Monday, July 27, 2009

Amish & Tigers & Lakes, Oh My!

Friday, July 24: Middlefield, OH-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
A nice cup of coffee this morning gave me all the energy I needed to get through today.

Ryan and I attached the new doors on the sink. The break off door that used to be held on with velcro is now being held on with high powered magnets. Fancy!

I went for a walk into town to get some lunch; this is the first time in awhile that we have had something resembling civilization around. 
This is a big Amish town, so everywhere you look you see people decked out in traditional Amish garb, and there are horses and buggies riding down the streets constantly.

Renato and I ran into each other in town, so he joined me for the substantial walk back to the lot.

We had a good sized crowd for the first show, but the audience response was underwhelming.
At the end of the sink gag I noticed a guy lounging in the front row with his feet up on the wall that separates the ring from the box seats. 
I yelled at him, "Get your feet off of there! Were you brought up in a barn that they raised?" (as I pointed to a large Amish section of the audience)

The second show was jam packed. It was a mostly Amish audience; it was funny to see a sea of bonnets, hats, and beards in the crowd.

Speaking of funny, they LOVED us for the second show. We got huge laughs for both gags, but especially the sink. We were rocking and rolling them! I really needed a show like that; we milked so many bits because the laughs just kept coming and getting louder.

We topped off our great evening with an excellent BBQ. I was starving and the food was so good; I ate like a hog.

Casey, Ryan, and Radar decided to go to a bar in town, but I sat it out so I could relax. I'm glad I didn't go; from what I hear, the whole trip was something of a bust.


Saturday, July 25: Middlefield, OH-11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
I walked into town this morning to get some breakfast, and to pick up some copies of the local paper that had my picture on the front page. Was I on there for my clowning? Oh no. Yesterday morning I helped Radar and Casey push the tiger cages a few feet, and a photographer caught me moonlighting. At least I didn't have a shovel in my hand...

On the walk back to the lot Tavo drove by and gave me a lift. I'm glad he did, because a)my shoe was too tight and was rubbing my toes raw, b)I was cutting it close to make up time, and c)as soon as we got back to the lot it started pouring down rain.

The rain cleared up shortly afterwards, but it continued on and off all day.

We had good sized crowds for both shows. The first audience was dead; not surprising for an 11:00 a.m. show.

After tear down, we had to move to the next town because an event was happening on the lot that evening and they needed us off.

I took Jan to Wal Mart so she could get some shopping done; it was so surreal seeing horses and buggies pulling into the parking lot.

We were playing on a beautiful park in the next town, Conneaut. It was right next to Lake Eerie, so Ryan and I walked along the water down by a little marina.

Ryan and I had our hearts set on seeing Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince tonight, but we were a little discouraged that the movie theatre was 4 miles away and there wasn't a local cab company we could call.
Luckily Casey agreed to take us and Radar to the 10:00 p.m. showing. He wasn't happy about it though; he constantly reminded us during the film how much he hated Harry Potter and how stupid the movie was.
I enjoyed it, but it seems like they had to cram so much information in, yet still left so much out. It has been four years since I read the book though, so what do I know!?


Sunday, July 26: Conneaut, OH-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
The tiger suit for the pants chase arrived today! It is beautiful; I didn't want to have to start using it, because I know how funky it might get with all the rain and mud we get.

Ryan and I walked into town this morning after getting paid so that we could buy some things and get lunch. Natalie gave us a ride back on her return trip from the grocery store.

As soon as we got back to the lot, it started pouring down rain. This was especially discouraging (besides the usual reasons) because it had been such a beautiful morning.

Before the show we mapped out the tiger chase in the tent. Nathan Moss is a pair of pants being chased by Ryan the (pants-less) explorer, who in turn is being chased by a tiger (me).
Mr. North has had his heart set on this chase since the beginning of the season; naturally we put it in as soon as all the pieces to the puzzle had arrived.

We had two packed shows today, and the crowds were exceptionally good for a Sunday.

The tiger chase went well; no one was killed by the tiger arena as it was getting dismantled. We made a couple of rewrites between shows to see if we could ease the split focus. It is difficult because there is a lot going on and two chases have essentially been merged into one.
Someone who watched it both shows told us that it seems to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the cage strike. Also, we don't have a ton of space to deal with. 
I'm sure any problems will be worked out during our constant performance of it; we just need to loosen up and find the moments in it.

The sun finally came out during the shows, but the damage had been done; the ground was soggy. 

After tear down Ryan and I ate with Natalie and Radar (Casey took Georgia and Nathan to see a movie), and then we walked to the beach right next to the lot. Several people from the show were over there either enjoying the scenery or swimming in the ocean.

Ryan and I went out on a jetty that led to a lighthouse. Sadly there was a huge break in the rocks and we had no way to get to it.
We settled for sitting on the jetty and letting the waves crash over us; it was so much fun and we were laughing almost the whole time. 

Back at the lot I changed out of my soaked clothes and Ryan and I watched a movie; it was a great night.

July 27-Rock Creek, OH July 28-Chesterland, OH July 29-Willowick, OH

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Wednesday, July 22: Union City, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Today's lot was split into two sections with a street separating them. On one side of the road was the cookhouse and a lot of the trailers, and on the other side were the shows trucks, the tent, and a couple of performer trailers.

Ryan and I worked on the sink doors today. We got them sanded, painted, and we got the handles and hinges attached. We ran out of time before we could actually get the doors on the sink though.

