Monday, June 29, 2009

Up Up & Away!

Saturday, June 27: Sandwich, MA-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Today was a beautiful day. As Ryan and I were sitting at the local farmer's market eating lunch, we were lamenting how we would much rather be at the beach than performing this afternoon. 

The crowds today were ok; nothing to write home about, especially in the reactions department.

Ryan's brother, Pete, was visiting today. He hung out with us during the second show and only watched our gags. Obviously he is a glutton for punishment.

Another visitor was Mat Coes, a 1989 Clown College Graduate that clowned on several shows in the early 90's. He worked with Casey when Casey was a punk teenager. Now he's just a punk!

We had our nightly BBQ without Mr. McCoy tonight. He and Mr. North went to Cole Bros. this evening (speaking of gluttons for punishment).

After we were done eating Ryan and I jumped in Pete's car and we went to the Falmouth Cinema Pub to see "Up". 
I've been waiting to see it for a long time now, and I was not disappointed. I want a Kevin so Pato can have a play mate.

June 28-Plainville, MA June 29-Pepperell, MA June 30-Merrimac, MA

To Gladys

Friday, June 26: Pembroke, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
This morning's lot was tricky in that it was at the bottom of a big hill. Most of the trucks and trailers had to back down a narrow road to get parked, but Jan and I were able to take an alternate route straight down.

Casey and I went to Dunkin Donuts to treat the America's Own crew to breakfast. Later on in the day I went into town to do some shopping as well.

The sun finally came out today, which was great. There were still plenty of clouds around though, and it did sprinkle a few times.

We had decent sized crowds for both shows. There was a lot more energy being put out by the crowd at the second show; not too surprising.

During one of the Intermissions a woman came up and asked me to sign a coloring book. As I was doing so, she said, "Make it out to Sarah. S, A, R, A, H."
I signed "To Gladys", because I'm hilarious, and handed the coloring book to the woman.
About 3 minutes later the mother came back and said, "I believe there was some mistake. I asked you to write 'To Sarah', and you wrote 'To Gladys'."
"Yep,", I agreed.
"She doesn't understand," the mother proceeded.
When I asked who, she pointed out Sarah to me. I then tried to explain to the five year old girl that I was a clown and why it was funny that I wrote "Gladys" instead of her name.
Met only with a blank stare and a mouth hanging agape, I defeatedly turned to the mother and said, "Give me the coloring book."
I changed the name on the book and in doing so, surrendered a small part of my soul. Oh well, that's show business!

The only other noteworthy occurrence of the shows for us was a great reaction to the sink gag.

We had to move off the lot tonight due to incoming bad weather, but it turned out we had nothing to fear; it only sprinkled some more.

The move didn't deter us from having a BBQ up on the parking lot at the top of the hill. Much fun was had as we played word games and listened to Michael Jackson music on the radio.

June 27-Sandwich, MA June 28-Plainville, MA June 29-Pepperell, MA

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Is There A Dentist In The House?

Thursday, June 25: Berkley, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Since we were still parked next to the high school this morning, we once again had to get up earlier than necessary to be out of the school's hair by 7:00 a.m. Since our jump was only 14 miles long, we got to Berkley extremely early.

The town wasn't exactly a bustling metropolis. We were on a grass lot by the library and about the only point of interest that was nearby was a gas station.

I set out to explore in the afternoon and ended up walking two miles AWAY from any signs of civilization. Perhaps if I hadn't been on the phone with some friends, I would have noticed. 
Speaking of which, I was Mr. Popular today; I was getting called left and right. When it rains it pours! (a saying we are very familiar with on the Kelly Miller Circus)

The first show today was packed. During Intermission I was talking with a little kid that was holding a spinning light. All of a sudden, unprovoked, he jabbed me in the mouth with it. If he had hit me any harder he would have chipped a molar.
I calmly took the light from him, held it on the other side of the wall that seperates the bleachers from the ring side seating, and dropped it so the kid couldn't get it.
I then walked away to another area to do more meet and greet. Several minutes later the kid and his father walked by with the light in tow.
"You broke it," the father scolded.
"Yeah," I replied, "and I think he broke my tooth."
The father sheepishly apologized and then went on his way to the novelty stand. Hopefully he got everything sorted out.

There was the annoyance of a lot of town people walking through the back yard today. I hate having people see me in my t shirt and clown boxers as I lounge in the Alley.

The South Shore Circus Concert Band came to play music before the start of the second show. I pulled my chair into the backstage area so I could listen to them; they did a great job.

The second show was jam packed as well; the Intermission was a much more positive experience, thankfully.

At the start of the second sink gag, Ryan and I were running into the tent. When Ryan went to screech to a halt, he slipped on the wet grass and quickly fell to his back. I was right on his tail so I could bump into him, so I had no time to react. Before I knew it I had toppled right on top of him.
It got a laugh from the audience, and the good reactions carried over into the gag itself.

Casey was feeling sick during our nightly BBQ and turned in early. Ryan and I stayed to help Natalie and Radar clean up and tear down when we were done.

June 26-Pembroke, MA June 27-Sandwich, MA June 28-Plainville, MA

Pato Growth Report

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Boring!

Wednesday, June 24: Middleboro, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Even though we were only going 40 miles this morning, we had a 5:30 a.m. call. The reason was because we were playing next to a high school, and all the vehicles had to be on the lot by 7:00 a.m. to avoid interfering with school traffic.

I went to do laundry with Natalie and Radar this morning; it always feels so nice to have clean clothes, especially after all the wet weather we've been having lately.
Speaking of which, to no one's surprise we had more overcast skies today.

At least we had good crowds to brighten our spirits. Ryan and I also had the pleasure of hanging out with Rick Cobban, a 1971 Clown College graduate that was on the Blue Show for four years. I had met him a couple of times before, but it was nice to finally have some time to chat with him.

I had a terrible headache all day; I thought maybe once I got a good meal in my stomach (compliments of America's Own Bar & Grill) that I would feel better, but that was not the case. Lame (just like this entry)!

June 25-Berkley, MA June 26-Pembroke, MA June 27-Sandwich, MA
 

Friday, June 26, 2009

No "Deliverance" For Us

Tuesday, June 23: Mendon, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Between stopping at Wal Mart this morning and then getting lost, our 36 mile jump took Jan and I about two hours to complete. Needless to say we were the last ones to arrive on the lot.

As soon as I got out of the RV, I threw my stuff in the room and then met Ryan and his grandpa George, who was taking us to Concord, MA to go kayaking on the Concord River.
After driving an hour or so to get there, we discovered that the boat house was closed. Grandpa George had been told they were open at 10:00 a.m., but no one was around.

We decided to look around town and try back at the boat house in an hour or so. We went to the North Bridge where the famous "shot heard 'round the world" took place, and then we checked out some of the shops in downtown.

When we checked back at the boat house, a surly gentleman out front informed us, "They're usually open, but today they're not." D'OH!
Ryan and I were both extremely disappointed; we had been looking forward to this trip for awhile.

On the way back to Mendon we stopped at Grandpa George's house and saw his amazing basement. He has collections of Coca Cola products, an area set up like a 50's diner (complete with counter and booth), sugar packets from around the world, and an amazing amount of photographs. 

We stopped for lunch at a Brazilian BBQ joint; it was delicious! While eating I realized that this meal was commemorating a very special Brazilian experience that happened two years ago around this same time. Va va voom!

Finally the crowds picked up for the shows today; the first show was jam packed! Ryan's grandparents were there, and Mr. North was back starting today.

