Smiling faces, visits from friends and family, light-hearted entertainment—all are essential in keeping people, especially children, comforted and calm. Amidst COVID-19, social distancing has restricted these interactions, and places like hospitals—that need the smiles the most—have limited these uplifting measures. Emergency Circus has come to the rescue with Circ-a-Grams.

Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, Emergency Circus founder Clay Mazing has taken to the streets to deliver Circ-a-Grams around the Big Easy. Atop his “Shzambulance,” Clay dazzles audiences from afar with knife juggling, bullwhip stunts, and the message that we all have “superpowers” like his well-trained circus skills—they’re just waiting to be unlocked through dedication and confidence.

emergency circus

New Orleans is not just Clay Mazing’s home base, but also a pandemic epicenter—another reason why he is offering his support locally.

“[It’s an] inspirational show about believing in yourself and your abilities to become a superhuman,” said Clay Mazing. “Circ-A-Grams [are] for kids and adults who need a little extra excitement to blast away the mental health issues that come with boredom and uncertainty.”

The mental health impacts of COVID-19 are not to be overlooked. Physical, financial, occupational, and social stresses are taking a toll on people globally. This is even evident in new sleep patterns, as “can’t sleep” has been trending since stay at home orders have been mandated.

“Juggling knives in a superhero outfit on top of a Shzambulance is the only thing keeping me sane these days,” said Clay Mazing—a relatable sentiment as we all go a little stir crazy.

clay mazing knife throwing

Need some sanity—or circus insanity—yourself? Simply call 1-(NOW)-CIRCUS-1 and leave a message to request a performance. Let Clay Mazing know if you are local to New Orleans or if you require a virtual visit. Circ-a-Grams are free, as many in need can’t always afford entertainment, but donations via PayPal help support these 15-minute circus spectacles.

With the motto “bringing joy to the under-circused,” the Emergency Circus was established in 2012. This selfless troupe has spread circus joy all over the world, from Syrian refugee camps in Jordan to hurricane disaster zones in Puerto Rico. Pre COVID-19, Emergency Circus expected to be in Iraq this month.

This non-profit brings laughs and love where health and happiness struggle. Through performance and the power of the human spirit, a Circ-a-Gram can replace your stresses with smiles during this unprecedented time.

In the wise words of Clay Mazing, “Sometimes to break the spell of monotony all you need is a guy with a megaphone in blue striped tights juggling knives to Bonnie Tyler’s “holding out for a hero” on top of a circus tent painted ambulance.”

Call 1-(NOW)-CIRCUS-1 to request a performance or donate to the cause on PayPal, made possible through the Emergency Circus website.