We had an average sized crowd for the first show and a good sized crowd for the second show. The basin of the sink is a mess due to saturated foam and tearing latex. Because of that, the faucet was practically falling off for both shows. It caused the fire extinguisher hose to fall into the sink during the first show. That left us with no water for the blow off of the gag; lame!

Ryan took a nap in between shows; I didn't realize that until John Moss started his opening announcements and Ryan was nowhere to be found. I had to wake him up and then get John to wait for a minute while Ryan got dressed and to the back door. Naturally Casey wouldn't give Ryan a break about the incident for the rest of the day.

It was sunny all day today, but it clouded over and rained just in time for tear down. It poured all night, which made our BBQ a little miserable.


Thursday, July 23: Cochranton, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
It was still raining this morning, and it rained all the way through the tent set up on the soft grassy lot.

Ryan and I walked into town later in the day when the weather cleared up, but there was nothing to be found; just two gas stations.

We had good crowds for both shows, but we were missing one small seat wagon due to mechanical problems, so it looked like more people than it was.

The first show was off to a rocky start when the computer with all the show's music had to be restarted right before we began our warm up. 
Then when it came time for opening, it was discovered that the song "The Greatest Show on Earth" (which is used for the number), had mysteriously disappeared. 
Opening was done instead to the swinging strains of Brian Setzer's "As Long As I'm Singin'".

Ryan and I had our own difficulties in the first show. Our brains weren't working very well in the shovel gag, so a bit or two was flubbed. 
Then at Intermission we took the sink into the tent and covered it; when we went backstage we found the foot pedal that works the water lying on the ground. 
We had to go out and fix it in the tent before the second half could start.

To top it all off, it started to rain during the first show! We just can't catch a break!

Everybody had to move off the lot and down the street to the school parking lot. It was tricky getting to the road since Jan's RV was all the way at the back of the lot, but thanks to my fancy driving we were able to avoid the mud and all the trailers in the way and make it to solid ground.

Thankfully we still had our BBQ tonight, because I was starving!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Misery, Thy Occupation Is Laundromat Attendant

Monday, July 20: Busti, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The 110 mile jump we faced this morning went on forever. We were playing on a nice grassy lot, but the town of Busti is tiny. It didn't even need a training bra! (snicker)

I knew today was going to be special when the first thing that happened to me was I got attacked by a dog. I was walking into town and a little rat got loose and attached itself to my pants leg. At least the owner was apologetic...oh wait, she wasn't! 

There was no running water on the lot; they had to bring in a huge water truck so the animals and people could have this necessity. 

We weren't expecting many people to show up, because up until just a couple of days ago, this date was open. We were correct in our assumption; there was a small crowd for the first show.

Our gags got no laughs, and there was no response for anything in the show; it was horrible!

Luckily our day was brightened by a surprise visit from Eggroll! He stuck around to watch the second show, which was slightly better attended.

When we were loading the sink into the box truck tonight, one of the doors got caught on the trampoline and was ripped off. I was so upset that I was speechless. If it isn't one thing, it is another with this sink!

Once again Eggroll came to the rescue to brighten my spirits; we had a great BBQ with him after tear down.


Tuesday, July 21: Warren, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
It was a rainy day today. What would we do without our good friend the rain?

Ryan, Radar, and I went with Natalie so we could get laundry done this morning. On the way we stopped at a hardware store so Ryan could pick up supplies for the new sink doors.

The laundromat we went to was quite an experience! It was jam packed with circus people who were doing tons of laundry. It was tough to find an open washer or dryer. The attendant left on duty seemed to take this as a personal affront and was complaining loudly and openly to anyone who would listen (i.e. the locals that came in to drop off laundry) about how she couldn't get a machine to herself because of "those people". After a couple of those comments, I was loudly being a smart ass to everything she said. 

Ryan was sitting playing with one of the circus children when his phone fell out of his pocket. The lady stalked over and started pointing at it and motioning like a mook. I told her to use her words, and then when she walked away I imitated her while throwing in ape like movements and actions.

Soon we realized that she wasn't prejudiced against circus people, she just hated her life and everyone that was in it. She was even being rude to the locals; Ryan befriended a few and they told him that she is always like that.

That didn't stop Ryan, Radar, and I from making the woman's life even more frustrating. My favorite moment was when the lady was going on another one of her rants and Ryan yelled out, "We've got to get rid of these damned carnies! Run 'em out of town! They come in here trying to do laundry in a laundromat! The nerve!"

At that moment, one of the circus women was leaving. Ryan jumped up and yelled, "Get out and stay out! Go back to the circus where you belong!"

This cracked all of us from the show up; Miss Misery was not amused, however.

Before heading back to the lot I was able to pick up a new cell phone charger, since mine broke yesterday. 

When we got back to the lot, we didn't have enough time to make the new doors for the sink, so we just took down the broken one and left them off for the gags today.

The sun came out after we had to endure rain all morning. We had an average sized crowd for the first show (about half full), and a good sized crowd for the second show (about 3/4 full).

The sink gag went well without the doors; we just took those bits out. The black curtains inside the sink successfully kept everything inside hidden.

As soon as tear down started, it began to storm and pour down rain. Everybody moved off the lot to the cement parking lot right next to the grass; the Cainans were the last to move off because we had our nightly BBQ. No stupid weather is going to keep us from having a good time!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Face To Face

Saturday, July 18: Lima, NY-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
This morning I was still feeling a little sick, but I was doing a lot better after lying down and watching "Billy Madison". Laughter IS the best medicine! 

