Announcing… the Downside-Up Circus

Dear Anyone who stills follows the Criss Cross Circus,

Recently Tara, Molly, and Lindsay of Criss Cross, along with a few others, have regrouped as the Downside-Up Circus.  We are already planning what we hope will be the first of many tours.  Our summer 2010 tour will be on a smaller scale, with half the troupe size and limited to one state, but it will be just as epic.

How could we top a vegetable oil powered school bus in sustainability and adventurousness, we asked ourselves?  We’ll travel by bicycle!  That’s right, bicycle, in the fine northwestern state of Washington.

You can find out all about our tour, INTERROBANG, and all about Downside-Up on our new website,

Love and Cir-kisses,




It’s been one year since The Criss Cross Circus set out from Hampshire College to travel the nation, leaving smiles and greasestains in our wake. The summer 2008 tour sure was a crazy, grueling, exciting, and ultimately rewarding adventure!

The troupe is now scattered far and wide, pursuing college degrees and other ambitions. Yes, we do have more footage of the tour, and yes, we do plan to edit it eventually into a short documentary to inspire and forewarn others…

It’s also likely that one day (next summer, perhaps?) some of the original troupe will regroup under a new appelation but with the same spirit of intrepidness, creativity, and conviction, and embark on another experiment in living the dream. Until then, prepare for the Circapocalypse!

p.s. the audio got taken off the teaser trailer we had on youtube, but now you can watch the full version again, audio and all, over at vimeo!

the Criss Cross Circus trailer from Circus Folk Unite! on Vimeo.

A post-apocalyptic landscape is the backdrop for the Criss Cross Circus summer 2008 tour. These 11 Hampshire College students have driven from east to west in a colorful, rusted old school bus that runs on used vegetable oil. While the setting is tragic, it is with the humor and magic of circus that we hope to entertain and educate audiences across America.

Criss Cross on Youtube!

The moment you’ve all been waiting for, VIDEO of the tour!  How did I edit 15 hours of footage down to five minutes?  Beautifully detailed tape logs.  At some point in the next year, Tara and I will be editing a feature length documentary about the trip.  Not sure how that’s going to work yet, as we’ll be living 6,000 miles apart (she in London, I in an undetermined place in the Pacific Northwest) and neither of us will have access to video editing software.  But we’re problem solvers, we’ll figure it out.

Without further ado:

Post-Tour Geo-mapping fun

Ever wonder exactly where we performed and stopped and visited along the tour? Now you can find out, on the Criss Cross google map extravaganza! Including where we performed, places we got grease, people we stayed with, and a few other interesting tidbits – all very exact, down to the precise street location (to the best of my memory, and my memory’s pretty good since I was the one who spent the most time consulting Google maps while we were on tour).

View the Map here!


Posing a Question to All Those Musically Inclined (or otherwise)…

Jacob asks the All Important End of Tour Question:

(To the tune of “What do you do with a drunken sailor”)

What do you do with a 36′ blue veggie-oil-converted-hippy-circus-bus that you don’t want sitting on your lawn?

We journeyed, we circus-ed, we left a trail of vegetable oil wherever we went and now… what do we do with our tour bus? Anybody?

– Lindsay

And the Bus Makes it Back to Boston… Barely.

So I exaggerated slightly – the bus (along with Jacob, James and myself) rolled into Melrose, Ma for its final stop on Wednesday. It had a lot of difficulty with reversing while running on diesel, so parking took us several minutes of starting, stalling out, rolling back a few inches, repeat.

Nevertheless, us six Criss Cross Circus members (Sairuh, Tara, Lucy, Jacob, James, and myself) who journeyed back to the east coast plus Becca, a friend we picked up in Washington, all made it safely to our various destinations (Colorado, New York, Boston). We escaped the flooding in the midwest, skirted around hail storms, and arrived in Massachusetts just in time to miss the thunder here.

It is a strange feeling to have all of the Criss Cross Circus spread out across the country (and soon the world as several of our members will be heading over seas within the next few months) and I already miss living in a small space with a lot of people. Having an entire bed, let alone a room, to myself is very bizarre! Definitely keep yourself posted if you want to hear more from us – Milo and Molly have been dreaming up big things for the Criss Cross Circus book and we’re all excited about getting that out within the next year! It should be quite spectacular.

– Lindsay

And so the tour ends… or does it?

Well, since the tour ended about a week I ago, I’ve been lazy about updating the blog, so I guess it’s time to backtrack a bit…

in the beginning

Sadly we said goodbye to Sarah in San Francisco so she could start her summer job at Acrosports. We had a lovely drive up the west coast, stopping to camp near Mt. Shasta, and stopping to visit some old friends in Portland. We performed at the Evergreen State College in Olympia for their huge Super Saturday festival. It was a great show. We heard Pure Cirkus was in Olympia and we headed to town to see their show, but sadly being poor traveling performers, none of us could afford it. Luckily we happened upon several jugglers in the street, and had fun playing with them for a while.

We had a nice relaxing day at my house north of Seattle, and did one final show in a neighborhood park. For our final Roadtrip Nation interview, Tara, Lucy, Juliana and I visited the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) and chatted with Chuck Johnson. After repacking the bus, some unsuccessful greasearch, and much hugging, Manfred departed with Jacob, Lindsay, Tara, Lucy, James and Lucy’s friend Rebecca in tow – bound for the east coast. Milo and I chased them down the highway for a while to get some final video shots of Manfred on the road. Josh and Juliana headed back down the coast towards San Francisco.

the many faces of criss cross

Lots more pictures up on flickr, including pictures of our show that my dad took!
rollie skreslet & skreslettesI think I'm getting a signal!plant puppetryladybug & crow silhouettefour-high thinker

Meet the Troupe has been updated yet again!

Both a book and a documentary film about our trip are in the works!

The tour may be over, but make sure to stay tuned for the further adventures of the Criss Cross Circus…