How to join the sea circus

Sea clown Sustainable Circus

Hey ma, I’ve run away and joined a sustainable sea circus.

Dreams evolve with the times: 50 or 100 years ago, running away to join the circus was a far-fetched dream for plenty of kids and some adults. But today circuses are no longer about freak shows or entraining lions and elephants to do tricks. A sustainable circus of today features humans and tricksters, acrobats, aerialists and artists. With “circus” a class at my kids’ Waldorf School in Tel Aviv, we better plan for a lot more of our kids running away to join the circus. 

But where will they go? Perhaps to the sustainable circus at sea, The Sea Clown Sailing Circus currently travelling around our part of the woods in the Mediterranean. 

Sea clown Sustainable Circus, New York Times

Clowning around. Via the NY Times.

What makes the Sea Clown Sailing Circus sustainable is that the crew of 8 and sometimes more, moves from Greek island to island by sailboat, using the motor as infrequently as possible. If you are a musician, an acrobat or a sailor you are welcome to apply to the circus. If you have all 3 skills even better. 

“Our nomadic band of merry musicians and acrobatic activists combine the playful and daring spirit of the traveling circus with an attention to low-emissions travel and environmental impact,” write members of the Sea Clown Sailing Circus. “We have been inspiring and motivating audiences with our shows and unconventional modes of transportation for over 20 years, evolving from bicycles to boats and hoping one day to fly.”

Maybe by a salt, crystal or solar-powered airplane, because by choosing fair and sustainable practices such as sailing, rowing, cycling and solar energy, the sea circus says, “we try to maintain a mindful relationship with the ecosystems we come in contact with.

“While living communally on our small fleet of restored boats, we embrace recycling, repairing and re-using as a way of living, striving to have a regenerative effect on the planet and leave no harm in our wake.”

Sea clown Sustainable Circus

Tips for joining a circus

If you want to join the sustainable sea circus which docks at various Greek islands, you can reach out here. Just ask. 

I had a friend who joined a circus crew in France, a land-based circus, and in practice they played and built ideas together and then the group busked for a living on the streets in major cities and tourist stops. If street performance and acrobats is where you headed just try where you are local. Look for street performers and ask them about groups, mentors or places you can go to start. 

Acrobatics courses are becoming mainstream. While you may not live near a place that offers a high-wire there are plenty of aerial acrobats and aerial calisthenics and yoga classes in most major cities around the world. 

Get good at an instrument. Pianos and the contrabass aren’t good travellers, but taking up the accordion, trumpet or clarinet could be a good start.

If you want to travel sustainably, you can always find and sail your own boat or outfit a floating home: I had another friend who built a raft from plastic bottles (way before David de Rothschild built Plastiki) and sailed around the North Sea out of Germany as a sort of art and environmental statement. 

Art and clowning around, if done sustainably could be a far more satisfying job than being a global nomad tied to your laptop and selling NFTs. While it may not be a calling that will last forever, the Sea Clown Sailing Circus, at least some members from the group, have been making a life of it for 15 years.

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