Monday, February 28, 2011

B Stands For Ringmaster

Sunday, February 27: McAllen, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.


I got some more reading in at Barnes & Noble this morning. I checked out the first book in the Dexter series, which the television series is based on.

After only reading the first chapter, I can tell that those books are soon going into my library.


It was a straightforward three show day. The first show was almost full and the last two shows were packed.

People were still showing up to get tickets 30 minutes into the final performance; I'm not sure whether they got in or were turned away. Tavana told me that around 100 people were turned away last night and told to return today.


Ryan and I switched parts again in the first artist gag. I was not happy with my work though; I am the type of guy that scrutinzes every little thing when I am trying something new in my performance.

When I have something polished the way I like it, I am loathe to try something new; I hate to think that I am not putting out the absolute best work that I could be.


I talked with a couple of circus friends on the phone today, including Brandon Bolden, who just joined Circus Gatti as their ringmaster.

B and I were best friends when we clowned together on Ringling, even though we were polar opposites personality wise.


I'm sad to be saying goodbye to the Barnes & Noble, but I am definitely looking forward to being away from all the dirt and dust on the lot!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Photos By David Dunn

Here are some photos from David Dunn's visit to the show in McAllen:






This Place Blows?

Saturday, February 26: McAllen, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.


This morning I bought a yellow under armor shirt from Sports Authority that I can wear under my agent suit shirt.

It looks nice and helps complete the look, but it is a bit snug...and it's a medium! The diet starts tomorrow!


We did good business for the first show, the second show was almost full, and the third show was packed! Nikki and Radar filmed our gags for the third show so we can have some clips for our promo video.


David Dunn, who found my blog two years ago after seeing our show, and his family came to the second performance; I spent some time at Intermission visiting with them.


Here I am with his son, Jonathon:



Happy 7th Birthday, Jonathon!


After the shows we went to BJ's for dinner. I was expecting more service than we receieved due to the name of the restaurant, but in that department the staff was severely lacking.

I did managed to gorge myself until I didn't think I would be able to walk back to the lot. I reiterate: the diet starts tomorrow!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Where A Kid Can Be A Kid

Friday, February 25: McAllen, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


Ryan and I browsed the movie selection at Barnes & Noble this morning; we found a lot of flicks that I am going to rent on Netflix.


I checked at Best Buy for blank DVDs, but I couldn't find the spindle of 100 discs like I used to buy.

While we were there, we drooled over the iPads; once I get a nice cushion in my bank account again, I am so getting one of those bad boys!


I had lunch at the sushi restaurant again, and then Ryan and I met the Fuscos and Poemas over at Chuck E. Cheese so the kids could play games....well, kids and adults.


After I had played skee ball to my heart's content, I went back to Barnes & Noble, found a big, comfy chair, and read the entire book, "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk" by David Sedaris.

It wasn't as laugh out loud funny as most of his work, but it did keep me entertained.


All in all I had a fantastic day out!


We had good business for the first show. I was trying out a new bit in the artist gag, during my entrance, where I misjudge my step off the ring curb and wipe out.

I must have been worrying too much about not falling in the dirt on the edge of the ring mat, because I came down hard and hurt my left shoulder.

It was throbbing throughout the gag, and I feared that once my adrenaline wore off that I would really start feeling it, but it looks like I lucked out.


The second show was packed; we held for a few minutes while they brought in extra bleachers to fit everybody in.


After the shows Mr. North joined us for a night out, painting the town red.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Que Caliente!

Thursday, February 24: McAllen, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 56

Lot: Hwy 83 & 29th St


I was the first one to arrive at the McAllen lot this morning. Score one for Steve!

We are on a different part of the lot than we were last year, and unfortunately this part contains a lot of dust. So much for keeping things clean!

At least it is not nearly as bad as Roma.


I took a little time today to wander around the plaza next to the lot. I browsed through Barnes & Noble, renewed my Game Informer subscription at Gamestop (gloin haven), and had a delicious sushi lunch.


