Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chimps Love Twizzlers

Wednesday, March 30: Wynnewood, OK-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 50
Lot: City Park

Today's lot was tight and uneven. It seemed like every vehicle was parked on some kind of a slant.
My trailer was leaning at a ridiculous angle; I expected it to roll over at any minute! At least it was easy to exit my house. All I had to do was open the door and let gravity do the rest of the work.

We went to do laundry this morning, and we fit in breakfast while our clothes were washing.
After laundry we stopped by Wal Mart and on the way back to the lot we stopped at the GW Exotic Animal Park.
We got a tour of the park from the owner. There were so many animals on display: bears, buffalo, wolves, hyenas, lions, ligers, tons of tigers, etc.
I was most excited about the two chimps. One of them kept blowing raspberries, and they got to snack on Twizzlers and lollipops while we watched; they were so funny!

We had a good crowd for the first show, and an average sized crowd for the second show. We are short a seat wagon again because the truck that pulls it blew out its engine again.
A big group from the animal park came to the second show; both crowds were responsive for our gags even though it was another cold evening.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What It Was, Was Football

Tuesday, March 29: Marietta, OK-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 72

Lot: McClain Stadium

We were on a difficult lot today. The tent was set up next to a football field, and the majority of the trailers were parked around the perimeter of the field. That meant a long walk to the tent for most of us.

I would say that today was yet another day I was glad we had a cart for the props, but we didn't have access to the cart.

Casey is storing his tiger seats in the back of my truck until we get to Hugo, and the cart was stuck behind them.

Needless to say Ryan and I got a good upper body workout carrying the props to the tent.

On our morning outing for breakfast and groceries, Casey locked the keys in Nikki's truck. Luckily the Poemas were in town and gave us a ride back to the lot so the spare truck key could be retrieved.

It was another cold, dreary day. It was misting rain in the morning, but everything was dry by the time the shows rolled around.

There was an average sized crowd for the first show, and there were slightly less people at the second show. Not great, but better than I expected after seeing the size of the town.

Luckily the audiences were very responsive for our gags. There was a lady in the second crowd that had a hilarious laugh. During the water gag she put us on the verge of spitting out our mouthfuls of water several times.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Me Tarzan, You Ryan

Monday, March 28: Bridgeport, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 60

Lot: Harwood Park

Kelly Miller and Carson & Barnes shared the same route for part of this morning's jump. Alex honked as he drove by while I was filling up my tank.

It seemed like it was going to be dreary all day, but the sun finally came out in the afternoon and warmed things up a bit.

I spent most of the day bundled up on the couch watching TV, but I did manage to leave my fortress of solitude long enough to go to the post office and to get some BBQ from the restaurant next to the lot.

The excitement never stops on the Kelly Miller Circus!

We had an average sized crowd for the first show, and the second show was close to full.

In the first water gag there was hardly anyone sitting in the preferred seats on my side of the ring, so when I chased Ryan, I ran by him, jumped onto a web, and swung out over the seats like Tarzan.

I wasn't exactly sure that I would clear the empty seats until I was already over them, but it was something new to try, and it livened up an otherwise dull show.

The second audience, on the other hand, was a lot of fun, for which Ryan and I were grateful.

Monday, March 28, 2011

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Sunday, March 27: Frisco, TX-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

This morning after getting paid I went directly to a massage parlor that I found yesterday.

I got a lot of kinks worked out AND unsolicited hair advice.

Kelly came back to have lunch with me and hang out during the first show.

The temperature dropped drastically starting last night, and it was overcast all day. It misted most of the morning, and it rained for a short period in the afternoon.

It wasn't great, but it sure beat the wind blowing directly into the back door like it did for all three shows yesterday.

The first show was 3/4 full, and we did good business for the second show. It was a bit cold to be doing the water act, but the reactions from the crowds made up for it.

