Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lottery Loser

Friday, March 30: Kingston, OK-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 34
Lot: Pointe Vista

For some reason my air conditioner could not keep up today. It was cooler outside in the shade than it was in my house with the AC cranked.
The sun must have been beating down on my trailer; I finally just gave up and opened my windows.

We did good business for the first show, and the second show was full. They were a great audience too!

I had been hearing about the lottery all day long, and when I searched Google for lottery news, I saw why. The Mega Millions jackpot was 640 MILLION DOLLARS!

Right after the show I quickly showered and high tailed it up the road to the nearby gas station to buy a ticket, but unfortunately they didn't carry any.
I bought an ice cream bar instead. That's almost as good as 640 million dollars.......

Friday, March 30, 2012

Good Little Drone

Thursday, March 29: Sadler, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 32
Lot: high school

We were going to another school this morning, so we had to leave a little early to beat the bus traffic.
It was still dark when I got to the lot, which was pretty trippy.

The first show was about 3/4 full and the second show was almost full; the 7:30 p.m. crowd was great.
I was worried when I looked up the population of Sadler this afternoon; I saw that it was in the low 400s in the year 2000.
Either that number has grown exponentially in the past 12 years, or we pulled in a lot of people from the next town over, which was much bigger.

After the shows we had to move off the lot because......well, I really don't know why. I just do what I'm told!




Thursday, March 29, 2012

Guten Tag!

Wednesday, March 28: Muenster, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 42
Lot: Baseball field

We were on another small lot today, so I was parked on the street next to the baseball field.

With a name like Muenster, I was expecting the town to have plenty of German food (or monsters with poor spelling). I was not disappointed, because there were several German restaurants within walking distance of the lot.
Ryan, Tatiana, Nico, and I had lunch at the closest one. It wasn't the best meal I've ever had, but I was happy to have German food for the first time in almost four years.

We did good business for both shows. I felt like a dunce because I screwed up the blow off of the hillbilly gag in the second performance. Oh well, I have plenty more opportunities to get it right before the tour is over!

In between shows Radar took some new photos for us. Here are a few of our favorites:




After a background change in Photoshop, they will be perfect!

Jeremiah and Gene bought some German sausage from the market next to the lot, so they hosted a BBQ after the shows.
I stopped by to provide Guinness and visit with the folks that attended.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Big Pants To Fill

Tuesday, March 27: Krum, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles:72
Lot: Middle School

A lot of folks moved off the lot last night since the ground was so soft, but luckily I didn't get stuck in the morning.

Since we were going to a lot by a school, we had two options. We could leave extremely early to arrive before all the school buses did, or we could have a later call, thereby ensuring that we miss all the school traffic.
We took a later call time, which I was happy about...until we hit morning traffic in McKinney, TX. Yeesh!

The lot in Krum was small, so most of us were parked next door by the town library. It actually worked out great for me because I had plenty of room to unhook and go into town.

I went to the next town over, Denton, which was HUGE and had everything a guy like me would want (i.e: book stores and good places to eat).
I did laundry (I had two laundromats to choose from. TWO! Right by each other! There are some towns where I can't even find one), and I went grocery shopping.

When I got back to the lot, our show manager, Oscar, asked if I could figure out why his new printer wasn't working. I was a bit skeptical since he has a PC, and I have been a Mac user for nigh onto four years, but after a little screwing around I got everything up and running.
Looks like I have a new side business on the show, a one man "Geek Squad".

Judith and her husband, who are fans of the blog, were at the first show today, which was 3/4 full.
I got a care package of cookies and beer from them. I had a nice time visiting with them in the seats during Intermission.
Just a reminder everyone, if you are coming to the show, let me know via an e-mail (my address is on our website) or in the comments of the blog, so I can come out and say hello.

Kyle Clay, a local clown, and his family came to the second show, which was jam packed. A guy could get used to that.
Kyle and his family also brought us cookies (I could get used to THAT as well), and some foam for carving.
They knows the way to our hearts: sweets for me and prop making supplies for Ryan.

After the shows the Clays took me to dinner....and then I found five bucks!
(Ok, not really, but I can't think of a better way to end that sentence)

Post Script:
Clown College grad, Mikee Maroney, sent me a pair of pants that he made, as well as several pairs of suspenders.


