Friday, December 18, 2015

A special thanks to Bread & Roses for this Essence Story written by Larry & Noreen Brewster about our most recent outreach show.

Childhood innocence and pure joy were on full display as the young children watched and interacted with Circus of Smiles clowns, Tyler and Paula, a husband and wife team. The thirty children ranging in age from 5 to 8 chose to wait outside on a brisk December afternoon while Tyler and Paula set up. As one little girl said with great anticipation, “we don’t want to ruin the surprise!”

The children could not have been more excited and willing to interact with the clowns. They would, for example, shout warnings to Tyler when Paula was about to pull the chair out from under him. Or, they would encourage Paula to sneak up on Tyler while he juggled. There was constant laughter, and the energy and enthusiasm of the children was infectious. Tyler and Paula involved the children from the very beginning to the end of their show. When they asked for volunteers, almost every hand went up every time. One trick involved two of the staff and two children, resulting in building a human pyramid.

The clowns cleverly and subtly shared life lessons with the children through their routines. For example, they taught the importance of teamwork, and that violence never solves problems. Their ability to be funny, interactive with the audience, and impart valuable life lessons truly make Tyler and Paula very special performers.

The children were treated to dancing, singing, juggling, acrobatics, and even karate. There was lots of laughter, applause and shout-outs from the children as they eagerly and quickly became part of the act. The laughter wasn’t limited to the children. The staff enjoyed themselves almost as much as the children. Toward the end of the show, a few parents arrived to take their children home. After some pleading, they agreed to let them stay to the end, and it wasn’t long before the parents were laughing too. After the performance, all of the little girls came to Paula and asked questions about her costume, and how she was able to do the things she did. Some even shared their favorite tricks.

There is no doubt that Tyler and Paula—Circus of Smiles—in their brightly colored costumes, and through their antics, transported the children and adults to a magical place. It could have been in a big circus tent anywhere!

Beautiful Photos by Peter Merts

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