Dave and Cherie Gregg and Kelly all left in between the two shows; Gary Ray, his son Cody, and Cody's girlfriend, Aubra, came to see the second show and brought some delicious cookies as free roll.

Gary worked Shrine circuses for years and his son, Cody, has clowned with him as well.

While I was visiting with them during Intermission I got to see Bill Gowan, another clown from the good ol' days.

After the shows Gary, Cody, Aubra, and I went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant, and I had a great time talking and sharing stories with them.

I had a fantastic time in Frisco this year, and I am sad to leave.

Make Up Video

(Double click the video to view the whole image)

A video that my friend, Kelly Ballagh, made from his visit in Frisco.
Note that watching The Simpsons is a very important part of my make up ritual!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Face Off

Saturday, March 26: Frisco, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.

Dave and Cherie joined me, Ryan, Tatiana, and Nicolas for breakfast at the Irish pub.

We had the same waitress as last night (hot) and I got to eat Scotch Eggs for the first time since 2007.

Uncle Steve also bought Nicolas his first beer.


We had a busy morning before the first show. In addition to hanging out with Dave and Cherie, Kelly came back over, and Ryan's mom, aunt, uncle, and nephew all came to visit.

Needless to say we had quite a fan base at the first show, which had an average crowd. The second show had a good crowd, and the third show's audience was somewhere in between the first two shows. Gloin Haven.

Kelly has a plaster cast of his face that he takes to different interesting locales for cool photographs. I snuck it out to finale to give him a unique photo opportunity....

...and to frighten a few people.

Our local clown friend, Kyle Clay, came to the third show with his wife, Anna. He came bearing gifts: an awesome drawing of me and Ralph, and a Richard Scarey book for Nicolas.

The drawing now proudly hangs in my bedroom!

After the shows we all went out to eat at a delicious Italian restaurant. A lot of stories were shared and there was a lot of laughter.

Feelin' "Frisco" Tonight!

Friday, March 25: Frisco, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 52

Lot: Frisco Square

Ryan and I did some repairs on the rock prop from the artist gag this morning. While we were fixing it, Alex Acero, the clown from Carson & Barnes, came over to visit.

We worked with him on Ringling in 2006; it was nice to get to talk with him for awhile.

Kelly Ballagh, another clown that we worked with on Ringling, also came by to visit.

We all spent some time swapping stories and remembering "the good old days", and then Kelly and I went to the mall to get some lunch. We also stopped by Half Price Books where I set a new shopping record for myself at that store: only one book!

Kelly stuck around and watched the first show, which had average attendance, and there were a few more people at the second show.

The fire marshall wouldn't allow Brian LaPalme to do his act in the show, and the building inspector ruled that two sections of the tent be open at all times as emergency exits.

Our friends, Dave and Cherie Gregg, who are advance clowns for the Gold Unit of Ringling, arrived around Intermission.

We visited with them and then they watched most of the second half.

After the shows they joined us over at the Irish pub for a good time.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Goodness, My Guinness

Thursday, March 24: Royse City, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 70

Lot: Red Line Raceway

At a T.A. truck stop on this morning's jump, I had quite a "crappy experience"...I will leave it at that.

The good news is I solved two problems at once!

Ryan and I went into town to pick up supplies for prop repair and painting. Back at the lot we did a quick paint touch up job on a couple of the props before the shows.

There was a good crowd for the first show, and the second show was full. Ryan and I were frustrated with the opening of the artist gag, so we did some rewriting, talked it over with John Moss, and implemented the changes in the second show.

We liked it a lot better; the changes really cleaned up the action. We also had Tatiana film the gag, which gave us an idea of other bits we could tweak.

After the shows we jumped to Frisco. My main objective was to arrive at the lot before the Irish Pub closed.

I got in with plenty of time to spare, so I headed on over and had a Guinness to top off my day.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Van" Down By The River (Part II)

Wednesday, March 23: Van, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 70

Lot: Jr. High School

There was a Love's truck stop just a few blocks from the lot today. I attempted to use their RV dump station, but I discovered that it was overflowing.

