Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 24-25: Pembroke, MA-Day Off & 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday we had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 46 mile jump to Pembroke. We were playing on a grass lot much lower than the surrounding ground.
I had to wait for everyone to arrive before I could get parked because there was only one small gate used as an entrance and exit, and I was going right by it.

Ryan, Tatiana, and I took my truck and drove the 20 miles to Boston. We parked down by Boston Harbor and walked all over the city.
We went to Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market for shopping and eating, and then we went to the North End so Ryan could show us where he lived as a baby.
We saw a friend of Ryan's, Lucky Bob, finish up one of his juggling shows at Fanueil Hall. Ryan and Bob worked together in Japan a few years ago.

We met up with Armando, his family, and the Fuscos (once again, sort of redundant as they are all related) and revisited some of the same areas before having dinner.
I was so full from all of the food we had already eaten that I didn't have anything but water. It was an incredibly hot and humid day, but rain came down for awhile and cooled everything off.

Before leaving we quickly visited Boston Commons, but since it was getting dark and we were tired from our 8 hours of walking, we decided to return to the truck and head back to Pembroke.
It was a great way to spend the day off.


On Friday Ryan and I went to the mall in Hanover. I was experiencing a "quarter life crisis", so I dyed my hair!
When I was done, the hair dresser said, "Well, that is interesting."
I laughed and replied, "That's one word for it!"





Before leaving I went to a tire shop to get the rim put on my other spare trailer tire, since it needed to be changed.

Both shows today had good business. While Ryan was bungeeing in the first bee gag, he yelled at the top of his fall, sending some saliva spraying. As he bounced back up it went into his eye. So Ryan successfully spit into his own eye.

Rick Cobban, a former Blue Show clown, and Dan Baltulonis, Senior Marketing Director for Cole Bros., saw both shows, and we got to visit with them between and after the performances.



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 22-23: Berkley, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 72 mile jump to Berkley, MA. We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

Ryan's grandfather took me, Ryan, and Tatiana into Boston for the morning. Traffic was terrible going in; it took us about an hour and a half to go 40 miles.

We explored the shops and bakeries of Chinatown before having a delicious lunch at a German restaurant. Luckily we didn't run in to any traffic leaving town.

Don Horowitz and Bob Lessard came to visit today. We had a full first show and we got good laughs from the audience.

The South Shore Circus Band played before the start of the second show, which was also full.

While I was backstage waiting to do the tiger chase, two skinny white boys with tattoos covering their sleeveless arms sauntered up to me while screaming into their phones.
The one dragging a little girl with him approached me and I politely asked if they were looking for the entrance.
He told me that the show was sold out and asked if I would sneak them into the tent in exchange for money.
I told him that he was in luck because there were going to be two more shows tomorrow.
He suddenly got indignant and said, "Well, my little girl can't wait until tomorrow! This is retarded!"
He continued on his way, screaming into his phone some more. All that flashed through my head was my cowardice in NJ when the drunk was threatening us; I was not about to take that kind of attitude from some punk after being nice and helpful.

I followed the guys around the tent, mostly to make sure they didn't try and sneak under the sidewall, partly to prove to myself that I have some cojones.
Father punk noticed me following them and whirled around with fire in his eyes, "What the f**k do you want!? Do you want to f**king go!?"
I stood my ground, with my arms proudly crossed across my chest and slowly and defiantly shook my head no.
I was so proud of myself for standing up to that creep; too bad he kicked my ass.

Just kidding.

Ryan and I got a good laugh in the exterminator gag. We must have hung the beehive too high, because after Ryan's second bounce on the bungee, he could no longer touch his feet to the ground.
He just helplessly swung back and forth a few feet off the ground while I shot at him with a shotgun.
Now that's comedy!


On Wednesday Ryan, Tatiana, and I loaded up in my truck and drove to the mall in Taunton, MA, which turned out to be beautiful.

We had average sized crowds today. The 23rd had been an open day, but they added more shows in Berkley.
I am surprised at the amount of people we squeezed out of this small town for four shows; even though the shows today weren't packed like the ones yesterday, the numbers were still impressive when you think about it.

July 2-North Hampton, MA
July 3 & 4-Dalton, MA


Saturday, June 26, 2010

June 18-21: Travel Day & Charlestown, RI-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., & 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Friday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 155 mile jump to Charlestown, RI. We were set up on a parking lot in Ninigret Park and it was a sunny day.

Ryan, Tatiana, and I jumped in my truck and drove to the nearest movie theater (13 miles away...there wasn't much around the lot) to see Toy Story 3. I loved it!
We also found a fantastic Italian restaurant and bakery in the same shopping center, where we loaded up on good food and pastries.

