Wednesday, October 20, 2010

September 20-September 27

I'm going to try and get off my lazy butt and get caught up on this blog.

Ryan and I are returning for a third season with Kelly Miller Circus. Not sure if the blog will be returning though; I am completely burned out on it and just the thought of updating it turns my stomach.

I may just keep my personal journal and post intermittently throughout the year; I'm not sure. Keeping up with somewhat regular updates is just too much of a pain. And when you stop enjoying something, why keep doing it?

Sorry to let you all down. I'll try and finish this with the season.

Monday, September 20: Vernon Hills, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

This morning Kerri took me and Ryan to Hobby Lobby and Wal Mart so we could buy materials for our new walkaround.

Later in the day Ryan and I walked around the mall together, and then I went for a long walk outside. Unfortunately I got caught in a downpour before I got back to my trailer.

We had an average sized crowd for the first show. Claire Wedermyer, Adam Kuchler, Andrew Adams, Brad Weston, and Doug Grew, all performers in the Chicago area, came to see us work.

Unfortunately they saw sucky clown gags, because the ring mat was extremely slick from being wet and on top of cement. Also, Ryan was sick.

Between shows we all visited with one another. Gary Podolsky, a Clown College alumni, also stopped by to say "Hi".

The second show was 3/4 full, and the ring mat was even more treacherous. Whee!

Jeannie Schwieger, Barbara Yurisich, and Suzanne Flynn came to our BBQ tonight.

Tuesday, September 21: Kingston, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday we had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 48 mile jump to Kingston; the drive seemed to go on forever.

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

Kerri left today; I was sad that she had to leave, but I was happy that we got to spend more time together.

We had average sized crowds for both shows. A storm hit at the start of the table act; what with all the noise it made, and the water coming down on some folks in the preferred seating section, no one was paying attention to what we were doing in the ring.

The second tiger chase of the evening was a disaster. The last rolling cage got stuck in the mud in the back door and blocked us from entering the tent.

We waited to see if they could get it unstuck in time, but they were still fighting with it when the music for the chase started.

Ryan and I ran into the other tent entrance and started the chase, only now we were doing the mirror image of what we normally do, which was very confusing.

The chase must have been an omen, because the second show was just horrible for me. I screwed up something every time I went into the ring. It wasn't a good way to end the evening.

There was mud in the back door from the storm; the first mud we have had in a very long time. Thank God!

Wednesday, September 22: Belvidere, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 6:30 a.m. call for our 15 mile jump to Belvidere. When we got to the lot I spent some time working on our website (, and some of our promotional materials.

Later on I went to an auto parts store and a hardware store in an attempt to find a bolt for my truck's alternator.

It rained before the shows and during the first performance, but it didn't come down too hard, it was just steady.

We had an average sized crowd for the first show. Jessi took me to the auto parts store between shows since I picked up the wrong bolt earlier. Luckily they had the one I needed.

When we got back, it was too dark for Castro to fix the problem, so he just rigged the alternator for one more jump.

We had a decent sized crowd for the second show. There was a kid in the front row wearing a hat bearing the confederate flag. During web I swapped hats with the tyke and showed Ryan, yelling, "Long live the South!", much to his delight.

Once again there was a little mud in the back door: I began to have flashbacks to last year!

Thursday, September 23: Itasca, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

We had a 5:30 a.m. call for our 53 mile jump to Itasca. There was a Starbucks next to the lot, so I visited it a couple of times today.

There was also a little park next to the Starbucks that had ducks and humongous swans! I had never seen swans so big before!

Ryan and I latexed one of our new props and finished the new walkaround that we have been building. I then went to have lunch with Radar.

Both shows were almost full. After the show everyone moved off the lot due to the threat of rain, but the storms did not come.

We spent the night watching America's Funniest Home Videos in Casey's trailer; I had forgotten how funny that show is!

Friday, September 24: Round Lake Beach, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

It was raining lightly this morning when we all got up. We had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 40 mile jump to Round Lake Beach. It was another incredibly long drive; to add to my stress, getting diesel was a royal pain.

We were playing on a very small lot; most of the trailers were parked across the street from the tent without power.

Parking in the back door was extremely tight, but I felt very fortuitous, because I was right by the back door and had power.

It was extremely windy and cold, so we loaded up to go have breakfast. When I got back to the lot, I took Ryan to Hobby Lobby. I then went to do laundry and get my hair cut.

We had a 3/4 full first show. Ryan and I debuted our new walkaround tonight. I was sick of doing my unfunny, cumbersome snake charmer walkaround, and we were both just ready for a change.

The new walkaround went very well, and it was even better for the second show. We will be doing it in the show next year, so it is nice to get it in front of an audience for test runs.

The second performance was full, and the audience was fantastic.

Ryan had words with a cop during the second show because the policeman accused him of dumping sewage in the parking lot he was in. Ryan tried to explain to him that it was only grey water from the sink, but the cop couldn't wrap his head around that concept.

We had a 40 mile jump to Wilmette tonight after the shows.

Saturday, September 25: Wilmette, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Jessi and I went to the mall this morning before the shows. We found an Apple store, but unfortunately we didn't have enough time to bring our Macs back to get some problems fixed.

