Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 06-October 21

Wednesday, October 06: Taylorville, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 65 mile jump to Taylorville. John Moss had to pound on my trailer wall to get me out of bed 15 minutes past the call time; I was out like a light.

On top of it all, I was still having problems with my trailer lights this morning.

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

Casey went with me to help me solve my propane problem. Since we couldn't find a replacement hose for my regulator, he found a bolt that could be used to plug up the hole where the hose would go.

Ryan and I watched the movie, Wishmaster, before the first show, which had an average sized crowd.

There were more people at the second show, and we were treated to a pleasant night; it wasn't too cold.

Today was Jessi's last day. She is heading out to join Circus Kinoshita in Japan as a clown.

Thursday, October 07: Benld, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 50 mile jump to Benld. We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day; the polar opposite of last year when we had to cancel this date because of rain.

We went to have breakfast at the little diner up the road where I spent most of my free time last year, and then Ryan and I watched the Twilight Zone movie.

Ryan, Delena, Tatiana and I walked to the Italian market on main street and had sandwiches and bought lots of Italian goodies.

We had a decent sized crowd for the first show and good business for the second show. I was worried from the looks of the town that business would be a bust, but it wasn't bad at all.

Since Jessi is gone, I was taken out of web and Fridman started setting Sarah's web. You're not going to hear me complain about it though!

Friday, October 08: Troy, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 32 mile jump to Troy. We were on a grass lot and it was a sunny day, another total opposite from last year when this lot was a muddy hell hole.

Ryan and I went out with Casey to go shopping and have lunch. While we were at Borders I bought a graphic novel called The Walking Dead that my friend Ben had recommended to me. He was right, I loved it and am now hooked!

Ryan and I watched the movie Creepshow before the first performance, which was 3/4 full.

As I was running out of the tent from opening, someone sitting by the curtain called me over and gave me some bottles of Gatorade. It was Rob Nacu, a local clown that I have corresponded with online.

The second show was also 3/4 full and Radar's family was visiting. I was frustrated in the second table act because a prop guy got in our way when Delena throws me and Ryan together. Delena couldn't get her hand on my shoulder, so Ryan got thrown into me and did a toothpick while I stood around obliviously. It really got me steamed.

After that I couldn't snap out of my funk and it was a downward spiral of comedy for the rest of the show.

Luckily I had after show activity to look forward to. Casey, Georgia, Nikki, and I drove to St. Louis to go to City Museum, which is basically a huge playground for kids big and small.

The Museum was open until 1 a.m., and we closed them down: climbing through tunnels inside and out, discovering unorthodox routes throughout the building, playing on the roof, and going down a 10 story spiral slide.

We capped the evening off by getting dinner, but all of us were falling asleep except for Georgia. I didn't get home until 2 a.m.

Saturday, October 09: Troy, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

I slept in this morning, which really isn't surprising considering the late hour I went to sleep.

We had good business for the first show, and the second show was almost full.

I was pretty beat for the second table act. I couldn't get enough height to dive over Ryan as he slid across the table, so I kneed him in the head. Then I barely had the strength to lift Delena back on the table after she fell into my arms. As a final insult to injury poor Ryan head butted my shoulder at the end of the act, making his new headache even worse.

We went to dinner with Radar's family after the shows. I was going to get the remaining issues of The Walking Dead from Border's, but they had JUST closed when we were done eating.

Sunday, October 10: Washington, MO-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

We had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 82 mile jump to Washington. As I was driving, my brake lights came on. I checked the emergency brake, but it wasn't on.

As I was exiting the Interstate, I pushed my brakes and they were locked! I am very lucky that no one was in front of me on the exit, and I was able to slow down just enough to take the exit's curve without running off the road.

I was still going pretty fast though, and if someone had been right in front of me, I would have been screwed!

I pulled over on the side of the road and waited forever for the mechanics to show up. It turns out that one of the shop trucks had a flat, which explained the hold up.

I feared the worst, but it was a quick fix. A belt had broken, so Castro rigged up a slightly bigger one to get me by until I can buy the correct one. God bless that man!

We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day. The first show was almost full; working inside the ring was very tiring. There was a slant in the ground running towards the front of the ring, which made running around quite a workout.

The second show was 3/4 full. Bob and Susabelle Kelmer and their daughters were visiting; also Gloria Wilkenson, who was head of wardrobe on Ringling for many years, came to see the show.

After the shows I went out with the Kelmers to eat and catch up.

Monday, October 11: Warrenton, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 23 mile jump to Warrenton. On the drive, Ryan blew his front driver side tire and wound up in a ditch. Luckily no one was hurt, but the trailer was tilted precariously into the ditch.

I stopped and gave Tatiana and Delena a ride to the lot while Armando, Buckner, and Josh stayed behind to help direct traffic.

The blow out happened on a narrow two lane road that was laden with heavy traffic....of course!