I bashed the hell out of my knee in the sink gag. When Ryan was chasing me with a pipe I slipped on our slick tarp and came down full force on my left knee. Let me tell you, it wasn't a fun feeling.

Ryan's mom came to visit for the second show, which was also jam packed. I even had my own section of fan girls sitting near the curtain. I befriended them during Intermission, and they were yelling for me for the rest of the show.

My knees survived the next sink gag, but we almost lost the water out my ears bit. While we were doing the gag the tube that runs from my ear rig to my hand pulled all the way up my sleeve and was running down my back where I couldn't get to it.
Since Ryan's mom was in the audience and the crowd was really into the gag, I decided not to sacrifice the bit. While I was behind the sink I reached into my shirt and yanked the tube all the way out; it looked a little ghetto for the end of the gag, but we got the big laugh anyway!

I was going to invite my fan club to the BBQ tonight, but they had split before the show was even over. Lame!
We ended up staying up way past our bed time anyway considering we had a 5:30 a.m. call.

June 24-Middleboro, MA June 25-Berkley, MA June 26-Pembroke, MA

Thursday, June 25, 2009

At's A Spicy Meat A Ball!

I have no way to express how frustrated I am. The slow Internet in this town led to me losing this entry after I had already typed it out. Here we go again, from memory...


Monday, June 22: Spencer, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

As soon as I had parked Jan this morning I met up with Ryan and we found a little local diner where we had breakfast.


It was another overcast day with rain. It was only misting, but it was still miserable.


A lot of Ryan's family came to the show today. His cousins, Patricia and Gabby, Patricia's children, Genevieve and Odin, his aunt Susan and uncle Chris, and his paternal grandparents. Besides them bringing us a ton of food: sandwiches and chips for lunch, trays of cookies and brownies for dessert, and pasta, sauce, bread, and meatballs for dinner, Gabby designed these awesome shirts for them to wear so they could all show their Ryan & Steve (and Pato) support.



We had a decent sized crowd at the first show. Ryan's family made a fantastic cheering section; we got good reactions to our material, but I think most of it came from them.


After the first shovel gag I was running through the curtain when I hit a patch of mud. I slipped and slid on my feet for a good 5 seconds (according to Ryan I looked like a cartoon character on an oil slick), before finally losing my footing. Luckily I landed right beside the mud and my authentic frontier wardrobe was no dirtier than before.


We had faucet problems in the first sink gag. I should have expected it; whenever someone says to me, "I better see a perfect sink gag with no mistakes" (and believe me, that gets funnier EVERY TIME I HEAR IT), something invariably goes wrong.


We had an average sized crowd for the second show. I sure hope attendance picks up here in Massachusetts; at least the sink gag went off with a hitch!


At the BBQ tonight we gave the grill a break and enjoyed the delicious pasta meal that Ryan's family made us.


June 23-Mendon, MA June 24-Middleboro, MA June 25-Berkley, MA


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Sunday, June 21: W. Springfield, MA-5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
This morning Chris Allison picked me up at the lot and took me to the Marriott where his wife, Gina, and son, Hunter, were. Chris and Gina were both on Ringling and now have their own circus company, Cirque du Jour (http://www.cirquedujour.com/home.htm).

We spent some time hanging out in the hotel's pool and jacuzzi while talking shop and swapping stories.

When Ryan got back to the lot from doing laundry, Chris went to pick him up and we all hung out. 

While Chris was gone, Hunter called us outside the indoor pool area to check out a little park, which was on the same level as the pool, the 6th floor. Gina and I joined him outside, and when we went to go back in, we found we were locked out!
Luckily after a little searching we found another door back into the hotel, but we were sweating it for a few minutes!

Before we went to lunch, we decided to play a little Father's Day prank on Chris. Gina and Hunter told him all about this great "outdoor restaurant" on the 6th floor that was having Father's Day lunch specials. We took Chris outside to see it, and as he was looking for the nonexistent restaurant, we snuck back into the pool area and locked him out.
That is why I'm never getting married and having kids!

The Allisons treated us to lunch and more stories at the hotel sports bar. When we left it was raining steadily; luckily it let up before the shows and it was just misting.

There was a small crowd at the first show, maybe over 100 people. Thankfully the Allisons were there to give us moral support.
They also gave us a great free roll after the show: beer, chips, and homemade salsa!
Ryan's dad was also visiting and brought us a bountiful free roll of beer (a possible reason for blog tardiness?).
Here is a picture that Ryan's dad took of us with Senor Pato. Look how big he is!
(Just in case you were wondering, Senor Pato got Ryan a tie for Father's Day)

I was sorry Ryan's dad had to see the second show. We had a whopping 44 people in the tent during the tiger act (2 more came in that I know of during the juggling act).
At the beginning of the show everyone was moved up into the preferred seating to condense the crowd, and those that had already paid the $2 extra for ring side seating were refunded their money.
Needless to say we kept the show trucking along. Oy vey!

At tonight's BBQ we put a nice dent in the beer we were brought.
*hiccup*

June 22-Spencer, MA June 23-Mendon, MA June 24-Middleboro, MA

Monday, June 22, 2009

"I've Got a Bucket Bucket!"

Saturday, June 20: W. Springfield, MA-5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
We had a 120 mile drive ahead of us this morning; it was a piece of cake!
We were playing at the Eastern States Expo, home of the Big E. The lot was nice and grassy, but the sky was overcast all day.

Ryan spent all morning working on the bucket head, and finally he finished it. We took a break to go with Ryan's grandparents to get some lunch. They were driving through on their way to Connecticut, but they stopped to visit.

I was going to walk to a German restaurant a little ways from the lot, but Ryan's grandparents took us to a "swanky" one downtown known as the Student Prince instead. If we had known it was so "upscale", we would have dressed up a bit. I was wearing a t shirt, baggy shorts, and a backwards baseball cap (aka my usual attire), and Ryan was wearing a tank top and shorts.
The host made Ryan put on a chef's jacket to cover up his bare arms. This was funny because usually Ryan is the one decked out to the nines at all times, and I am the resident fashion slob. They said nothing about my backwards cap!

All throughout the meal I kept rubbing salt in the wound by poking fun at Merrill...err I mean Ryan. 

At the end of our dining experience Ryan tried to sneak out of the restaurant with the jacket, but the male host spotted him and said in his most pretentious tone, "I'll be taking that."
I told Ryan he should have retorted, "Better waitresses than you have tried!", before honking him on the nose and then bouncing around like Daffy Duck.
Sadly we don't live in the twisted cartoon world that is my mind, so Ryan had to surrender the jacket...and a small portion of his dignity.

Back at the lot Ryan and I worked non stop to get everything ready for the bucket head's debut in the show today. We selected the perfect tag for the end of the gag, and Ryan re cut some of the music tracks and added some new sound effects.
Then we had to find Vickie to give her the new music. She had a problem getting the tracks onto the show laptop, so we had to try a different method. Finally we solved the problem and talked her through the new cues just a few minutes before doors.
Then it was a mad dash for us to shave and shower and get into make up for the first show.

We had a small crowd for the first show, maybe 100 people or so. It was not a good way to gauge reactions to the new shovel gag blow off, but everything went smoothly and nothing screwed up. We were a bit nervous though, and the gag is now considerably shorter without all the talking and set up of the original gun and arrow blow off.


We died a horrible comedy death in the sink gag. Nothing got a laugh except for when the water shot out of my ears. Not even sure fire bits got an audible reaction. Oy!

It started to rain during the show; oh joy. God forbid it go one day on this show without it raining!