A tire company in McAllen paid a lot of money to sponsor our show, so some of us performers filmed commercials with the owner, The Colonel. True to his name, the Colonel wore a white suit, white cowboy hat, and had a white beard. No chicken though.

Spots were filmed with Armando and the elephants, Fridman doing the loop walk, Brian and Jeremiah doing fire breathing, and Ryan and I performing general tomfoolery.



It was extremely hot in the big top during the filming; we were all pouring sweat just standing around waiting.


After the filming we had a break for a couple of hours until a pizza eating contest was held on the midway between the elephants and two McAllen football teams.

This time the elephants smoked the football players; they were putting slices away like there was no tomorrow!



The best part of the PR? This reporter:



MMMMM HMMMMM!


Next up Ryan and I met with A.J, who won a contest for cutest clown. He and his family won tickets to the show, and before Intermission, Ryan and I brought him into the ring while John introduced him. The three of us then rode the first elephant ride;

I had to sit side saddle so I didn't rip the crotch of my pants open.

A.J. also appeared in finale with us.



There was a small crowd for the first show (our first since we started the season), and we did decent business for the second show.


After the performances there was a birthday party for Armando over at the Fusco's trailer with lots of good food.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

You Toothless ****!

Wednesday, February 23: Roma, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


Last night I attempted to pay my D.O.T citation online. I successfully paid, but the whole process was so confusing that I didn't know if I paid the right amount, or even for the correct violation. It left me extremely frustrated.


This morning I called the justice of the peace and she was very helpful. It turns out that by paying online last night, I ended up saving $30. I am still not happy about the injustice of the whole situation, but I am glad to be done with it.


We had a good crowd for the first show, and the second performance was almost full.

I noticed something strange about Ryan's performance in the second water spitting gag. He was being careful to keep his mouth closed the whole time; I thought he might have been holding water in his mouth for some reason, but towards the end of the gag I found out the real reason.

There is a part of the act where we always try and crack each other up, because we have to stare each other in the eye for a significant amount of time.

Ryan blacked out two of his teeth to try and make me laugh and spit out my water. He succeeded in making me chuckle, but I held my water...so to speak.


I am glad that we had good business in Roma this time around, but I was ready to get off of this dirty pit of a lot!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Love Ya Honey, But The Show's Over!"

Tuesday, February 23: Roma, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


Today I went to the post office so I could send some money home, and on the way I found the town's laundromat.

It was tiny, with one dryer out of order, and parking was horrible. There was one small "parking lot" that was too tight for my truck to fit in, and there were three spaces by the side of the laundromat that were all taken.

I ended up parking in a vacant lot next to the building.


A lot of folks from the circus were in the laundromat, and almost every washer and dryer was occupied.

While I was waiting on machines to open up, a local guy and I were lamenting our poor timing.


When I returned to the lot, my truck just shut off as I was pulling up to the trailer. Luckily Reggie was there to help out. After some examination he told me that I needed new plugs and wires, so I went over to O'Reilley's to get them. I also picked up a new cap and rotor.

Reggie got everything fixed up and as he put it, my truck "has got some balls now." He said he has never seen plugs that were as burnt up as mine were.

Some guys have all the luck!


The tent was 3/4 full for the first show; the audience couldn't leave fast enough at the end of the show though. By the end of finale half the tent was already out the door!


We had a good sized crowd for the second show; the audiences are a lot better here than I remember from two years ago.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

From Dust 'Til Dawn

Monday, February 21: Roma, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 46

Lot: Riverview Family Center


My truck didn't blow up on the trip to Roma, so I guess that is a good sign! For some reason my check engine light came on, but I checked under the hood and under the truck and didn't see anything out of the ordinary. Also, all my fluid levels were good.

Reggie figures I must have a faulty sensor. I hope he is right...


The lot in Roma is....well, to put it nicely...it is a dump. It is dusty and dirty, BUT there is a grocery store right next door.

I bought some chorizo and cooked it with some eggs for breakfast; it was delicious!


