Thursday, June 30, 2011

Where There's Smoke....

Wednesday, June 29: Pepperell, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 14

Lot: Town Park


It was nice only having a 14 mile jump this morning. A guy could get used to that!


Casey and I were finally able to find steel today, so that was one more thing Ryan and I marked off our prop shopping check list.

The pieces are too long to store in my truck, so Casey is hauling them for us until he can make a frame out of them.


Ryan and I just took today to catch up on rest, which left me feeling fantastic.


The fire marshall in this town was very strict and went around from trailer to trailer making sure everyone's smoke detectors worked.

Luckily Oscar came around beforehand to alert everyone, and it is a good thing he did, because my detector was not working!

The show hooked me up with a new one and the inspection went fine.


I guess I should be more concerned that my smoke detector wasn't working, but hey, who wants to live forever!?


We had good attendance for the two shows, but there were more people at the second show. The second crowd was much livelier as well, and they were great for the water gag.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't Expect Very Good Writing In This Post. My Brain Just Isn't Working Today.

Tuesday, June 28: Littleton, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 105

Lot: Russel St. baseball field


Casey desperately needed steel to repair his tiger trailer, and Ryan I need steel for one of our new props, so this morning I went with Casey to find said steel.

We found a guy that promised that he could deliver what we needed to tomorrow's lot.

(Unfortunately, right before show time he called Casey and said that he had dropped the ball. BUT he could get everything to us on Thursday. Of course, we'd be too far away from him by then. Way to go dude.)


Ryan's maternal grandparents took me, Ryan, and the Fuscos out to lunch at a delicious Brazilian restaurant. His grandmother also treated me, Delena, and Tatiana to a shopping spree at a Brazilian market.

Ryan missed out because he was looking for his missing wallet at a gas station from this morning's jump. His wallet was finally found in the laundry hamper in his RV, but not before he had called and canceled all of his cards.


Both shows today were about 3/4 full. The Kelly Miller Circus was inundated with photographers today. Kenneth Ruggiano, who spent time with the show in OK, came back with copies of his photos for everyone, John Tremblay was around snapping some shots, and Stephen Reiss, who was with us for the past 5 days working on a photo essay, spent his last day with us.


Ryan's uncle and aunt saw the second show and visited for a bit after the show. All of us had to move to the parking lot next to the lot because the only exit was a mud pit. SInce rain was expected during the night, management wanted to make sure everyone could get out successfully.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

We're Going To Wash Out That Falmouth Of Yours!

Monday, June 27: E. Falmouth, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 46

Lot: fairgrounds


This morning we were treated with a dump station on the lot. Hallelujah! I just love the smell of...donniker....in the morning....


There was a great restaurant in town that had a smoked salmon benedict on the menu. It was possibly the greatest thing I have ever eaten...and I've eaten some pretty amazing things! American cheese for one!


Besides having an amazing breakfast, I also got to do laundry and Wal Mart shopping. Hooray for productivity!


Back at the lot Ryan was hard at work latexing some of our foam props for our new gags. I helped him with that, and we also painted a couple of items.

It was a sunny, hot day, so it was the perfect conditions for drying the wet paint and latex.


Both shows today were almost full, which was great since this town was lot and license for us. The second audience was particularly good for our gags.


Ryan's brother, Pete, lives right up the road from the fairgrounds, so he came out to visit today. After the shows Pete and his friends, Matt and Andrew, took me, Ryan, Tatiana, and Nico out to eat.

Ryan and Tatiana were nice enough to pick up the tab. If there is one thing I love more than food, it is free food!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pig On The Run

Sunday, June 26: Pembroke, MA-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Miles: 41
Lot: Community Center Ball Field

This morning I finally got to sate my Dunkin Donuts craving. Ah, sweet relief!

Ryan and I got paid and then borrowed Natalia's van to go fabric shopping for new gag costumes. We spent close to $500 in one trip to Joann's, and that was only for one short segue appearance and pants for one of our main gags.
That's right folks, you gotta pay big money for the big laughs!

Fabric shopping took a lot longer than we anticipated; we were cutting it pretty close to show time when we finally made it back to the lot.
Unfortunately we missed Rick Cobbin, who came by with donuts (sweet!) and left right before we got back.

We did good business for the first show. Ryan's maternal grandparents watched the performance, and Grandpa George was nice enough to bring us some English chocolate (double sweet!).
Another great gift came from Bob Lessard, who brought me a National Geographic from 1972 featuring a fantastic article on the Hoxie show. LeBrone, who works in our office, is even interviewed in the piece.

The second show was about 3/4 full. Ryan's mom and her friend, Scott, were in the front row cheering us on.

Rick Cobbin came back again after the shows and visited for a little while. He brought some pictures highlighting his performance career, and he showed us some great sideshow banners that he painted.

Ryan's mom and Scott treated me, Ryan, and Tatiana to dinner at Olive Garden; we had a delicious meal.
When we came back to the lot we discovered that Chancho, Ryan's pig, had grown bored with his pen, escaped, and was scouring the area around Ryan's motor home for adventure...or more food.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

DD Junkie

Saturday, June 25: Berkley, MA-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

After breakfast this morning I did some trailer cleaning, which always leaves me feeling good.