Also during the first show I was surprised to see Joe Barney and his family coming towards the Alley with a huge snack free roll for me and Ryan. Joe was one of my instructors at Moosecamp (http://mooseburger.com/camp/index.html) back in my formative days, and he has come to see me on several shows throughout the years.

They stuck around to see the second show; also visiting were Gary Spear and Mike Reading along with Gary's two daughters. Gary was a Clown College 1982 Graduate and makes professional clown shoes (http://www.spearshoes.com/), and Mike is a local clown that performs with Gary. 

We all visited before the wonder that was the second show. What was so marvelous about it? 69 people in attendance, that's what! You heard it, the only time that number isn't used in a good connotation. 

To put it nicely, the show was rough.

After the show I went home with Gary for a delicious home cooked meal prepared by his wife. Mike was also along as well as another visitor, Rob Balchunas, also known as Rob the Balloon Guy, who worked with Ryan at Fanuiel Hall two years ago.
After dinner we retired to Gary's basement where he has a home theater set up. We watched the second half of the movie "Get Smart" before Mike took me back to the lot.

June 21-W. Springfield, MA June 22-Spencer, MA June 23-Mendon, MA

Me Tarzan

Friday, June 19: Saugerties, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Ryan and I walked into the downtown today. It had finally stopped raining, but it was still overcast and the lot was still a mess.

We had lunch at a NY deli so I could eat all of my deli staples. Next we checked out the used book stores and antique shops in town. I made a good haul at one book store; I picked up two I Love Lucy books, a Little Rascals book, and a Buster Keaton bio. I also picked up Rock Hudson and John Wayne bios for Jan, who has had me on the lookout for them all season.

We weren't as successful at finding cool things at the antique shops. It was tough to see through all the "smug" hanging in the air. A few of my sea shanties would have knocked some pretension out of them I bet!

Today was a big mail day; I finally got my Kelly Miller letterman jacket...just in time for summer! It has a huge Kelly Miller logo on the back, a smaller one on one breast, and the words Steve Copeland Clown Alley on the other breast. It is sweet!

We had an average sized crowd for the first show. The tigers were inside the tent in a back corner with a cover over their cages for the whole show since it would have been a pain in the butt to push them outside through all the mush. Yesterday it was the same scenario, but today during the shovel gag a couple of them got into a fight right before we started the main action of the gag. The audience all looked over in fear to see what the commotion was and we had lost them. We just got through the gag as best we could.
The sink gag was equally as painful; luckily the second show today was the first decent sized crowd we have had since arriving in this "lovely" town.

We had a good Intermission and got one big section of audience on our side and laughing at our crowd interactions. That carried over well into the sink gag; we had a good connection with those folks and I feel it was contagious to the rest of the audience.

We also riffed a little in the gag due to an unexpected bit. When Ryan got hit in the face halfway through the gag, his wig flew off his skull cap. After we had finished with the bit, I noticed the wig on the floor, and channeling my best Larry Fine I yelled, "AHH! A tarantula!"
After I bashed the wig with a pipe for a few seconds, Ryan stopped me and put the hair back on his head.

Later in the gag when I hit Ryan in the face with a hammer, he jerked his head back and his wig flew off again. After he got up from his toothpick fall (where he falls straight back, goes up on his head, and lands on his stomach), I looked at him sheepishly, picked up the wig, stuck it in the front of my overalls like a clump of chest hair, and did a Tarzan impression. That got a big laugh from the audience.
It was a lot of fun to improvise a little and break up the monotony of doing the same gag two times a day, seven days a week.

June 20 and 21-W. Springfield, MA June 22-Spencer, MA

Friday, June 19, 2009

David Kiser Stole Our Word For Twenty!

Thursday, June 18-Saugerties, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
It started raining last night around the time I went to bed. As I curled up under my blankets I consoled myself by thinking, "I don't have to get up for 6 hours. Surely it will stop raining by then."
Obviously my self doesn't like being called Shirley, because when I woke up for the 6:00 a.m. call, it was still raining. And it continued raining all day until we got into our shows.

We were playing at a sports center on a nasty lot; mostly grass, and mostly standing water due to all the rain.

Ryan and I went for a walk to find some breakfast, and on the way we spotted several cool shops to check out later. We did stop at an Argentinean cafe so Ryan could peruse their wares.
When we got back to the lot we were soaked, and the only thing I wanted to do was get into clean, dry socks.

I walked into town later in the day (the weather was still miserable) to explore, but decided to save most of my goals for tomorrow. 

I really didn't want to start work today, but once we got going, it was easier to get into the swing of things.

There were maybe 100 people at the first show. Crap! I composed a sea shanty about this town that perfectly expressed my mood over the weather, the lot, and the first crowd. I believe writing the first two lines here will tell you all you need to know:

"We're in Saugerties, someone kill me please!"

'Nuff said.

The second show had a slightly bigger crowd. There was one kid that was busting a gut during the shovel gag. I was glad that at least someone was enjoying the gag enough to express it outwardly. 

As I was meeting and greeting during Intermission I was surprised to see David Kiser! He is the current talent manager for Feld Entertainment, but started out as a clown back in the 80's. Later on he moved into management and he was the performance director my first year.
I invited him to the America's Own BBQ after the show so we could catch up.

I was very happy with the way the sink gag went; we actually got some good laughs for the amount of people that were at the show.

We had an epic BBQ tonight; it ran about 5 hours and didn't let out until almost 2:30 a.m. It was so great sharing stories and laughing with David. I'm really glad he visited, it gave a great ending to a crummy day.

June 19-Saugerties, NY June 20 and 21-W. Springfield, MA


Thursday, June 18, 2009

OOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHH!

Wednesday, June 17: Napanoch, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Today we were playing on a concrete parking lot next to a half closed down shopping center. There was a hardware store, a couple of restaurants, a liquor and gift shop, and a post office open.

I walked to town for breakfast and on the way back stopped at a grocery store to pick up some grub for tonight's BBQ at America's Own Bar & Grill.

Ryan did a lot of work on the bucket head, the new blow off of the shovel gag, today. We received latex on Saturday and have just been waiting for sunny days to coat the foam. Ryan pretty much finished everything except for painting his face on the inside bucket. 

We weren't expecting big crowds today since the town was booked just a few days ago, but we were surprised.
The first show was decently attended, and the second show was sold out. They had to add a few seats to accommodate everybody.
Many thanks to Natalie's brother who promoted for this town; obviously he did a good job.

Ryan, Radar, Nat, Casey, and I kept ourselves entertained today by coming up with sea shanties about people, places, and things. Here is a sample shanty about Radar (so named because of his big ol' ears):

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!
Radar the groom
uses a broom
to clean the tiger's pen

Late at night
if his head's turned right
we can pick up CNN!

Tonight's BBQ tasted especially good since I provided the cheesy brats (my new favorite food group). Even having one of the brats spew molten hot cheddar on me didn't waver my affection.

June 18 and 19-Saugerties, NY June 20 and 21-W. Springfield, MA

Serenity Now!

Tuesday, June 16: Washingtonville, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
To put things simply and avoid undue stress by reliving events, I will just say that this morning's drive and parking on the lot was stressful (understatement of the year). Is it a bad thing to feel chest pains from pent up stress at 25???
On top of everything else I walked into my room to see my shelves dumped on the floor. After cleaning things up, I just wanted to get away and not see anyone I knew.

I contemplated staying out all day and coming back at the last minute before showtime, but when I discovered that the direction I walked in held nothing in store for me, I changed my mind. Anyway, after a four mile round trip walking along a narrow shoulder with traffic zooming right by me every two seconds, I had calmed down quite a bit (I'm odd like that).