When I tried to back up and get out of their parking lot, I jack knifed my rig and smashed up the bottom of my trailer's front section. At least all my fiber glassing repairs from last year were left unharmed.

I was very frustrated about not being able to dump and smashing part of my trailer...until I found out that Casey blew his transmission in the truck that hauls the tigers.

Suddenly I didn't feel so bad.

I found a post office so I could finally mail all of my tax information to my accountant, and then I had breakfast.

Ryan and I did some sewing repairs on the horse walkaround in our efforts to spruce everything up for the Frisco date this weekend.

Later on I walked back into town and got a massage at a spa I spotted this morning. It was very relaxing, but my body was angry at me after it was over.

There was an average sized crowd for the first show and a few more people at the second show.

I didn't see any posters during my walk in town, only three on telephone poles in front of the school we were next too. So frankly I wasn't too surprised at the turn out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Sponsors Must Be A Little "Rusk"y

Tuesday, March 22: Rusk, TX-4:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 45

Lot: rodeo grounds

The show running order was a bit screwy today. Fridman was missing for both shows so he could pick up his family at the airport in Houston.

In the second show the camel and elephant acts changed places. It is going to happen again tomorrow because Armando has to drive all the way to Hugo and back for the elephants to get shots.

They put the elephant act early in the first half so he could get to Hugo and get one elephant taken care of at a time.

There was an average sized crowd for the first show. The sponsor gave a long winded guest ringmaster speech before opening. Ryan quipped, "They can't sell a ticket, but they can talk for half an hour!"

We had good business for the second show. In the artist gag I tripped over one of the props when running out of the ring (I have a giant statue on my head, so visibility is low); I went sprawling and the head rolled across the ring.

The only thing hurt was my pride.

In the water gag when I took my first mouthful of water, some trickled down my throat and started choking me.

I held it all in, but I was coughing with a mouthful of water the whole time I was spitting on Ryan. He couldn't stop laughing!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Picky Ducks

Monday, March 21: Hudson, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 59

Lot: High school

We were told on the route slip to be at the lot before 7:00 a.m. to avoid the school traffic.

I arrived exactly at 7, and they were right to warn us. Traffic was a mad house going into the school.

The lot was split into two sections separated by a chain link fence; most of the trailers were on cement, and the big trucks and the tent were on grass.

It was another day that Ryan and I were thankful for having a cart since we had a long way to haul the props.

When I went into my trailer I saw that my Mac had fallen off the couch during the jump and my Aircard was bent out of whack.

Luckily with a little finagling on my part, I got it working again. It didn't help though that phone and Internet service was as elusive as a funny Red Show clown today.

My ducks turned up their bills at the food that I bought for them the other day, so I ended up tagging along with Casey, Nikki, and Radar for their errand running so I could get a different kind of feed.

There was a pitiful crowd for the first show; things were looking pretty grim, but luckily we did good business for the second show.

He Ringmasters Too?

Sunday, March 20: Jasper, TX-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 60

Lot: Lions Rodeo Arena

Ryan and I rewrote the opening of the artist gag this morning. Now that the camel act is before us, there is a lull where the ring mat has to be brought in.

We came up with an intro that has Ryan coming into the ring through the seats as a volunteer to model for a sculpture.

We gave our new music to Vickie and talked everything through with John Moss.

The new intro worked well, it successfully kept the show moving, and it improved in only two shows.

Ryan is going to try out a lot of shtick with the public as he enters the ring.

We did good business for the first show, and there was an average sized crowd for the second show.

I had a good laugh before the first opening. The guest ringmaster, the local sponsor, was giving a speech, and he introduced John Moss as, "your ringmaster, John Ringling North II!"

When I ran by John for the opening I of course had to bow and say, "Mr. Ringling."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

And The Award For Worst Audience Goes To....