The first show today was about 3/4 full. Bob Lessard came with our friend, Rick Cobban, a former Ringling clown from the 70s. Mat Coes also came back, this time to watch the show with his daughter.

The second show was almost full. Bill Carter, who set up our tickets for Cole Bros. on Thursday, came by. I returned the favor for him.
Once again, Bruce filmed the second show. I believe he captured two good shows with good audiences; it should be much better than last year's video.

The sun came out today and helped dry everything off. After the shows we moved to the next town, Pembroke.
I raced to get out of make up, and I had already readied my rig for travel, so I was maybe the third trailer to leave the back yard after the shows were done.
Luckily I had no problem getting off the lot; if it had rained yesterday or today, we would have been screwed!

I had been craving Dunkin Donuts all day, and I was looking forward to eating at the one right by the lot in Pembroke.
Unfortunately I arrived about five minutes after they closed. PORQUE?????!!!!!!

Even though I was one of the first to arrive at the lot in Pembroke, I was the last to be parked, over an hour later.
My parking spot just happened to be in the way of the one entrance to the lot.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Absinthe Is The Devil!

Friday, June 24: Berkley, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

I slept in this morning; oh what a wonderful feeling! Later on I watched the movie "Almost Heroes" with Ryan. It's not a great movie, but it made me laugh.

We had good business for the first show. Bob Lessard came with a friend, so I visited with them during Intermission.

Brian whipped up a delicious new favorite of mine at the cookhouse this evening: cottage potatoes, which is sliced potatoes baked with cottage and cheddar cheese. Yum yum, gimmie some!

The South Shore Circus Concert Band played before the second show, and as always they rocked it out.
While we were listening to them play and waiting to go on for opening, I looked at my cornet, turned to Ryan and said, "How the hell are we supposed to follow that!?"

The second show was 3/4 full. The performance was filmed by a gentleman named Bruce, who shoots the show every year; he is also filming the second show tomorrow.

Mat Coes, a former circus clown, came to visit tonight. I didn't even know he was on the lot until I saw him after the shows at Casey's house.
We had a good time hanging out and catching up with him, even though Casey tried to kill me with a shot of absinthe during the BBQ.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Old King Cole

Wednesday, June 22: Mendon, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


This morning the Breakfast Club made a stop at a music store and a K Mart so I could get a new 6V battery for our pyro.


When we got back to the lot it started raining hard and it continued steadily on and off all day.

Ryan and I organized the back of my U-Haul truck (it looks so much better now), and then we went with Ryan's brother, Pete, into town.

We went back to the music store that I had visited this morning, and both Ryan and I picked up "wah wah" mutes (I believe that is the scientific term) for our trumpets.

Next door there was a comic shop that had the newest volume of "Walking Dead". Sweet!


Both shows today were full. Ryan's father, Chris, his girlfriend, Bonnie, as well as Ryan's maternal grandmother and great grandmother were all at the first show.


At the second show Ryan's cousin, Patricia, her husband and her children, as well as Ryan's maternal grandfather came to visit. Nat, the brother of Ryan's former partner, Sam, also stopped by.


(That whole part read like the "begat" section of The Bible)


A lady during Intermission asked if I was the clown with ducks and offered me two runner ducks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Runner_Duck


I thanked her but told her that I was up to my bill in ducks already. She said that there was always next year....



Thursday, June 23: Berkley, MA-Day Off

Miles: 41

Lot: 49 S. Main St.


The lot we usually play in Berkley was unavailable because of construction, so we got moved to a muddy field with a long muddy path as the only way to get to it.


Most of the show was lined up waiting to get pulled on until the Bobcat was unloaded from the pole truck.

Luckily I was towards the front of the waiting line, and my rig made it to my parking space without the need for assistance.


Casey, Nikki, Radar, his new friend, Allysa, and I went to the Galeria Mall a few miles from Berkley.

We had lunch and then Casey, Nikki, and I saw the Hangover II. It made me laugh a few times, but it was nowhere near as funny as the first film.


In the evening we all drove to Plymouth, MA to see the Cole Bros. Circus. Advance clown, Lee Andrews, was nice enough to call Bill Carter, the marketing guy for Plymouth, so we could get tickets. Thank you to both of you.

My friend, Miguel Llavat, recently left the Ringling Blue Unit and now works in the office at Cole Bros. It was great to see him and visit for a little while.

Also, another friend and recent Ringling refugee, Nick Rainone, was clowning with the show. He did a great job; I am glad I got to see him work again.


Casey and I got to chat with Jonny Pugh and Elvin Bale before the show; there was a great turnout for the show we saw. The afternoon show had also been almost full.

I had a good time and enjoyed the show more than last year's.


On the way back to the lot we all stopped at Applebee's to eat. We were in luck because karaoke was being held in the bar area, so Casey, Radar, and I got to sing a couple of tunes each.


The lot was a mess when we got back after midnight. It had rained a lot, and a couple of people had gotten stuck on the path leading to the lot.