In the evening I caught a ride with Armando's family and the Fuscos (which is redundant I suppose, considering they are all related via marriage) to go see Cole Bros. in Newport, RI.
The show treated us great during our visit, unfortunately the show ended on a bad note. Kellan, the human cannonball (and my favorite of the three clowns), was dropped upside down onto the concrete when three idiot prop guys released their side of the net right after he landed.
He whacked his head on the cement and started convulsing; paramedics and performers surrounded him and the ringmaster thanked everyone for coming, and asked us all to leave the tent.
(The latest I have heard is that Kellan is out of the hospital and recovering, but he will obviously be out of the show for awhile. We all wish him a quick recovery.)


On Saturday I went to Tim Horton's to pick up donuts and coffee for the America's Own crew. Before the shows started, I did some repair work to my snake walkaround.

Since this was an important engagement for us (Big Apple used to play the date), new professional lighting was brought in for our three day stand.

We had a decent sized crowd for the first show. In the table act there is a bit where I pretend to smash my crotch into the edge of the table.
Due to a miscalculation of my steps, I actually did hurt the family jewels. I hope no one could read my lips when I was reacting to the pain!

Chris, Gina, and Hunter Allison came to see the second show, which also had decent attendance. We got to hang out with them for a little bit after the performance, and they brought us some beer, chips, and salsa as free roll.

The second show was filmed for posterity using a high quality camera, so I tried not to suck too much.

Ryan's father, Chris, and his girlfriend, Bonnie, came to see the third show. Unfortunately the third show had less people than the first two; a two show day would have easily sufficed.
Luckily it was the easiest three show day I have ever done; I think the day off we had helped in that respect.

Tonight I jumped between the nightly BBQ and hanging out with Chris and Bonnie at Ryan and Tatiana's house.


On Sunday I went to pick up donuts and coffee again to start our day off right.

We had a good sized crowd for the first show. Before finale almost the whole cast was backstage popping sheets of bubble wrap. Nikki deemed it "Kelly Miller Stress Relief". It was such a funny visual; I wish somebody had gotten a picture.

We had a good sized crowd for the second show as well. Ryan's mom, Lee Anne, and her boyfriend, Scott, were in attendance.
Just like yesterday, the 5:00 p.m. show was filmed for posterity.

After the shows Ryan and I filmed a quick clip of us popping into frame for a 30 second commercial that is being produced to help promote our Chicago run.

There was a Hawaiian themed Mid Season party after the shows. I wore a Hawaiian shirt over a white t-shirt that said, "I Need To Get Leid"...
because I am classy.

I got some depressing news before the end of the second show, so my main goal at the party was to get tanked.
I succeeded, but I do remember having a good time and enjoying the delicious food.
Many thanks to Delena and Carolyn for setting it up (and anyone else that helped out that I didn't know to mention).


On Monday I went to do laundry, and then I ran by Wal Mart to do my shopping; I will miss being able to get off the lot as easily as I have the past few days.

When I got back Ryan and I made squibs while watching some Spike Jones footage I haven't seen since I was a kid.

We had an almost full first show, and a good sized crowd for the second show.

Today was Nikki and Carla's birthday party, so we had a cookout and cake before the girls opened their presents.
Nikki wanted me to jump in the pond for her birthday, but I held out until she agreed to jump in too.
Casey decided to join in the festivities as well, so once we had changed, we all walked to the man made beach in Ningret Park and the three of us went for a swim.
The weather was perfect and the water wasn't cold at all.

June 29-Merrimac, MA
June 30-Lancaster, MA
July 1-Townsend, MA


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 14-17: Greenwood Lake, NY, Washingtonville, NY, Brewster, NY, Cortlandt Manor, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Monday we had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 33 mile jump to Greenwood Lake, NY. The drive had its share of nerve wracking hills and turns that kept my blood pressure up.

We were playing on a grass lot and it was an overcast day. Ryan and I checked out a few places in town: the embroidery shop (to look into having Steve & Ryan shirts made to sell), a hardware store (to buy a pool for my ducks), and the post office.

My ducks went nuts for the pool; at first they were wary, not knowing what it was, but once they got into the water, they were having a blast!

video

My friends, Mark Carfora and Jay Lemos, who do clowning at some of Cole Bros.' engagements, came to see the first show today.
Mark made me an incredible two foot tall, animatronic Steve doll!

video

I was so grateful for such a unique gift!