Saturday, March 19: Silsbee, TX-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 73

Lot: Kirby Stadium

This morning's long jump went by a lot faster than yesterday's for me.

I was happy to discover that my generator problem seems to have solved itself; a couple of weeks ago I had to turn a breaker off in my trailer to keep the generator from overloading.

Unfortunately that breaker powered everything that I wanted to use (fridge, TV, Xbox, outlets in the living room, etc); this morning I didn't even think about flipping the breaker off and the generator started up with no problem.

Score one for Steve!

Harry Kingston and his wife came to visit today and they watched the first show; he brought me two old circus programs for my collection.

Right before the first show Castro, the mechanic, came over to tell me that my truck's engine is so-so. He says it is not critical, but I need to go easy on it.

That was exactly the kind of news I wanted to hear before going out and performing for twenty people!

Ok....there were more than twenty people, but it was still a small crowd (plus we were minus a seat wagon).

There was one man sitting on the side of the ring with his son who did not smile, clap, or possibly even breathe the entire show. I wanted to go hold a mirror under his nose to see if he was living.

The second show had more people (not saying too much), and they were somewhat livelier than the morgue that was the first show.

The camel act and Carolyn's dog act went into the show today. The camel act is in place of Rudy and Carla's dog act, and Carolyn's dog act is before the Poemas in the first half.

Ryan and I need to rewrite the entrance of the artist gag to cover the setting of the ring mat and improve the flow of the transition.

Mike Swain and his wife and kids barbecued with Casey after the shows; I missed most of it because I was walking all over town trying to find a mail box for my Netflix movies.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bass Ackwards

Friday, March 18: Shepherd, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 77

Lot: near LL fields

Today's lot was a tight one. Most of the trailers were parked far from the back door in a wooded area.

Ryan and I had a hearty walk to get the props to the tent; I am glad we brought along a cart for just such an occasion.

The first show was almost full, and the second show was full. All of the seat wagons were in the tent too.

Ryan and I managed to sabotage ourselves in the first artist gag. When the rock breaks open at the end to reveal the ugly statue head, it was turned around facing away from the audience.

Since we had to lay the table and rock on its side to cart it to the back door, we neglected to check if the head statue was facing the right way.


Today was Rudy and Carla's last day performing with us. Now they are off to do dates with Hanneford and Zoppe.

They are a very nice couple and we will all miss them.

After the shows we joined forces with a big group of Casey's friends and swarmed a nearby pizza joint.

We were a rowdy crowd, and the restaurant was foolish enough to have a High Striker game outside, complete with a mallet.

I don't think the pizza place knew what hit them!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Nothing Funny About A Dead Texan

Thursday, March 17: Navasota, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 57

Lot: August Horst Park

On the radio this morning the station I was listening to was broadcasting live from a pub with all kinds of fun games going on in honor of St. Patty's Day. There was Chubby Bunny (putting marshmallows in your mouth and saying Chubby Bunny until it is no longer intelligible) and the gallon of milk challenge (drinking a gallon of milk in 45 minutes or less and then holding it down for 10 minutes) just to name a reminded me of all the fun we used to have in the Ringling Clown Alley!

We were on a rough lot today. It was extremely uneven and it was also soft. Alex, the 24 Hour Man, had to have his RV pulled off the lot.

We went to breakfast with the Norths one last time before they headed back to Ireland.

We ate at a restaurant called The Filling Station, that had a food challenge reminiscent of what I had heard on the radio this morning: eat a huge burger (3 patties, cheese, two eggs, six slices of bacon, etc) called The Dead Texan, in a 45 minute period, and win a t-shirt.

Casey decided to take the challenge. What they didn't advertise was that you also had to eat a pound of fries, which was definitely a deal breaker.

Sad to say, he didn't make it..

I took Dexter for a walk around the lot and over to a little pond so he could swim; he wanted nothing to do with the water though.

