I have been thoroughly enjoying our winter break. As soon as the show got back into Winter Quarters, Ryan and I began cleaning out our trailers and organizing Ryan's storage unit.
We are going to have to start charging admission to see it; Ryan has amassed an amazing collection of clown costumes and props, as well as books on comedy.
Speaking of books, I filled up three 30 gallon tubs with books from my trailer. No wonder I was paying so much for gas!
The sad thing is, I still have a big box full under my bed, and I left about a cabinet and a half full with books I intend to read in the coming year.
I plan to keep everyone updated with our misadventures during the winter, but I also plan on sharing some recollections from my time with Ringling.
Here is a little story from my 4th year on the show, 2006: The Circus of (Broken) Dreams tour.
Dean Kelley, Ryan and I had a music gag in Pre Show where they attempted to play "The Tiger Rag" on trumpet while I constantly tried to help on trombone.
My interruptions led to Big Time Comedy!
Or not....Ryan's expression in that picture sums up the gag pretty well.
Anyway, about a month into the tour we were already bored with the gag, so I started doing stupid things at the beginning to keep things interesting.
One of my new bits involved me bowing and hitting my head on the microphone that the sound guys set up in front of our stage.
Well, one night in Birmingham, AL, I was being extra "funny" since there was a cute PR intern watching with a couple of kids from a meet and greet that I had just completed.
I hit the microphone a little too hard with my head butt, and I instantly knew that I had cut myself.
I decided to just keep on with the gag, and hopefully no one would notice anything. When it came time for me to play the trombone, I was blowing into the mouthpiece, and with the pressure from every breath, I could feel the cut on my forehead bubbling blood.
Ryan noticed and stoically commented, "Wow, that's a lot of blood."
I quickly told Dean and Ryan to cover for me and I beat a hasty retreat off the floor.
Backstage Scott Myers, the guitar player for the band (and an excellent photographer), snapped this shot.
Back in the Alley I could not stop the bleeding. I kept trying to apply white make up over the wound, but it would instantly turn red.
Finally I had a stroke.....of genius!
I applied a red make up dot over the wound (which was conveniently in the corner of the white above my eye), and then I added another one in the same area of the other eye.
It was quite an aesthetically pleasing bit of horror!
Once I got back on the Pre Show floor I found as many clowns as possible to show them my clever idea.
Of course, the fact that I got the injury by being an idiot negated any ingenuity on my part!
Needless to say I NEVER head butted the microphone again, and Ryan left just a couple of weeks later, so that put an end to the gag once and for all.
I can't imagine why he left....