It was a cold day, and both shows were almost full. The audiences were very hoity toity, so Ryan and I mused that we should break out our scatological humor.

Gary Podolsky, his wife, and their nephews, came to the second show. Gary's wife made delicious cookie bars as a free roll; I was loathe to share them.

A few of us went out to an Irish pub tonight and made friends with some locals.

Sunday, September 26: Woodstock, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

We had a 6:00 a.m. call for our 45 mile jump to Woodstock. We were playing on a grass lot and it was an overcast, cold day.

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

I'm not exactly sure if anything exciting happened, because I forgot to take notes for this town.

After the shows we had a 52 mile jump to Downer's Grove that went on forever. I am ready to be done with urban jumps.

Monday, September 27: Downer's Grove, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

A group of us went to the Museum of Science & Industry in downtown Chicago this morning.

The main thing we wanted to see was the Jim Henson Exhibit, which had just opened a few days before on Jim's birthday.

I took my time and looked over everything in the exhibit. Georgia got to perform as a Muppet in a mock television show, and she was fantastic. I see a career in puppetry in her future!

We did a quick scan of some of the other exhibits, but there was just too much to see and too little time in which to see it.

Once we got back to the lot Jessi and I found a great diner to have lunch.

The first show was packed, and the second show was almost full.

Susan Hoss from the Brookfield Zoo joined us for the BBQ tonight.


Jozo30 said...

Come on you cant stop blogging and blog more

Ellyn Rose Acord said...

I'm sure all of the regular readers of your blog want more of it. I know I do.

...but I don't have to write it. None of us do, but you.

You've given us all a look inside your life, and the lives of those around you. You've made us feel as if we, in some small way, know them. We, in turn, have come to feel for them, and you.

Your a neighbor we're going to miss after you move. Your a friend we wish we had another year in school, or at the job, with.

Thank you for facing the task of writing this for so long. Thank you for all you gave with this blog.

Enjoy life, and remember for yourself, not others. Keep the good to live forever, and the bad to learn from and then let go.

...but mostly, go live.

Thanks for living in our lives for so long.

Harry Kingston said...

As a circus fan that loves a real tent circus with real clowns we really appreciate your blog as it has been the best route book ever. Instead of waiting until the season is over to be printed you have shared your almost day by day thoughts of what a circus day is like. The good and the bad with your trailer and truck troubles and on the road what it takes to keep rolling along and getting to the next town.
Your friends that visit along the saw dust trail you have shared with us.
I know it has been a very long season.
And we know you and Ryan are coming back to John Ringling North II one ring wonder's Kelly Miller Circus.
That goes to prove how good you are.
Thanks for the memories.
Harry in Texas

Tejano said...

I agree with you, I had a blog on a project for close to a year, posting updates and pictures, trying to keep it lively. It is a chore. If it is a project you love, you will do with it with all your heart..but, it can get to you, the thought of keeping it up to date. I have enjoyed reading your blog. Glad you are back for a third season with KM. Look forward to your new webpage. Hasta luego!


Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed your blog, and will be sorry to see it end ... maybe you could tell Ryan that it's his turn . . .

Bruce the Clown

Don said...

Hi Steve,

I know it's been a chore, but you have provided a fascinating look into the day to day experience of being part of KM for all of us.

We appreciate it and wish you well!

Don Covington

Ned said...

Hi Steve
you have given many a inside view of what circus life is about
thank you for taking us along on your journey and like it has been said what a route book for the season of KM
I hope you realize how much you writings have ment to many of us
Ned Kronberg MN CGA state chairman

Elizabeth said...

Hi Steve,

I want to join the chorus of thanks. I have really enjoyed your accounts of life on KM and it's been especially great to see the pictures. I have heard Joy's accounts of life at Smirkus, RBBB, and even had my own experience on tour with Smirkus as crew last summer, but yours adds another dimension. I know it's hard to keep a blog or journal current. It's been a gift that you've given your readers, and also one you'll enjoy later, when you go back and reread it. You might consider a different sort of blog, one you write in only when you want to, and only when you're inspired. Maybe a forum to go into more detail about some things and leave out the everyday stuff. Or just photos. I loved seeing those. Anyway, maybe there's a way to make it less of a chore.

It's terrible that I still have never seen you perform, or even met you in person! I hope I will before much more time goes by. I feel like I've gotten to know you through your writing and pictures (and from the funny vids you send to Joy :o) When I finally do get to see you, I'll be aware of the cast of characters you work with and the life behind the scenes...

Have a great off-season, a good rest and re-charging of your batteries. Take care.

Thanks again.


Dick Flint said...

Ellyn Rose Acord nicely stated how all of your readers--your neighbors within the internet--will miss your daily "route book" postings as Harry Kingston so rightly stated--very historical. Kelly-Miller has provided three different blogs this season that give philosophically varied views of life on the road, a wonderful insight to all of us who appreciate the circus as a way of life. While we will greatly miss the blog (how about considering a weekly summary???), I know their is great ecstasy about your returning next season. You and Ryan represent the best of American clowning today. Look forward to seeing you next season!
Dick Flint