A bunch of folks from Big Apple Circus came to see us today. Scott O'Donnell, who was my Boss Clown on Ringling for a year and a half, and is now the General Manager for Big Apple, was at the first show.
We had an almost full house, but the generator kept breaking down. The lights and sound were eventually hooked up to the secondary generator, but we trailers kept losing power all evening.

Several people pointed out to me during the first show that one of my trailer tires was flat; I am glad it happened now and not on a jump.

I was so glad Scott got to visit and watch us perform; he gave us some great, honest critiques.

We had a full second show; more Big Apple folks came, including Bello, Kevin Venardos (who was the ringmaster on Ringling while me and Ryan were there), and Georgia Stephenson (who was production manager my last tour on Ringling).

Kevin spent the night with the show so he could hang out with us. He came over to the BBQ where we had beer and buffalo wings.


On Tuesday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 19 mile jump to Washingtonville. This morning Castro inflated my flat so I could make it to the lot where he could change the tire.
We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

I hung out with Kevin and Ryan a bit this morning before Kevin had to head back to Long Island. I went with Natalie, Radar, and Nikki to run some errands.
At Wal Mart I got two new tires for my trailer, and at TSC I got some food for my ducks.

Both shows tonight were almost full; our evening BBQ had interesting conversational arc. We started out with Disney World and Disney films and ended up on serial killers!


On Wednesday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 47 mile jump to Brewster. We had been told last night that today would be a problem lot, and we weren't disappointed!
Chris parked me and several other vehicles across the street from the lot until things could be figured out.
Carla and I went to get breakfast at Dunkin' Donuts before walking over to the lot to see what was going on.
There were a few protestors hanging around, including an ancient old woman who was standing by the road with a "Boycott The Circus" sign. By the end of the day, my thoughts were that she should have been protesting human rights!

Around 10:00 a.m. the few of us parked across the street were moved to the lot. The tent and most of the big show trucks were set up on raised astro turf; everything had to go up via ramps.
All the other vehicles and trailers were parked on the pavement going all the way back to the main road.
Since I was one of the last trailers to get spotted, I was parked in the front yard, very far from the tent. Danny helped me get my truck over to the back door so at least we would have our props nearby.

We had been told yesterday that there would be no water on the lot, so I prepared by conserving it.
What we weren't expecting was that half of the show would be taken off of generator power. The NY state inspector didn't want cables running to the trailers starting at a certain point (my trailer to be exact), because the audience would be walking to the tent past all our homes, and he didn't want anyone tripping.

I was beside myself with anger at the prospect of not having power again until 9:30 a.m. or so the next day. (Power was cut around 12:30 p.m.)

To calm myself down, I went for a walk with Ryan and we found a great sushi restaurant where we had lunch.

To add insult to the injury of taking my power away, the NY state inspector deemed it necessary to run fencing throughout the back yard, making a path to the back door.
This fencing blocked me from easily accessing my truck, and made the prospects of loading props and moving the truck back to my trailer after the shows not a pleasing one.

I swear that if I ever find out where the NY state inspector lives, I am going to fence in his truck and cut his power!

There were no tigers in the shows today because of the screwed up lot layout.
I had no time to rest in my trailer between acts. By the time I walked all the way home and changed, it was time to do my next act.

Despite these hassles, today was one of the best show days I have had all year. Both shows were full (a lot of good the protestors did!), both audiences were responsive, and in the second show the table act got the most laughs it has gotten all year.

After the shows Danny helped me get my truck down off the astro turf. I just had to wait for the camel rides to finish and the midway to clear before I could drive back to my trailer and hook up.
I was very happy to be finished with such a challenging day.


On Thursday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 20 mile jump to Cortlandt Manor. I was one of the last ones to leave the lot because I wanted Castro to ride with me and listen to the strange noise my truck has been making.
Naturally, on the morning when I wanted to hear the noise, there was nothing! Castro said that he must have scared the truck into working properly.

Even though it was only a 20 mile jump, it took forever due to all of the stop lights and early morning traffic through town.

Most of the trailers were spotted on a parking lot surrounding the small ball field where the tent was set up. It was very tight parking for everyone.

Both shows today were full, and the crowds were great; I am really going to miss these NY audiences.

June 26-Mendon, MA
June 27 and 28-N. Andover, MA

Monday, June 21, 2010

June 12-13: Ringoes, NJ & Emerson, NJ-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

On Saturday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 24 mile jump to Ringoes, NJ. Hello again jug handles and full service gas stations.

We were playing on a beautiful, grass lot and it was a sunny day.

Both shows today had average attendance; the humidity was terrible. Ernest Albrecht came to see the first show to write a review for his circus magazine, Spectacle.

