wire, which helps them developing their coordination ability, their patience and their will to achieve success.

But in this class not only our students have to learn to be patient also we as the Circus Mojo stuff have to learn how to teach with patience. The class reason for this is that the kids are very chaotic and have not the best behavior. This difficulties are making it hard for us to get their attention and to have a focused class. Even though we still have our “bad days” with these kids we are getting them more and more involved in doing circus and their skills have improved the last months a lot.

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My students at Dohn Community High School

A lot of times we meet people from Cincinnati and tell them we are from Germany the reaction is always friendly and surprisingly nice. The reason for this is not only because Germans are just nice peopleJ it is especially because Cincinnati is well known as the German American city. So a lot people start to talk with us about their German back round, how much they love Germany, our beer, our food and that their dream is to visit Germany sometime or again.

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Christkindelmarkt in Cincinnati with fellow Volunteer Kira Haid

Because we feel so welcome here we thought we shouldn’t miss the “real” German Christkindlmarket and the Oktoberfest. So of cause we went to both of them and each of it was a funny experience and an interesting discovery what Americans think what is real German food or real traditional clothes. We tried for example the Bratwurst but I have to say unfortunately it was not the same like in Germany. There was also some stuff they sold which I have never seen before. But all in all we still liked it and it was fun to see and to watch what Americans think it is German culture.

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Cirque De-Stress at University of Minnesota

I have been working here with a lot of kids, teching different things, but I hope in 2016 to get more kids I can teach trapeze and I look forward to training new skills.

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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Memorandum from Germany | Mike Blackmore Discusses Circus, Business, Self-Actualizing

This isn’t the first time I have had to put in 16 hour days. I was a marching band kid and we were at the mercy of directors and drum majors all day, every day.  Some people will argue that time spent at band camp isn’t nearly as grueling.  It usually isn’t, until a football player doesn’t see you coming out of the tunnel and knocks you for nine yards. Band camp probably wasn’t as pleasurable as circus – I would have preferred learning circus skills.  Instead, I chose to spend most of my summers getting yelled at for waddling in wrong directions.  I suppose my penchant for idiosyncratic wanderings is part of the reason I’m working in the circus business.  It’s a family thing – two distant relatives were both cooks in the circus.  I’m not in the tents with the performers and trainers day in and day out but I do talk shop and write a lot of plans, proposals, and emails… a lot of emails.  It’s all part of the game when you’re helping design and develop a circus business.

As an observer of social circus, I have seen a lot of the good.  Circus, in this context, helps with character development, mastering judgement, and, in my case, gaining experience with and growing confident in making business decisions.

The most common theme I see across the blogs is the unfolding of self-actualization. Perhaps this is an unexpected result, but not necessarily opposed to social programming.  How much more can you bring to a social group if you are aware of your capabilities and interests? The following quotes are a snapshot of the realizations the campers are discovering – realizations that elucidate circus’ role in their bigger life plans:

Erinn Parker: “I am thinking of actually going into circus horse training instead of just normal horse training because it would be fun to do the tricks on the horse for circus…..I want to stick with circus training throughout high school and possibly college – it just depends on where I go to college and for what.”

Jesse Suttles: “I never thought it would be possible to have an experience like this.  For crying out loud, my career choice has always been to be a Navy SEAL…..I have officially decided to make circus my career choice.”

Jesse Dascola: “Things were different and I needed a change.  I thought circus wasn’t it for me anymore and I decided to go to culinary school…..I’ve thought about going back to circus for about a year.  Now that I have finally come back to the circus, I know that my life will not be complete without some circus in it.  I know circus will always be part of my life, and I can integrate culinary with that because circus people have to eat.”

As for myself, working for Circus Mojo and visiting Circus Pimparello have served as case studies pertaining to my two primary career interests – art and real estate.  I had the opportunity to travel to Berlin for a whirlwind three days to meet and talk about the circus industry with performers. I have seen the plans for Circus Pimparello’s new circus house and have been working towards Circus Mojo’s redevelopment of Ludlow Theatre and development of the Institute of Social Circus and Vocational Training Center. With long term thinking in mind, I hope to have investments in social circus, talent management, traveling show production and built spaces that serve as performance venues for circus and other arts. I can now say that I have international business experience because of time spent in Germany with Circus Pimparello.