Later on in the day Casey spotted a big water moccasin sunning itself in the SAME spot where Dexter and I had been standing by the water. For all I know, it could have been hiding in the rocks the whole time we were there!

I got a call from John Moss a couple of hours before the show; he told me that the elephants had broken a water pipe in their compound, and water was running through the tent and right through the ring.

Ryan and I checked it out, and sure enough, there was a couple of inches of standing water on the track around the bleachers and through the front and center of the ring.

Naturally the ground in the ring got worse as the shows began; once the elephants did their act, it was pointless trying to ignore it.

Luckily the ring mat never got too dirty.

There was an average crowd for the first show, although no one was sitting in the ring side seating. It was weird having to perform to people so far away from us.

The second show had a good crowd, but we are still short a seat wagon. (I'm getting sick of writing that every day, so just assume that we are short a bleacher section until I say otherwise!)

Ryan had a visitor during the first show. Her name is Tory, and Ryan lived with her family for a year when he was going to school in California. She brought along her friend, and they visited with Ryan before and after the first show.

Yesenia, a girl who met me two years ago and now follows the blog, came to the second show with her family.

I was happy that we were only on this uneven, flooded, fire ant and water moccasin infested lot for one day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

C Is For Kolache, That's Good Enough For Me!

Wednesday, March 16: Sealy, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 36

Lot: across from old HS gym

I had a productive morning. I went to a donut shop across the street from the lot and had kolaches (I love kolaches), I washed my clothes at a laundromat across the street, I exchanged some motor oil at O'Reilley's for the correct kind, and I found a post office.

Mike and Carolyn Rice returned to the show today. They are late in joining us because Mike broke his foot in a motorcycle accident during the winter.

They will go in the show on Saturday, at which point Rudy and Carla's dog act will be leaving.

We had good turn outs for the shows tonight. The first performance was almost full, and the second was full (but the tent was still minus the one small seat wagon).

Did I mention I had kolaches today?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Tuesday, March 15: Wharton, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 72

Lot: fairgrounds

We were actually playing 9 miles outside of Wharton today. There was absolutely nothing around the lot least 9 miles!

Dave and Sherri, our new advance clowns, joined us for breakfast this morning, and they were nice enough to pick up the bill.

This afternoon Ryan and I watched Freakshow, one of the most awful movies we've ever seen (and we've seen many bad ones).

It was described on the box as being a "nod to Tod Browning's Freaks", and it also boasted of being banned in 43 countries. Unfortunately America was not one of them.

We had average crowds for the two shows, but we were still short a seat wagon, so the crowds looked bigger than they were (and that's not saying TOO much).

Castro, the mechanic, arrived today; with him and Reggie on duty, my truck is in good hands!

Brian LaPalme also returned to the show today; everyone was happy to see him, and he seemed in good spirits, as always!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Port The Cow

Monday, March 14: Port Lavaca, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 51

Lot: Wilson Park

We were back to regular Kelly Miller show times today. Although I liked not having to work until 6 p.m. in the Valley, it was lame not being done until 10:30 p.m.

We had an average sized crowd for the first show, and the second show was almost full.

We were still short a seat wagon, which I believe has something to do with the fact that the truck that pulls it is in Corpus Christi getting repairs done.

Brian LaPalme was still at the hospital in Corpus; when he went in for his burns, they discovered something wrong with his heart and deemed it necessary for him to have a pacemaker put in.

We are all looking forward to his return tomorrow.

Amy Gabert and her fiance, Matt, came to the second show, and they hung out at Casey's house after the show.

I visited with them for a bit, but I also spent time meeting Kelly Miller's new advance clowns, Dave and Sherri Shepherd.

They drove all the way from Sarasota to meet up with us so they could see the show and know what they are going to be promoting.

When they take off, they will travel roughly two weeks ahead of us promoting the show.