To keep ourselves going in the second show, Ryan and I did the "ART CARNEY!" gags.
Every chance we had, we would scream, "ART CARNEY!" at each other just like Gleason did for his show's bows.

Sometimes it is the little things in life....


On Sunday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 86 mile jump to Emerson. We were on a small, tight lot and it was an overcast day.
Half of the show was parked three blocks away from the lot; that did not make folks happy. I was one of the lucky ones parked by the tent.

I had been e-mailing for a short while with the Kline family; Joey Kline is a 12 year old, self taught clown.
His mother and I had been corresponding so we could set up a get together when the show played Emerson.
Joey, his mother, his father, and his twin sisters, came to the lot about two hours before show time so Joey could talk with me and Ryan about clowning.
His family was just as knowledgeable about clowning as he was, and it was refreshing to see how supportive they are of Joey. It was also nice that Joey is serious about his aspirations of being a clown.

I got the Kline family tickets for the first show, which was full, and Joey did finale with us.


Today was just chock full of visitors. Paul and Diane Gutheil were at both performances; Paul brought me and Ryan lots of great photos from when he saw the show last year.
Dan Berkley and Lisa Soverino showed up during the first show to visit. Dan, Ryan, and I all worked together in the Blue Unit Clown Alley, and Lisa was a lighting tech while Dan and I were still on the show.

It started raining before the second show. Dan's father, mother, and grandmother came to see that performance, which was almost full.
I was expecting a big group of clown friends for the show as well, but they got stuck in NYC traffic and didn't make it until halfway through the second half.

The America's Own gang caught a bus to downtown NYC tonight, but I stayed to visit with Dan, Lisa, and my friends that came from the city: Dave and Cherie Gregg, Marni, Alex, and Penny Zalban, and Dean Kelley.
We went to a restaurant to eat, drink, and watch the Tony's.

June 22 & 23-Berkley, MA
June 24 & 25-Pembroke, MA

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 10-11: Plumsteadville, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Thursday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 67 mile jump to Plumsteadville, PA. We were playing on a grass lot behind the fire station and it was an overcast day.

While I was sitting on my couch and surfing the web, my trailer took a nose dive and the front crashed onto the ground. I went outside to investigate and saw that my blocks had slipped out from under the jack, causing it to fall to the ground.
Luckily one of my blocks stopped the jack from going all the way into the earth, and with Radar's assistance we were able to get me level again using a bunch of Casey's blocks to slowly raise the trailer up.

At noon there was a World Cup drawing in the cookhouse. Armando set up a pool, and everyone who put in $25 was there to draw a team. I drew Paraguay....I think they are a province of Canada....
At any rate....

GO PARAGUAY!

I went to the grocery store to do some shopping before getting ready for our afternoon PR. A group of us went to Chubby's, a great local ice cream store. The owner, Jesse, is an awesome guy and always helps to promote Kelly Miller in town.
We did meet and greet with the customers who showed up, and Jesse treated us to delicious ice cream.

It rained before our PR, and it was humid for the shows. The first show had an average sized crowd, and the second show had decent attendance.

After we were done with work, Casey, Natalie, Nikki, and I went to the Italian bar close to the lot to have dinner and drinks.


On Friday I slept in and then Ryan, Tatiana, and I went to Chubby's again to enjoy some great ice cream and generous hospitality.

We had an average sized crowd for the first show. Bill Hall, an agent that I have done a Christmas tour for every December since 2007, came to watch and visit.

My friend, Mary Kelly Rayel, came to the second show with a few folks from her flying trapeze school.
The tent was 3/4 full and we had a good audience; I was glad Mary Kelly got to see us in front of our best crowd of the two day stand.
The owner of Chubby's and his family also came to see the show, and they got to enjoy the first elephant ride of Intermission.

After the shows Mary Kelly, Mike, and I went out to eat and drink at the Italian restaurant by the lot.

June 18-Travel Day
June 19-21-Charlestown, RI

Saturday, June 12, 2010

June 7-9:Bridgeton, NJ, Egg Harbor, NJ, & Pemberton, NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Monday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 20 mile jump to Bridgeton. We were on a grass lot and it was a beautiful day; the humidity was gone!

We had a rehearsal with Delena for the table act, and we decided that she was ready to go in the show.
Afterwards Ryan and I walked over to the Dutch Neck Village next to the lot to peruse the shops.

We had a 3/4 full first show. The table act went well with Delena, except at the end I got a bloody nose.
Delena wasn't sure of the timing when she clonked our heads together, so Ryan and I were moving at different speeds.
My nose connected with Ryan's shoulder, and the rest is history! Luckily it wasn't too bad and I got it cleaned up easily.

