Circus Mojo Comes to Rotary

by Pat Moynahan on April 12, 2016

Paul Miller of Circus Mojo.

Paul Miller of Circus Mojo.

FLORENCE – What do you do if your mojo isn’t working and your life appears to be spinning out of control?

Well … uh … you might try spinning a plate to get your mojo going again.

That’s what Paul Miller says.

Miller is the founder of Circus Mojo in Ludlow. One of the ways his troupe brightens the spirits and builds the confidence of young people at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center is by teaching them circus skills like spinning plates on a stick.”

“The doctors can’t spin plates. The nurses can’t spin plates. But the kids can spin plates,” Miller explained to members of the Florence Rotary Club at a meeting on Monday, April 4. “The kids can do something their doctors and nurses can’t do.”

Miller performs just one of his many tricks.

Miller performs just one of his many tricks.

Miller is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers Clown College and toured with the world famous circus for a while. He also is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music with a degree in Dramatic Performance.

He combines his experience from both in Circus Mojo, a three-ring array of camps, programs and performances to present and teach circus arts. All are designed to unlock personal talent, confidence, drive and spirit.

“It’s not about what you can’t do. It’s about what you can do,” Miller told the Rotarians. “Circus Mojo is a non-traditional way to help young people.”

Since its creation in 2009, Circus Mojo has brought performers from 25 different countries to Ludlow, according to Miller. He formed an educational partnership with Circus Pimparello in Germany several years ago to take his show on the road, and he plans to produce a circus festival in Mexico this spring with help from the U.S. Department of State.

Miller purchased the former Church of Nazarene building in Ludlow in 2013 and hopes to turn it into the first center in the United States dedicated to vocational training of circus in non-traditional environments. He has taken over 100 people to Germany and hopes to take 10 -12 in the summer of 2016, he said.

“What would take kids from Ludlow to Germany?” he asked. “They think they can do anything. That’s our goal.”

In December, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center presented its Orthopaedics Department H.O.P.E (Highest Orthopaedic Patient Experience) award to Circus Mojo for its work with patients in the division’s waiting room. Circus Mojo not only teaches patients there a circus trick or two, but also helps them deal with challenges the way clowns do.

“Clowns fall down, people laugh and clowns get up and try it again,” Miller said.