We were playing on a very uneven lot with thick grass. There were small crowds for both shows giving out very little energy. These factors didn't help the fact that I'm still not back to 100%; all day I was feeling very unsatisfied and didn't get any pleasure out of what I was doing. I REALLY need to get better; this is getting ridiculous!

To alleviate boredom and lighten spirits backstage, I painted my clown face on my chest and walked around the back yard topless.

Not sure if I created more humor or horror, but it did take my mind off everything else for awhile.

We made a video at tonight's BBQ spoofing a certain pretentious "sect" of clowning. Ryan, Casey, and I all got dressed up for the occasion, and we filmed a lot of material. I laughed so hard during many of the takes that I was crying; it was just the kind of emotional release that I needed. We'll see if everything is as funny as I thought it was once the editing is done.

I got one more emotional release once we were done filming. I went into my room to get something to drink. My phone rang, I saw it was Casey, and then he hung up. I started to head outside to see what was up, when at the bottom of the steps I saw a huge monstrous face with razor sharp teeth staring up at me.
I screamed something I shouldn't have and then tried to block myself with the door. When I heard Casey laughing uncontrollably from under the monster mask that he was wearing, I came back to my senses. I didn't feel so bad when I found out that Ryan had almost fallen out of his chair in fear thanks to the same stunt.


Sunday, July 19: Warsaw, NY-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
This morning the gang at America's Own Coffee House & Bakery discovered the joys of Tim Horton's doughnuts. To quote Homer Simpson, "Mmmmmmmmmmm, blueberry bloom doughnuts..."

It looked like it would rain all day, but it actually cleared up after some showers. 

The first show was packed. There was no hula hoops or motorcycle due to an injury with Patsy, and the horse act was short because one of the equines tripped and threw a couple of the riders. Luckily everyone was ok.

The power shut off during the start of the flying act, but they carried on until the generator could be turned back on.

The second show was also full, sadly the generator kept on dying. John Moss had brought his portable generator over so that the sound could keep going even if the lights went out. When the lights did go out, they simply opened the curtains to let more illumination in. They were daytime shows anyway, so that helped.

I was feeling a lot better today, except that my cough won't go away. The weather isn't exactly helping; it was cold tonight for our big BBQ.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dreary Days

Thursday, July 16: Tully, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Last night I kept waking up every few hours; needless to say I didn't get much rest before we had to be up to drive.

I was hating life this morning; the drive just seemed to go on forever and ever and I could barely keep my eyes open.

When we got to the lot I crawled into bed and slept until it was too hot in the room to snooze anymore.

I walked into town, about a mile or so, so I could get some orange juice, and then I took my chair into the tent. I slept there with my legs propped up in the bleachers until it was time to get ready for the shows.

The first show was almost full. The gags continued to kill me, but afterwards I would lie down in the Alley and feel rejuvinated.

A circus fan and blog reader, Bill Tenity, was hanging out backstage taking photos during the first show, and he stuck around to watch the second show, which was also almost full.

I was feeling much better for the second show because I paced myself for the gags; my energy held out a lot longer. To top it all off, we had a good sink gag too.

I stopped at the BBQ tonight quickly just to grab something to eat. I hadn't had food all day long; I went right to bed afterwards. My fever was terrible.


Friday, July 17: Phelps, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We had a 71 mile drive this morning; I was still feeling awful, so it wasn't much fun.
When we got to the lot I got some medicine from Natalie and then crashed. I didn't get up until 2:00 p.m.!
I was feeling much better after taking a hot shower, and of course all the rest helped as well.

We had small crowds at the shows today. We died in the first sink gag, an unfortunate trend that has occured for the last three days.
Intermissions were also a pain today, nobody wanted to talk to us or interact with us, and we wound up being very bored.

I started feeling worse by the time the second show rolled around; even all the laughs we got didn't make me feel better.

We had to move off the lot tonight because it rained a few times and there was only a narrow grassy path leading off the lot. Sure enough, a few of the bigger show trucks got stuck and had to be pulled out.

We moved several blocks away to a parking lot; luckily that didn't stop Casey and Natalie from barbecuing. I was feeling much better since everything was done for the day and I had a clear head once more.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

COUGH!

Tuesday, July 14: Sharon Springs, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Ryan gave me drawing lessons this morning while we were hanging out at the Cainan trailer. He taught me how to sketch my favorite subject: me!

Casey wasn't too happy, because he had to take the box truck (that pulls their house trailer and houses the dogs and Radar) to a local shop to get the transmission replaced. The bill came out a lot steeper than originally quoted to him.

I found a great little place in town called the Black Cat Cafe that was run by a pirate! Ok, not really, but he did wear an eye patch. Yarrrr!

We had good sized crowds for the shows today. I didn't hold out much hope for the audiences reaction wise after dismal warm ups, but they liked the gags; especially in the second show.

Intermissions were very fun today; I was in a wacky mood. I tried out a new bit where after licking the bottom of my wig to get it to stick to my head, I coughed up a hair ball. I collected the ball of hair by pulling a big clump out of my wig hair brush.

Posted in the back door there was an e-mail from someone who had seen the show last week, thanking us all for a good time. It was chock full of grammar and spelling mistakes, so I took a red pen and corrected everything before putting a grade on the composition.