It was so nice to finish the show and not be drenched in sweat! Humidity is a real drag.
Our clown friends, Chris Shelton and Keith Crabbs, came to see the second show. More people showed up than for the first performance, and they were a great audience.

Chris and Keith took Ryan and I out to eat once we were done working. Thanks to a last minute U-Turn and a metal sign post hidden by the curb we jumped, Keith's car got a slashed tire.
Before we went in to the bar to eat and imbibe, we took the flat off and put on Keith's spare.

While we were working, Ryan was standing close to the car next to us. A drunk came out and told us to get off his f***ing car. His wife then reiterated the sentiment in a very stuck up manner.
The truth is none of us were touching his car; even if we were, it wasn't THAT nice of a vehicle.

I was caught off guard by the man's anger and aggression, AND I am a coward, so I said we were sorry.
As he was checking for any damage we might have done, he threatened, "There is no f***ing sorry!"

Finally he decided he had belittled us enough in front of his ugly wife, so he started to get in his car.
He made one more smart ass comment along the lines of, "You better be sorry that you touched my f***ing car."
I, with my tail between my legs, answered, "Yes sir."
Ryan, who had enough answered, "That's f***ing right!"

The man stopped getting into his car and said, "What did you say?"
Ryan replied, "I said, 'That's f***ing right!'"
The man was caught off guard by Ryan's brazenness, so he got in the car and the miserable couple drove off.

Once they were gone, I had enough courage to say, "He must be the mayor of this fine city!"
I was so ashamed of myself for being such a chicken in front of my friends; it never crossed my mind (or the drunk man's apparently) that there were four of us, and we had a tire iron and a hubcap at our disposal!

Luckily the event didn't spoil our evening and we all had a great time sharing stories, laughing, eating, and drinking.


On Tuesday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 28 mile jump to Egg Harbor, NJ. We were on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

Ryan and I watched the hilarious movie, "Noises Off", while we made squibs this morning. (Not too long someone asked me what squibs are. They are the explosives we use for the double barreled shot gun prop in the exterminator gag)
When we were done we walked up the road to the little ice cream place that we visited last year.

Miguel Llavat, a clown friend that we met last year, his wife, and his pastor came to the lot this afternoon and treated me, Ryan, Tatiana, Armando, and his family to a delicious homemade lunch.
It was so nice of them to be so generous; we all had a good time sitting outside, eating, and talking.

We had a small crowd for the first show, and an average sized crowd for the second show; they were a much better audience too. I'm glad Miguel and his church group caught that show.


On Wednesday we had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 46 mile jump to Pemberton. We were on a grass lot and it was an overcast, cool day.

I caught up on my sleep this morning, and when I got up I took advantage of being able to drive off the lot.
I went to a laundromat and got a ton of clothes cleaned.

While I was at the laundromat it started to rain, and it continued on and off for the rest of the day.

Both shows were almost full. Ryan and I made changes to the exterminator gag that seemed to go well.

The fire marshal in this town was very strict, so there was no fire breathing act in the show and we couldn't use squibs in the exterminator gag.

Dan McCallum, a former Ringling clown, came to the second show. He and Carolyn Rice worked together on the Blue Unit back in 1989 and 1990.
He got to see us work in front of a great audience, which was a plus. Unfortunately it was an off show for me.

June 15-Washingtonville, NY
June 16-Brewster, NY
June 17-Cortlandt Manor, NY

Friday, June 11, 2010

June 6: Woodstown, NJ-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

We had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 60 mile jump to Woodstown, NJ. We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.
Later on the sky clouded over and it cooled down a lot; it was still humid though.

We did good business for both of our shows today; quite a nice change from our stay in Pennsylvania.

....

Here's some pictures of my ducks!





Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 4-5: Leola, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

On Friday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 10 mile jump to Leola. We were on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.
Later on some clouds blew in and cooled things down; the humidity was still bad though.

We had a very small crowd for the first show. At the last minute Fridman couldn't find his rola bola board, so Ryan and I had to rush in to do the table act early.
The prop guys didn't know though, so the jukebox was still in the ring when we entered. We put the table at the very front of the ring, in front of the jukebox.
After we had totally set the gag, the jukebox was removed...gotta love live entertainment!

The Poema's weren't working today, but Adrian's knee is not seriously hurt like he was afraid of.
There was another small crowd at the second show; after it was over Casey, Natalie, the twins, and I went to Lancaster, PA to go to some bars and have some dinner.


On Saturday I slept in, and when I finally got up I walked over to the flea market set up next to the lot to peruse their wares.
I ended up buying two video games for cheap.