Monday, March 14, 2011

(Clever Joke Title About Refugio)

Sunday, March 13: Refugio, TX-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 24

Lot: near Community Center

I took my time getting up this morning because I wanted to blend in to the line of vehicles entering Refugio (since I got a D.O.T citation in that town); if I had known there was a dump station on the lot, I would have gotten up earlier!

I attempted to dump (that's right....attempted. Seems I have a clog. Oh joy of laughter!), which put me as the last person leaving the lot.

Luckily there was no sign of my cop friend entering town.

I wasn't expecting much of a turn out today since one seat wagon was left out of the tent, but I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of people that showed up. But, like I said, we were minus one set of bleachers, which made it seem like we had more people than we did.

Attendance was average for the first show and there were more people at the second show.

Crowd reactions were rough; Ryan and I weren't doing so hot during the artist gag of the first show. Our first flop of the season!

It didn't help matters that the big hammer used for the end of the gag was stuck under the table; the hook that it hangs by and bent, leaving me unable to get it from under the table.

I thought fast and did most of the necessary bits with our smaller hammer. Unfortunately I didn't account for the difference in the hammer's size and I managed to crack Ryan over the head with the wooden handle.

In the second show at least there were four people in the front row that were having a good time; I guess four out of a few hundred isn't....too.....bad.....

Brian LaPalme burnt himself today rehearsing his fire breathing and had to go to the hospital. (All positive energy and prayers are encouraged of course)

After the shows we went with Lucky and Vickie to Port Aransas for some more delicious sea food.

We closed the restaurant down, and the staff even took us in the back room to see all their expensive parrots (the restaurant was pirate themed)

Besides a detour to the previous town, we made it back to the lot in one piece.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Let He Without Sinton......"

Saturday, March 12: Sinton, TX-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 47

Lot: fairgrounds

I was happy that today we went back to regular Kelly Miller showtimes, and also this was our first weekend date without three shows!

We were on a rocky lot, so I was very careful with my falls. We had average attendance for the first show and more people for the second show.

It was a bit misleading as to how big the crowd actually was, because one seat wagon was not in the tent.

After the shows a group of us went out to eat to celebrate Lucky Eddie's birthday; we had dinner at a delicious seafood restaurant.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Log This!

Friday, March 11: Alice, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 114

Lot: fairgrounds

We said goodbye to the Rio Grande Valley this morning. I had a bit of excitement at the inspection point leaving the Valley; the drug dog smelled my ducks in the back of the UHaul and started going nuts.

The officers had me pull my truck to the side of the road and it and my trailer were X-Rayed via a special truck.

The officer driving the X-Ray truck recognized me (even though I was out of make up) from a show in Weslaco and told me how much he and his son enjoyed the water gag.

The drive seemed to drag on and on, but I finally arrived in Alice with no further hold ups.

Ryan did a lot of work on our new promo video today; he is working on the montage for the beginning of the DVD, and I will be tackling the short clips of our main gags.

There was average attendance at both shows; I spent most of my free time getting my log book up to date with help from John Moss.

I am doing so because on Sunday we play Refugio, TX. That is the town where I got a D.O.T violation on the way to Brownsville. I am just filling out entries from March 1st until the day we get into Refugio.

If the same jerk officer pulls me over, at least I will have a log book like he told me to have.

After we leave Refugio I am filing my log the trash can.

Friday, March 11, 2011

It Burns The Flesh!

Thursday, March 10: Lyford, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 15

Lot: Across from church

Today was the last of our run of 6:30 a.m. calls and short jumps; tomorrow we leave the Rio Grande Valley. I am really going to miss the easy travel schedule.

I got to do laundry this morning, which was much needed. The dryers got my clothes so hot that I couldn't touch them for more than a few seconds without burning myself!

I let took Dexter swimming for the first time today. He had a lot of fun, and he got some exercise as well following me around the lot.

My plan is to keep it up every day and hopefully he won't become as independent as Ralph is.