Yeah, they're a little big on me, but I think chicks will dig them. Especially when I pull THIS move:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Back To Work!

Monday, March 26: Royse City, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 16 (for me)
Lot: Red Line Raceway

I had a fantastic mini vacation. Every morning I went to Starbucks for coffee. I spent Friday cleaning my trailer; several of us and went and saw "21 Jump Street" that night.
Saturday night my friends, Melodee and Logan, came over to visit and have a few beers. Mel was a clown on the Red Show, and Logan works with animals. His father is Cousin Grumpy, who has a great pig act.
I had plenty of time for catching up on reading, and the weather was beautiful; it was nice to just go outside for while and enjoy the sun and fresh air.
We definitely made a great decision in coming to the East Texas RV Park; what a nice, quiet locale.

But all good things must come to an end, so Monday morning Ryan, Sarah, the Fuscos and I left our little paradise and met back up with Kelly Miller.

Later in the morning, Ryan and I took a little pilgrimage into Rockwall to go to Half Price Books and Best Buy.

Our friend, Kelly, and his wife, Becky, came to visit before the first show. Ryan and I worked with Kelly on Ringling back in the day.
We had an average sized crowd for the first show. I wish Kelly and Becky could have seen us in front of a more enthusiastic audience, but it was pretty hot in the tent.

Melodee, Logan, and Grainger Esch came to see the second show. Grainger used to be a clown on Ringling; in fact he was at my very first circus. Now he owns a cool theatre in Salado, TX.

The second show was almost full. Ryan and I narrowly avoided twisting our ankles the whole show; there were potholes all over the ring.

In closing, here's a blog post by our friend, Alberto Ramirez, about his visits with us last week:


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hurry Up And Wait

Thursday, March 22: Travel Day to.......

Wednesday night we heard that the lot in Frisco was underwater. A mower was brought on to cut the grass, and it sank.
For whatever reason, the city wouldn't let us play the parking lot next to the grass (like we did last year and in 2009), so a new lot had to be found.
Before we went to bed we were told that by 8:30 in the morning at the earliest, some kind of decision would be reached as to what we were going to do.

When I woke up Danny told me to go ahead towards Frisco. No alternate lot had been found yet, but the show hoped the problem would be resolved by the time we got there.

It was about a six hour drive to Frisco, but I made great time, even though I stopped for awhile at a Flying J en route.

Just as I was driving into the Dallas city limits, I got a voicemail from Danny telling me to find someplace outside of Dallas to stop.
A lot still not been found, and everyone was told to just hang out until further notice.

I found a Flying J on the outskirts of the city where I parked my rig and finally got something to eat.
I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited to hear what was going to happen. From what I gathered, the sponsor for Frisco was new, and wanted to cancel the date last night.
He didn't sound like he was very much help in finding an alternate lot.
We couldn't go to Royse City, the next town, because races would be going on all weekend at the lot where we would be parked.

Finally at 6:00 p.m. I got the final word, Frisco was canceled and the show was heading back to Hugo for the weekend.
Just as I began the three hour drive to Winter Quarters, Ryan called and suggested we stay at a trailer park somewhere in the area rather than drive all the way to Hugo and back.
Tatiana found one in Greenville, about 13 miles from the lot we are playing on Monday.

I headed there through Dallas rush hour traffic, just to add to my stress level, but I finally arrived and got settled for my little mini vacation.
The trailer park we found had a cheap rate, and it was only one Interstate exit away from all kinds of cool stuff.
Ryan, Sarah, the Fuscos, and I all set up camp there.

I was really bummed about Frisco being canceled. Besides missing out on visits from many friends and the many cool places Frisco has to offer, there is the obvious downer of the show losing out on a big three day stand.

Here's an article about the situation that my friend, Rick, sent to me:

Of course they left out the part where they simply wouldn't let us be on the parking lot next to the wet ground.

Unless you want to read about me relaxing for three days, I will resume blogging on Tuesday.
See you all then!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Great Day

Wednesday, March 21: Seguin, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 41
Lot: fairgrounds

We were parked next to an unsavory trailer park today. A woman from the little community came over and warned us to keep everything locked up. Great.

Ryan and I ran to O'Reilly's Auto Parts to get a few things. I needed an oil cap for my engine, but when I got back to the lot I discovered that Castro had found an extra one for me.