Ryan and I did some comedy research by watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

I walked over to an auto parts store to get some transmission fluid and coolant, but other than that I stayed in my trailer and enjoyed the A/C. It was hot outside!


We had a decent turnout for the first show, but there were less people at the second show.

Even though the sun had gone down, it was still warm outside. I was feeling nasty by the time we were done from all of the sweat and dust sticking to me.

I should invest in some brown clown shoes when we play Roma; it would be easier than cleaning my black ones off every day!


After the shows Radar, Casey, and I set out to find something fun to do, but we drove up and down a 20 mile stretch of Highway 83 four times before realizing that everything was closed.

With our tails between our legs, we got something to eat at Whataburger and went to bed.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Ching Ching!

Sunday, February 20: Palmview, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.


I did not want to get out of bed this morning, but the thought of it being pay day was enough to get me going.

It is so nice to have money in my wallet again (even thought a chunk of it went right back to the circus and other people that I owed); the past couple of weeks have been pretty rough, but now I am back on the rise financially!


Ryan and I did a little rehearsing in the morning, and for the first show we switched parts in the artist gag.

Ryan played the near sighted, old sculptor and I played the large, female model.

I was surprised how well we did with each other's parts with only minimal rehearsal.

I guess it helps that both of us are in tune with what the other is doing even when we are concentrating on our own part.

Ryan was a funny old man, but he is definitely a better woman than I am.

(snicker)


There was a good turn out for the first show, the second show was full, and the third show was packed; the crew guys even brought in extra bleachers to fit everybody in.


During the second show I got to visit with Pat Davison and his wife, Martites. The Davisons were on Kelly Miller with us for a couple of weeks in 2009 and Ryan and I made friends with them very quickly.

Marites is from the Philippines, so I was telling her all about our trip to Manila last December.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thar She Blows!

Saturday, February 19: Palmview, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.


I picked up my truck from the mechanic this morning. The show was nice enough to loan me the money to pay for the repairs; I'm just hoping that everything will be fine now so I won't have to go through all of these headaches again later in the year.

A different set of headaches will suffice!


We had an average sized crowd for the first show. Ryan and I practiced our commando clowning for that performance. No, that doesn't mean we weren't wearing boxers. It means that we went in, got the laugh, and got out!


There was a good turnout for the second show, and the third show was full. The wind was brutal all day long, and as luck would have it, gusts were blowing right into the backdoor.

We all had to be careful that we didn't get smacked in the back of the heads by flying curtains.


After the shows we went to downtown McAllen to check out the bars and clubs. We finished up at Taco Palenque, a delicious 24 hour Mexican restaurant that Ryan and I were taken to two years ago.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Double Jump

Friday, February 18: Palmview, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 16
Lot: Bentsen Palm Dr. & Expswy 83

I got up a bit earlier than the call time this morning, loaded Ralph into the tiger trailer (don't worry, she was in her kennel!), and rode over to Palmview with Casey.
The whole ride I had his rottweiler sitting in my lap since I was taking her spot in the front seat.

Once we got to the Palmview lot we unhooked his truck and headed back to Sullivan City to get my trailer.
The reasoning for taking Casey's truck was so that I could hook up lights to the trailer, but when I went to unplug my adaptor, part of the plug came off inside it!
Of course every cop in the world was out this morning, sitting by the traffic lights, but miraculously we didn't get pulled over for having no signal or brake lights.

The Poemas were nice enough to haul our props in their cargo trailer, so Ryan and I got those unloaded as soon as I got back with my trailer.

The mechanic from up the road called me and said that I needed a new transmission. He told me that it was all burned up inside and the converter was out.
He quoted me the total price of $1200 to replace my transmission. Folks on the show agreed that it was a great deal, so I told him to go ahead and do it.

The lot in Palmview is across the Expressway from where we used to play. It is also full of sand spurs, so every time I went inside my trailer I was picking them off of my pant legs, shoes, and socks.

There was an average sized crowd at the first show, but we had a good turn out for the second performance.

