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Epilogue

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.

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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:

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…

-Molly

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…)

How Iowa helped Criss Cross get its groove back

The Circus bus made a screeching, groaning halt in Iowa City, Iowa for two reasons. The first was the need for more used vegetable oil and the second was the fact that it was no longer going to drive properly, if at all.

As some of our troupe filtered vegetable oil, and some of our troupe made a trip to the auto mechanic the musicians decided to practice on the street next to the bus. This was a very fortunate decision. We attracted some local circus folk who pointed us in the direction of an awesome little park where – a few hours later we performed twice. We met some amazing people including book store owners, a man with a tiny kitten, jugglers, break dancers, hoopers, unicyclers and even some higher-up circus folk who were happy to give us some performing tips. We made a decent amount of money and some other unexpected loot including coupons for free ice cream, a crystal, and blessings from born-again Christians.

For not being on our tour at all – Iowa City was still one of the best places we have stopped thus far, and it was a necessary Awesome Day after a string of difficult ones.

Just to give you a gist of what our tour on the whole has been like thus far: Filled with amazingly awesome people. Just about everyone we have interacted with has been beyond friendly and helpful. We have put ourselves in some tight spots, but so far someone has been there to help us out every time. Occasionally it has felt as though this tour is more about 11 college-aged kids learning how to run a grease-bus across country tour instead of a Circus tour, but the past few days has really broken that down. We have performed four times in the past three days, and we are actually beginning to see a very teeny tiny small amount of money… which will probably need to go straight back into the bus.

One other amazing thing I like to call the Big Blue Bus Effect is this: It feels as though enormous quantities of people are encouraged to come and speak with us randomly on the street due to our giant blue bus. It makes us very accesible to the public at large, having a big blue bus certainly seems to be one wonderful conversation starter.

-Lindsay