Wednesday, July 15: Oriskany Falls, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
This morning I had a cough that was starting to get on my nerves. Right before show time I started feeling achy and feverish, which was not a good feeling in the hot weather.

We had good sized crowds for both shows. During Intermission of the first show we were dealing with a large family that just couldn't get enough of us (i.e. they overstayed their welcome!). I asked them, "Did you guys decide to have your family reunion at the circus?"
The matriarch of the family (who was a very "handsome" woman) corrected me, saying that they weren't all her kids. She then went on to inform me, "I have nine children of my own."
I leaned over to Ryan and whispered, "And I have a new found respect for the prophylactic!"

We died a horrible comedy death in the sink gag. I was just so weary and drained from the onset of my sickness that I could barely make it through.
Then, I about keeled over at the end of the second shovel gag; the non stop action came close to doing me in.

At Intermission when we went to fold our sink gag tarp, we discovered that there were snails all over it. We had to shake them all off to avoid having a very crunchy, slimy sink gag underfoot.

The only other show news I can think of was that Renato caught the triple for both shows, and in the second show the motorcycle malfunctioned, so everyone had to rush to be on time for finale.

I skipped the nightly BBQ at America's Own Bar & Grill because I was feeling so lousy. That is definitely a sign of me not feeling well; I never pass up free food!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Time To Catch Up

Sunday, July 12: Richfield Springs, NY-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
It was another short 20 something mile jump to town this morning. I couldn't believe how cold it was when I woke up; I can't recall the last time I needed a long sleeve shirt and jacket in July.

I desperately needed a nap today after getting so little sleep in the past two days; it felt great to catch up on some rest.

I went to the grocery store by the lot to pick up some food to be used as side dishes for the BBQ tonight. We were planning a big one.

Josie came back yesterday from getting her neck problem taken care of. She drove all the way from Hugo, OK to upstate NY in two days with a truck full of 6 kids. She deserves a medal!

We had a packed house for the first show. I was surprised at how good the reactions were for a Sunday crowd.

Ryan was still sick today; however, I knew he was feeling better when he came over to me in between shows to discuss gag ideas.

There was an average sized crowd at the second show . Mike Naughton, owner of the Yankee Doodlee Circus, came to watch it and visit afterwards.

There was a little girl at Intermission that was wearing a Disney Princess dress. I asked her if she was all dressed up to go to prom.
She told me that she was playing Cinderella. 
This struck me as odd since she was wearing a Beauty and the Beast dress. She just gave me a funny look when I asked her if she had beat up Belle and taken her dress.

There was a huge BBQ after the shows with food generously donated by Mike Naughton. I even learned to pop a cap off of a beer bottle just using my hand and a lighter! True the cap popped off and hit me in the eye, but that in no way diminishes the honor!


Monday, July 13: Stamford, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Jan and I passed the Cainans this morning when we saw black smoke billowing out of their trailer.
When I got to the lot I texted Natalie to see if everything was alright. She told me that there was a problem with the vacuum tube. 
My response? "That Sucks"....

I got a huge coffee this morning to get me through the day. I found a great deli and ice cream shop in town as well during my exploring.

We had good sized crowds today, which was nice. Ryan and I tried to spice things up a bit by messing with John Moss.
We came up with a list of vulgar and/or ridiculous words that he couldn't say over the microphone (such as Floppy Mormon), and then held it up in front of him while he was making his opening announcement about the big top rules. 
Unfortunately John is a pro and it didn't even phase him. Drats!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sorry

Hey everyone,

I am sorry I have gotten so far behind on the blog. I have been sick the past couple of days, and when I am not performing, all I am doing is resting and recuperating.
I will catch up very soon. I promise!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Picture Day: The Sequel

Many thanks to Radar for these two awesome photos of our "science experiment":




Here's the gang at Six Flags: Great Escape:

Becky Ostroff: (and I stand corrected to Mr. Chic Silber, because in the following three photos it looks as if I did "take the easy way out" and forgot to put on my flesh tone. I honestly can't remember; not sure where my head was that day...)

The divers from the Pirate Show:


Ba Da Bee Bee. Ba Da Bee Bee...That's All Folks!



Steven No Well Function Sleep Without

Saturday, July 11: Dolgeville, NY-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

It was only a 26 mile jump to Dolgeville; I still don't have a phone signal, which was a big pain in the butt.

I was dead tired today; I was running off of 2 1/2 hours of sleep, and I kept busy all day, which kept me from taking a much needed nap.

A little coffee with Casey this morning helped get my batteries charged; there was a laundromat next door to the cafe, so I spent a couple of hours washing my clothes.

Ryan was sick today with the bug that has been going around, so he didn't yell in the gags to help preserve his voice. I also tried to not hit him too hard with the shovels and pipes. Who says I'm not compassionate!?

The sun was out this morning, but naturally that couldn't last too long. It was cloudy for the rest of the day and it rained on and off. When it came down, it came down hard, especially in between shows.

We had decent sized crowds, but they were dead for the entire show. That combined with the mud in the back door really brought me down from the good mood I was in at the start of the day.

Ryan and I went with the Cainans to a great restaurant just a few blocks from the lot. The food was delicious and the owner was very hospitable.