Ryan had to have a tow truck bring him to the lot; he got his tire swapped out, but he did suffer a cracked windshield.

Casey and I went to Wal Mart and then to Autozone where he helped me order a new belt for my truck.

Later on I went to laundry and picked up the belt before heading back to do the shows.

Sean Carlock came back to visit today with his friend, Steve Daly. I met Steve back in 2008 when I was working in Myrtle Beach.

Luckily they saw us performing in front of an almost full house. Unfortunately they saw us working on rocks, which never leads to our best performances.

In the table act I slipped on the menu while running and fell on my hands. I tweaked my wrists and scraped and bruised my palms.

It started storming during the bee gag, which insured that no one was paying attention to what we were doing.

The second show was also almost full. Ryan wore the big butt for the 50's gags per the request of Mrs. North. She wanted her cousin, who was visiting, to see it.

Tuesday, October 12: Elsberry, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 44 mile jump to Elsberry. We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

Ryan and I spent our free time watching the movie, The Exorcisit.

Tom Dougherty visited again today, so we hung out with him while getting ready, and he watched the first show.

Both shows had good business. I slipped on the stupid menu again during the table act, this time after coming up from a table slide.

Naturally I did the only thing I could think of, I walloped Ryan over the head with the menu!

Wednesday, October 13: New London, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 54 mile jump to New London. Ryan and I watched the movie, Signs, before we had to go to work.

There was an average sized crowd for the first show. My friend and former co worker Cricket, his girlfriend Chelsea, and one of the other clowns, Kelli, came to visit from the Blue Unit of Ringling.

Unfortunately they saw us in front of a small crowd.

They brought a great free roll, some of which we enjoyed at the BBQ after the shows. It was freezing outside, but the sky was filled with thousands of stars; it was quite a view.

The BBQ ended at 12:30 a.m., four hours before our call time in the morning.

Thursday, October 14: New Bloomfield, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 84 mile jump to New Bloomfield. My truck's heater decided to stop working today, so it was a very cold drive.

We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day. I slept all day to recuperate from the Blue Show visit last night.

We had an average sized crowd for the first show and decent business for the second show.

Friday, October 15: Columbia, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 44 mile jump to Columbia. There was a dump station at the lot, so I finally got to empty my sewage tank.

We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day. We went to the mall a few towns over where I did my early birthday shopping at Barnes & Noble. I bought all 10 remaining Walking Dead issues.

There was a small crowd for the first show, and they were a miserable audience. There were a few more people at the second show, and it got cold as the sun set.

Rachael Bellman came to see the show, along with some of her friends.

As I was leaving my trailer to do the jukebox gag, I opened my door and noticed that someone was standing right outside my door. That startled me in the first place, but then I looked up to see that it was Casey wearing a monster mask. That startled me even more! My legs went weak, I grabbed on to the door frame to steady myself, and I yelled, "OH...............JESUS!"

Obviously survival skills are not my forte.

A blog reader and his wife were at the second show; he mentioned to Carolyn that he was a fan, so I found him at Intermission and chatted with him. I forgot to get his name though...

After the shows Rachael and I went out to get a bite to eat and catch up.

Saturday, October 16: Brunswick, MO-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

We had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 77 mile jump to Brunswick. We went to have breakfast after we had arrived; our waitress was cute and right up my alley, so while I was paying for my meal I chatted her up and invited her to the show.

She complained about how she had been working since 5:30 a.m. and as soon as she got off work she was going to go home and sleep.

We were all convinced that she was my soulmate; the female Steve...too bad that meant that she was too lazy and apathetic to respond to my flirting!

We had decent business for the first show and an average sized crowd for the second show.

During the first exterminator gag the bungee broke so we decided to switch to the alternate ending (shooting the beehive down) until the end of the season.

Sunday, October 17: Hamilton, MO-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

We had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 78 mile jump to Hamilton. My phone died in the middle of the night, so I didn't have an alarm to wake me up. I got up about 15 minutes late.

I knew that I needed to get fuel this morning, but I started to worry when we kept going on without a diesel station in sight. I started to worry more when my truck began to hiccup and jolt.

Finally salvation was in sight ahead of one of our turns. I went past the turn and pulled into the gas station. I pulled to the first pump only to discover that it wasn't a diesel pump.

I swung around to the far end of the station, and as I neared the diesel pumps my truck shut off. I coasted the last few feet until I was next to the pump.


I filled up my tank, but then the truck wouldn't start. I had to call Danny to alert the mechanics, because they had all taken the turn and were past my location.

Leslie, Fridman, and Castro all turned around and came back to help me out.

They tried everything to get me going: jumping the battery, hooking me up to two different trucks' batteries, switching my batteries with other ones, putting fuel in the filter....nothing worked.

FInally they started getting calls that they were needed at the lot for the seat wagons they were hauling, so they towed me to the edge of the gas station.

