“I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. We hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them – or lessons they learnt. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by our Llewellyn du Plessis.
Many people are afraid of clowns and turn ice cold if they see a red nose approaching them. That’s certainly not the case for me. At a very young age I found friendship in perhaps one of the most unlikely place one can imagine… the circus
Growing up in a small town called Meyerton in the Vaal Triangle would sound boring to most but there was a plus side of living here. The Boswell Wilkie circus, a world renowned family business, was our neighbour. This always provided the opportunity to see the artists fly from one side of the big top to the other. Fancy costumes and glitter was a given and the smell of sawdust will forever make me relive those special memories with my family.
As the Boswell Wilkie Circus ended their final season as a touring circus in 2001, they transformed the circus farm into a coffee show and opened it up to the public. This became our weekend spot as a family and when they opened their circus school I knew I had to join. Many people dream of running away with the circus but I did not have to run away as the circus was right next door (LOL)!
When I joined the circus school I met Suzie Wilkie and Karen Wilkie. Suzie being the daughter of the founder of Boswell Wilkie and Karen the wife of Robert Wilkie, the founder’s son. I lived for Fridays as that meant that I could see my circus family at the weekly circus school practice.
After a couple of years I joined the corporate entertainment team that performed at various corporate events across South Africa. Suzie Wilkie always made sure we looked phenomenal in the best vintage circus costumes and Karen was our manager and make-up artist.
Whenever I had my costume on and my face painted it was almost as if the world disappeared and I could just be free. There was no worry in the world that could stop me at that moment.
The Big Top was our playground and the sawdust and glitter will forever be in our veins.