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Andrew Kutcher Looks into a Day at Pimparello

Wow, has it really been three weeks already?  And what an amazing three weeks it has been.  The first week was the European youth camp with kids from all over Europe.  We got a chance to be campers and work on improving some skills that we already had.  I got to spend three hours a day juggling in the morning and three hours doing partner acro in the afternoon.  This was great because we got to meet so many other kids our age that have amazing skills that we don’t.  The best part was that everyone was willing to help teach you whatever it is that you wanted to learn.  Then, just as we were making friends, it was time for them to say goodbye and go home.

However, we stayed to prepare for the next two weeks where we would be helping teach circus to over 100 kids.  The last two weeks have been full of long days.  We get up and have a team meeting at 7:30 AM and then go and wake up the kids at 8:00 AM.  Breakfast is at 8:30 AM.  Then the kids have some time to take a shower and get ready for the day because training starts at 10:00 AM.  Block A goes from 10:00 AM to 12:00 AM where I have been learning how to do some contact juggling.  Next, lunch is at 12:30 PM.  Then, from 1:30 PM until 3:00 PM, the kids have free time whenImage they can jump on the trampoline, play volleyball, play in the woods, swim in the pool, etc.  Then at 3:00 PM we have another team meeting.

Block B starts at 3:00 PM.  I teach club juggling.  Block B is over at 5:30 PM and dinner is at 6:00 PM.  After dinner there is a group activity based on the day’s theme ( olympics, theater, music etc.).  Then the kids go to bed at 10:00 PM and we have another team meeting at 10:30 PM.  After that the leaders hang out and go to bed around 11:30 PM.  The next morning you do it all again.  The days have been long but it has been nice to see just how hard the kids here are willing to work.

It has been a great three weeks and I am going to miss it, there is no doubt about that.  However, it will be nice to get home to see my family and take a real shower.  I am hoping that I will get to come back and visit my new friends in two years.  But until then, I will keep learning new things and sharing all I know with anyone willing to learn.

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Andi Wywiorski’s Detailed Aesthetic Experience at Circus Pimparello

It did not take the full three weeks for me to fall in love with this place. The soft green slopes surrounded by towering trees, horses whickering as I pass them by, the dirt paths against my Imagebare feet.  Now my time here is coming to a close and I cannot believe it.  Everyday is absolutely brilliant here.  Each morning there is sweet, thick, fresh honey – which I am going to miss more than I should – followed by a day filled with training that only inspires me to work harder, and the nights are beyond beautiful.  We often gather around a bonfire, the crackling of the fire married with our laughter and the soft hum of nature, the smoke spiraling up into a million stars overhead with the brightest moon I have ever seen.  All of this, and I am surrounded by some of the loveliest people I have ever had the pleasure to know.  They fill my days here with such joy; my eyes first flutter open in the morning to someone who is there for me with a smile and I fall asleep to a German chorus of good night wishes.

I would like to say how grateful I am to Circus Mojo for this opportunity.  Paul took a chance on me, an aerialist from Chicago whom he had never met, and I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that he allowed me to come along to Germany.  I don’t think I could ever find the words to express how incredible this trip has been; so I will just say thank you, a thousand times over, thank you.

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Jesse Suttles’ Eye Opening Experience, New Life Plans

OMG!  This place is amazing! I just wish I could bring all my family and friends and bring them here for good.  I never thought it would be possible to have an experience like this.  For crying out loud, my career choice has always been to be a Navy SEAL.  But now that I have been here in Rappenhof, Germany and attended eye widening classes like partner acrobatics, lira, juggling, and much more, I have officially decided to make circus my career choice.