After we were done with work I went to the sports bar next to the lot to watch Casey and Radar on the Animal Planet show, Fatal Attractions.
I was a bit disappointed because a) we couldn't hear the program over the bar's music and b) due to the title I expected to see Radar boiling Casey's pet rabbit on the stove.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Not Again!

Thursday, February 17: Sullivan City, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 48 miles
Lot: next to Family Dollar


I was behind a bit on this morning's jump because I stopped to get gas in a Wal Mart parking lot; it was a lot tighter to get out than I thought. I ended up having to back up my trailer to get back on the road.

A few miles from the lot I thought I saw exhaust coming out from under my truck, but I also thought that the smudges on my passenger side mirror were playing tricks on my eyes.
Just a few blocks from the lot it was unmistakable, white smoke was pouring out from under my truck...just like on the way to Brownsville.

I pulled alongside the road, right next to the lot, and sure enough, transmission fluid was pouring out from the front main seal and onto the exhaust.
After the truck had cooled down for a minute, Reggie, the mechanic, told me to get onto the lot so he could look at the problem.

As I was pulling onto the lot, Tavo, who was parking me, started waving his arms and yelling for me to get out of the truck.
I had no idea what was going on, but I threw open the door and bolted from the truck.
When I turned around and looked, I saw that the hot fluid had caught the dry grass on fire, and it was spreading quickly.

I froze, and the only thing I could think of was, "Well, my truck is going to explode, and I can kiss it, my trailer, my duck, and all my stuff goodbye."
Luckily, Reggie was right there, and he dove under the truck, throwing dirt on the fire until it was out. He burned his hand in the process.

Tavo armed me with a fire extinguisher, and I watched the truck while Reggie unloaded the Bobcat.
Everyone on the lot was watching all of this unfold; I was so embarrassed.

Reggie hauled my truck and trailer to my spot with the Bobcat, and I set to work trying to find a mechanic in town or in Palmview (the next town).
I finally found one in Palmview that was open, so then I called a tow truck. The guy from the wrecker service told me that he needed an hour or so before he could get me, which was fine since I needed to get the truck out to the road.

Ryan and I unloaded our props, and I got anything out that I thought I would need in the next couple of days. When the Bobcat was available again, Reggie pulled my trailer backwards, I unhooked the truck, and he pulled my truck through the elephant yard and out by the main road.

I called the tow service again, and he said that he needed another hour because his driver was on the way back from McAllen.
An hour later I got a call from the driver saying he needed another 30 minutes to get to me.
Finally at 1:00 p.m. the tow truck showed up. Immediately they started giving me grief over the size of my truck, saying they didn't think they'd be able to haul it for legal reasons since it was so big.
They then said that I would have to pay $100 more than the price I was quoted because they didn't know it was a big truck (I told the guy over the phone that it was a UHaul).

Since there were no other tow services in town, and since I was now running out of time to get the truck to the shop (also, the driver looked like the character, Machete, from the movie of the same name), I acquiesced and had them tow my truck.

Ryan and I led them to the shop in the circus van. I got lost along the way since Google Maps gave me the wrong address to the shop.
The driver called me and was complaining about how I was getting him lost, but I figured at least I was getting my money's worth out of him.

We finally got the truck to Larry's Transmission in Palmview (where we will be playing Friday through Sunday), and as luck would have it, the shop is only a mile up the road from the lot.

Ryan and I headed back to Sullivan City, and I laid down to relax after a stressful and hectic morning.

We had full houses for both of our shows, and the audiences were fantastic. It helped make up for the extremely bumpy lot.

There was a lady in the second audience that had one of those "hen laying an egg" laughs, and she was cracking me up during the water act.
I kept spitting out my water early from laughing so hard. It didn't help that Ryan was imitating her, concentrating mainly on how much she sounded like a chicken.
The audience loved it! The big laughs really helped take my mind off all my truck woes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

KABOOM!

Wednesday, February 17: La Feria, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 16

Lot: behind McDonald's


The RV Guy came by the lot this morning. He put a new vent on the top of my trailer, and he took a look at what needed to be done for duct work under my trailer.