We had a very small crowd for the first show, and a small crowd for the second show.
Casey and Natalie took a nap between shows and didn't wake in time for the show; no one noticed that they were not backstage, so we went ahead and started opening.
Just as I was getting ready to wrap up the number, I noticed that Casey and Natalie weren't by the tiger cages, so I motioned to Ryan for us to stretch.
I improvised for a bit and then noticed John Moss at the back of the ring instructing us to stretch some more.
Ryan and I started pulling out every bit of business that we could think of until we saw the Cainans at the tiger cages.
I'm not sure how long we were out there, but it seemed like a lifetime; it wasn't very easy to keep going with the small crowd giving us nothing to play off of.

Lewis & Clark Circus was about 15 minutes away from us (yesterday they were just 5 miles up the road), and a lot of people went to see them. I decided to stay home and relax.

June 12-Ringoes, NJ
June 13-Emerson, NJ
June 14-Greenwood Lake, NY

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 1-3: Westminster, MD, Shiloh, PA, & Strasburg, PA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday we had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 32 mile jump to Westminster, MD. My brakes were giving me trouble on the drive, so I asked Castro to check them out for me.
We were playing on a grass lot and it was a beautiful day.

After investigating my truck, Castro found out that I had been driving with my parking brake on. I set it over a week ago when my engine started overheating on a steep hill. I pushed it back in, but apparently not all the way. Casey thinks that is why my tire rods bent.
Even worse was the discovery that I was almost out of oil. Castro estimated that if I had driven just one more day, I would have ruined my engine.
I guess I should start checking my oil like a smart person...

We had a 3/4 full first show. There was a brand new, shiny ring mat to greet us during the performance; definitely a well needed surprise.

Some members of the Free State Clown Alley #30 came again to visit tonight. This time they actually got to sit down and watch the show.
As a free roll they brought steamed crabs, cream puffs, and oil for my truck. Hallelujah!

We had a good sized crowd at the second show, and after it was over we enjoyed our steamed crabs at the BBQ.


On Wednesday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 81 mile jump to Shiloh, PA. I almost ran out of fuel; every time I exited the Interstate to fill my tank, I couldn't find a station with diesel.
Finally I found a gas station outside of town that fitted my needs; it would be nice if I could have a day without a vehicular headache.

The generator truck had problems on the jump and didn't arrive at the lot until much later than the rest of the vehicles.
We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

Ryan and I finished up our work on the jukebox gag revision and then we walked into town to get some lunch and go shopping.

There was a small crowd for the first show, and a decent sized crowd for the second performance. Dick Flint came to visit today, and brother photographers, Jason and Justin Senft, watched the first show. They also took pictures of me putting on my make up.

Jason King was visiting today after doing a circus date in Philly. He had three of Carson & Barnes' elephants with him, so they joined forces with our herd and gave the audiences today a six elephant act.
The second attempt went smoother than the first.

Dick Flint joined us for our BBQ after the shows.


On Thursday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 40 mile jump to Strasburg. The tent and show trucks were set up on a small, soft, grass lot while the rest of us were parked on higher, more solid ground.
The only downside was that we were all on the opposite side of the tent from the back door.

Ryan and I rehearsed the Jukebox Gag Version 3.0 in preparation for its debut in the shows tonight.

We had a small crowd for the first show, and it was incredibly hot and humid, especially in the tent!

The new jukebox gag went fine, I am glad that we got it in before Mr. North left for Ireland.
In the table act Tatiana felt very sick; I was feeling awful too at the start of the second show. There was an average sized crowd in the tent.

Only a few acts before the table act, we found out that Tatiana wasn't going to be performing in it.
We decided that Delena was not quite ready to be thrown in, so we pulled a shorter, two person slide table act out of our butts.
Luckily it went well and the audience seemed to really like it.

At Intermission Ryan and I were leaving the tent when an awful storm hit. The thunder was crashing, the lightning was flashing, the wind was gusting, and the rain was pouring down. I ran all the way back to my trailer, getting drenched in the process, only to discover that the rain was blowing into the back of my truck and the props in there were getting soaked.
I closed everything up and then shut all the windows in my trailer. I waited for awhile to see if the rain would die down; when it didn't, I put my walkaround costume in a plastic bag and covered myself with an old jacket (all the while wishing that I had an umbrella).
I made another mad dash for the bandstand and arrived with water dripping from my soaked t-shirt and clown boxers.

Luckily the big walkaround props were already stored in the bandwagon. When John told us to cut walkarounds, Casey said we could put the props in the back seat of his pick up.
Ryan grabbed my snake prop and I ran out ahead of him to open the truck door. We couldn't get the prop in because of the baby seat, so we decided to just run the prop to my truck anyway, since it was already getting drenched.