Ryan burned a CD with new music for our package delivery bit, so I took it over to our music department, Marshall and Mike, so they could put it into the show's playlist.

Our friends, Pam and Alberto Ramirez, came back today to visit and take us to lunch. While we were out, we also found a used book store where I happened upon a great book on the Muppets. Alberto said it was a really hard book to find, so I was quite happy with myself.

We did good business for the first show. Dan Gabert and his wife were in the audience, as well as Gloria Wilkinson.
Gloria, former head of wardrobe for the Ringling Blue Unit, was the last person in the world I expected to see at the show, since she always visits us in the Chicago area.
She was in the area due to her work as a chicken wrangler for Tic Tac Toe playing poultry (I'm not lying), and she was on her way to Baraboo to donate this tiger chase prop to The Clown Hall of Fame:



I remember seeing the tiger on Ringling when I was a teenager, so it was really neat to see it up close.
Ryan, of course, was beside himself that we couldn't buy it for future use.

There were more people at the second show, including the Hogue family. Steven Hogue and his wife, Sandra Bergamin Hogue, were clowns on the Red Unit of Ringling back in the 90s. We had a great time talking with them after the show; next time I hope we have more time to visit.
Sandra brought some delicious homemade chocolate chip pumpkin muffins as free roll. Woo wee, were they good!

I know I promised everyone two blog entries today, but I don't have it in me to write the second one right now.
Plus, I have nothing else to blog about until Monday....
"Why?", you may ask. Tune in tomorrow to find out!!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hold Your Horses

Today was a travel day...among other things.
I will post two entries tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Butts In The Seats

Tuesday, March 20: Floresville, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 30
Lot: Event Center Grounds

There was a terrible storm during the night that woke me up several times. The rain was pounding down, the lightning was flashing constantly, and the thunder shook my whole house.
Needless to say, I didn't sleep worth a darn.

I woke up about thirty minutes early (luckily it had stopped storming by then), so I could go in Walmart and buy The Muppets on DVD.


I was one of the first people to get to the lot; we had to wait awhile to park because Alex and Tavo were re-laying out the lot.

I got to do laundry today, and I also ran to TSC, which was right next door. Later in the day Ryan and I made a Wal Mart run, since I inevitably forgot some things I needed when I went shopping last night, and then we had some delicious BBQ for lunch.

We did good business for the first show and there were even more people at the second show. I think everyone was surprised at the good turnout for a lot and license date, which (I believe) was booked somewhat recently. Go us!

I must say, it was nice to see faces in the seats and to hear loud laughter again after a rough week of attendance.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Special Delivery!

Monday, March 19: Pleasanton, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles 110
Lot: City Park

Even though we had to go 110 miles this morning, it was an easy drive. I left about ten minutes before the call time, so I was the first trailer to the lot.

Former Red Show clowns, Pam and Alberto Ramirez, came to visit today with their children. Ryan and I walked to a nearby Mexican restaurant with them where they treated us to lunch.
We had such a great time talking shop with them and swapping stories. I love picking the brains of any Ringling clowns that come to visit.

The Ramirez family stuck around to watch the first show. It was incredibly hot in the tent, and there was a small, dead audience.
I wish our friends could have seen us under better circumstances, but what are you going to do?
Attendance picked up for the second show; there was an average sized crowd.

Ryan and I tried a new bit (the third this year for those of you keeping count) for the tiger arena strike, where we are delivering a package to John Moss.
I like that it has a definite blow off, but it is going to take some time to find some bits and moments for the meat of the "gag".

A bad storm was heading our way, so the second half of the last show was minus a few acts. Tavo told me earlier in the afternoon that all of the trailers in the back yard were going to have to move (of all the days to be parked by water, we got one when flash floods were in the forecast), so after our last gag I hauled butt to get off the lot.

I figured I would just head to the local Walmart instead of moving to another part of the lot.
I don't like moving after the shows because I hate not knowing exactly what I am doing, and I am always worried that I am going to park in the way of everybody.
Since a) I had an easy exit to the lot, b) Walmart was on the same highway we were taking in the morning, and c) I needed to do some shopping anyway, I figured the move was a no brainer.
Ryan actually drove to the next town after the show.

Luckily the worst of the storm (tornados and flash floods) all passed by us. I don't think there was even any rain until after midnight.
More on that tomorrow!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Good Riddance!