July 12-Richfield Springs, NY July 13-Stamford, NY July 14-Sharon Springs, NY July 15-Oriskany Falls, NY


Monday, July 13, 2009

Picture Day

I have been slacking on putting pictures up here. Here are a few from people that came to visit the show.

Samantha Ellen Pitard:


Dave Rosencrans: 

Kevin Brown's daughters, Katie and Lyndsey:


Ryan's cousins Genevieve and Odin:


More to come. If you have a photo of us with you that you'd like to share, e-mail it to me!
stclown@lowcountry.com


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Smell The Glove...rsville

Friday, July 10: Gloversville, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We were on a classy lot today; there were house trailers around the perimeter! There was also a good amount of mud, but it was up in the front where it couldn't create much of a problem.

We had a small crowd for the first show. 

Performing was difficult because the tent had a hill in it! The top was right in the center of the ring; Ryan and I "affectionately" referred to it as Mt. Son of a B**ch after doing battle with it in the sink gag.

We had more visitors for the second show: Brad Zupp and Beth Lawrence. Brad was a Red Show clown in the 80's and Beth graduated from Clown College in 1988.

It was nice having their enthusiasm coming at us from the audience, but the average sized audience was actually pretty responsive.

After the shows we had our usual BBQ with Brad, Beth in attendance. Brad and Beth brought some delicious food to add to the potluck.

July 11-Dolgeville, NY July 12-Richfield Springs, NY July 13-Stamford, NY July 14-Sharon Springs, NY

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another Day Off? That's How We Roll!

Wednesday, July 8: Day Off!
Today Ryan and I joined Danny, Tavana, Arwen, and the Cainans on a trip to the Six Flags: Great Escape park.

Becky Ostroff hooked us up with free passes, and we spent all day at the park until they closed at 7:00 p.m.

Even though it rained a bit in the morning and they shut everything down, the sun finally came out again and we rode almost all of the major rides; plus we watched the diving show that Becky is a part of.

After playing in the park, we joined Becky and the divers for a BBQ at their housing complex.


Thursday, July 9: North Creek, NY-2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
When I set out to explore today, I knew that one direction along the highway only had a gas station and it was a good distance away.
I decided to go the other way and found a great little downtown area just blocks away.

While I was looking around, a couple of homeless guys asked me if I was looking for someone; I said no and then realized I had passed up a perfect opportunity for my favorite joke.

Homeless men: "Are you looking for someone?"

Steve: "Yeah, I'm looking for Joe."

H.M.: "Joe who?"

...Well, you know the rest!

I was so discombobulated due to yesterday being off and us having an early show today. I kept thinking it was the weekend.

I was surprised at the good turnout for the 2:00 p.m. show. A bunch of camp groups came; I was expecting the kids to be loud and rambunctious, but strangely they were pretty tame.


The above clip kept Ryan and I entertained throughout the first show. We did our gags using a Swedish accent and thinking of as many variations of the "Don't be sad" line as we could.
During the sink gag when I was getting a mouthful of water from the sink, Ryan said (in his funniest Swedish accent of course), "Don't worry folks, we'll fix dis shink!"
The way he said it made me laugh so hard that I almost shot jets of water out of my ears without the use of the rig I wear.

After the first show we had about three hours before I had to get back into make up. Ryan and I walked to the beach that was next to the lot, but as soon as we got there, the sun got covered up by clouds. Since laying out to tan was out of the question, and because the water was icy cold, we decided to head back into town for awhile.

We had a jam packed night show. Several performers were sick with the flu bug that has been going around the show. Manuel, Fridman, and Gilda all had it, so there was no motorcycle on the incline wire, Gilda wasn't in the flying act, and Fridman didn't work the second show. 
During the first show he was so dizzy and disoriented that he fell off the rola bola!

Becky Ostroff was back tonight with the divers from the water show.
During Intermission I was talking with them when Becky gave me a piece of corn on the cob left over from last night's cookout.
I used it for the rest of the time I was in the tent: offering it to people, plucking kernels off one at a time while saying, "she loves me, she loves me not", and putting kernels in my teeth and asking people if I had anything stuck in them.

The only other noteworthy thing that happened was that we got a great reaction for the sink gag. Go us!

At the BBQ tonight the divers gave Ryan and I one of their great wooden chairs that we had been eyeing at their place. They all signed it as a thank you for the good time at the show.


July 10-Gloversville, NY July 11-Dolgeville, MY July 12-Richfield Springs, NY July 13-Stamford, NY



Friday, July 10, 2009

Let's Find A Rock

Tuesday, July 7: Mechanicsville, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We were on a strange lot today. The tent set up was very unusual; the inside was like an oval because they couldn't put the entrance on the ends of the tent like usual. On one end was a railroad track, and on the other end was a street. The entrance was put on one of the sides of the tent, right in front of the ring. 
Due to the set up, the trapeze rigging was hung where the seats on the side had the best view of the act; it was very strange.

The box truck that the Alley resides in had to be taken to the mechanic today (and where better than Mechanicsville?), so Ryan and I unloaded all of our props right away and I took out my make up and costume pieces since the truck probably wouldn't be back in time for the first show.

It started raining this morning, because we just can't have too many nice days in a row on this show. That would get us uppity I suppose. It cleared up by the early afternoon though.

Ryan and I wrote one of our new gags for next year while having morning coffee at the Cainan trailer. We have been going back and forth on what our second ring gag will be, but I think we have hit on a good one.