The first show was full and the second show was almost full; both audiences were excellent, and Ryan and I had a lot of fun in the gags.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Good Thing I'm Skinny

Wednesday, March 9: Primera, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 12
Lot: Next to City Hall

We were on a difficult lot today; the set up was very tight. I couldn't even open my door all the way because I was parked so close to Raul's trailer.

Luckily it was just for one day!

I got to go to Wal Mart this morning and do a lot of much needed shopping; naturally after I got back to my trailer I realized all of the things that I forgot to purchase.
Speaking of my trailer, I spent all afternoon cleaning it. Go me!

We had a full house for the first show, and they were a fantastic audience. We did good business for the second show.

Amber, a member of the Black Dragon pirate cruise, came to visit tonight; we had a good time hanging out and talking.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

All Quiet On The Western Front

Tuesday, March 8: Rio Hondo, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 18
Lot: behind school

This morning I had the best chorizo and eggs breakfast that I have ever eaten. Mr. and Mrs. North as well as Lucky and Vickie joined us for our breakfast outing.

I had a lazy day in the trailer, which I needed after having a late night on S. Padre Island.

The first show was 3/4 full, and the second show had good attendance; I remember us packing them in here last year.
Rudy and Carla were back with the dog act, so the show was back to normal.
Nothing more exciting than that to share!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Monday, March 7: Los Fresnos, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 35

Lot: Rodeo Grounds

Back to the one day stands! Today was excellent by all standards; Ryan and I watched some old footage of ourselves and laughed a lot (at the good and the bad), I helped him make meatballs, and then we got to hang out with our friend, Christy McDonald.

Christy is a former Rinling clown and currently is the entertainment director of the Black Dragon Pirate Cruise company.

She brought a couple of packages that I had mailed to her company: a new chair for the artist gag, and some make up and button on suspenders for myself.

We visited with her for awhile and then she met up with a big group of pople from her company that we met while we were in Port Isabel, TX.

The crowd for the first show was amazing; the best audience we have had so far this year. It was a full house and there were two large groups from town that really set the bar for the audience's energy.

I went out and visited with all the pirate folks during Intermission, and I also took photos with the two enthusiastic groups.

Christy and Michael, one of the pirates, stuck around for the second show and kept us company backstage.

Our schedule was a little more rushed today because Carla and Rudy's dog act was out of the first half. Rudy had to go to hospital; we are all wishing him a speedy recovery.

It was great having Christy and Michael to share stories with; it really helped the second show go by quickly. (The second show was about 3/4 full. Not nearly as awesome as the first performance though.)

After the shows Radar, Casey, Nikki, and I drove to South Padre Island for some partying.

Unfortunately, being a Monday, most places were dead. We avoided any bar or club that had a line, therefore we eliminated any place worth going.

The few places we tried were duds, so after about an hour we decided to just go back to the lot and go to bed.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Sunday, March 6: Weslaco, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.

I was very productive this morning; I finally got around to spray painting the front of my trailer where I had fiber glassed the holes.

The timing was perfect because I had just had the trailer washed and it was a sunny day with little wind.

It isn't perfect (it was my first patching job), but the color of my trailer looks normal now!

I was also in a very enterprising mood and set in action something that will greatly help our clowning.

And I named my duckling! Ladies and gentlemen.....

DEXTER! (thank you Becky Raborn for the suggestion)

We had an average sized crowd for the first show, and the second and third shows were almost 3/4 full.

The gags were a lot of fun to do today, and I came up with a funny new bit in the water gag.

Our friend, Ramon, came to the third show with his wife, so I visited with them during Intermission.

He sat front and center and got some great photos. I will post some here as soon as I get them.

So ends our multiple day stands for awhile; it is a shame. A guy could get used to such a lax schedule!

It is also our last six pack for awhile, although they aren't too bad this season. This show isn't nearly as tiring as last year's was for me and Ryan.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Saturday, March 5: Weslaco, TX-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.

We had our first rain of the season this morning. It didn't come down that hard, but the wind was blowing for all it was worth.