(I have a few photos from Cole that I want to upload, but I can't due to my crappy Internet connection. Oh well, what ya gonna do?)

Tomorrow, Tomorrow

Hey everyone,

We had the day off today (whoo hoo!) and I JUST got back at 1:00 a.m.
I'll double post tomorrow. Promise.

zzzzzzzzzz

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Vidiots

Tuesday, June 21: Mendon, MA-Travel Day
Miles: 120
Lot: Gift Barn

Today Ryan and I went with Ryan's father, Chris, to Lowe's so we could buy supplies for our new gags.

Chris then took us, Nico, Tatiana, and her mother out shopping. We went to a great thrift store where Ryan and I were able to grab a couple of wardrobe items for the new gags as well.

In the evening, Chris and his girlfriend, Bonnie, had us over to their house for a BBQ; the Fusco family also came along.
I ate so much good food, and I got the added entertainment of watching Bonnie's chickens fighting over a piece of steak.
One chicken grabbed it and then had to keep running around the pen from the other hens. She couldn't even stop to eat it because the other chickens tried to snatch it away.
The whole experience was like watching a strange football game!

On a more "serious" note, here is a video interview that Lane Talburt filmed of us last Saturday in Millbrook:



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Spirit Of Massachusetts Is The Spirit Of America

Tuesday, June 21: Dalton, MA-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 81
Lot: American Legion Field

This morning, upon our arrival to the lot, the Wayne McCary CFA tent had coffee and sweets set up for the show.

The Breakfast Club grabbed a cup of joe to go and then went for breakfast, a Wal Mart run, and a visit to Barnes & Noble.
Unfortunately, the one item I wanted, the newest volume of the Walking Dead graphic novel series, doesn't come out until tomorrow. I did get to read an excerpt from "Steve-O's" new book that talked about his time at Ringling's Clown College.

The Wayne McCary tent also hosted a lunch for the show, but I didn't know any of the details, so I didn't make it over.

Ryan's paternal grandparents were visiting today, and they brought delicious pasta, so I went over to eat and visit with them in the afternoon.
Joe Barney, a clown who taught at my first clown school that I attended when I was a teen, and one of his daughters, Gracie, stopped by to visit quickly as well.

The first show was about 3/4 full. Ryan's grandparents, Joe and Gracie Barney, as well as Dan Baltulonis (Cole Bros. marketing director) and Lee Andrews (Cole Bros. advance clown) were all in attendance.

After the show I was talking with some of the audience in the tent when this pretty young woman came over to ask for a picture. She proceeded to tell me how adorable I am (which I am well aware of, but never tire of hearing), and after we took a photo she kissed me on the cheek.
Whoo hoo!

The second show was almost full. Dan and Lee watched the show again, and they were joined by my circus fan friend, Don Horowitz.
The audiences were very good today; hooray for Massachusetts!

After the shows Ryan and I went out to dinner with Dan, Lee, and Don. We had a lot of fun talking, and Don was nice enough to pick up the check!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Pee-Owned

Sunday, June 19: Saugerties, NY-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Miles: 45

Lot: sports complex


The lot in Saugerties was a lot more bearable today than it was two years ago. Last time it was full of standing water and the lot smelled like sewage for the two days we were there.


The Breakfast Club went into town and ate at the Love Bites Cafe. I had green toast and eggs; the green came from avocado spread with lemon juice. YUM!


Back at the lot I got into line to be paid. Since Radar and I both arrived at the office around the same time, we played Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who would go first.

After Radar won best two out of three, I suggested that we Roshambo for it (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=roshambo), as long as I could go first. He wasn't hep to that idea.


I was furious when someone from the lot showed up at the office to settle tickets while Radar was getting paid. I ended up having to wait some more until that guy was done.

I KNEW we should have Roshambo'd for it!


After getting paid and cleaned up, I walked into town to do some more exploring. I sat down with the Fuscos at an Argentinean bakery and had a coffee while they ate breakfast, and then Ryan and I checked out some antique stores and book shops.

One of the book stores had a few circus books, and I was very close to buying a pristine 1st edition hardback version of Towsen's "Clowns". The $40 price tag deterred me in the end.


Two years ago we did awful business in Saugerties. Today was no exception.

Both shows had small crowds, and to put it nicely, getting through the gags was rough.


The first show reminded me of the one line sea shanty that I wrote about this town in the past:


"We're in Saugerties, someone kill me please!"


To top everything off, I got peed on by a tiger as I was leaving opening of the first show.

Luckily it was just a small spray, and it only got on my shirt, which Tatiana was nice enough to wash for me.


In the second show I decided not to let the dismal crowds get me down, and I just went out and did my best.

In the end, what more can you do?


After the shows I went back into town with Casey, Radar, and Nikki. We found a delicious restaurant for dinner, and then we played a little pool at a bar down the road.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

PING YONG!

Saturday, June 18: Millbrook, NY-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 50

Lot: Band Shell


This morning's drive seemed to go on forever since it was all back roads with hills and stop lights.

I did; however, get to pick up donuts along the way. Hooray for gas station/Dunkin Donuts combos!


