ORANGE PARK – The circus is coming to town!
From Feb. 12-23, Circus Kirkus will be under the big top in the parking lot of the Orange Park Mall ready to wow and entertain all ages.
Kirk Marsh is the creator, co-producer and head clown. Yes, the head clown in the Circus Kirkus. The name, Circus Kirkus, is in homage to Marsh’s mother, who nicknamed her son Kirkus McGurkas, playing on Circus McGurkas from the Dr. Suess book “If I Ran the Circus.”
From the time Marsh was 12 and his grandparents took him to see a Ring Ling Brothers circus, he knew that this what he wanted to. He taught himself to juggle and began working on ways to entertain people.
Fast-forward about eight years and Marsh was in college unsure of where he was going in life. He was home cleaning out his old room as his parents were moving, and he found the program for that Ring Ling Brothers circus he had attended when he was 12.
In that program was an audition form for Ring Ling Brothers clown college. He wrote a letter, and a few weeks later, he was in St. Louis auditioning.
“It truly changed my life,” Marsh said. “I’d never been on stage before; I’d never done anything like that, and I absolutely fell in love with all of it. It was just so cool. We actually auditioned in the arena for the Greatest Show on Earth.”
Marsh made it through the audition and ended up touring the United States with the Ring Ling Brothers’ circus for about a year. It was an amazing experience for Marsh, but it also fueled his designer to entertain people with his own circus.
After working for the Ring Ling Brothers, he made his way to Orlando, where he worked for the theme parks. He performed for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World from 2004-2012. All the while he was developing the different ideas and some of the acts that would eventually become the Circus Kirkus.
Between 2008 and 2015 he headlined on cruise ships. He has performed in 53 countries around the world.
Finally, he began putting together the Circus Kirkus, which will begin its run of shows this year.
“We are a small little show with a lot of energy. It’s a cool venue, so no one is farther away than 30 feet from the stage, so every seat is really great,” said Marsh. “It’s a lot of whimsy; it’s a lot of fun.”
The show features a lot of comedy, as well as other circus staples such as aerialists, jugglers and acrobats.
“Our show is geared towards the whole family. I developed my show at Disney,” Marsh said, “and the focus was making sure the whole family was entertained. I want people to come and forget about their problems for a little while. Enjoy a really beautiful show. Basically, run away with us for an hour and a half or two hours and really enjoy what we’re offering and have a great time with your family. Experience laughter, daring feats, things like that, so we can all feel more connected to each other.”
Tickets are available on https://www.circuskirkus.com/tickets.