Hello everyone! My name is Sharon, and if you have seen Circus Mojo before, you probably have seen me, heard my name or seen my picture somewhere, because I have been an employee of Circus Mojo for over five years! I began as a volunteer for Circus Mojo in February of 2011 as I waited for my work visa. When I first started, I would have to ride the bus from my apartment in Loveland to Ludlow and back, which took a big chunk of my day, but it was worth it. Five and a half years later my commute is much quicker as I drive my car from my house which I just recently purchased.
I’m now beginning a European Tour to perform, train, and teach my circus skills and to hopefully learn some new skills, too. But I wanted to take a minute to reflect on how far I’ve come.
The video below is from the 2011 Macy’s ArtsWave Sampler, the first big gig that I performed as a volunteer.
In these five plus years, I had the opportunity to perform in amazing venues and for great audiences. We have performed for the Cincinnati Reds, P&G, NKY Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati Bengals, Mercedes Benz, University of Minnesota, University of Cincinnati and Kentucky Symphony, among others. It’s quite hard to choose the best ones but maybe performing live with the KY symphony was one to remember, or really, anytime I felt confident about what I was doing and supported by them.
The big gigs are great opportunities, but my day to day work may be even more amazing. I am a Circus Wellness Specialist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center where I bring “joy and distraction” to the kids at the hospital. Now, after years of working at the hospital, I am a trainer for incoming Circus Wellness Specialists from Circus Mojo. I enjoy all the work at the hospital, but my favorite area to work at is the cancer unit.
This has been quite a journey, and like the title, the road has had bumps, too. But one of the things that always helped me through tough times has been the amazing group of people that I have had the chance to work with. Perhaps you have heard people talking about circus as a big family, well, that is no joke! Being in the circus has given me the opportunity to travel many places and meet circus people literally anywhere in the world. I am always thankful for those people I’ve met along the way and remember how lucky I have been to travel to teach, learn and perform in places like Finland, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands, places across the US and of course my native Mexico. I have been impacted in some way by everyone I have worked with; some have become very dear to my heart, but I have learned so much from the difficult people too.
All of this sounds amazing right? Well, it mostly is, but at the end of the day, this is also a job. So like any other job there are difficulties that we have faced, like when we broke an aerial rig hours before we had to perform a show for thousands of people, or when we have had silly arguments about music cues, costumes or who is teaching what class. We have all had days when pressure gets to us and we get so disappointed, angry or just sad and we have to cry, but, I was once told that is OK to cry, because big part of being an artist is sensitivity, and if you can’t be sensitive, you shouldn’t be in this business.
When I began with Circus Mojo I knew how to do the aerial silks and as the years have progressed, so has my circus skill set. The newest discipline I have learned is the gym wheel (or German wheel). Wolfgang Bientzle, my coach and a major force behind Circus Mojo, gave me the opportunity to learn the wheel and now I regularly travel to Chicago to train and instruct with him.
In June, 2016 Circus Mojo was the local host for the 2016 Wheel Gymnastics World Championships where I competed for the second time on an international level as well as performed and instructed during the weeks festivities. It was an unforgettable experience where I got to meet and be inspired by wheelers from all over the world.
The first time I toured with Circus Mojo was to the 2011 American Youth Circus Organization Festival in Florida and while packing for my current European tour, I found my AYCO Badge.
My second tour with Circus Mojo was my first European experience. We travelled to Germany to work with Circus Pimparello. You can read about that experience here.
Now, I am on my fourth European tour and cannot wait to see what happens, what I will do or who I will meet! Check the map- I may be coming to a country near you!
It seems like it was just yesterday when I walked in that theater for the first time and now with thousands of gigs under my belt, I still can’t believe how time flies!!
I look forward to sharing my experiences when I return to Circus Mojo and may all your days be circus days.