Today's lot was tight and difficult (to quote the route slip): the tent, semis, and a few trailers were on the hilly, grassy part of the lot; all the rest of us were at the bottom of the hill in a parking lot.


We were just up the road from downtown, so Ryan and I walked in to explore.


Both shows today were about 3/4 full. I was beat before even going into the ring from the long, uphill walk to the back door from my trailer.

There was also a hill in the middle of the ring, which made fancy footwork in our gags a must.


After the first show, Lane Talburt filmed an interview with us for a Youtube piece he is putting together.

We had fun doing it, hopefully we came off well and not like a couple of idiots....


After the shows The Breakfast Club (as Dan Reynolds has dubbed us), went to eat at a sushi restaurant.

The service was terrible, but luckily the food was delicious!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

America's Own Diner?

Friday, June 17: Cortlandt Manor, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 85

Lot: Behind MVFD


The route slip told us that we all needed to be off of a certain parkway on the jump by 7:00 a.m. per truck regulations.

Because of that, we had a 5:00 a.m. call. Even though I left Napanoch at 4:50 a.m., I still didn't make it off of the parkway by 7:00 a.m. I guess it was no big deal, because several people were later than me and didn't have a problem either.


The parkway was very hilly; there was even a stoplight at the end of it that was at the top of a hill.

I had Ryan and the generator truck in front of me, and we were all stopped at the light. When traffic started moving again, I put my foot on the gas pedal....and stayed in place!

I was already in 2nd gear, so I had to throw it into 1st to start moving again.


Casey was unable to get off the lot this morning, so he improvised for breakfast. We had a breakfast BBQ with delicious steaks.

Too bad I didn't have any fresh duck eggs to cook along with them.


I slept all morning long; I was beat after the past couple of days. The 5:00 a.m. call this morning was the clincher.

It was a perfect day for napping too: it was rainy and dreary outside.


There was some thunder and lightning right on top of us before the first show. While we were waiting for the show to begin, it started pouring rain. After that deluge though, it was clear for the rest of the night.


Both shows had to be held for 15 or 20 minutes because of a poor parking situation. Everyone was parking at the school where we set up last year, and then they had to be carted to the lot via school bus.


The first show was almost full, and the second show was full. There was a little bit of mud in the back door, but nothing bad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Post That Goes Like This

Thursday, June 16: Napanoch, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 43

Lot: Napanoch Valley Mall


There was a restaurant right next to the lot, so this morning's breakfast outing was incredibly convenient.


Ryan and I went to the Italian restaurant on the lot for lunch, and Ryan quickly struck up a friendship with the Italian man who runs the place with his wife. (The fact that Ryan made a HUGE order for his family probably helped)

The owner even agreed to keep the place open after the shows so the Fuscos could have dinner there.


There was an average sized crowd at the first show, and the second show was about 3/4 full.


I unintentionally did my best to get hurt in the first performance. When I was running backstage after opening, my foot caught on Raul's juggling prop and I went sprawling. My trumpet hit the ground, and I came down on my hands on the cracked, broken pavement.

Luckily my hands didn't get scraped or cut, and I stayed on the ground long enough to create a tableau for photographers, Jason and Justin Senft, who were standing nearby.

The only damage to my trumpet was that the mouthpiece wouldn't come out, but Ryan knew a trick to remedy that.


Then, in the artist gag, when I was being chased by Ryan, I tripped and went to one knee; I managed to scramble to my feet and keep going without slowing down too much


I need to lay off the hard stuff!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vamp, Vamp!

Wednesday, June 15: Washingtonville, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 20

Lot: Roundhill School


I was happy that we only had a 20 mile jump this morning; it was over before I even knew it.


I got a lot accomplished this morning on my outing with the crew. We did laundry, I got a pen and kennel for the baby duck, and I got groceries at Wal Mart.


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


Wow, that post was pretty short....better do some padding....



Much better!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blue Moon

Tuesday, June 14: Greenwood Lake, NY-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

After our busy day in NYC, I decided to sleep in this morning; it was awesome! I was going to do laundry with the gang, but they were equally tired and decided clean clothes could wait one more day.

There was a Redbox right next to the lot, so Ryan and I rented a lot of movies. My favorite was the remake of "True Grit". I thought it was great!

It rained for awhile this afternoon but stopped in time for the shows. The first show was almost full, and the second show was full.
Despite the big crowd in the second show, I felt the audience's energy was very strange and unfocused. After I saw that there was a full moon, everything made more sense to me.
It also explained why I saw a guy in the audience do this:


The Senft brothers came back today and brought some delicious cookies for the show to enjoy in the cookhouse.
Courtney, who worked with us on the show in 2009, was also visiting. She is teaching trapeze in NY currently, and we will see her again around St. Louis since she will be working at the City Museum's circus program.

After the show, at the BBQ, we had wings from a pizza joint across the street. We also watched and laughed at some of our Youtube favorites that we hadn't seen in a long time.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NYC

Sunday, June 12: Secaucus, NJ-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Miles: 88
Lot: Harmon Meadows Plaza

This morning's drive took us right up to the Lincoln Tunnel, and unfortunately a few show vehicles wound up in NYC for a short time before getting to the lot.