Sunday, March 18: Corpus Christi, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

This morning I met local clown, Danny Kollaja, for breakfast, which he was nice enough to treat me to.

There was a stray dog wandering the lot trying to eat my duck today. I had to keep a watchful eye on Emmie so I could scare the mutt away.

The first show had an average sized crowd, making it the biggest turnout of the four day stand. Sadly the final two audiences got progressively smaller.
Needless to say, I was glad to be done with Corpus Christi and the sparsely attended six pack.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Turn That Racket Down!

Saturday, March 17: Corpus Christi, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

On my morning coffee run I finally found an easy way to get back to the lot. The bonus was that it was a scenic drive alongside the ocean.

Good news: Today's crowds were the biggest we have had since we opened here on Thursday.

Bad news: That sadly isn't saying too much.

A local clown, Danny Kollaja, came to see the third show, so I visited with him a bit during Intermission.
Danny took me around town seven years ago when I played Corpus with Ringling.

A group of us went across the street to the Brewster Street Icehouse for dinner. There was a HUGE crowd for St. Patrick's Day, but luckily they were all in the outside area with live music, and not in the restaurant.

As soon as we left to head to bed though, the band cranked up the volume and my trailer was shaking with the bass and the echo of hundreds of people screaming the refrain to Van Halen's "Jump".
How thoughtful of them to do that after midnight during the middle of a six pack!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Black Duck

Friday, March 16: Corpus Christi, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

This morning there was a publicity to celebrate Becky the elephant's 37th birthday. The Corpus Christi Ballet came out to do a dance for the occasion, because as Ryan remarked, "Elephants from Oklahoma LOVE ballet."

The ballerinas were late (probably purging or dealing with split personality, if the movie "Black Swan" taught me anything), so Ryan and I filled in with some tomfoolery.

Here is a news story on the piece:


They didn't seem to realize that we opened on Thursday....that explains a lot.

At the conclusion of the ballerinas' dance, I asked Ryan, "So wait a minute, she knew the combination to the safe the whole time?"
When Ryan looked at me quizzically, I explained, "I'm sorry, when I get bored I make up my own storyline."
The couple sitting next to us cracked up and Ryan had to leave the tent because he was laughing so hard.

I went into Corpus to run some errands and get some lunch; the traffic was terrible from all the Spring Breakers.
I also discovered that there are not many easy routes to get to our lot.

We had small crowds again tonight, especially for the second show. The late show times don't seem to work here, especially with Spring Break going on.

Ryan lived with a family in California his senior year of high school, and two of the girls from that family, Tori and Hannah, came to visit today with their friend, Max.
We all went to eat after the shows, and we ended up staying out way too late considering we have three shows tomorrow.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Habeus Corpus

Thursday, March 15: Corpus Christi, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 42
Lot: Whataburger Park

This morning I discovered via the Internet that many consider Corpus Christi to be the "Breakfast Taco King" of the world. We'll see about that!
To be honest, I was not very impressed with the place I chose; perhaps another restaurant would sway my vote, but for now, I'm gonna have to disagree with the general consensus.

It took awhile for the show to get power this morning. We are on a parking lot for Whataburger Field, and we are not allowed to drive stakes into the ground.
The generator needs a stake to act as a ground, but the cables the electricians had on hand were not long enough to reach the grass where the stake needed to be located.
Danny had to run out and buy cable, so everything was on hold for a bit.

Ryan and I took that as a cue to leave the lot and go to Half Price Books. I was good; I only spent around $50!

We had a small crowd for the first show, and there were even less people at the second show. It was actually pretty sad.

I took steps to make Ryan laugh in the second hillbilly gag:


The audience didn't seem of the mind to enjoy themselves, so I swore I was going to make at least one person crack up, even if it was just my partner!

There is a hoppin' joint across the street from the lot that is open late and serves up food as well as live music, so a group of us went over after the shows.

"You Had A Bad Day...."

Wednesday, March 14: Alice, TX-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 107
Lot: Jim Wells Co. Fairgrounds

We passed a checkpoint this morning where they search for any illegals trying to sneak into the country.
Last year the dogs smelled my ducks and started going crazy, so I ended up getting my whole rig X-Rayed.
This year I was not held up at all, which is good considering I have a skeleton prop in the back of the truck. No telling what they would have thought had they X-Rayed me!