The troupers from Circus Smirkus came to see the first show. They had just finished up down the road in Saratoga Springs, and were only an hour and a half away in Manchester, VT. Along with the group of teens was my buddy, Josh Shack. Josh, Ryan, and I all worked together on Ringling in 2004, and Josh and I were the best of friends. It is always good to see him, but unfortunately this visit was a short one.

We had a horrible crowd for the first show. I was embarrassed that the Smirkos saw us with such a small, low energy crowd. The kids were very receptive to our material though, and gave us a nice hand for the sink gag.

A few acts into the show the tent crew was rushing around "battening down the hatches" in anticipation of a storm that was coming our way. The local firemen were warning us of thunder, lighting, hail, and strong winds. 
The wind did pick up a bit, but luckily all the bad stuff passed by us and all was fine.

The horse act wasn't working today because of a big rock embedded in the ground where the horses would be galloping. During the sink gag I was being an idiot and showing off for the Smirkos by doing a really big fall. I fell straight to my back without putting my hands down to cushion the blow, and I landed on a big flat rock squarely between my shoulders.
When I got backstage, I managed to ignore my pain and crack a joke to John Moss by telling him, "Yeah, I found that rock you warned us about."

After the show I quickly gave the Smirkus clowns a tour of the Alley (which had arrived during the show).

We had a better crowd for the second show. Becky Ostroff, an aerialist with friends on the show, was visiting today with her daughter. She watched both shows.

Sadly the sink gag was a train wreck for that show. We could not get ourselves together and we were flubbing bits left and right. Luckily we know the gag and each other very well and we were able to cover and keep things moving. 
The nice thing is, those occurrences are very rare. Ryan and I are usually very consistent and most of the time if there is an error, it is a technical one.

Becky was at the BBQ tonight sharing our fun, food and fellowship. The only downer was it started raining again; oh joy!

Becky gave me a tennis ball that I could lay on and use to massage my aching back. It worked wonders before I went to bed, but I'm sure I'll still be sore tomorrow.
That's what I get for being stupid!

July 8-Day Off July 9-North Creek, NY July 10-Gloversville, NY July 11-Dolgeville, NY

Three In One

Saturday, July 4: Warren, MA-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.


It was so refreshing to wake up and see the sun this morning; it really started my day off on the right foot.


While we were having our morning coffee social at the Cainan trailer, one of the tigers peed on us. Casey got the brunt of it on his back, and I got a nice jet of potent urine on the legs of my nice jeans.

I had been going back and forth on whether or not to do laundry at the laundromat up the street; that incident decided it for me.


While I was cleaning my clothes Mr. North's wife, Shirley, came by to do some laundry too. We chatted for awhile until we were done. She and Mr. North were nice enough to take my laundry back to the lot for me while I grabbed a bite to eat next door.


Ryan's grandparents came by for one last visit today. They had taken Ryan to a great bookstore called the Book Bear, and they were nice enough to take me too.

I could have spent an entire day and a week's pay at the shop; it was fantastic.


I made a great haul of books from a wide variety of authors and on many subjects: Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Bros., Ernie Kovacks, Lewis Grizzard, and even circus performer, Mike Sanger.

The tab came to over $100.


We had small crowds today; I wasn't really expecting much attendance for the 4th of July. Still, it would have been nice if they had been more responsive.


For some reason I was zapped today and didn't have much energy; my legs were very tired too. I would have figured my arms would have been the problem from our kayaking trip yesterday.


To keep myself amused during the second show Intermission, I made a pair of vampire fangs out of some blue chips that Valerie gave me. I snuck around hissing at the cast and crew. Surprisingly children seemed to like me more as a vampire clown than as my usual self.


After the show there was a big 4th of July BBQ with lots of good food. The circus kids did a tribute to Michael Jackson where they performed "Thriller". It was very funny and the kids had cool zombie make ups done by Armando's wife, Natalia. 


The only downside of the party was that my newly cleaned and pee free jeans got fruit punch spilled on them. D'oh!



July 5 & 6: Copake, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


Sunday was an off day for the show. Ryan and I loaded up with the Cainans to go to the mall outside of Albany. It was a lot of fun; I got a hair cut and bought laces for my clown shoes. How exciting!


On Monday I was refreshed and ready to get back to performing. I had breakfast at a great little diner in downtown Copake (which consisted of said diner, a gas station, a pharmacy, and a deli).


I sat outside all day today to enjoy the beautiful weather. You don't realize how much you appreciate something until you go without it for awhile (in our case, about a month!)


We had two great crowds today (surprising considering the size of the town) that almost filled the tent each show.


I found myself getting out of breath easily today during the gags; I'm assuming we were at a higher altitude. Or I need to lay off the 3 foot high banana splits!


Renato caught the triple somersault again during the first show. I had my own acrobatic accomplishment during Intermission of the second show. I was jumping over the mesh net that keeps the crowd out of the curtain area when my clown shoe got caught and I fell on my back.

Ryan was coming over about that time and asked me if I wanted him to flip me up. The move: he grabs my legs and throws them up and towards my head while I push up from the ground with my hands. When I'm in the air I do a back tuck and land on my feet.

I haven't done the move in over 4 years since we did it on Ringling, but I flew up and nailed my landing perfectly. I was so proud of myself!


July 7-Mechanicsville, NY July 8-Day Off July 9-North Creek, NY July 10-Gloversville, NY

Thursday, July 9, 2009

D'OH!

