Pittsburgh Circus

Ep. 28 Meet the Pittsburghers who joined the circus

We chat with the co-directors of the Pittsburgh Circus Arts Collaborative

by Stephanie Brea | May 19, 2020

🎪 Meet the Pittsburgh Circus Collective

The Pittsburgh Circus Arts Collaborative features acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, flow artists, magicians, stilt walkers, and fire performers. The group performs all over the city — from a Downtown Pittsburgh Friday night market, to a Sunday evening in a Shadyside plant nursery, to a bar in Lawrenceville, to a private wedding reception. And now, due to social distancing mandates, some members are even performing through a window. We chat with co-directors Jason Kirin (aka Zero) and Joseph Kerr (aka Joker) discuss how COVID-19 has impacted their performances, the history of the group, and oh yeah, setting a world record for a vapor spin.


Both Zero and Joker explain how they came to be professional circus performers and they reminisce on some favorite performances. PS. If any listeners can make this happen: They would love to perform on a bridge with the city skyline in the background. Or at the Benedum.


🎪 To virtually run away with the circus, we recommend you dig into their socials:

Pittsburgh Circus Collective: Website | Facebook | Instagram

To follow Zero on social media: Instagram @JugglingZero and Facebook @JugglingZero

To follow Joker on social media: Instagram @thejosephkerr and Facebook @flamesdean

What’s a vapor spin? You can get an idea, here:


Since our podcast is all audio, we recommend you watch this short documentary by WQED: https://bit.ly/circusWQED

And remember, you can still hire them:


🛁 Pip & Lola’s soapy goodness

Soap is a hot commodity right now, and local soapmakers Pip & Lola’s is currently offering 25% off of all orders. Based in Homestead, their storefront is currently closed to the public, but they offer free shipping (and curbside pickup). There’s so many soap choices, plus shampoo bars, bath bombs and more. And while you cannot smell the bars in real life to make scent choices, they have such lovely, punny names that you can choose based on that alone. Pro Tip: If you have been in the kitchen more, their Cup of Joe soap made with coffee grounds is amazing at getting that garlic and onion smell off of your fingers after meal prep.

🥪 Take-aht dinners from Pittsburgh Sandwich Society

Our friends Pittsburgh Sandwich Society (of Sunny Side Up brunch fame; the masterminds behind that donut chicken sandwich), are offering two takeout dinners a week from their Lawrenceville commissary kitchen. It is usually burger night on Wednesday and Fried Chicken Fridays. Preorders are required, and you are assigned a pickup time. Your food is delivered via a social distancing slide.

Dinners sell out quickly, so stalk their Instagram account for the weekly announcements and then order on their website.

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📸 Header photo credit: Amanda Blair

Stephanie Brea

Stephanie Brea

Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town.

An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters.

Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested.

At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role of podcast producer for The Slaw. She’s pretty familiar with a microphone, thanks to that aforementioned poetry degree, and she’s got the wherewithal to ask Epicast Studios for help. She listens to too many true crime podcasts, and currently records from her bedroom.

If you know of someone who would be the perfect podcast guest, send her an email.

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Download the Very Local app to stream all of the Very Local original series for FREE!