There was a small crowd for the first show. I had a bad performance all around: there was a problem with a sound cable, which led to there being no sound effects for most of our gags, my knee freaked out on me for no apparent reason before the skeleton chase (scaring the bejeezus out of me), and on top of all that, I was told that we may not get water tomorrow. Oh joy of laugher!
The second show was better, but still nothing to write home about.

I don't know if any of you watch "Modern Family", but tonight's episode featured a clown that could be Ryan's doppleganger.
Director of the Clown Hall of Fame, Greg DeSanto, told me about it, and a google search revealed this picture:


I wonder if Ryan will see any royalties?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

MST3K

Tuesday, March 13: Raymondville, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 20
Lot: next to Sheriff's office

I had a very productive morning. I did laundry, I went grocery shopping, and I mailed my tax info to my accountant.

We did good business for both shows, but the second audience was so much better than the first. Ryan and I really needed their enthusiasm.


"We love it when he eats!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

SWEET!

I made a hell of a find on eBay a few weeks ago: two autographed Ringling programs.

The first was from 1969 and was signed by Jerry Bisbee (a graduate of the first Clown College class) as well as veteran clown, Billy Ward.


The second program was the true find. It is a 1970 Blue Show program and is signed by many of the old masters of clowning: Danny Chapman, Mark Anthony, Prince Paul, Lester and Stanley Janus, Dougie Ashton, Marcos Droguett, Swede Johnson, Duane Thorpe, and (the one I was most excited about) Otto Griebling!


New clowns such as Leon McBryde (who makes the clown noses that Ryan and I wear), and Levoie Hipps also signed.


Other famous circus personalities that laid down ink were Tito Gaona, Rogana, Evy Althoff, the Stephensons, and Antoinette Concello.


Supposedly Elvin Bale and Charley Baumann signed it as well, but if they did, I cannot decipher their scrawl.

The program belonged to Dale Six, who traveled with the show taking photographs. He also got to guest clown and is pictured here with Swede Johnson and Bumpsy Anthony.


Freakin' awesome!

And now for the boring stuff:

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

We did average business for the first show, and there were less people at the second show.

Local cops, who I believe were sponsoring us, were in the back yard during the second show shining their flashlights everywhere, even looking in people's windows and checking their vehicle tags.
I wanted to be a smart aleck and ask, "Are you guys looking for the audience?"

There was a guy watching the second performance that seemed to think he was pretty big and tough. He was inside the tent, at night, wearing sunglasses!
During Intermission he walked up to Radar at the tiger picture stand and flashed a wad of $10 bills, which I guess is supposed to be impressive.
He then asked, "How much will it cost for my wife to pet a tiger?"
Radar, without missing a beat, said, "An arm and a leg."

Hooray for jokes that work on multiple levels!

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Squawk, Squawk! No More Talk!"

Sunday, March 11: Edinburg, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 25
Lot: Corner of Canton & 83

I was bummed that I had such an early flight out of Savannah, what with the loss of an hour of sleep and all, but it wasn't too difficult to get going this morning.

I was a little worried because I only had a 30 minute layover in Atlanta, and the plane from Savannah landed at the same time my second flight began boarding.

I rushed through the terminal only to discover that the plane to McAllen was having mechanical problems with its nose cone, and the flight was expected to be delayed about an hour.
I alerted everyone at Kelly Miller that needed to know, and I told Ryan that I probably wouldn't make the first performance.

Since we had to wait so long for our flight, Delta issued all of the passengers lunch vouchers. However, just as I was going to use mine, we were alerted that the problem was fixed and the plane was ready to go.

We actually made up some time in the air and landed only thirty minutes late in McAllen. As I was redeeming my food voucher, Gene called to tell me that he had arrived to pick me up.

Luckily the Edinburg lot was not far at all from the McAllen airport, and I arrived with an hour to spare.
I quickly alerted everyone that I would indeed make the first show; I shaved, put my make up on, and then Ryan and I unloaded and set all our props.
Yay me!

Mrs. North was a little disappointed that I made it on time for the first show, because she had been having a blast filling in for me in the skeleton chase.
Ryan said she did a great job, and I wish I could have seen it just once!

The first show was around 3/4 full, and the second and third shows were almost full. Ryan said business was up substantially from yesterday; everyone must have heard I was back!
In all seriousness though, it was great to be performing again and to hear the audience's laughter.