Hey guys,

We are out in the middle of nowhere with horrible Internet. It took me about an hour just to put this notice up.
I am going to type up entries and try and catch up tomorrow when we (hopefully) have signal again.
Sorry guys.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Your Feet's Too Big

Friday, July 3: Lancaster, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Today, a miracle occured...the sun came out! I was so happy to see it again after almost two straight weeks of not seeing its smiling face.

Ryan's Grandpa George took us to Concord today to have another stab at kayaking. Luckily the weather was perfect and the Boat House was actually open this time!

We ended up going 7 miles round trip on the Concord River. It was a piece of cake and we made great time. We did the whole thing in 3 hours, even with having to battle the current on the return trip.



I was sure the kayak was bound to tip over at some point, but we avoided tragedy (of that nature). I did sustain a shoulder injury when we tried to rocket under an arched branch. My life vest didn't allow me to duck enough and I got a nice chunk of skin torn off.

After our fun outing, Grandpa George took us to Kimball's for ice cream. We ordered the banana splits, which were absolutely huge!
We definitely didn't need to order two of them. They were piled high with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream coated with whipped cream and garnished with strawberries, pineapple, hot fudge, marshmallow, and of course, a banana!
Naturally we didn't finish them (although I put quite a dent in mine); I felt bad wasting food, but if I had eaten another bite I would have hurled and never wanted ice cream again.



When we got back to the lot the room got cleaned out since it had a chance to dry. It is a lot less disgusting now.

I almost got killed by a dolly while trying to unload our props with the flying act's equipment in the way. I went to pull it out from under a barrel and fell backwards out of the wagon with the dolly in hot pursuit. Luckily the step ladder we use was right under my feet, so I was able to catch myself and deflect the dolly. I was not a happy camper.

We had an average sized crowd at the first show; Ryan's uncle, Kevin , came to visit.

We didn't completely escape the rain today; it spattered for a few minutes during the second show. We just can't go for too long without precipitation on this show.

There was a small crowd for the second show; we kept the gags moving since we weren't garnering too many big laughs.

This morning on our drive to town Jan and I were talking about how the area surrounding the lot was perfect Big Foot territory.
Well, at the BBQ we were sitting around serving up our usual shenanigans when Casey noticed a tall, hunched over stranger watching us from the hood of his truck.
When Radar was sent to examine the situation (he's expendable), the shambling figure was seen headed towards the woods.
When we were speculating on who it was, I stated matter of factly, "We just had a Big Foot sighting."

The truth is out there!

July 4-Warren, MA July 5-Travel Day/Day Off July 6-Copake, NY July 7-Mechanicsville, NY

Monday, July 6, 2009

Wet

Thursday, July 2: North Andover, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Today was a miserable day. It was raining and storming all morning and there was condensation all over the ceiling and walls of my room. I did not want to get out of bed.

I finally got up and went to visit with Casey. He was feeling worse than he did yesterday; not a good sign.

Father Jerry was hosting a circus fan lunch at his church that the show was invited to. I went back and forth on wanting to go, but finally decided not to attend since I was in such a funk.

The first show today was packed; someone was in the audience filming the show for posterity. When it is finished it will be available for us to buy.

Rick Cobban, who saw us last week, stopped by for a brief visit. It was good to see him again; he had visited Culpepper Merriweather Circus out in South Dakota and had seen my friend, Jessi, a few days ago.

We had another big crowd for our final show in North Andover; this two day stand turned out a lot better than our last one in Massachusetts. 

I made a fan of a little girl sitting in the front row. I was glad that I did, because I was afraid I had scared her during our warm up. During Intermission, though, she kept coming up to see me and give me a hug.

Tonight was rough. As soon as I was getting into bed someone walked on the roof of the generator truck and all the condensation on the ceiling came pouring down. My bed and everything in the room out in the open was soaked!
Luckily Natalie let me borrow a dry blanket so I wouldn't have to lie in the "world's largest wet spot". Needless to say I didn't sleep very well; periodically the ceiling would drip on my face while I was dozing. 

Oh well, at least I'm not stuck in an office job!

July 3-Lancaster, MA July 4-Warren, MA July 5-Travel Day/Day Off July 6-Copake, NY

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Dear Heavenly Father..."

July 1: North Andover, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Since we got into town last night I got to sleep in this morning. It was heavenly!


I went to lunch at an Italian restaurant across the street, and then I went back to the lot to hang out with Casey. He was feeling better, which was good.


I got to meet Sara, who was an aerialist last year, and her daughter, GiGi. Sara lives in the area and came to visit all her friends that are still on the show.


The flying act wasn't working today because Adilson was sick. Ryan and I had to move all of their equipment out of the way so we could get our props out, which was a bit of a hassle.


It was a rainy, dreary day today; it seems like we have had maybe two days of sun since we got into Massachusetts over two weeks ago.


The first show today was packed. Before going into the shovel gag Ryan and I ran into our friend, Father Jerry Hogan, who holds Mass on Ringling. His church is in North Andover just down the street from where we were playing, so he came to visit.

As we were running into the shovel gag I slipped on the wet grass and fell on our bucket prop. Ryan met the same fate in the second show, but he fell considerably harder than I did. I felt bad for laughing, but it was just a knee jerk reaction (and it was freaking funny!).


Mr. North's wife, Shirley, showed up today. She was going to be here sooner, but she broke a rib from a horseback riding accident.


