Friday, February 10, 2012

Opening Day 2012

Thursday, February 09: Brownsville, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

I could not sleep last night. I laid awake until 3:00 a.m. worrying about everything related to our opening night shows and our gags; it was miserable.

When I woke up, it was raining. Great.

The backstage and backyard were terrible; there was standing water and mud everywhere.

The crew was working hard bringing gravel in to make the tent entrance and seating area more bearable.
Gravel was also put on one side of the backdoor, and sawdust was spread all over the ring.

Ryan and I moved most of our props from backstage to the back of my truck, and then we went into the tent to map out our tiger cage strike.
Due to new rules, Radar has to have a net on top of the tiger arena, and since there hadn't been any practice for taking it all down quickly, Ryan and I anticipated a disaster for the first show.
Since we are distracting the audience while the arena comes down, we wanted to have some kind of game plan so we could stay out of the way.

All afternoon I felt terrible. I was tired, but I couldn't nap because I felt sick. I don't remember ever being so nervous for an opening night.
Finally I ate a big meal, which made me feel so much better.

I know some of you read the blog to get an idea of how we did business wise. I'm sorry, but I was so preoccupied with everything going on that I wasn't able to judge the size of the crowds.
They weren't huge, but we weren't playing to 100 people either. We did decent business for the shows.

As soon as we started the show and I heard the audience laughing, all my stress melted away.
Here's the show's running order: (skip this if you actually want to be surprised when you see the show)

1: Opening-Steve, Ryan, and John Moss
2: Tigers-Ryan Holder (aka Ryan Easley) [aka Radar]
(Tiger arena strike-Steve & Ryan)
3: Aerial Cradle-Sara Greene and Delena Fusco
4: Camels-Mike Rice
5: Hillbilly Gag-Steve & Ryan
Peanut Pitch
6: Pirates of the Kellybean Production-
-Fridman Torales on rola bola
-Raul Olivares and Julio Rosales knife juggling
-Julio and Deya Rosales knife throwing
-Steve & Ryan skeleton chase
-Carolyn Rice with dogs (not in Brownsville. Carolyn is at home for family reasons)
-North Starlets with web


8: Angry Birds-Steve & Ryan
9: Single Trapeze-Rebecca Ostroff
10: Juggling-Raul Olivares
11: Surfing Gag-Steve & Ryan
12: Elephants-Armando Loyal
13: Pinky-Raul Olivares
14: Argentinean Gauchos-The Fusco Family
15: Finale

Ryan and I are in the show 7 times; we didn't have a chance to sit down the entire evening. Once we get out of the mud in Brownsville, we will find our down time. Right now we have to change from boots to clown shoes before and after every appearance.
Not a lot of fun when you're standing in muddy sawdust and trying to carry huge props.

We were blessed with a fantastic audience for the first show. They were so enthusiastic; a great way to start off the season.
Even though the second crowd wasn't as loud, Ryan and I still got great laughs for all of our gags.

I'd just like to point out that (to the best of my knowledge) Ryan and I are the first clowns to do an Angry Birds gag on a circus. Count it!
We got some great recognition laughs from the audience just by running out with the props. We've been wanting to do a current gag for awhile, and I thought of Angry Birds mid last year. We came up with an act for it, and the audiences approved!

The only number that gave me difficulty was the tiger arena strike. I panicked in the first show and rushed a lot, but I had calmed down by the second show and everything went a lot smoother.

At the end of the day, we were frustrated that all of our props and costumes are dirty and muddy after just two performances. There's just nothing we can do about it.
On the other hand, we were happy that our gags all went so well. I think we have a great show this year, and once we get through this difficult weekend, there is nowhere to go but up!


Becky Raborn said...

Congratulations guys!! Your hard work & creativity paid off and I'm sure it will continue throughout the rest of the season. You guys are bona-fide rockstars and don't you forget it!!

Harry Kingston said...

Last year it was muddy and this year to.
What happened to the lot at amegio land mall where all the shows in the past played.
Is it still there????
Harry in Texas

barry miller said...



Rose said...

As my grandmother would say: "you done good!" A great start to the 2012 season, one I know will be filled with joy for the crowds and a sense of accomplishment for you and Ryan.

Don't worry about a thing. Just trust in your instincts and your talent. It will be great.

Thank you for all your updates.