We were in a shopping center just mere miles from the city. I did my best to blend in by having a bagel for breakfast and a pastrami sandwich for lunch. Yum.

When I got to the lot, I noticed that my trailer's water pump was leaking badly, so I let Fridman know and he fixed it for me.

I tried to take a nap since it had been a long morning, and I had a long day and night ahead of me, but people were wandering by and yelling at my ducks ad nauseam. I finally gave up my sleeping aspirations when some flat headed kid started a barking contest with the Poema's dogs while his gem of a mother laughed and videotaped the whole thing.

Today my friend, Joey Kline, visited with his mother, father, and twin sisters. Joey is an up and coming clown, and I try to help him out however I can.
The Kline family brought a bag full of awesome baby clothes for Nico, and Joey got presents for me and Ryan as well. Ryan got some gloves that he has been wanting all season, and I got a new pair of suspenders and a snazzy, heavy duty umbrella. No wind is breaking this thing!

I had lunch with the Klines (that they provided), and then Joey and I got into make up. Joey did finale with us last year, and so today we continued the tradition.

The first show was packed, and in addition to the Kline family, my friend, Book Kennison, was visiting along with his friend, Josh.

Clown memorabilia collector, Rich Turscany, stopped by to see if we had anything worth buying. He ended up purchasing a pair of clown pants that Ryan made at the beginning of the season.

During our break in the first show, Ryan and I went to the outskirts of the shopping center to see a billboard that featured our picture on it. Tatiana tipped us off to its existence.


Joey joined us in finale, and he and I even managed to get a double pants drop into our final bow.


Between shows our friends, Mark Carfora and Jay Lemos, came to visit with some delicious cannoli in tow. Also visiting was our friend, Pat Cashin, and his family. He brought a whole stack of donuts for his friends on the show.
We love our friends! Especially when they come bearing gifts! (hint hint) :o)

We had another packed house for the second performance. My friend, Kevin Carr, and his friend, Debbie, showed up, but they unfortunately missed a chunk of the first half.
When I went out to visit with everyone at Intermission, I got mobbed by the public. I can't remember the last time I had taken that many pictures!

I really wanted to go out to dinner with all of our friends (especially since so many dining options were readily unavailable), but we had to move to the next town to avoid Monday morning traffic.

The drive to Greenwood Lake was a pain in the neck, with lots of directions. Added to that were darkness, rain, and jerks not dimming their bright lights as they passed.
I quit my complaining about the drive after I learned of the shorter but crazily steep route that we bypassed. THAT would not have been fun!

I had a fantastic time today visiting with all my friends, but after two long, difficult jumps and playing host all afternoon, I was ready to crash after I was parked.


Monday, June 13: Greenwood Lake, NY-Day Off
Miles: 57
Lot: Greenwood Lake Park

I woke up early this morning thinking that we were going to laundry, but Casey decided we'd put that off and spend longer in NYC today. That decision was more than alright with me.

We drove to the next town over, Tuxedo, and then Casey, Nikki, and I hopped on a train to Penn Station. I had not been in the city for two years, and I was so happy to be back for a visit.

We started the day off by walking from the Garden to Times Square and having lunch at Ellen's Stardust Diner, where the wait staff are all aspiring entertainers and sing to you while you eat.

We walked through Central Park for a bit and stopped by Lincoln Center; I have never seen the Big Apple lot without the show set up. It is amazing to me how they fit onto that small space!


Next we checked out a few shops before heading down to the Village. Casey wanted to take photos of some noted musician locales, whereas I had good food on my brain.

We had a beer at the Slaughtered Lamb Pub, which is based on the pub of the same name from "An American Werewolf in London".

Nikki and I had lunch at Pommes Frites, a french fry eatery where you get delicious dipping sauces with your paper cone full of fried potato goodness. We also stopped by Veniero's Bakery, home of the best cannoli anywhere (in my humble opinion).
Casey was getting a new tattoo during our tour de food.

Radar took a train to the city and met us in the early afternoon. After he had found us, I took off to have coffee with my friend, Marni Zalban. Marni was a clown leaving the road when I joined the Blue Unit, and we have stayed in touch ever since.

After spending some time with Marni, I went back to the village (getting turned around a few times in the process) and met up with the gang, which had grown by one member, my friend, Book.

Book took us to an old bar with sawdust on the floor where every beer you order is actually two small glasses.
We threw back a few and then went to a great karaoke bar where I sang everything from Avenue Q to Michael Buble.

Before we left, everybody wanted to pick up some souvenirs from Times Square.
Heading back to Penn Station, Casey discovered that we might have to wait two hours for the next train to get us back to Tuxedo.
Fortunately we lucked out and caught a train to Secaucus just a few minutes after arriving at the station.

From there we discovered that we would still have to wait about two hours to get a train to Tuxedo.
There was; however, a train to the next town over from Tuxedo that was leaving in about twenty minutes, so Casey hopped on his phone and lined up a cab to take us the rest of the way.