My friend, Ramon, was at the third performance. He took a lot of pictures; I will post some in the next couple of days.

The one other notable occurrence at the third show was Ryan spotting a girl who texting on her cell phone during opening.
John Moss called her out on it over the microphone, and of course Ryan and I made light of the situation.

As we were sitting outside the tent waiting to go on for the tiger arena strike, Ryan and I were pondering how to do a call back bit about the girl on her phone.
At the beginning of the arena take down, when John Moss asked us what we were doing, I yelled out, "We got a text from that girl, so we're coming to see her!"
John started laughing and was going to skip over the joke, so Ryan and I both started yelling, "Say it! Say it!" until he repeated it on the microphone.
Call back joke accomplished!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Whirlwind Wedding Weekend

Friday, March 9: Progreso, TX
Miles: 13
Lot: next to HS Performing Arts Center

On Friday, after arriving in Progreso, I began packing for my trip home to attend my brother's wedding, as well as preparing my house for travel (Alex, the mechanic, was set to drive my rig to Edinburg on Saturday morning).

Around 11 a.m. Gene and Mr. North drove me to the McAllen Airport. I flew all afternoon and arrived in Savannah, GA around 7:40 p.m.
My mom and step dad picked me up and drove me home. I missed the wedding rehearsal due to transit, but I was hoping to see everyone at the post rehearsal get together.
Unfortunately by the time I got home the party had pretty much died down. I decided to call it an early night since I was worn out from traveling.

On Saturday I went to Nana's house for a big, delicious homemade meal. After that I reported to the church to begin taking wedding photos.
All of the groomsmen took photos with my brother, Jamey, and Sharon, the bride to be.

Here I am with my brothers, Jamey and Trent.



When we groomsmen weren't on call at the church we reported to the parking lot to drink beer. Welcome to Walterboro!

The wedding went off without a hitch, and afterwards everyone drove out to St. George for the reception.
Those of us that were in the wedding had to wait quite a while to enjoy the festivities since we couldn't enter until the entire wedding party had arrived.

I got to visit with a lot of folks at the reception, most of whom thought I was still with "Barnum and Bailey". Oh well, at least they've got the gist of what I am doing!

After "partying hardy", I returned to Nana's house to have some leftovers for dinner. They were even more delicious the second time!

And now for a show report from Ryan:

When I left on Friday, it was cold and rainy. Apparently it stayed that way all the way through the shows….can't say I'm really sad that I missed that.

Saturday was a three show day in Edinburg, TX. Can't really say I'm sad to miss that either!
Ryan managed to cover all of our spots in the show except for the Angry Birds spot.

He did a solo chair gag in place of the hillbilly gag, and he did a trumpet gag with John Moss in place of the surfboard gag.
Apparently he did a good job, because during one show on Saturday the crowd was chanting, "Ryan, Ryan, Ryan" when he came out for his second gag.
Well, looks like I'm the dead weight in this partnership!

Ryan said he was so pleased with how the trumpet gag with John went. He and I did a version of it in Guam and the Philippines, and it always went over well (especially in Guam).
Ryan said they absolutely killed with the gag in the second show, and he is trying to convince me that we should leave the surfboard in Hugo and stick with trumpets.
We shall see…..

There was a special guest performing in the skeleton chase with Ryan for the two days I was gone. More info on that to come soon!

Right now I am on a plane to McAllen, TX to meet up with the show in Edinburg. This last flight was delayed (of course) by mechanical problems, so I am not sure if I am going to make the first performance or not.

Will I make all three shows? Tune in tomorrow to find out!!!!!
Same Steve time, same Steve channel!

Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm Going Home

Thursday, March 8: La Feria, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 21
Lot: by McDonald's

Around 4:30 a.m. the loud, violent wind that was blowing woke me up. I had a hard time sleeping anyway because I was nervous about waking up earlier than the call time.

I got up about 20 minutes before the majority of the show so I could go to the trailer park by the lot and use their dump station.
I also had to get fuel on the drive, so I ended up being one of the last people to get to the lot in La Feria.

Ryan and I worked on music today. We figured out the notes to the song, "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight", (I wanted to play it higher than the version in the book he had) and then we practiced the tune on cornet and tuba.

