Tuesday, September 1: Valparaiso, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
We drove 80+ miles today. The only scenery was corn fields and miles and miles of flat roads, but despite this, the drive went by very quickly.
We were playing on a nice fairgrounds, but we were out in the middle of nowhere.
Natalie took Ryan, Radar, and I to Wal Mart. Ryan and I bought materials to make props, so we spent the day doing just that.
We had a small crowd for the first show. The audience got to see one hell of a tiger chase though. First Nathan tripped in the pants and fell flat on his face. Next I jumped up on a broken ring curb and toppled it over. Luckily I stayed on my feet.
We had a ridiculously small crowd for the second show, maybe 30 or 40 people.
Luckily, we have had worse audiences reaction wise, so it wasn't too painful of a show to get through.
At the BBQ tonight Casey, Ryan, and I stayed up late sharing funny stories from our childhood with each other.
Wednesday, September 2: Morocco, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
I knew we were in a classy town today when I noticed that the closest thing to the lot was a porn store...
Ryan and I went to explore the downtown, which was virtually non existent. Everything was closed down, but we did manage to find a fantastic little Mexican restaurant that was still open for business.
After lunch I was sitting in the shade of the Clown Alley when an attractive woman approached the Cainan's trailers with a camera. She said something to one of the prop guys who was taking the tiger arena into the tent, and then she leaned on the fence surrounding Casey and Natalie's yard and took pictures of the tigers.
When the yard was deserted, she walked inside the fenced off area and kneeled down about 5 feet from the tigers and continued taking pictures.
I called out for her to come outside the fence, but she didn't respond. I figured she couldn't hear me over the generator.
Right when I was about to get up to go get her, she spun around and stomped towards me with the fires of Hell in her eyes.
"I just wanted to take some ****Ing pictures", she yelled at me.
"You can't go inside the fence," I calmly replied.
"What? Are the tigers going to jump out of their cages and get me!?", she answered.
She then proceeded to squeal like a cat and claw at me. It was at this moment that I realized that the woman was bat s**t crazy.
I once again calmly stated, "You can't go in their yard."
"I was only five f***ing feet in there! I'm with the f***ing ASPCA! F*** you! (she then proceeded to flip me off) It is inhumane how those animals are treated!", she ranted.
I just calmly sat there and waited for her to shut up.
When she was done I said, "You can take as many pictures as you want, but you have to stay on the other side of the fence."
With a final flip of the finger and a hearty, "F*** YOU!", she stormed off.
Why are the pretty ones always crazy?
I was beside myself with anger after that incident; I could literally feel the rage boiling inside of me.
Never have I been yelled at with such pure hatred and unreasonable anger.
The only thing that I could console myself with was that I handled the situation properly and kept my cool.
We did decent business today; more people were at the second show than at the first.
Maybe something interesting happened, but I was so worked up over this afternoon that I'm sure I forgot it.
Thursday, September 3: Griffith, IN-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
The past couple of mornings we have literally been driving up and down the same stretch of road. Let me tell you, familiarity definitely breeds contempt!
I had a great breakfast with Dan this morning, and then we went to check out a taxidermy shop right up the street.
Ever since I saw "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" on Broadway, I have wanted a stuffed, snarling weasel that I could dress up in clothes similar to mine (just like the Ruprecht character had in the show).
Unfortunately I once again came up empty handed, although I could have bought a squirrel with a cowboy hat and guns!
Tonight we were going to make a big jump to our first Chicago town, so I figured I would take a nap to be well rested.
It was so hot in my top bunk, that I'm sure I sweated off my entire body weight. I was extremely dizzy and light headed when I woke up.
We did good business for the shows tonight. Some jerk came up to Ryan before the shovel gag and yelled, "Bathrooms!" at him.
Ryan sent him in the right direction. When he returned, he spotted a vendor and yelled, "Yo! Yo! Yo!," at him until the vendor turned around and sold him a sno cone.
In "honor" of this jerk, Ryan and I did the monosyllabic shouting shovel gag.
The strangeness of the evening continued in Intermission. Let me tell you, there are a lot of interesting people in Griffith, IN, and they all wanted to talk to us.
Second Intermission, on the other hand, was a lot of fun, and I developed a fan club.
The crowds tonight loved the shovel gag, but didn't care for the sink so much.
Speaking of the sink gag, in the second show, I totally spaced out and blew a bit. Then when Ryan was chasing me with a pipe at the end of the gag, I slipped and fell, busting my butt in the process.
The worst part was that Ryan didn't wait for me to get up; he still tried to kill me with the pipe, so I had to do some clever maneuvering to get away on my back.
We had a looooooooooooooooong 60 mile jump to Glendale Heights, IL tonight.
I was so hungry when we arrived at the lot; luckily Casey had the good foresight to pick up a Crave Case at White Castle to satisfy my need to feed!
Friday, September 4: Glendale Heights, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
I was woken up early this morning when some jack ass was driving around the lot in circles while beeping the truck's horn. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
Ryan and I went to find an IHOP that was showing up on my phone's GPS, but when we got there, we discovered that it was closed. Double Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
Luckily we found a Mexican restaurant right across the street.
Right before our first show started today, I was putting on my skull cap like usual. When I did, the elastic band came untied and shot inside the hem of the skull cap! It was then a race against time to get the band back out so I could re tie it before opening.
We had a small crowd at the first show, but we had a big crowd at the second. There were lots of Latin Americans at the second show, and they loved the gags. It was like being back in Brownsville from the start of the season.
Kyle Barker, who just got a job as a clown on the Red Unit of Ringling (better dead than Red, Kyle!), came to see the second show.
He also came to the BBQ to hang out. We have a new member of America's Own for the next week or so, and that is Natalie's brother, Mark, who is working on the show for that period of time.
Saturday, September 5: Glendale Heights, IL-2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Today was a very low key day until it was show time. We had an almost full house for the 2:00 p.m. show.
After it was over, Ryan and I went to an excellent wing restaurant to eat during our sizeable between show break.
The night performance also had a big crowd. Ryan exploited my weakness and made me laugh by making Jabba the Hutt noises during the sink gag in "honor" of a portly gentleman in the front row. Jerk.
The big event of the BBQ tonight was when Tomi Liebel, Hungarian circus owner and former Blue Show clown (he came over with Michu back in the 70's), stopped by to say hello.
Sunday, September 6: Glendale Heights, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
This morning I walked to the laundromat up the street and got my clothes washed.
Sadly that was the high point of my day prior to the shows!
We had good sized crowds today. People just walked by and ignored me in the first Intermission; that was very frustrating.
I was in a bad mood for the second show. It really affected my performing; I couldn't even enjoy the good reaction we got in the sink gag.
I was talking on the phone tonight when I saw a skunk run by. It started to head towards the BBQ, but then ran in the other direction.
Casey and I tried to catch it later on so we could lock Radar in his room with it, but we were unsuccessful.
September 15-17: McHenry, IL September 18-19: Rolling Meadows, IL September 20-21: Vernon Hills, IL