Shortly before the first show, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. The rain was much needed, because yesterday and this morning it was humid; the rest of the day was a lot cooler.

We had a small crowd for the first show, there was average attendance for the second show, and we finally had an almost full house for the last show.

The family of a clown acquaintance came to the second show. I set up tickets for them and visited with them during Intermission; for that they were very appreciative.

It was neat how something that is so easy for me (taking a little time out of my day to set up tickets and say "Hi") can mean so much to people.

Radar and I went on an epic quest after the shows to pick up pizza. First we went to the wrong Pizza Hut (for some reason this town has two within a 3 mile radius), then my phone sent us in the wrong direction to find the correct restaurant, AND THEN we almost ran out of gas.

After putting a few bucks in the tank and heading in the right direction, we arrived at the correct Pizza Hut.
The parking lot had about 10 vicious speed bumps (that figures into the story later). A guy and his girlfriend were in front of us in line talking to their friends who worked at the restaurant. After finally getting helped, we retrieved the pizzas and went to leave.
The same guy and his girlfriend pulled out in front of us in their car and blocked our path so they could talk to some more friends.
Radar honked the horn, we both called them some unsavory names, and finally Radar was able to maneuver around the car and get us on our way.

I was just about to roll down the window and give them the Bronx salute or at the very least yell something about how I had been checking out his girlfriend, but then I remembered that it would be hard to do a fast getaway with so many speed bumps to drive over.
I wisely held my tongue (and digit) and avoided a beating.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

South Of The Border

Friday, March 04: Weslaco, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Miles: 6

Lot: City Park

We all got to sleep in this morning since we had such a short jump; the call time wasn't until 7:30 a.m.

Ryan invited me on an outing today. I didn't really want to go, but I am glad that I did.

Armando took me, Ryan, and Mrs. Fusco across the border in Refugio, TX into Mexico.

The main purpose of the visit was so that Mrs. Fusco could get contact lenses and Ryan could get new glasses.

They had a quick examination done and were told to return in a couple of hours to pick up their lenses.

We spent the time we had looking at many of the shops and kiosks lining the main street.

Our friend, Ramon, told us that Nuevo Progreso was probably the safest crossing point; there were many elderly, American tourists walking around.

I picked up a copy of Jackass 3-D on DVD for $4; Ryan bought a name bracelet for Tatiana, and he bought a pinky ring with his son's name engraved on it for me and for himself.

We spent a good 3 hours in Mexico, and before we knew it the time had come to return to the circus.

I had a heck of a haul in the mail department today. I got some movies from Netlix, and a book I ordered called "Funnymen: Life and Times on The Greatest Show on Earth" by Joe Wood.

The book is a collection of stories from a clown who was with the Blue Unit in the late 70's. I am very excited to read it!

We did good business for the first show, and the second show was 3/4 full.

Doing the water gag while sick presents some unique obstacles. Since my nose is stopped up, the part where I have to hold water in my mouth for a long time is extremely difficult.

Last night all I could do was picture myself passing out, which made me laugh. After I pretended to sway on my feet, Ryan understood what was cracking me up and he started to laugh too.

Tonight Ryan got up close and personal when he threw the bucket of water on me at the end of the gag, and the cold water all hit my white shirt instead of my face.

I pulled the shirt tight against my chest to show off my "wet t-shirt contest pose", which made Ryan laugh even harder.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Give 'Em The Ol' Pink Eye!

Thursday, March 03: Progreso, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

My cold progressed to the second stage today: stuffy nose and cough. Also, when I woke up my left eye was extremely irritated and red.

I was just all kinds of messed up today!

It was a pretty low key day. Aside from a trip off the lot to fill up my truck, I stayed in and watched the epic, almost 4 hour long movie, Once Upon A Time In America.

We did good business for the first show, and the second show was 3/4 full. I would have lost that bet!

Not bad for a lot and license town that was booked at the last minute!