Everything lined up perfectly, and we were in Casey's truck heading back to the lot before we would have even left Secaucus on the other train.

What an awesome day off!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bright Lights, Big City

Hey everyone,

We have the day off and I am heading into NYC. Blogging will resume tomorrow.

Solid.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Great Day!

Saturday, June 11: Plumsteadville, PA-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.


We had our annual PR at Chubby's, the greatest ice cream shop EVER, this afternoon.

Jesse, the owner of Chubby's, is always a big help with promoting Kelly Miller, so we always go and do a meet and greet at his shop. In return he gives us free ice cream!

There really weren't many customers, but it was nice to get to talk with Jesse for a bit.


It rained during the night, which really cooled everything down; it rained like cats and dogs right before the first show. Because of that there were poodles all over the lot. (tee hee hee)


There was a good sized crowd for the first show. During the Chubby's PR, Ryan and I made friends with the firemen that sponsor the show every year (they drive us to the PR in fire trucks), and they invited us to come eat at their cafe in between shows.

We went over and they treated us right. We got free food, including deep fried Oreos. Yum!


The second show was almost full; they were a great audience too. After it was over, all the rigs had to move off the grass since more rain was expected during the night.


Since we were blocked in for awhile in the back yard, I went over to the Italian retsaurant for a drink with Casey and a few of his circus friends.

While we were there, we got the call that lot traffic had cleared up, so we ran over and moved our rigs onto the parking lot of the fire station.


The folks from the station had invited me over for some drinks after the shows, so I stopped in to socialize for a bit.

After awhile I ran back over to the Italian restaurant to pay my tab, and then I stopped by Chubby's one more time for ice cream and to chat with Jesse some more.


I finished up the night back over at the fire station, enjoying a few drinks and sharing circus stories.

I am so grateful to the folks at the fire station for treating me and Ryan so well; they, along with Jesse at Chubby's, have really helped to make Plumsteadville one of my favorite stops on tour.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mamma Mia!

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

Miles: 23

Lot: fire station


It was nice that we had a short jump this morning that led to a two day stand in one of my favorite towns.


Today Ryan did some more foam carving for props to use in our new gags. When he took a break we went to Chubby's, our favorite ice cream shop EVER. Unfortunately the owner wasn't there, so we didn't get to say "Hi".


Luckily today wasn't as hot as it has been, so doing the shows wasn't as grueling.

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


My friend, Mary Kelly Rayel, came to the second show with her boyfriend, Eric Belcher, and their friend, Paul.

Eric was one of the clowns at my very first circus (Ringling Blue) back in 1989...so, some of the blame lies with him!


Also at the second show was photographer, Chris Hill, who has taken some great shots of the show in the past two years. One of his photos of me and Ryan is even hanging up in the circus office wagon.

He was nice enough to bring us two discs of photos, and he took lots of new pictures as well.


After the shows I went with Mary Kelly, Eric and Paul to the Italian restaurant next to the lot; we saw a lot of folks from the show come over to do the same thing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

Thursday, June 09: Ringoes, NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 75

Lot: fairgrounds


This morning's drive seemed to go on forever, but thankfully it was mostly Interstate.


Ryan carved a prop for one of our new gags today, and I put elastic in my beret for the artist gag.

For awhile now it has been refusing to stay on my head. I was having to sacrifice good movement to keep it on my head long enough for a crucial bit; talk about annoying.


It was another hot and humid day. We had a small crowd for the first show that was just miserable; I was glad to be done with that performance.


It seems like my baby duck has an eye infection. I read up on the subject online, and I am going to try some saline solution like several websites suggested.


Right before the second show started, dark, ominous clouds began to form. As soon as the show was underway, it began to rain cats and dogs.


For some reason, it was pouring water into the tent right on top of Fridman's rigging, so at the last minute it was decided that he wouldn't work.

Also at that time, the glasses that I wear for the artist gag decided to break.

I ran to Ryan's house to let him know that Fridman was out, but I discovered that he had already headed to the tent entrance.

As I ran back to my trailer, my umbrella broke from the wind. I pulled a spare pair of glasses out of my closet, and made it to the back door just in time for the artist gag.


Ryan noticed the downpour at the front of the ring, so when he entered for the artist gag, he stood right under the waterfall and let it beat down on his head.

When John told him that he was standing under the rain, Ryan looked up and got a face full of water, which got a nice laugh.


I was also soaked from my episode with the broken umbrella, so we must have looked like quite a pair.

After I got scared by the sight of him, I stared him down and said, "You look like a drowned rat....it looks good on you though!"


Luckily the rain stopped during the artist gag; there was just some scattered thunder and lightning for the rest of the show.

There was another small crowd, but at least they showed some signs of life; I'm sure that the storm cooling things down had some effect on that.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Nice To See U-Haul Again

Wednesday, June 08: Mullica Hill, NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 40

Lot: Public Works grounds


I rode to Mullica Hill with Ryan and Tatiana this morning, and shortly after arriving I called the mechanic in Havre De Grace to make sure that my truck was definitely ready to go.


Around 9 a.m. Ryan and I took off for Maryland in the flat bed truck, and 56 miles and four tolls later, we arrived at the shop.