After doing nothing but relaxing all day, I was in much better spirits and ready to face the day and life in general.

The day was sunny up until show time. Then it clouded over and cooled down; I don't think we have had a day be 100% sunny since we left Maryland.

Both shows were packed; their were lines out the door as peopled waited to get seated. I could tell because the Alley was practically on the midway. I guess they wanted to give people more bang for their buck by seeing a clown get ready and change his clothes (I usually charge people to see that). John Moss helped me out by moving the Alley between shows to give me a little more privacy.

Before the second show Ryan, Casey, Nat, and I were standing in the back door shooting the breeze like usual. All of a sudden people in the tent started to scream like crazy; Casey and Nat ran to make sure a tiger wasn't eating someone. Heroes that we are, Ryan and I prepared to bolt to the nearest truck at the first sign of danger.
Luckily danger was nowhere to be found. Someone simply turned the lights off for a second and the crowd went wild.

Ryan made me laugh by doing a crazy fall in the shovel gags today. We saw Lance Brown do it when we saw the Red Unit in January, and it cracked us both up. When I hit Ryan on the head with the shovel for the first time, Ryan jumped in the air, landed on his knees, popped up in the air again, and fell flat on his face.
Since he went out of his way to amuse me, I decided to return the favor in the sink gag. When he slaps me in the back of the head, instead of doing my usual face plant, I did a 108 (a front flip to my back). Unfortunately Ryan didn't even see the fall and as I threw my arms back to give my flip momentum, I clocked Ryan in the nards. 
Anyone that says comedy isn't pain is a dirty liar!

June 17-Napanoch, NY June 18 and 19-Saugerties, NY

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"Hooray For Blix!"

Monday, June 15: Pequannock, NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
I took the time to walk into town today; it was a decent length hike, but it turned out to be a nice walk.

My friend and circus fan, Don Horowitz, came to visit today. I met Don my first year on Ringling and he has been a good friend since. We talked for awhile at the lot and then we went to have a late lunch.

When we got back to the lot I found two more circus fans/photographers looking for me. Jason and Justin had just visited Cole Bros. recently and took some beautiful shots. They asked if they could photograph me putting on my make up.

Right after meeting them and visiting with Don and Paul Gutheil, I had two more visitors find me. Mark and his clown partner, Jay, who do work with Cole Bros., also came by to visit. I was Mr. Popular today!

While Jason and Justin were photographing me putting on my makeup, it started pouring down rain like there was no tomorrow. It started blowing into the Alley, and I had to quickly move everything to higher ground. I also had to move myself to the front of the truck, which was the only part of the Alley not getting soaked.
It continued to rain during the first show; luckily most of the huge puddles that had formed soaked up into the ground. It still didn't stop the day from being miserable though!

We had a very small crowd for the first show. It was embarrassing doing the warm up; we couldn't get the crowd cheering to save our lives.
To get us through the dismal show, I kept Ryan laughing in the sink gag by doing the voice of Pox, Darknesses' pig henchman in the movie "Legend". (I know, we need to get lives)

The crowd for the second show wasn't much better than the first. I had a good laugh at the start of the tiger act. While we were all styling to Casey, he was trying to get Shonti, the youngest tiger, up on her seat. She was busy peeing though, and wouldn't be moved until she was done.
Hey, when you gotta go, you gotta go!

Overall today was just wet and miserable, and I was ready to get the shows over. The parks and recreation department wanted us all to move off the grass and onto the pavement after tear down so as to avoid further damage to their grounds. I moved Jan off before catching a ride with Don to get dinner.

We found a diner not too far from the lot that was still open. Diners are definitely the one thing I love about Jersey...jug handles can kiss my grits!

June 16-Washingtonville, NY June 17-Napanoch, NY June 18-Saugerties, NY

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Boo!

Sunday, June 14: Pequannock, NJ-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
I didn't get much sleep last night before I had to be up at 5:30 a.m. On top of that it was an extremely looooooooooong 90 mile drive to Pequannock.
By the time we got to the lot I was bushed, so I fell into bed and didn't fall out until much later than I wanted to. I even missed getting paid! D'oh!

We had an average sized crowd for the first show. I was too lazy to put my contacts in, so I did the shows "blind". Even without them, I was able to spot Paul Gutheil taking pictures from the crowd. Paul is a circus fan and great photographer. I have many photos that he took of me during my years on Ringling.

There was a decent sized crowd at the second show, but I've always found Sunday crowds to be somewhat lame no matter what their size. I think religion forbids having a good time on the Sabbath.
To spice things up a bit, I went out to our wild west finale with a cowboy bandana blindfolding me.

We had quite an exotic night at America's Own Bar & Grill. The main dish was salmon and shark steaks. We were "high lining" it! (And no, the steaks did not have cigar shaped, barbed penises)
We also had a little concert: Casey serenaded us on guitar, and I tortured with the same instrument while singing Rock Lobster. Video to come soon.

To top off the evening, we drove to a movie theater to see "Drag Me To Hell". I have always been a fan of the work of the movie's director, Sam Raimi, so I expected to love it. I was not dissapointed! 
Ryan and I were cringing in our seats the whole time while Casey and Radar were laughing at how we reacted to the movie like a couple of 12 year old girls.

June 15-Pequannock, NJ June 16-Washingtonville, NY June 17-Napanoch, NY

I Believe I Can Fly

Saturday, June 13: Plumsteadville, PA-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Ryan and I went to lunch at the Italian restaurant by the lot in the hopes of a cheap, fast lunch. Those hopes were dashed when we sat down for a meal off the menu instead of getting pizza by the slice to go. We did meet a gentleman who books dates for the Lewis & Clark Circus while we were there.

As I was getting into makeup for the afternoon show, it started to rain big fat drops. Soon it was coming down hard and the lot and the entrance to the tent were flooded.

We had a good crowd at the first show, and after it was over John Moss, Courtney, Ryan and I got to ride in a fire truck to Chubby's, the awesome ice cream place where we went yesterday. 
Every year Chubby's does a deal where if you buy a circus ticket in advance, they will give you a free ice cream. In return for the great sales this gives us, the show does a PR at the shop every year. We went and did meet and greet with the patrons and we also were given free ice cream. There was one small setback when we arrived: the power was out. Soon a generator was hooked up and the PR commenced. I had a great time talking with the nice people there and the time just flew by.

Mary Kelly Rayel, a 1990 Clown College grad and current trapeze instructor, and some of her staff: Gwen, Mike, Christina, and Megan, came to see the second show, which ended up being packed. Thankfully the rain had stopped by then too.

A local photographer, Chris Hill (www.thisisbuckscounty.com), came back to the show again today to take more shots. He brought Ryan and I some great, huge prints from blow off and the sink gag. The office took one of our sink prints to hang up. I guess they needed a new dartboard! 

Today we tried a new tactic of moving the sink. We put it outside the ring in a back corner; this new solution seemed to make everyone happy. I figure at this rate, we'll soon have the sink behind the curtain again! Small steps, small steps.

After the show I loaded up into Mary Kelly's car with everyone else and my big bag of laundry. At her neat house I got to do some much needed laundry, and the ladies made a delicious dinner that we enjoyed in Mary Kelly's awesome patio dining room. 
She also has a huge barn that we checked out. I wish I could have seen everything in the daylight. I'm sure Christina wished that too after she got attacked by a bat!