Ryan and I walked into town this afternoon, but there really wasn't much to see. We did take advantage of the auto parts store next to the lot though. We made about 4 visits to it throughout the day.


Radar helped me with a corroded connection to one of my trailer batteries, and Ryan and I examined the table for the artist gag to see why 3 squibs in a row hadn't exploded.


Later in the day, Ryan and I watched the film, The Clown And The Kids, starring Emmett Kelly.

Well, we attempted to watch it; about 40 minutes in both of us were asleep. I can say one good thing about the movie, it gave me a great nap!


My friend, Joey Klein, who guest clowned with us last year in Emerson, NJ, sent me a great pair of clown shoes for my birthday present last year; since we were on a nice grass lot I decided to break them in.



I don't remember us doing good business here last year, but the first show was almost full, and the second show was 3/4 full.


I was setting the squib before the first artist gag when it exploded right by my head! We have a squib pot on the back of the table, which has wires running to a battery, which has wires running to a button on the front of the table.

I always test the button to make sure it is off before I load the squib, but today the tablecloth was so tight that I couldn't tell that the button was still on.

Luckily I do a double safety measure of not hooking the battery up until the squib is already loaded; that way the explosion won't go off in my face.

Still, when I hooked up the battery, my head was pretty close! Luckily this year we make the squibs so they are just a flash and a cloud of smoke, unlike last year when we tried to make them into deafening bangs!

I assured Ryan after the incident, "The squibs are working again!"

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Freddy Got Fendered

Tuesday, February 15: San Benito, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 29

Lot: fairgrounds


Once again I had problems getting my generator started this morning. Raul had no problem and fired it up after just a couple of tries.

I am just not cut out for generator ownership!


Casey and Nikki took me to the mall in Harlingen this morning, and when I got back to the lot, Ryan and I watched the remake of the movie, Piranha...just awful!

I redeemed my day by watching several episodes of Dexter: Season 2; I started watching the series while I was at home and I fell in love with it.

I'm thinking of buying a ring soon...


We did good business today. The lot was a mixture of grass, dirt, and rocks, and there were lots of dips and potholes in the ring.

I was complaining to Radar after the artist gag, because even though I only take one fall in the show, I landed on a rock...with my knee!


The captain of the pirate ship that we rode yesterday came to the first show with his family.

Ryan and I said hello to them after the performance was over.


Ryan and I were cracking each other up towards the end of the second water gag; we kept laughing and spitting out our water early, much to the audience's delight.


Here's a fun little tidbit: While we were in Brownsville, there was a family that loved the show so much that they came four times!

You can't top that kind of review!


Another fun fact: San Benito is the birthplace of Freddy Fender. I have no idea who the man is or what he did, but his picture is on the town's water tower, so he must be important!



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

YAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!

Monday, February 14: Pt. Isabel, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 23

Lot: Laguna Madre Park


(An addendum to yesterdays' blog)


As an early Valentine's Day gift to the circus, Brian LaPalme made white chocolate raspberry pancakes for breakfast. They were probably the most delicious thing I have ever eaten in my life.

Our cookhouse rules. 'Nuff said.


(And now on to Monday)


We had a very easy jump this morning, and we were playing on a grass lot not too far from the main strip in town.


A few of us went to South Padre Island, which is just up the road from Pt. Isabel, for breakfast. We also stopped in at a tacky little souvenir shop that had a shark's mouth as an entrance.

I came THIS close to buying a coffee mug that looked like a pair of breasts...just because I am such a classy guy.


I was going to check out the beach by the lot, but there was no easy access.

Anyway, I had bigger plans. My friend, Christy McDonald, is a former Ringling clown and current director of entertainment for the Black Dragon Pirate Cruise company.

She invited me and folks from the show to take a tour on their pirate ship.


