“Girl Power” (1/3 in series)

Khera Lorraine Smith: Circus Girl in Show!

Born in Sarasota, Florida, on September 8, 1995, Khera studied at Sailor Circus, Sarasota, Fl, for 10 years. She graduated with Most Outstanding Senior Girl award, and the Smile and Style award, 2 years in a row. She also won the high wire award, 2 years in a row. Khera’s performed in numerous shows, including Circus Sarasota & Big Apple Circus.

C.K.: What circus arts do you perform?

Khera: I perform mostly high wire and single trapeze. I also perform Lyra, Aerial Silks, Unicycle, and Roman Rings.

C.K.: When afraid, or seriously challenged, what do you do or tell yourself?

Khera: I keep my breathing under control. Sometimes, I have to force myself to do something without thinking about it too much or Ill back out or freak out. Basically, I just remind myself it’s okay, and then I just do it before I have time to overthink. I get out of my mind. My body knows what to do.

C.K.: Behind the glamour, smiles, and sparkle of circus and entertaining, what have you had to push past to get to where you are today?

Khera: I’ve had to push through an illness (Lyme Disease). I was pretty sick for a while. Even after getting treated, symptoms lingered. This made my career difficult. Unfortunately, I have a skin condition called Psoriasis. It also gives me Psoriatic Arthritis. When it flares up, it can be emotionally tolling. When performing, I must change my costumes to cover up the skin marks or use makeup to hide it. Along with feeling self-conscious, I deal with the arthritis pain. (Thank goodness, this isn’t nearly as painful as the pain connected with Lyme Disease.) The show must go on. It’s hard when you’re struggling physically, but also emotionally. There are bad break ups. Fights. Family members pass away. This year, [2018] I had to perform minutes after finding out my brother-in-law died.

C.K.: What are a few ways that life differs for a circus performer, in regard to having a social life, romance and family/children?

Khera: Travel! That’s the major difference. Every time I’m in a show, or travel out of state, I’m away from my friends and family. For a long time. I don’t get to see my friends as often as I’d like. Dating can be hard because of the travel. Unless you are in the same act, you’re often separated for long periods of time. [Circus performers] travel a lot during holidays. So often, I’m not with my close loved ones for Thanksgiving or Christmas. On a positive note, traveling helps you develop good social skills. I make friends fast, since I’m only in a town for a few days/months at a time!

Khera is the 2018, persevering fairy-princess of circus!