Every German I have met has been like a best friend – always supportive, nice, willing to translate for us, and the kids are so cool too.  As a matter of fact, there are over 100 kids here and more than half say my name really loud when they see me and ask for a high five or to do a hand shake that I showed all of them. Everyday has been one thrilling adventure after another, especially with all the Germans treating us so greatly.

I’ve noticed that America is really unhealthy compared to here.  The healthy food has been great for me, but the weather, not so much.  I caught a virus a few days back, but thanks to some rest and some German medicine, I was back on my feet and feeling much better by the next morning!

Last year when the Germans came Ludlow, I was coming home every night speaking more and more German.  My parents hated it because they couldn’t understand me so they should be super excited to know that I know way more than I did before.  But the good news is that I have a head start on German class and around 50-60 Germans that said I can use them as a dictionary!  Thank you, Facebook and Skype! In two years I hope to come back and not only speak more German but also have another life changing experience like this one.

But for now, Tschüss und Guten Tag!

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Jesse Dascola on Germany: There and Back Again

Four years ago when I first laid eyes on the Circus Pimparello camp grounds, the site was breath taking.  This year I was nearly brought to tears when I saw the camp grounds again.  I never thought I would get to come back because I left the circus in September of 2009.  I always thought about coming back on my own when I was older because I had friends from the last trip who were still involved and the Pimparello camp is just so amazing. The owner, Sven, is always talking about how this place is a paradise.  I don’t think everyone agrees with that but I wholeheartedly do.  This place is a circus get away – there is not much else around but woods and animals.

I was scared to come back because things change, as do people, and I was scared the special place that I knew, the place tucked away deep in the woodlands of Germany, might not be the same anymore. I was afraid that place where I could take a break from training and sit and listen to the breeze as it sweeps across the trees with the distance noise of kids playing and learning circus would not be there anymore. I was scared I would come back and none of the people I met on my last trip would be here and that everything would be different because I was a different person.

I have grown up since the last time I was here. I was 15 the first time and was a camper.  This time I’m 19 and a teamer which means I teach and take care of the kids, but I still get to do some training.  I like being a teamer better.  I feel like I really get to know the campers, especially the ones I care for, and its easier to get closer with the older German teamers and my friends from last time.  Sure, the responsibility is greater but the reward is so much better.

This time I co-teach a clowning class, and it gives me so much joy to see the kids trying to become great clowns and really listening to the critiques we give them.  Its not easy being a clown but once you become a clown and once you’ve joined the circus you can never really leave it behind. I know this first hand because, as mentioned earlier, I left the circus about 3 years ago.

Things were different and I needed a change. I thought circus wasn’t it for me anymore and I decided to go to culinary school.  Now I take classes at the Illinois Institute of Art Chicago and, while I really enjoy doing that, I have constantly thought about going back to circus. During my time off from the circus, I would still juggle balls and round food to entertain people.  Of course I would always be funny, because I am a clown, but it was never enough for me and I always wanted more.

Then I got another chance.  In Dec. of 2011, I saw Paul doing one of his shows and he offered me the chance to go to Germany again.  When he asked me this I was so excited but I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.  I hadn’t done real circus in years and I needed to get back in to it. For four days before we left for Germany I was in Ludlow retraining at Circus Mojo. I worked hard because this meant a lot to me.  It meant I could do circus and still follow my passion for cooking.  All of this meant going back to Germany, something I had dreamed about since the day I left Germany four years ago. During those four days I acquired most of the skills I had before I left the circus.  Once in Germany, I was able to start learning new tricks.

Since being here I think I have had some of the best times yet in my life.  I got to reconnect with old friends and make new ones and I get to be part of a circus family.  I’ve thought about going back to the circus for about a year.  Now that I have finally come back to the circus, I know that my life will not be complete without some circus in it.  I know circus will always be a part of my life, and I can integrate culinary with that because circus people have to eat. I cannot thank Paul, Sven and everyone else who made this trip possible enough.  I think I have been happiest here – words cannot really describe how this place makes me feel.

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