Eight of us went on the 1:00 p.m. cruise and had a blast! There were about 60 folks on the ship (most of them over 60); we got to have a water gun fight, get pirate mustaches and tattoos (and a unibrow in my and Delena's case), sword fight, hunt for treasure, and do pretty much everything else that pirates do. No pillaging and looting though.

We even saw dolphins!


Christy and her crew did a great job of keeping everyone entertained, and it was a day of fun that none of us will forget.



More pictures to come as I get them.


Casey gave me a ride to the cruise, but on the way back I walked with Ryan, Tatiana, Delena, Cathy, and Mariana.

I even pushed Nicolas and Argio in the stroller to get a little exercise on the mile and a half walk.


It was a beautiful day today; perfect for pirating and walking....and doing two shows as well!


Christy told me that the town of Port Isabel was very excited about the circus. I figured we would have good turnouts since there were folks around for the tent raising, and a steady flow of people buying tickets throughout the morning.


The first show was full; Christy, her boyfriend, her father, and his girlfriend, came to see that performance, so we spent Intermission and after the show visiting with them.


We had another jam packed show at 8:30 p.m. John had to once again make the announcement for everyone to get friendly and squeeze close together to make room.

What an audience! Ryan and I rocked and rolled them in the gags; I was feeling mighty fine at the end of the night.


Casey helped me get my generator running this morning, but wouldn't you know it, I had problems getting it to run after the shows!

He bailed me out one more time and now I THINK I understand what to do.

I hope....


Monday, February 14, 2011

You Know What Would Be Scarier Than Nothing? ANYTHING!!!

Sunday, February 13: Brownsville, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.


PAY DAY! I was extremely happy to have some cash flow coming in (even if it was prorated pay).


Ryan and I watched the movie, Paranormal Activity 2, before we started our shows. I'm sure it was creepier in the movie theater, but it really didn't do anything for me.

I can only watch surveillance footage of nothing happening so many times....


Another beautiful day today, and three more packed shows. We held the last show for quite awhile because even though the tent was almost full, there was still a huge line of people waiting to get in.

John Moss and Raul made announcements in English and Spanish for people to squeeze in as much as possible and to utilize every inch of space so everyone could fit in the tent.


I met with some fans after the second show. One little boy, Joshua, I have taken a picture with every year that we have played Brownsville.


I was sad to be saying goodbye to the Brownsville audiences; they always provide a positive boost for the beginning of the season.

Celebration for the end of our first town was held at the Brownsville hangout, Buffalo Wild Wings.


Upon returning to my trailer I tried to fire up my brand new generator for the first time, but I succeeded only in tiring out my arm, making my lower back hurt, and raising my blood pressure!


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Paper Or Plastic?

Saturday, February 12: Brownsville, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.


Here's a pretty little picture of what I see every time I open my door to go outside.



Like I said, at least it is contained to this one little area as opposed to the whole lot. AND, it is great for keeping traveling salesmen and Jehovah's Witnesses away from my trailer!


There is an RV guy down here in the valley that comes out and does a lot of work while we are in the area.

He got a new regulator for my propane tanks, and he fixed my air conditioning! I am really going to be happy about that once we hit the summer months!

My furnace is working now too, I just need duct work put in under the trailer for it to take effect.


I got grocery shopping done at the H.E.B across the street from the lot. Here in Brownsville, they encourage you to bring reusable bags to shop by either not carrying plastic bags or charging you to use them.

I was smart and brought two bags of my own.


We had beautiful weather and three packed shows today; fantastic audiences too.

Ryan and I absolutely killed 'em for the third water gag. It was a great feeling; I will really miss these Brownsville audiences.


Ray Thompson, a hypnotist friend of our magician friend, Steve Daly, was at the first show with his wife. He sent a message back to us by way of Shirley North, so I went out to meet them after the show. They were both very nice and complimentary.


I celebrated the end of our first three show day by eating sushi until I thought I was going to burst.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sabotage Under The Big....Truck?

Friday, February 11: Brownsville, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


I went out to Home Depot this morning to replace the plug that I burned up on Thursday.

In true Steve fashion, I bought the wrong one.


