Pie in the Face!

One of the oldest clown tricks around is to smash someone in the face with a shaving-cream pie. 

Shaving cream? 

Why not whipped cream?

At Circus Smirkus Camp, kids are taught the ancient art of pie throwing so that they can do it both effectively and safely.

The Smirkus Index reports the little-known fact that it takes only 2.5 bars of shaving soap to make 100 “clown cream” pies at camp! 

Pie in the Face at Circus Smirkus
About to be "pied" on Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour

Another circus tradition is that of celebrating someone’s birthday by “pie-ing” him or her with a clown cream pie. You want to sneak up and catch the person unaware, and then make sure you get a good smear, all over the face. 

One of my favorite stories in Circus Smirkus, a True Story of High Adventure and Low Comedy, by Smirkus founder Rob Mermin, goes like this: 

“It is an inescapable fact, fated since the day a [Big Top Tour] trouper was born, that if it is your birthday during the Tour, you will get a pie in the face.”

“Sometimes even when it is not.”

“Having an off-season birthday, I escape this fate. However, one December I received a package from trouper Leo containing a can of shaving cream and a pie tin with the note: ‘DO IT YOURSELF.’” 

Why Not Whipped Cream?

“Why not whipped cream?” you might ask yourself. 

The clowns informed me that whipped cream would stain and could also smell rotten if it stayed on your clothes or in your hair, whereas shaving cream is just soap. It washes off. 

Given how many pies you can get out of a bar of shaving soap, it’s probably also more economical

So we’ll save the whipped cream for some of our real pies!

Successful Pie-in-the-Face!
Successful Pie-in-the-Face!

Circus Smirkus is a nonprofit arts and education organization based in Greensboro, Vermont, dedicated to promoting the skills, culture and traditions of the traveling circus, and to inspire youth to engage in life-changing adventures in the circus arts. Since 1987, Circus Smirkus has been bringing the transforming power of the circus arts to people of all ages through three principal programs:

Circus Smirkus Big Top Tour is the only traveling youth circus in the United States. Performing under traditional European-style circus tents, the award-winning circus company consists of some 80 people including teen performers, professional circus coaches, tent and technical crew and a live circus band performing an original score each year.  The tour caravan requires 23 support vehicles and launches its Big Top in nearly 20 New England towns each summer, performing to approximately 42,000 patrons each year.

Circus Smirkus Camp is for both people of all ages and skill levels (including adults) who want to learn the circus arts in a summer camp setting, under real circus tents set on our lush Greensboro campus.

Circus Smirkus School Residencies offer K-12 students the opportunity to learn the circus arts in school or after-school programs throughout the school year.