The plan was for them to take the seat wagons to the lot, about 20 miles away, and then come back to help me.

Before they left Castro asked me to try starting my truck one more time. It started right up!

It turns out that my starter overheated from so many failed attempts, and it just needed time to cool off.

We were playing on a grass lot and it was a sunny day. I ended up parked off to the edge of the back yard; it wasn't a bad spot at all even though I showed up way late.

We had a small crowd for the first show, and the second show was even smaller. They had everyone move into the box seats....and there were still a couple of empty chairs left!

I had thought my automotive antics were over for the day, but my trailer decided to start acting up.

I had a propane leak somewhere and my trailer batteries were not charging. Also one of my truck's batteries was shot.

Castro fixed that problem by switching a trailer battery to the truck. Since I am getting rid of the truck at the end of the season, I will just keep that fix the way it is.

Monday, October 18: Richmond, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 37 mile jump to Richmond. We were on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

Casey and I went to Wal Mart and found a diner that served the best breakfast I have had all season.

We had decent business for the first show, and we got good laughs in our gags for the first time in what seems like forever!

The second show also had a good crowd; it sure beat the past half a week.

Before the exterminator gag Tatiana came over to tell me that a big flame was coming out of my water heater. I told her it was ok because I had just lit it to prepare my post show shower.

After the gag I went back to my trailer, and sure enough, a HUGE ORANGE FLAME was coming out of a pipe in my water heater! I think I found where my leak is....

Tuesday, October 19: Lawson, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 28 mile jump to Lawson. We were on a grass lot and it was a sunny day.

Today was my 27th birthday. Ryan and Tatiana got me an espresso maker, which I was very excited about.

Casey, Nikki, and I went to a mall outside of Kansas City where we went shopping and Casey treated me to a delicious lunch at an Irish Pub.

Back at the lot Ryan and I watched the hilariously awful movie, Mom and Dad Save the World.

We had decent business for both shows; if the crowds had been as responsive as yesterday, today would have been a perfect day.

In the second jukebox gag I was chasing Ryan with the broom. I brought it down to hit him just as he moved, making me almost hit an audience usual.

I turned to look at Ryan, but then I heard a HUGE laugh from the audience. The lady that I almost hit got so startled that she jerked back in her chair and was teetering on the back two legs, just on the verge of falling over.

She stayed in that position for what seemed like a very long time while the audience was busting a gut.

Finally I snapped to my senses and gave her my hand to pull her back up.

Sad to say, that was the biggest laugh we got all night (and probably all season); poor woman.

After the shows we had my birthday cookout; today was a great way to celebrate the start of my 27th year of life.

Wednesday, October 20: Smithville, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 27 mile jump to Smithville. We were playing on a very uneven grass lot and it was a sunny day.

This morning Chris gave me the option of being by the back door or having my trailer be level in a spot farther away. I picked having a level home, especially since he let me park my truck by the back door anyway for easy prop loading.

Later in the morning I got a knock on my door. Apparently there was a miscommunication and Fridman, the Fuscos, and I were parked in the way of the high school's football practice.

We all had to pack our trailers and ready them for travel AGAIN and then move to new spots. I ended up moving where Chris was originally going to put me this morning. That's what I get for being greedy!

We had decent business for both shows. Raul's clown gag is out for a few days because his dog, Pinky, had to go to the vet.

Ryan and John Moss made me laugh so hard in the second exterminator gag. I had been joking around with Ryan earlier in the show and said a line that made us both laugh. Unbeknownst to me, Ryan got a hold of John and fed him the line.

So as Ryan and I were laying on the ground waiting to start the gag, John said to the audience, "And now, the morality tale that is...the exterminator gag."

I about peed my pants I was laughing so hard!

Too bad my good cheer was dampened by a weak ending to the act. Tatiana was feeling sick, so she wasn't on hand to drop the beehive for us. One of the prop guys had a hard time untying the rope holding it up, so after I shot the gun the beehive wobbled for awhile in the air, and then slowly came down on Ryan.


Thursday, October 21: Pleasant Hill, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 68 mile jump to Pleasant Hill. We were on a gravel lot and it was a sunny day.

A group of us walked to breakfast, and then we checked out a couple of antique and thrift stores.

We had good business for the first show. A lady in the front row was turned around talking to her friend when I almost hit her with the broom in the jukebox gag. When she finally noticed what was going on, I said, "Hey, pay attention!", which got a big laugh.

We had a full second show and they were a good audience. After the shows we went to a little local bar with Sorcha, the Norths' daughter, and her boyfriend, Mark.

1 comment:

No Thyme to Lose said...

Nothing is quite like your day-by-day postings of circus life as a clown. I can smell the sawdust. Nowhere else do I find an account of how much artistry, striving, and sheer effort go into the quest for clown excellence. Thank you for sharing this with us. I'd love to follow whatever form your postings take in the future. Thanks for sticking with it through these seasons.