I wanted to hang out longer, but I had a 5:30 a.m. call and Mary Kelly had early classes. She just concluded her Fly School Circus Arts program (www.flyschoolcircusarts.com), but I believe they are starting up again in August.
It was after 1:30 a.m. by the time I got to bed.

June 14 and 15-Pequannock, NJ June 16-Washingtonville, NY

Monday, June 15, 2009

That's Joe...

Friday, June 12: Plumsteadville, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
It was a long 65 mile drive this morning; it didn't help that I thought I blew the arrows a couple of times.

We were playing on a gravel lot next to the fire station (during the course of our two day stand, we heard a lot of sirens and the firefighters saw a lot of action).

It looked like it was going to rain all morning, but the sun came out. Regardless, there were big puddles in the back yard from some unidentified source.

Ryan and I checked out the great local ice cream store, Chubby's, where we were going to be doing a PR tomorrow. The owner is a fan of silent cinema (on Friday nights they show silent movies), especially the work of Buster Keaton, so naturally we hit it off. He hooked us up with free ice cream; it was so good it gave me a chubby! (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

We had an average sized crowd for the first show. We tried a new sink setting tactic today: instead of having the sink at the back center of the ring, we placed it in the back corner to make it less conspicuous. 
This required the prop crew to move it before the gag, but Ryan figured out a way to fix the faucet so it doesn't fall off before we knock it off. The gag was set beautifully all day; the tarp (a great new one that John Moss picked up) was set more towards the center of the ring for the first time since we started the tour. It was so nice not doing all the sink bits practically back by the curtain!

We had a much bigger crowd for the second show, and they were a livelier audience. Unfortunately the Intermission was filled with encounters with a bunch of snot nosed brats. One kid ran up and squeezed my nose; I did the same to him and gave him second thoughts about ever attempting that again. One boy punched me in the chest, so I grabbed his wrist and dropped character to calmly tell him off. Then a bratty young girl was complaining that something smelled like make up when I was near her. I replied, "Oh, that's Joe."
When she and her friends inquired "Joe who?", I yelled, "JOE MAMA!", and did a dance of triumph.
My day isn't complete until I have made a yo mama joke to an 11 year old.

We had our normal BBQ at America's Own, and then Casey, Radar, Ryan, and I went to the bar close to the lot for a night cap.
We made friends with the owner and bartender and were going to join them at another bar down the street, but it was close to their last call (2:00 a.m.) and we didn't think it would be worth the trip for such a short visit.

June 13-Plumsteadville, PA, June 14 and 15-Pequannock, NJ

Friday, June 12, 2009

Relief...

Thursday, June 11: Pemberton, NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
There was terrible traffic on the drive this morning, partly due to morning commuters, partly due to the semi truck that was flipped over on its side on the Interstate. Yeesh!

We were playing on another grassy lot today. Yay! However, it was overcast all day. Boo!
According to my phone and local sources, there was absolutely nothing around the lot worth walking more than 2 miles for, so I took the day "off" to catch up on my reading.

I had a lot of friends visiting today. During the first show I got to hang out with Dan Berkley, Cricket, and Lisa Soverino. Dan, Cricket, and I were all clowns together on Ringling, and Lisa worked with us on the show as a lighting tech.

The first show was good, there were a lot of people and they laughed at our gags. We tried out Ryan and John Moss' new solution for the sink setting problem today. Ryan and I went out and set the sink ourselves at the back of the ring at Intermission, and then covered it.
The pro was that we got to take the time to make sure that everything was exactly like we wanted it. The con was that it was sitting at the back of the ring during the two acts before us. Hmmmm....back to the drawing board. I believe we are close though, and if this new solution of us setting the gag works, then we'll be happy. We just want the job done so we can do our job.

There was some tension between some of the prop crew and us today, both because of the whole situation, and also because of a rash comment Ryan made last night after the "disastrous" sink setting.
We swallowed our pride and apologized for getting so angry at them and overreacting. 
I think it helped smooth things over; the last thing we want is enemies on the show. We still have half a season to go! Plus, I don't know about our guys, but I hear the prop guys on other shows slap really hard, and we don't have our mothers here to protect us!

It poured in between shows. I took shelter under the Cainan's tents and had a nice talk with Casey about the events of the past couple of days. It really helped me put everything in perspective and relieved some stress.

Pat Cashin, his wife, Terry, and their son, Shane, came to see the show tonight. Dan, Lisa, and Cricket also watched the evening show. I'm glad they all got to see it; what a great audience we had!
The tent was jam packed and the crowd was fantastic. They went nuts over our gags; I can't remember reactions like that since Brownsville at the start of the season.
Ryan and I both needed a great show; it was such a refresher.

We topped off the evening by having a great BBQ with all our friends that came to visit. 
It stormed like crazy at the conclusion of our little soiree. I got drenched getting chairs and myself back to my room.

June 12 and 13: Plumsteadville, PA June 14-Pequannock, NJ

With A Name Like Mullica Hill, It Must Be Exciting

Wednesday, June 10: Mullica Hill, NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We were playing on a grassy lot today; Ryan and I walked into town to see what we could find. The answer: not much.

I attempted to fix the gun again to no avail; looks like another day of holding it together with duct tape.
John Moss attached handles to the sink to see if that would resolve the problem of the way the prop has been set. It definitely makes it easier for us to carry it from the Alley to the back door on rough lots.

It was sunny all day until show time and then it became cloudy. Although that cooled things down, it was still humid.

We had good sized crowds for both shows. The handle solution seemed to work well for the setting of the sink in the first show. Not so much in the second show...
But I've already expounded on that! Moving on!

June 11: Pemberton, NJ June 12: Plumsteadville, PA June 13: Plumsteadville, PA

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Little Vent: Responses to Comments

To Ariel, Bob, and Bruce:
We were told not to tip for setting ring props, that it is part of the prop crew's responsibility. 
I am not going to tip someone to do their job. If they were unloading the sink from the wagon, wringing out the sink basin, attaching the door, setting small props inside the sink, filling the fire extinguisher with water and pressure, and loading the sink back in the wagon at night, you better believe we would be tipping them.

To "Mr. India" Dion:
As you can read above, we do take plenty of time setting our props backstage. Getting them into the ring is the prop crew's job. Also, we were told to enter from the audience to add distraction while the previous act is struck and the sink is set up.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Little Vent

Hey everyone,

I just have to get this off my chest. 
For the past few weeks, every sink gag is a frustration because of the way the props are set. Gimmicks and bits are exposed as soon as the sink is brought out, which ruins many of the surprise laughs in the gag.
Since there are two sides to every story, Ryan and I gave the prop crew the benefit of the doubt and tried moving the sink ourselves. Maybe it was our shoddy construction that leads to props falling off and out of the sink. We found that we could move the sink with no problem if we just took a little care to do the task.
Today John Moss added handles to the sides of the sink to make it easier on the prop crew to carry it. If that also solved our problem, then win/win!
The first show went pretty well, except for the faucet falling off. Oh well, c'est la vie. 
Tonight in the second show the setting of the sink was just ridiculous. Before the sink was even through the curtain one of the doors was off, the sink basin had collapsed into the sink, the faucet was off, and one of the pipes inside the sink was out on the floor.
This has become such a consistent thing, that it almost seems like they are intentionally messing with us.
Maybe they are, maybe it's "first of may" hazing. Fine, we're mud show first of mays, I don't mind a little chop busting. But don't let that kind of stuff come into the ring and effect the quality of the show.
I have pretty much dismissed that theory as paranoia though, because the prop crew are good guys, and we have been nothing but nice to them. 
Whatever the reason, we are about at our wits end. When I vented about this on Facebook, someone suggested that we try being funny without props.
That's absolutely true, and we can. But there are so few circus clowns out there doing American style clowning with big props, that we want to keep the tradition alive. Now I can see why it is just easier to grab a whistle.
Like I said earlier, there are two sides to every story. Maybe the prop guys are telling people about what tyrants we are about having the sink set right.
All we want is to do our best and to have the job done correctly. 
Sorry to subject you all to my rant, but I really needed to get this off my chest.