I'm actually glad we waited until today to pick up the truck, because yesterday we were over 100 miles away from Havre De Grace.

I paid the mechanic, lightening my wallet by about 5 lbs. in the process, and then Ryan and I headed back to Mullica Hill.


Ryan and I spent some time planning for next year, and before we knew it show time had arrived.


It was a hot and humid day, and you could definitely tell so from the audience response (or lack thereof).

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


There was a lot on my mind this evening, and I was feeling down in the dumps; unfortunately I let it affect my work, which made me feel even worse.


On the plus side, it was very nice being able to load all the props and my ducks into the back of the truck tonight.

Also, the prospect of not having to double jump is quite a rosy one.


I want to thank everyone on the show that helped me out during the past week; your assistance during my automotive fiasco definitely helped me keep going with my sanity intact.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Here's Egg Harbor On Your Face

Tuesday, June 07: Egg Harbor City, NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

I was planning on sleeping in very late this morning, but Radar texted me with an invitation to the mall that woke me up. Since I wasn't feeling all that sleepy, I decided to tag along.
I didn't buy anything (since all my money is going to the truck repairs), but I did thoroughly enjoy one store that had lots of toys and video games that I remembered from when I was a kid.

Around 1:00 p.m. I got a call from the shop that has my truck; they said it was ready to go. Since it was too late to drive to MD and back to retrieve it, I decided that I would pick it up in the morning.

We had two small crowds for the shows today, effectively ending our streak of good business.
Ernest Albrecht, from Spectacle magazine, came to watch the first show, and Tuffy Nicholas and his business partners came to the second show.
At least we had a few friendly faces in the seats; that is more than I can say for the rest of the crowd.

After the shows I took my trailer to the next town using the flat bed truck. By the time I had dropped it off and driven back to Egg Harbor, it was after midnight.
Ryan and Tatiana were nice enough to let me crash on their couch for the evening so I wouldn't be homeless.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Crank The A.C.

Monday, June 06: Egg Harbor City, NJ-Day Off
Miles: 49
Lot: fairgrounds

Once again I had to double jump this morning to get my trailer to the next town. Luckily the trip was without incident, and I even had brake lights and turn signals! Well, on the left side at least...

A couple of hours after I had arrived at the lot, I rode with Radar in to Atlantic City, since it is just up the road from us.
We met up with Casey and Nikki at the Taj Mahal, and then we had lunch and explored the boardwalk.

Later in the day I met up with Tuffy Nicholas, who produced the Great American Circus that Ryan and I worked for in Guam and Manila. Tuffy has three shows opening up by the boardwalk this summer, as well as other projects, such as a luau and a zip line.
Unfortunately I only got to visit with Tuffy for a few minutes since my ride was leaving.

Armando and Natalia were nice enough to give me a ride back in a couple of hours later. I spent more time on the boardwalk, gambled (and lost) $5, had a ridiculously expensive drink, and people watched.
We all returned to the lot around 1:30 a.m.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Shut Up!

Sunday, June 05: Carneys Point, NJ-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.


I slept in this morning, which was wonderful.


We did good business for both shows; the second audience was SO much livelier for us though.


Speaking of lively, the guest ringmaster in this town was doing his own version of a warm up before Ryan and I could do ours.

"Make some noise if you want to see elephants!"

"Make some noise if you want to see tigers!"

"You're going to have to make more noise than that if you want to wake those tigers up!"


I was cracking Casey up backstage by getting riled up and yelling obscenities at the man.

Needless to say, the audience was reluctant to do a second warm up from us. Gotta love it when the guest ringmaster takes their title literally.

Time for us to invest in a giant vaudeville hook.


John Moss offered to take my trailer to the next town after the shows, but I decided it would be much better for us to enjoy our evening off I joined Casey, Radar, and Nikki for pizza in Wilmington, DE.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dirty Carneys

Saturday, June 4: Carneys Point, NJ-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Miles: 40

Lot: YMCA ball field


Casey woke me up this morning with a text inviting me to go to breakfast. We went to a diner that had eggs benedict. Score!


Our friend, Chris Shelton, and his wife, Cindy, came to visit today. Chris was a clown on Ringling in the early 80s, and he and Cindy are always so nice and accommodating whenever Ryan and I are in their neck of the woods.

We went to eat at a little burger joint across the street where we also spent some time catching up.


Our friends, Pat and Thom Stevenson, also showed up to drop off some noses that we had shipped to their house. Everything was supposed to be there in time for our appearance in Olney, but a few noses had to be backordered and therefore arrived later.

It certainly was nice of them to detour from their antique shopping to drop the noses off.


Chris and Cindy watched the first show, which had good attendance. Twin photographers, Jason and Justin Senft, were also at the show. They brought some beautiful photographs that they snapped of me last year.


We had more friends visit at the second show: Keith, a clown who works with Chris Shelton, and his coworker, Rick. The second show also had good attendance; I think there were even more people than at the first show.


Keith and Rick visited briefly after the performance before they had to take off.