The second show only brought in an average crowd that wasn't too enthused about the show, but all things considered we did very well for the first day of a two day stand.


We had our nightly BBQ under a tent with the side walls up to contain heat. Unfortunately it also trapped the grill's smoke and we almost asphyxiated! Just because we're good looking and talented, doesn't mean we're smart!


July 2-N. Andover, MA July 3-Lancaster, MA July 4-Warren, MA July 5-Travel Day/Day Off

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lymie

Tuesday, June 30: Merrimac, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We were on a terrible lot today. There was mud and standing water everywhere and we had to be dragged into place by a tractor. Another day in paradise!

There wasn't much in town, but I did find a post office. That was good news since my Mastercard bill was due and I didn't want to pay a penalty for being late like I did last month!

Both shows were almost full. It always amazes me how people will come out of the woodwork when we are on the crummiest of lots.

Surprisingly the first show's audience was more receptive than the night show. The second crowd was loud, but not in the laughter department!

Casey got bitten by a tick several days ago and developed a rash. He went to the doctor today and they said it was a good chance that he had Lyme Disease; they gave him some antibiotics to take until they could diagnose it via a blood sample. 
He was very sick today and didn't work the second show. I knew he was feeling bad for him not to work; the man is a machine...a punk machine, but a machine nonetheless!

I had a couple of injuries myself in the shows. I almost broke my ankle when I hit a pot hole in the ring during our warm up, and then I bashed my elbow on the sink while ducking during a bit. Owie! 

We had to move off the lot tonight, but luckily the next town was only 20 miles away. Luck was also on our side considering that there was an alternate exit to the lot that we could use instead of having to be dragged through the muddy mess that had been created in the front yard.

July 1 and 2-N. Andover, MA July 3-Lancaster, MA July 4-Warren, MA 

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Triple Trouble: The Movie!

Ok, I promised you video of our asinine chicanery resulting from Renato catching the triple somersault; my loving public will not be disappointed!

Like I said, Casey and I had made bets to occur if the triple was caught. When it finally was caught this past Sunday, we decided that we needed three events, one for each revolution of the somersault; naturally we decided to drag Ryan into the festivities to complete the triumvirate.

For starters we had Ryan drink some warm baby formula that Natalie had for Genevieve:


Here's where it starts getting gross. View at your own discretion. Next was Casey's contribution:


And finally, my piece de la resistance! (and what a piece it is):

Do I still have any fans left? No? Good! I can take a break from the stupid blog!

Rock Lobster!

Monday, June 29: Pepperell, MA-4:30 and 7:30 p.m.
This morning some arrows were set up wrong where our circus convoy would be exiting the Interstate, so many vehicles headed several miles in the wrong direction before finding out and turning around.
I was lucy that I spotted a few going past us and waving us in the other direction.

It looked as if we were going to have another rainy, dreary day, but it cleared up by the afternoon.

Both shows today were packed. We have been doing some bang up business here in Massachusetts; not at all what I expected after our dismal first two days in the state.

Ryan and I just couldn't catch a break in the sink gag today. In the first show I screwed up the ripping off the counter top bit and Ryan flubbed the bit where he hits me in the face with a door. Once we got into our groove everything else went fine.
We must have gotten too cocky, because the second show gag was even worse. I once again messed up the counter top bit, Ryan forgot his hat, so we couldn't do the stretch neck bit, and to top it all off, no water came out at the end!
Luckily the audience was good and loved us anyway. It was just one of those days!

As I was getting dressed for the finale of the second show, I heard the motorcycle act start, and then all of a sudden I heard the finale music kick in. At first I figured maybe it was a music glitch, but then I heard John Moss announcing the end of the show. Apparently the motorcycle malfunctioned, and as everyone knows, the show must go on!
It was too late for me to go into the tent; Ryan and Natalie also missed finale. Well, I wouldn't say we truly missed it!

There was a bad storm brewing during the second half of the show, but luckily it blew right over us.

For tonight's BBQ we were "high lining it" because Ryan's grandparents brought us lobsters! I ate until I thought I was going to be sick!

June 30-Merrimac, MA July 1 and 2-North Andover, MA July 3-Lancaster, MA

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Triple Trouble

Sunday, June 28: Plainville, MA-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
This morning Ryan and I had a meeting with Mr. North to present our gag ideas for next year and to discuss our contract. The talk went very well, but no decision was reached; Jim Royal needs to get involved as well. Hopefully we will have a concrete answer in a couple of weeks.

For some reason I was extremely drained this morning and crashed for a few hours. I woke up just shortly before I had to get ready for the shows, so I didn't get a chance to grab anything for lunch.

I met my friend Don, who visited in Pequannock, out in front of the lot and brought him back to hang out while I got into make up.

We had a good sized crowd for the first show and an average sized crowd for the second show. They were definitely Sunday crowds though; they didn't show much enthusiasm. 

In the second show Renato caught the triple somersault for the first time this season. Casey and I had established bets for when this happened, so at tonight's BBQ we acted on them. (We also dragged Ryan into the fun. You'll have to wait for me to upload video before you find out what we did. I'll forewarn you though, it is not for the weak stomached.)

Mat Coes came back to visit tonight and we also had Danny and Tavana in attendance at the BBQ. There was an abundance of food and beer and lots of stories and good laughs. 

June 29-Pepperell, MA June 30-Merrimac, MA July 1 and 2-N. Andover, MA