Just then Casey ran over and told us that they were going to cut the exterminator gag instead and they wanted us to do walkarounds.
Meanwhile, the storm raged on with no sign of stopping. Adrian Poema hurt his knee when he slipped in the water running to the back door, so the risley act was out.
Ryan and I did (our very wet) walkarounds after Carolyn's dog act, and then we started hauling our props to the truck.

Luckily the storm died down as the show ended, so we were done getting soaked for the evening.
As we were walking through the tent after the show with our props, we noticed how flooded the ground was. A lot of water came down in a very short amount of time.
Now I understand why they wanted all the trailers up on higher ground. Everything around the tent had to be dragged off the grass via tractor.

June 10 and 11-Plumsteadville, PA





Saturday, June 5, 2010

May 30-31: Olney, MD-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Sunday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 88 mile jump to Olney. I took it easy on account of my tire rods being bent.
We were on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

The Free State Clown Alley #30 provided lunch for the entire show in the cookhouse. I went to eat and visit with them all; they present me and Ryan with fantastic gifts: a Red Skelton DVD set, old Ringling programs from the tent days, and best of all, two pairs of slap gloves!



The gifts continued today when our friend, Carol Lang, brought me a bag full of Tasty Kakes. She also brought a beautiful handmade blanket for Ryan and Tatiana's baby, and water guns for me, Ryan, and Radar. The Cainans also received generous gifts.

We had a 3/4 full first show. The Free State Clown Alley #30 was on hand in make up and costume to do meet and greet before the show and at Intermission.
Ryan and I hung out with them when we weren't working.

Castro fixed my tire rod problem during the show and told me of a problem I might have down the road that I will eventually need fixed.

The second show was almost full. Stephon Walker, who Ryan and I worked with in Myrtle Beach two years ago, came to the show with his wife, son, and his son's friend.

After we were done working Stephon joined a group of us for dinner at a great Italian restaurant near the lot.
Mr. North came along too and generously picked up the check.


On Monday I slept in, which was wonderful. Ryan and I went to Cheeburger Cheeburger with Danny, Tavana, and Arwen, where we sought to recreate our triumph from last year of eating the restaurant's one pound cheeseburger.



We succeeded, but unfortunately there were some tragic side effects.



Unlike last year, we were given a commemorative photo of our gluttony, and another copy was put on the "Wall of Fame" to be scorned for months to come. Last year the restaurant's printer was down and the only thing we got for our efforts was indigestion.



On the way back to the lot Ryan and I checked out the Olney Toy Store and a Blockbuster that was going out of business.
I bought two hot releases for Xbox at an awesome price.

Kevin Brown, a former Blue Show clown, his wife, his daughters, and his older daughter's friend came to see the first show.
He brought us the same kind of delicious chocolate cake that he gave us last year. This free roll has earned him the title of "Funniest Clown in the World" from Casey. (Casey's sense of humor can be bought by awesome free rolls)

The first show was 3/4 full; the Free State Clown Alley #30 was back again today, but Keith and Steve were not able to make it, which was a downer.

We had an average sized crowd for the second show, and they were dead response wise. It wasn't a good ending to one of my favorite towns on tour.
The good far outweighed the bad, though.

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

May 28-29: Mt. Savage, MD & Hancock, MD-5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

On Friday we had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 20 mile jump to Mt. Savage. The last leg of the trip was a real pain; there was a steep hill and sharp curves on a narrow road.

It was a sunny day and we were playing on a grass lot. A little later in the morning we rehearsed the table gag with Delena. She knows the act now, all we have to do is iron out the timing and she will be set.

Around 3:00 p.m. there was an awful storm that just blew in out of nowhere. There was wind, rain, thunder, lightning, and even hail! At one point the hail was coming down so hard that I couldn't even hear my TV over the din.

The shows today were at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., maybe to attract more of a crowd. It didn't really work....
There were about thirty people at the first show, and though the second show was better attended, it was still a small crowd.

The worst part of the evening was that the ring mat got absolutely filthy. The storm left lots of standing water on the ground, which got tracked onto the ring mat. The backdoor and inside of the tent also got turned into mud by the animal and performer foot traffic.

This is what Ryan and I looked like after the table act:




Our motto for the evening was, "We've made all the right decisions in life!"

We were all pulled off the lot tonight via tractor to the solid ground alongside the lot.


On Saturday we had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 56 mile jump to Hancock. On the drive I could feel my truck pulling to the right (especially on turns), but I chose to ignore it.
Big mistake!