We had delicious kabobs at the BBQ tonight, followed by ice cream from the restaurant across the street.

This is the first two day stand in awhile where I saw almost everybody on the lot barbecuing and hanging out for the evening.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Hello Debt, My Old Friend"

Friday, June 03: Bridgeton, NJ-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 70
Lot: Dutch Neck Village


I rode with Ryan and Tatiana this morning, napping almost the whole jump.
When we got to Bridgeton I got my ducks situated, and then I jumped in the flat bed truck and drove back to Havre De Grace.
Once I got back to that lot I hooked up to my trailer and made the 70 mile jump yet again.
I didn't have an adaptor for my trailer's brake lights and turn signals, so I tried to take it easy; the Interstate portion of the drive wasn't bad, but once I got onto the back roads with traffic lights and people riding my tail, I worried a little more.
Luckily I made it to Bridgeton safely, and Raul helped me back into my parking space.

Danny, the sponsor/mechanic from the last town, called and told me that replacing the truck's rear end would cost me $1400. Hello debt! Did you miss me?
Luckily the show fronted me the money, so after several pay days I will be able to reimburse them.

It was another beautiful day, and we did great business. The first show had good attendance, and the second show was full (they were a great audience too).
The ground was a little rough in the ring, which wreaked havoc on the chair bit in the artist gag. It was very awkward in the first show, but Ryan turned it to our advantage in the second show and the bit got a nice laugh.

John Moss was nice enough to haul me and my trailer to the next town after the shows were over.
Likewise, Alex was nice enough to put out cones where he wanted my trailer to be parked, so after we made the 30 mile jump, John pulled my trailer right into position, unhooked, and headed back to Bridgeton.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Holy Crab!

Thursday, June 2: Havre De Grace, MD-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Miles: 76

Lot: Legends of the Fog


I slept in late this morning so that Castro could ride with me on the jump. My brakes have been making strange sounds, so I wanted him to correctly diagnose the problem before I succumbed to a fiery death.

The original plan was for him to ride with me for a few miles and then get out and join Fridman in the pump truck, but we ended up taking off earlier than I expected, and he made the whole jump with me.


Castro got a great opportunity to experience my brake problem since I almost crashed into the back of a truck on the Interstate. The truck wanted to exit, but the off ramp was full; the truck just stopped in the right hand lane, and I was going too fast to completely stop, even though I had plenty of distance between us.

My tires ended up squealing and spinning, and if the people in the left lane hadn't let me in a little bit, we would have rear ended the truck.

Just to drive home the fact that my brakes were shot, I ended up skidding past the turn to the lot since I didn't see the arrows until I was right on top of them.

Luckily I was able to back up and turn in with no problem.


I went with Casey, Radar, and Nikki to do laundry, and while we were out I was able to get brake fluid from a gas station, shavings for my ducks at TSC, and groceries. Hooray for productivity!


Back at the lot I was laden with gifts! Pat Stevenson, one of the clowns from Olney, had brought bottled water (the lot was without a water source) via her husband, and our friend, Carol Lang, brought tons of goodies: crab cakes, cole slaw, potato salad, and berger cookies (possibly the best thing I have ever eaten in my life).

She was also nice enough to take me, Ryan, Tatiana, and Nico out to lunch.

We went to downtown Havre De Grace and ate by the Chesapeake Bay; the food was delicious, and the atmosphere was so relaxing.

I told her it was so nice to get away from the lot and feel like a human being.


Back at the lot Castro fixed my brakes, but as we were unloading the props, Ryan noticed that I had oil splashed onto the front of my trailer. I showed Castro and he said that he needed to check the differential.

Sure enough, my differential was bone dry, and when he put oil in it, it started leaking out.

After taking it apart, Castro deemed that the differential was broken on the inside, and my whole rear end would have to be replaced.


Danny and Casey started making calls for me, and Danny found out that one of the sponsors had a shop and could fix my problem.

The sponsor, also named Danny, took a look and said he would have the truck towed to his shop in the morning.

For the rest of the evening, I was preoccupied and worried about all the details concerning getting my trailer, my ducks, and our props to the next few towns.


Looking at the positives of the day, the weather was beautiful, the lot was beautiful, and both shows were almost full.


Carol watched the first performance; I felt bad that I had a hard time giving it my all for that show. I was tired from such a full day, and like I said earlier, my mind was preoccupied with the truck.

Even a throng of adoring fans that talked to us after the show didn't help lift my spirits.


Luckily I got my second wind for the next show and I felt much better. Some folks from the Freestate Clown Alley #30 were at that performance, so I visited with them a bit during Intermission and after the show.


John Moss was nice enough to let us put our props in his toy hauler; we left behind the box for the water gag since it is superfluous.

I went through my truck and pulled out everything else that I thought I would need for the next few days.


After the shows Danny pulled my truck to the side of the lot with the van so that the sponsor could have it towed to his shop in the morning.


By BBQ time I was starving. Carol brought me a box of Guinness, and one of those babies went down mighty smooth after such a crazy day.

The food she brought was delicious as well; I ate so much crab cake that I thought I would grow claws and start singing "Under The Sea".