Here It Is, Your Moment Of Zen

"AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!"

Tuesday, June 9: Bridgeton, NJ-4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
Today we were playing on a grassy lot next to the Dutch Neck Village. We were basically out in the middle of nowhere except for the few Amish shops, the restaurant, and the coffee house that comprised the "village".

As soon as everything got to the lot we experienced a heck of a thunderstorm. Thunder was rolling, lightning was flashing, and it was pouring down rain like there was no tomorrow. I couldn't believe my eyes a few hours later when rain had stopped and the grass was dry. The big puddles that had formed were also gone, not a drop of mud could be found. God bless this New England soil!

I walked over to the restaurant next to the lot and joined Dan, our ticket taker, for lunch. While we were there we saw a few other circus personnel, including Danny, who showed me the new show program that arrived today. Ryan and I are on the front cover and got a nice photo on the inside with a short bio.
You can see some of the program photos here:
http://themudshowdiaries.blogspot.com/2009_04_01_archive.html  (scroll down to the April 17th entries)

The sun decided to come out after the morning of rain, but between shows we could see a storm a-brewin' on the horizon. Apparently it was a nasty one, but thankfully it just missed us and we only got a little rain.

Last night the gun for the shovel gag broke again and I had made a mental note to fix it this afternoon. I promptly forgot it until 30 minutes before show time. Then it was a mad rush to get into make up and try and glue the handle back on.

Both shows were packed today, quite a difference from last year when I heard the show played on black top in triple digit temperatures to nobody. 
The only memorable occurrence was the presence of "screamers" in the second audience. At first it was nice to have the energy and noise, but pretty soon it was obvious they were just screaming to be obnoxious and get attention. At the end of the sink gag Ryan and I both screamed at the top of our lungs before doing our little exit dance.

June 10-Mullica Hill, NJ June 11-Pemberton, NJ June 12-Plumsteadville, NJ

Awesome Day

Monday, June 8: Mays Landing/Egg Harbor, NJ-4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
We were playing on a grassy lot across the street from a 4-H park today. I started the day off right by getting a phone call from Pat Cashin, clown and creator of the awesome blog www.clownalley.net.
Pat is hilariously funny and always has me rolling whenever we talk. It definitely put me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Ryan and I walked to a NJ Diner for lunch and then we checked out Egg Harbor's downtown. We scoped out a hardware store to see if we could find anything to keep the sink's faucet on better. I am amazed at how much "handyman" knowledge I have acquired since my fix it ignorance on Ringling.

On the way back to the lot we stopped for ice cream at a cool little shack called The Kustard Korner. Upon arriving back at the lot we discovered a visitor waiting for us.  Miguel is a clown with the Big Apple Clown Care Unit and had met me three years ago when Ringling played Philly. We had a brief visit before he had to take off.

More surprise visitors came in the guise of Ernest Albrecht, author and editor/publisher of Spectacle Magazine, and one of his photographers, Mica (sp).
They came to review the show and did a photo shoot of us putting on our make up. While we were getting underway with that, Brad Bodary, former Ringling clown and current school show and fair performer, showed up for a surprise visit. I ran to the office to get him a ticket (and a copy of Weird NJ that Danny and Tavana had picked up for Ryan and me as a gift) before getting into make up.

Unfortunately we had a small, dead crowd for the first show. I had a couple of wardrobe malfunctions in the shovel gag that got me all frazzled. First I had clown boxer failure again and was trying to pull them up the whole gag, and then my mining helmet kept falling in my face.

During Intermission I went to visit with Brad and got to meet Lorraine Hamid, wife of Jim Hamid Sr., the owner of the Hamid Circus, who produces shrine dates around the country. Their headquarters is in Egg Harbor, so she came to check out the show.
I worked for the Hamids last March but didn't meet Lorraine. She was very nice and complimentary of our clowning and encouraged us to send our promo material to them.

It was incredibly humid during the first show, but some rain during the early part of it and cooled the temperature down a great deal. It felt wonderful.

After the show and all the great visits I was in the best mood I have been in for awhile.
We had a small crowd again for the second show, but they were a lively bunch. Miguel came to see us with a friend.

I tweaked my shoulder doing a front fall in the sink gag, and an incident in the back curtain after the gag frustrated Ryan and I. It's amazing how quick a good mood can disappear!
I didn't let things get me down too much though, because there was the usual BBQ to look forward to at America's Own. Afterwards the guys in the group went to Kustard Korner for some late night ice cream goodness!

June 9-Bridgeton, NJ June 10-Mullica Hill, NJ June 11-Pemberton, NJ

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Steve Copeland Video Hell

Saw a couple of postings on Dick Dyke's blog of videos from the Steve & Ryan Ringling days.
Dick is right, I have no right to withhold the horrible videos of two baby clowns besmirching the good name of Ringling via insufferable PRs, OR my vanity personified in the posting of every gag I was in on Ringling.


Enjoy. Beware. And pity poor Chef Walter...

June 8-Bays Landing, NJ June 9-Bridgeton, NJ June 10-Mullica Hill, NJ

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bob Dole!

Sunday, June 7: Bayville, NJ-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
This morning Kat came and picked me up for brunch at a diner down the street. When we were done eating we still had an hour and a half before I had to get ready, so we drove to Seaside Heights to visit the boardwalk.
What an awesome place! I wish we could have spent more than 30 minutes there. I got the nickel tour, ogled some bathing beauties, and took a year off my life by sampling some deep fried Oreos.
But alas, all good things must come to an end, and I had to return to "work". 

We had great crowds today; we are definitely in a good location, right by a street with bumper to bumper traffic. You can't miss us!

Almost every one of the four shows here the sink was sitting with one wheel in a hole in the ground, so the foot pedal mechanism for the water didn't work. I guess that is one thing arena shows have on tent shows, consistent flooring!

Ryan and I kept ourselves amused today by having Bob Dole gags. That is where we did the gag like usual, but instead of keeping up our usual banter with each other, we would say "Bob Dole" to one another. 
This has endless comedic possibilities (for jack asses like us) when you say the name with different emotions and emphasis. It's a good thing they don't let us on the microphone too much...

The heat sure was draining me today. I can't blame the audiences for being a little reserved. I can't complain though; it was nice to see the sun again and last year the temperature was in the triple digits in this city.

After tear down Ryan, Radar, the Cainans, and I went to the Family Fun Center down the street from the lot. Boy oh boy did we have a good time!
Nat and Radar owned the batting cages while Ryan and I took out our aggressions in the "jousting arena"....



We then let Georgia have some fun by going to the kiddy area. Trust me though, we managed to have a lot of fun too by joining her on most of the rides. (Video of this coming soon).

After some go carting it was time to tackle the putt putt golf course.
Unfortunately the six of us are the worst golfers on the planet. After spending about half an hour at the first hole we set up a 5 stroke minimum (just like my last girlfriend). 
It still took us forever though, so around hole 4 we called it quits. It would have been well after midnight if we had attempted to finish the whole 20 hole course!

