Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicago, Chicago, That Toddlin' Town

Monday, September 7: Countryside, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

We had a twenty mile jump this morning that placed us right by a big shopping center.

After having breakfast at Old Country Buffet, I went to a Half Price Books (only the best book store chain in the world), and spent $140 on a box full of novels and bios (I actually spent $170, but a Labor Day Sale helped me out).

We had a good sized crowd at the first show. While we were doing the tiger chase I went to jump on the ring curb and tripped over, almost falling into the seats. 

A couple of parents found this very amusing, and I felt like a total jack ass while I tried to play it off.

We could have used those laughs in the sink gag. I guess comedy doesn't work on Labor Day either...

I was bushed after the first show. I took a nap before the next one, but that made me feel even worse.

We had an average sized crowd for the second show; it was like pulling teeth to get them to respond to anything.

To top it all off, the audience hated us from the start of the sink gag, because our entrance (running into the tent)  scared a little girl so much that she cried loudly for our whole introduction.

Not a good way to break the ice!

We moved to the next town tonight; a 17 mile drive to Midloathian.

'Nuff said!

Tuesday, September 8: Midlothian IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Today I set off on a mission. First I wanted to find a used book store. Secondly, I wanted to find a witch store that Tavana and Arwen told me about. I achieved success on neither goals.

I was especially upset about the witch store. Ryan and I were going to paint our faces green, wear false noses, black dresses and pointy hats, and order the clerk to give us some eye of newt before we turned her into a toad.

We are so lovably madcap...

I took the initiative to repaint the sink counter top today; it was starting to look pretty rough. I also re painted the doors and did some general cleaning on the outside of the prop.

Per Tavana's suggestion, I tried out the Keystone Cafe for lunch. She told me about the "Paul Bunyon" sized portions...I was not disappointed. 

We had an average sized crowd for the first show. When I wasn't performing I did some killer jump roping backstage; I felt great!

We had an almost full house for the second show. I kept tripping over my big, silly shoes the whole night: not a good thing on pavement (as I learned in Columbus, OH earlier this year when I did the palms down slide of death).

To my surprise we didn't move to the next town tonight; more sleep, whoo hoo!

Wednesday, September 9: LaGrange, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Today we drove back through Monday's town. In actuality, today's lot was only about two miles from that one.

I met up with my friends, Lisa and Kat, today. We all worked together on Ringling back in 2006. They were both in the lighting department.

We had lunch at a sushi restaurant (which was so good! I haven't had sushi since April), and then we went to play two games at a nearby bowling alley.

To top it all off, we had ice cream at Oberweis (mmmmmm). It was nice to get to catch up with them and have us all hang out together again.

Both shows today were packed; Becky Ostroff showed up today. I met her first back in NY, and now she is here to fill in as a showgirl until we are out of the Chicago area.

In the second show I walked out to Intermission to meet and greet. No sooner had I entered the bleacher area than a kid (old enough to know better) pulled my wig and skull cap halfway off my head.

I spun around and grabbed a handful of his hair and asked him how he liked it. I then commented to his mother about her parenting skills and stalked backstage.

I was so wound up that I stayed there for the whole Intermission.

We moved to the next town tonight. It was only a 10 mile jump, but the roads were a pain in the butt. They were rough to begin with, but we encountered a ton of above ground manholes that were strategically placed where you almost had to run over them.

When we got to the lot, the A.O crew was starving, so I schlepped off to pick up some pizzas we ordered.

The walk was a lot farther than the guy on the phone made it out to be, and my lower back was killing me after carrying 3 pizzas (and two 2 liter bottles they gave us for free) all the way back to the lot.

Thursday, September 10: Berwyn, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Ryan and I walked into town this morning and found a great little diner where we enjoyed a huge breakfast.

Next we checked out a vintage store that had some cool clothing. We almost bought matching tux with tails, but we couldn't justify the purchase since we have limited storage space and no need for the costumes in the near future.

Our next stop on our walk was a little book store, where naturally, I picked up a few more books.

Back at the lot we worked on one of our new gags for awhile before show time.

The first performance was almost full. The only eventful occurrence was when a lady lied to us about going to Clown College. 

I'm sorry, but when you dodge questions such as "What year did you go" and "Who was your Dean", you have no credibility in my eyes.

The second show was jam packed, and we got great reactions to our gags; it was a good way to wrap up the day.

Friday, September 11: Elmhurst, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

This morning I had breakfast at a place that was a little more high class than I was looking for. No complaints though, as the food was good.

I walked a long way (6 miles according to my phone [I think it was off a bit]) to meet up with Ryan, who found a great used book store in town.

I dropped a nice wad of cash on a bunch of good finds.

After the long walk back to the lot, I rested for a few minutes before heading to the other side of town to get a smoothie and look around.

We had an almost full first show; reactions were on the more reserved side. I did sense a lot of pretension in the air, perhaps the audience couldn't see our gags properly through it.

The second show had a good sized crowd, and more of the same as far as reactions go. I guess Muffy and Buffy don't care for slapstick too much.

After the shows Ryan, Radar, and I went to get ice cream for the A.O. crew. The expedition took a lot longer than expected, and we ended up missing the BBQ. 

Everyone was nice enough to leave us some leftovers though.

September 18-19: Rolling Meadows, IL September 20-21: Vernon Hills, IL

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