We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day. Ryan and I gave all of our props a thorough cleaning, and then we walked to the laundromat to wash all of our muddy costumes.

Last year we went fishing in the little creek by the lot; this year we did the same, but we had more success.
Ryan ended up catching two fish:




We released them back into the water once they had their photographs taken.
We attributed our success this year to better equipment. Instead of tree branches we were using the metal poles used for raising and lowering Ryan's RV awning, and we used live bait.

The first show today was 3/4 full. Ice cream and cake was served by the Barry Lubin/Adam Forepaugh Tent in the cookhouse during lunch. David Orr also brought some cracked corn for my ducks.

Pat Stevenson, a member of the Free State Clown Alley #30, was at the show with her family; she brought us some goodies.

Ryan and I went fishing again between shows. Ryan caught two more fish; all I caught were worms....



....and the night crawlers that I had on my hook.

The second show was almost full; I felt horrible from the extreme heat outside and in the tent. I couldn't even find relief in my stuffy trailer; although I drank as much water as possible, I still got dehydrated. Time to get some Gatorade.

Aaron rented out the pool next to the lot and a lot of us from the show went over to swim. I wasn't going to go at first, but my friends talked me into it. It was a lot of fun and the water was so refreshing!

As I was hooking up to my trailer, I noticed that the front tires on the truck were leaning inward.
I had Castro take a look at it, and he told me that my tire rods were bent. That explained why I could feel the truck drifting in the morning.
It was too late for him to do any repairs, so he just told me to take it easy on the morning jump and he would fix the problem in Olney.

June 4 and 5-Leola, PA
June 6-Woodstown, NJ

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

May 24-27: Wellsville, OH, Waynesburg, PA, McHenry, MD, & Midland, MD-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Monday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 90 mile jump to Wellsville, OH. We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

Ryan and I watched the original version of "Clash of the Titans" while making up funny names for the mechanical owl character, Bubo.
We then wrote a new version of the jukebox gag per Mr. North's request.

Before the first show started a couple of homeboys traipsed through the backyard with their pants around their ankles. Ryan and I followed suit, dropping our pants and sauntering after them, much to the delight of Casey, Natalie, and Nikki.

We had a good sized crowd for the first show. I got a laugh after one of the self indulgent lines I say in opening, and when I turned to thank the person who found it amusing, I saw that it was none other than Eggroll!
We had an almost full second show, and the audience was fantastic. We visited with Eggroll on and off during the performance, and then we had a great BBQ with him in attendance.


On Tuesday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 100 mile jump to Waynesburg, PA. We were playing on the parking lot of a Giant Eagle grocery store; it was a sunny day.
I took advantage of the convenient shopping situation several times today.

It turned out to be a hot and humid day, which made the shows difficult. Both shows were 3/4 full.

Lucky was not feeling well from the heat during the first show, so he went back to his trailer to take it easy for the rest of the day.
He ended up being alright, and Vicky was able to run our sound effects for us with no problem.

There was a clown wedding in the ring during Intermission. Marty and Lois Riggleman were the happy bride and groom; we met them last year in Morgantown, WV.
The couple was nice enough to bring donuts and OJ for everyone this morning.

While Ryan and I watched the ceremony, we couldn't help but notice that the Rigglemans were standing right under the drop bag containing our rubber chickens.
We thought, being clowns, that they would appreciate the humor of us dropping the poultry on them as they kissed. We decided not to, out of general respect for all involved.

We had a great BBQ tonight with circus fan, Don Curtis in attendance. He brought delicious shrimp cocktails and ka bobs for us to eat.


On Wednesday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 90 mile jump to McHenry, MD. The longs jumps and early calls started to wear pretty thin this morning.
We were on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

There was an average sized crowd for the first show. One of the wheels on the exterminator cart had been giving us problems for a long time, and it finally fell off in the morning. Casey fixed it for us in between shows.
We had a good sized crowd for the second show. Not much else to report.


On Thursday we had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 40 mile jump to Midland, MD. There was a hell of an uphill climb leaving town and my engine overheated as my truck struggled to get to the top of the hill.
I pulled over for a few minutes until it cooled down, and then I continued on my way.

We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day. We had a small crowd for the first show; in addition to that detrimental factor, the hot weather didn't make getting through the performance any easier.

We had a decent sized crowd for the second show. Mr. North sat with Lucky and Vicky in the bandstand to watch. He didn't want to feel out of place there, so he borrowed Ryan's horn and played air trumpet for some of the acts.

June 1-Westminster, MD
June 2-Shilo, PA
June 3-Strasburg, PA