When I got back to the lot, I had Reggie, the mechanic, look at my truck. It hadn't been registering transmission fluid since being at the mechanic's.

Reggie discovered that the transmission's cap was half off, so I had been leaking fluid whenever I was driving around.

It took four quarts of transmission fluid before it even registered on the dipstick.


This marks the second time I narrowly avoided blowing up my transmission. In Reggie's words. "Dude, somebody is trying to sabotage you!"


There was a company meeting at noon; it was the same information covered every year, but I do remember the meeting being very beneficial my first season.

Oh wait, I slept through it that year....never mind!


After the meeting I went to run errands, including returning the plug to Home Depot and buying the one with the correct voltage.


The weather was warmer today, so we had almost full houses for the shows tonight; the crowds were great. I looked over during finale of the first show to see Dudley Hamilton, Kelly Miller WQ caretaker, sitting with Mr. North.

Dudley and I spent a good amount of time together watching circus and comedy DVDs while I was in Hugo.

Ryan and I went to say hello to him after the show; I was very happy that he made it down to Brownsville.


While we were talking to Dudley, Mr. North gave us a great compliment. He told us that the water spitting act is the funniest clown gag he has ever seen.

SCORE!



As promised, here is the show running order:


1: Opening

2: Tigers

3: Pants Chase

4: Loop Walk

5: Dogs

6: Artist Gag

7: Peanut Pitch

8: Western Production

9: Lyras

10: Sparkplug Walkaround

11: Rope Spinning

12: Risley

13: Coloring Book Pitch & Let's All Go To The Lobby


Intermission


14: Whip Act

15: Trapeze

16: Juggling

17: Water Spitting

18: Elephants

19: Raul & Pinky

20: Fire

21: Finale

Friday, February 11, 2011

Opening Day 2011

Thursday, February 10: Brownsville, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.


During our rehearsal period in Brownsville, Ryan and I had a couple of PRs.

One was us being filmed for a piece Univision was putting together, and the other was a pizza eating contest between our elephants and two football teams.


Ryan and I joked around with one of the teams before the event started, and we even got their cheerleading squad to write a Steve & Ryan cheer. How awesome is that?!


Once the contest started though, our allegiance switched to the Kelly Miller elephants.

I helped out by handing Armando two slices of pizza at a time while he fed them to Lisa.



The elephants were going strong until they decided they didn't want any more Hawaiian pizza and they started letting it fall out of their mouths.



I tried to pick up the slack, but I almost choked to death trying to shove two pieces of pizza in my mouth at once.


Ultimately one of the football teams emerged the victors, but our elephants (and me!) polished off 24 boxes of pizza.




Thursday was our opening day of the 2011 season. The weather turned overcast and cold on Wednesday, and it remained that way for opening day.


I managed to blow up my plug that was connected to the show's gypsy box.

When I went outside to see why I had lost power, I saw that someone had unplugged me, and my three prong twist lock was lying on the ground smoking, one prong melted completely off.

John Moss was kind enough to lend me his extension until I can get a replacement plug.


We didn't have a show run through before our "grand opening", so I was a little worried. Everything went well for the two shows though.


We had average sized crowds; I'm not surprised more people didn't show up; it was pretty freakin' cold!


Ryan and I hit one out of the park for our two main gags, We really honed the water spitting gag overseas this past winter, and I am very happy with where the artist gag is since it is brand new.

The only thing we are not happy with is our opening to the show, but I'm sure with time and changes it will be fine.



Here we are sporting our new duds, made by Ryan.


The show moves very quickly and clocked in at just under two hours including Intermission.

I will put up a show running order tomorrow.


I have a swamp outside my door. My grey water and the generator truck's grey water converged and with the elephants' help, it is now a real mess.

I have been wearing my boots to get to the back door, but at least once I get away from my trailer it is dry; unlike last year!


A celebratory dinner across the street at Buffalo Wild Wings was the perfect way to end the first day of the 2011 season.

My burger and Guinness tasted of comedic accomplishment!