We capped off the night by getting some sub par Chinese food and eating it at America's Own. What a great night (well, except for the Botchullism)!

For pictures of our chicanery, click here:


Sink Flippin' Copeland

Saturday, June 6: Bayville, NJ-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
It was a long 81 mile drive to Bayville this morning. We were playing in the parking lot of a mostly dead shopping center. All that was still operational was a couple of stores and a liquor shop. Whoo!
The lot was covered in tiny shards of broken glass, so during the show the ring mat was down the whole time so the animals wouldn't get their tootsies cut up.

Kat, a lighting tech for Disney on Ice, came to see the first show. We worked together on "The Circus of Broken Dreams" (aka the 136th Edition of Ringling) and dated for about half a year.
There was a good sized crowd for the first show, but they were sitting on their hands. 

Once again the poor setting of the sink led to problems with major bits, and I took out my frustration backstage by making a big scene and flipping the sink over. It was a childish thing to do and I regretted it almost instantly after doing it. 
On Ringling similar things would happen my first couple of years. I would let things get under my skin and build up until I blew a gasket. Over the years I have mellowed out a lot, and it upset me to see a return of my temper.

Jenny Walker and Lance Ramos visited for the second show. They are both animal trainers, and Ryan and I worked with Jenny on the Bill Hall Christmas Tour last December.

We had a great crowd for the second show, which helped pick up my spirits. After it was over we had a big BBQ at America's Own with Jenny, Lance, and Jason joining the gang of usual suspects. Jenny and Lance brought over food in addition to what Casey and Nat were serving up. It was quite a feast and I pigged out!

June 7-Bayville, NJ June 8-Mays Landing, NJ June 9-Bridgeton, NJ

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pizza Pizza

Friday, June 5: Carney's Pt., NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Another dreary day today, our third in a row. Blah! 
We were playing next to a YMCA on a grass lot. I feared for the worst with the weather and the already wet ground, but the big trucks didn't do much damage and the only place that got muddy was up by the main entrance.

Ryan and I found a great local place to eat for lunch. One of our favorite things to do on tour is find the "hidden treasure" restaurants that you will only find in a certain town.

I cleaned up in the mail department today. Blog reader and fan, Becky Raborn, has been graciously sending me books to fuel my reading addiction. Today I got two gems, a Chaplin book (The Last Great Clown) and a Laurel and Hardy book (Mr. Laurel & Mr. Hardy) that I had never seen before. Before she has sent me Stephen King and Dean Koontz books.
Becky, you rock!

On the drive this morning I noticed that we were close to Wilmington, DE. My friend, Chris Shelton, lives there, so I spent all day trying to get in touch with him to invite him and his family to the show. Chris was a clown on the Blue Show of Ringling and was Boss Clown on the Red Unit back in the 80s. I first met him two years ago when I stayed with his family in DE during the Bill Hall Christmas Tour.
Finally I got in touch with Chris. He and his friend, Keith, were on the way back from a show in Jersey, so they stopped by to see our first show. It was good to see both of them; it raised my spirits that were brought down by the weather.

I wasn't expecting there to be anyone at the shows today, but the first show had a big crowd and the second show was packed. Man oh man, did they have some energy too!

To celebrate 20 straight nights of grilling, the gang at America's Own ordered some pizza. To raise morale (and gross out Nat), I removed my make up with a piece of pizza and then ate the slice. Video coming soon!

June 6-Bayville, NJ June 7-Bayville, NJ June 8- ...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tired Of The Hijinx

Thursday, June 4: Parkesburg, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
This morning's 54 mile drive seemed to drag on forever. Casey thought it was because of the crummy roads.
They must indeed have been crummy because more of my stuff was dumped on the floor during the trip.

It rained all last night and continued all day today. I stayed in bed reading to combat the mud show blues. My choice of escapism? A book about....a mud show....D'OH!

Due to some break downs, the canvas truck didn't show up until around noon, so the crew got a late start setting up the big top. They are pros though, so everything went off without a hitch in time for the first show.

We had average sized crowds for both shows, nothing spectacular to report. The only incident of the night was when a couple of circus kids ticked me off during Intermission. I was trying to meet and greet and they were in the tent bugging me. The final straw was when one of them poured sawdust down my shirt while I was taking a picture with a kid; it even got on the kid.
I had to get out of the tent before I pounded some circus brat skulls.

We had some fun at tonight's BBQ. We made this video with my Cat DeLoach puppet; it is based off an actual incident from one of my high school classes. You can't write this stuff.
Maybe you won't get it, maybe you won't find it funny, but it will give you insight into the chicanery that goes on at America's Own.



June 5-Carney's Pt.. NJ June 6 and 7-Bayville, NJ

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hee Haw!

Wednesday, June 3: Dallastown, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
This morning when Jan and I stopped to fuel up the RV, I went in to get some orange juice for my parched throat. As I was waiting to pay I was flipping the OJ bottle from hand to hand when all of a sudden I missed it, sending it crashing to the ground where the cap broke off and spilled half the contents on the floor. 
I felt like such a jack ass (I'm sure the clerk on duty would agree), and it made me realize that I should stick to clowning and let Raul handle the juggling. Especially at 6:00 a.m.!

On the drive this morning, the door to the generator truck came open because the clip we use to "lock" the door has been missing. Some various pieces of wood spilled out and were dragging alongside the truck. Once again I felt like a jack ass for having something like this happen; thank God Danny wasn't driving on the Interstate when that happened.

When I went into the room upon arrival I found that my whole shelving unit had fallen over and spilled my clothes and various other things all over the floor. Before I could unwind, I had to fix the shelves, bolt the unit to the wall, and sort everything out. I guess that was my penance for being such a jack ass this morning.

Ryan and I got lunch in town and found a used bookstore. Ryan found a book of Stephen King short stories that I recommended. All day long we were reading fools; he was perusing his new acquisition, and I was reading the mud show book that Chris, our 24 Hour Man, lent me.

We were playing on a tight concrete lot today, and it was overcast all day long. We had an average crowd for the first show, but we had a great audience for the second show.

There was a lady in the seats during that show that had my favorite kind of laugh, the "chicken laying an egg" laugh (pretty self explanatory I believe). I would smile every time I heard her during our gags.

During the second half of this evening's show it started misting rain. Right around the time tear down got underway it started coming down hard.
Of course the rain didn't deter the nightly cookout at America's Own Bar & Grill. We were relatively dry under the tent that was set up by the Cainan's trailer.

Before I forget, Ryan wanted to make sure that he cemented himself as a "respectable" clown; he didn't want anyone to think that he was "cheating" by making his make up "faster" and "easier", so he came up with this new face:

I think the purists will be very impressed...

June 4-Parkesburg, PA June 5-Carney's Pt., NJ June 6-Bayville, NJ

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

T-Shirt Week: Final Shirt

I was racking my brain trying to come up with a great final t-shirt when I stumbled across this comment on a photo of me:


Besides making me laugh, it gave me a great idea for my final shirt:

Ba da bee bee, ba da bee bee, That's All Folks!

MD Was Good To Me!

Tuesday, June 2: Westminster, MD-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We were playing on a beautiful grassy lot today and the sun was shining. What more can a guy ask for? 
Give me a minute, I'll think of something...

Mike Rosman, a CC Grad/former Beatty clown/current comedy juggler, picked Ryan and I up from the lot around noon; after buying us lunch he took us to his beautiful house where we checked out his barn full of circus equipment and did laundry.
Unfortunately all the laundry didn't have time to dry, but Ryan improvised a clothesline between a truck and the tent when we got back, and I laid out stuff on the hood of a truck. That's how I roll.

