Author Archives: Molly

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,



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!


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…


America: You’ve been CROSSED!

After an epic journey spanning Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, with pitstops at the surreal salt flats and sensational sierra nevadas, we made it to sunny San Francisco! Poor Josh and Juliana were sick for most of the drive, but they’ve mostly recovered now. We even had to make a 3 AM stop at the emergency room in the middle of Nevada for Juliana because she accidentally ingested cheese and had a pretty severe allergic reaction. She’s perfectly fine now, though.

salt flat creatures

Molly and Sairuh explore the salt flats… it’s pretty much another planet.

Last night we had a great show with two awesome bands, Honey Moon Tree and Stitchcraft. We performed a few of our acts, added circus to some of their songs, and were generally atmospheric. It was a high energy, enjoyable night for everyone. The venue we were at, Amnesia, happened to be right across the street from 826 Valencia, which I’ve idolized for years, and was Jacob’s inspiration for his Division III thesis project. We contacted them a few days ago, and this afternoon we’re going to go there and do circus workshops with kids! Tomorrow we’re doing a show in Dolores Park, then it’s off to the great Pacific Northwest.

california sunset

Milo napping, Lucy driving – en route to the west coast.


making our way west…

st. louis was awesome.

so awesome our bus, manfred, didn’t want to leave. but we had a wonderful time with our new friends at CAMP (even the kids who liked our bus so much they locked us out of it, with themselves inside) and also with our lovely hosts at the bolozone who let us crash at their traveler’s sanctuary while we waited for jacob & lindsay to work their magic with some charitable bus mechanics.

music on the bus

sairuh, lucy, james and tara making music on the bus

one very very flat state, a few lightning storms and golf-ball sized hail later, we are quite enjoying boulder, co. manfred doesn’t particularly like the mountains, but we do! (oh, so excited for the rockies tomorrow…) our filter system is totally under control, with an ingenious bag-and-bucket method that is reliable, only moderately messy, and doesn’t take forever. the indoor venue show yesterday fell through, but we had a good time putting on a enthusiastic though shaky street show at the pearl street pedestrian mall. as I write, we are all having a relaxing bonding dinner party at the house of ukulele loki (our boulder benefactor), our first chance in days to spend some non-traveling, non-performing time all together.

every once in a while it hits us that we are a traveling… veggie-fueled… circus. despite hiccups & our many ‘learning experiences,’ we are living our dream. we are doing what circus is known for: the unlikely, the impossible, the incredible, the magical. we are making real connections with each other and with people all across the nation, doing what we think is necessary and important for ourselves and the world.

grease collecting 2
tara, milo, sarah, and james collecting grease

– tara (& molly)

(p.s. lots of new pictures on flickr, because I finally got a new card reader. also, *ahem*, new troupe bios…)


What an unpredictable turn of events!

Minnesota was almost a bust – it was rainy all day and we didn’t get to do our noon show in the park.  We were shown some incredible hospitality by the parents of one of our Hampshire friends, and finally figured out a fast and simple method for filtering grease.  Despite the rain, people showed up at 5:30 to see circus, so we gave them a show!  It was an abbreviated version, under a gazebo in the rain, but it was fun and the crowd loved it.  Though morale was a little low last night when we didn’t find any grease…

Today we stopped in Iowa City for what we thought would be a brief grease excursion – but we started street performing, met several other circus folk, and people started asking if we were going to do a show.  We collected a TON of grease, did a lot of filtering, and decided to do an impromptu show in a nearby square.
It was probably one of our best shows yet!  In fact, it’s so great here that we’re about to go and do two more shows  tonight.  We met a lot of amazing people, and the most adorable tiny kitten ever.  All quite serendipitous.  Alright, time for me to stop blogging and go do another show!

Tomorrow: St. Louis.  More pictures will be up soon…