Blog reader and friend of the Cainans (and now me!), Carol, was at the show again today and brought more goodies for us all. 

I met Mark Lohr, who worked with me and Ryan in China last year, and his kids at the main entrance to the tent. I got tickets for them, Mike, and some of Mike's circus camp students for the first show.
They performed some circus skills for pre show entertainment, and then they came out in the finale with us.

Once again both shows were packed. I really don't want to leave Maryland; the state has been so good to us that I wish we were doing more dates here.

The horses only worked the first show because when Armando had his daughter, Zefta, up on his shoulders, the horse they were on the back of hit a hole and sent them flying. 
Luckily Zefta just had the wind knocked out of her and they were both ok.

I had a good laugh in the second sink gag. I have been wearing clown boxers given to me by my friend, Scott O'Donnell. The boxers were made for a great clown named Billy Vaughn. 
Now, Billy is bigger than me. The boxers have a drawstring in them so I can cinch them tight around my waist.
I guess I didn't tie them tight enough before the sink gag, because partway through it I felt them slowly sliding down my legs inside my overalls.
By the end of the gag, when Ryan is chasing me with a pipe, I had to run like a penguin because the boxers were all the way down around my ankles. I'm sure it looked very interesting to the audience.

Tonight, after the usual chicanery of quoting lines from our favorite Youtube videos, the topic of conversation at America's Own Bar & Grill turned more serious for the men. Casey, Radar, Ryan, and I discussed women and relationship. 
I feel that a great deal of emotional sharing took place...
OK, actually we just listened to Casey's stories and laughed!

June 3-Dallastown, PA June 4-Parkesburg, PA June 5-Carney's Pt., NJ


We Are The Champions!

Monday, June 1: Olney, MD-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Today Ryan and I went to lunch at Cheeburger Cheeburger, a restaurant famous for it's Pounder, a 1 lbs. cheeseburger. If you finish it, they take your picture holding a big plush burger and you go up on the Wall of Fame.
After some prompting from Ryan I agreed to accept the challenge with him.

Ryan's method of eating was taking his time and cutting the massive burger up with a fork and knife before every bite.
My plan was to just wolf it down; I figured the longer I took to eat it, the quicker I would realize how full I was getting.
Near the end of the meal, when I could feel even my sinuses getting clogged with meat, Ryan gave me a little trick that helped me finish it. He suggested I add a different topping to the burger so I wouldn't be eating so much of the same taste. 
A little zesty seasoning did the trick! Both Ryan and I finished the burgers and got our picture taken for the Wall o' Gluttony.
Unfortunately their printer was acting up so they are going to "mail us" our picture. Yeah right!
How did we celebrate our victory? Cold Stone Creamery; heck yeah!

I finally broke down today and bought the cat puppet that had cracked us up so much yesterday at the Toy Store. Its sour facial expression gives it such character!
I named it Cat DeLoach, after one of my "characters". Her other aliases are Senor Gato and Officer Kitty.

The Free State Clown Alley was back today to do more meeting and greeting before the shows and during Intermission. When they noticed the sorry shape of our lounging chairs yesterday they pooled some Alley money and bought us two kick ass new chairs complete with inflatable head rests!
It was an awesome and useful gift that we will be thankful for for seasons to come. Between shows we lounged in style with Cat DeLoach. 

Dick Flint, a circus fan who I met several years ago on Ringling, came to visit today. He saw the first show and then came back later in the evening for our BBQ.

Once again we had two packed shows, and just like last night the second show had better energy.

Ryan has lost his yelling voice, so we had to rearrange a couple of bits until he recovers it.

We were pretty upset in the sink gags today; sometimes the tarp is set at a ridiculous angle or the sink will be crooked or all the way at the back of the ring. It is very frustrating to have to deal with that kind of stuff; no one else's props are set poorly like that. I know we're just lowly clowns, but come on!

Even though the thought of food made me want to hurl all day after our cheeseburger escapade, I still managed to eat (not much though) at America's Own Bar & Grill. I declined a burger though.

June 2-Westminster, MD June 3-Dallastown, PA June 4-Parkesburg, PA



Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Writer's Block

Hey everybody,

I am sorry for the delay in posting. I have been so busy the past few days with visitors and misadventures (not to mention chicanery). Also I have felt a lack of inspiration when I attempt to post. In other words, I've been lazy.
 I promise I will get caught up very soon; there is some good content in these coming blogs.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Back In Action

Sunday, May 31: Olney, MD-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The Free State Clown Alley from Baltimore, MD threw a great lunch for the show today. Ryan and I met the members four years ago when we were on Ringling; they invited the whole Alley to a magic shop for a meal then.

Ryan and I walked into town to explore before we had to get ready for the shows. The highlights were a great Toy Store and an outdoor market set up in a parking lot, complete with a live band.

At the first show Stephon Walker and his family came to visit. Ryan and I worked with Stephon in Myrtle Beach, SC last summer; he is a side show and Renaissance Fair performer. 
Also in attendance were friends of the Cainans and blog fans, Carol, Beverly, and Brandi. They came bearing gifts: Tastykakes and feed for Senor Pato!

Brandi mentioned her trepidation around clowns, so I let her watch me put my make up on before the show. That seemed to help a lot.

The Free State Clown Alley did meet and greet before the shows today and during the Intermissions. They did a great job, and Ryan and I had a good time visiting with them during the shows when we weren't working.

Both shows were packed today, but the second show had a livelier audience. By the end of the day I was worn out; I think it was because during the normal times when I would sit down and take a breather, I was up and about visiting with all our guests.

The clowns invited us back to their hotel to go swimming this evening, but Ryan and I declined since we just wanted to take it easy. Instead we went into town for a nice, big Italian dinner.

This evening I called my friends, Jessi (who is the clown on Culpepper Merriweather Circus) and Andrew (who I lived and worked with last summer in Myrtle Beach). It has been a while since I talked to either of them, so it was nice to catch up.

June 1-Olney, MD June 2-Westminster, MD June 3-Dallastown, PA

Let 'Em Have Cake!

Saturday, May 30: Emmitsburg, MD-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Today we were on an overgrown grassy lot behind a Sleep Inn Hotel. The perqs of the location were a nearby grocery store and restaurants; the cons were soft ground that the show trucks got stuck in, and a huge curb that we had to jump to get parked on the grass.

It was so nice to have Internet access again. I was having "withdrowels" not having a signal for the two days in Hancock. I spent most of the morning catching up on e-mails and blog entries.

I met Pat Stevenson and Keith Karas from the Free State Clown Alley. They will be hosting a lunch for the show tomorrow and will be doing clowning meet and greet for our two day stand in Olney. They came today to see the show and finalize plans.

We had a small crowd for the first show; they were farming crickets the whole time. The second show was better, which was good since my friend, Kevin Brown, and his daughters were in attendance. They brought a huge chocolate cake as free roll; sweet! Kevin was a clown on the Blue Show in the 80's and still performs part time. I met him at the Clown College Reunion past September.

I was hoping to get to hang out with them after the show, but the decision was made to move to Olney tonight. I was bummed at first, but when I saw how awesome Olney is, I forgot my gripes.

I walked into town (just a couple of blocks from the lot) and picked up some Chinese food dinner for Jan (cause I'm a hell of a guy) and I also explored the copious shops and restaurants in the area.

Ryan and I spent the night at America's Own while all the show vehicles arrived at the lot; it was a great way to spend the evening.

May 31-Olney, MD June 1-Olney, MD June 2-Westminster, MD