I finally finished organizing the receipts for my tax deductions this afternoon. That was akin to removing a great stone from around my neck.

The first show was about 3/4 full, and we did good business for the second show.
During the tiger arena strike of the first performance, I spotted my friend, Ramon, in the audience, so at Intermission I went out to talk with him and his wife.

(I am writing this blog from the McAllen airport. I am heading home for a day to attend my brother's wedding. I will resume blogging on Sunday. Thanks!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wow, What A Difference!

Wednesday, March 7: Rio Hondo, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 70
Lot: school grounds

This was my first jump with operational trailer brakes. Wow, what a difference they make!
We had an early call time since we were driving through a couple of big cities, and the aim was to miss rush hour traffic.
Because of that, we arrived at the lot fairly early.

Since we had a bit of time before the power was turned on, I walked into town to find a mail box. After accomplishing that, I surveyed the RV park off the main street.
I had heard they have an RV dump, which I desperately needed to use, so I went ahead and paid in advance and scouted out my path in and out of the park for the morning.

Ryan and I gave all the props a thorough cleaning today. Ryan lamented, while holding a particularly filthy item, "Do you know how long it would take a prop to get this dirty on Ringling? Two years!"

My trailer step has been broken for awhile now, so I have been gingerly entering and exiting my house.
Today Fridman welded it for me; wow, what a difference!

We had an average sized crowd for the first show and there were less people for the second show. Very quiet audiences too.

Gene, who works the front door, picked up our spirits a bit by telling us about a couple of satisfied customers from Sullivan City.
Apparently two big, muscle bound men covered in tattoos approached Gene after one of the shows and said, "Tell those clowns that they are f***ing good!"
That's going in the promotional material!

During the second surfboard gag this evening, Ryan noticed a girl texting on her phone. There's a point in the act where I yell at Ryan with a megaphone and there is a sound byte of me screaming, "NO SURFING!"
After that I put down the megaphone and pointed at the girl while yelling, "And no texting!"

The audience got a big kick out of that, and the bit enlivened an otherwise dull audience.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Blog That Goes Like This

Tuesday, March 6: Sullivan City, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

I slept in this morning, which made me feel like a million bucks. I'm guessing the oncoming sickness I felt was a fluke, or just the effect that all the dirt in the air had on my throat.

George the RV guy came back this morning to finish wiring my truck to be compatible with my trailer brakes.
I was supposed to call him last night to confirm our appointment, and I completely forgot. Luckily he called me right after I woke up and I was able to get him to come out. If I had missed his call, he was going to head to the other side of the Valley. Whew.

The wind was especially aggravating tonight. It was blowing directly into the back door, so we were constantly holding curtains to avoid a) the audience seeing us milling around backstage and b) getting slapped in the face by a heavy piece of fabric.
John Moss said the flailing curtains symbolized the sails on our pirate ship; I never thought of such a creative way to tie the tent into our theme!
I hate it!

The first show was almost full and the second show was about 3/4 full.

During the second hillbilly gag, Ryan's wig fell off during our washer woman-esque slap fight. This gave Ryan an extra weapon; he began slapping me with his wet rag in one hand, and his wig in the other. No fair!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Oh No You Don't, Cold!

Monday, March 5: Sullivan City, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 122
Lot: next to Family Dollar

This morning's drive was aggravating. On top of the distance, there was a lot of construction, and we hit traffic as we got closer to Sullivan City.

Sullivan City is where I blew a seal last year (easy everyone) and almost set the lot on fire. This year's arrival was a lot less exciting.

Ryan and I cleaned off our props this morning, but by showtime the wind and loose dirt on the lot insured that they were dirty again.

We did good business for both shows. I was starting to feel pretty lousy around the time I got into make up, so I made sure to keep medicated. No sense in getting sick if I can avoid it!




Monday, March 5, 2012

Clean Up On Aisle....Checkout?

Sunday, March 4: Laredo, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

I woke up freezing this morning, and since the power was not on yet, I decided to go warm myself up with breakfast at IHOP.

After getting paid I went to Wal Mart to pick up a few sundry items. As I was placing my purchases on the check out counter, a bottle of laundry detergent slipped out of my hands and the plastic cap shattered on the ground.
The detergent splashed out over the floor and onto the pant leg of the lady standing in front of me.

I was mortified! I apologized and apologized; thankfully the lady was very understanding and even joked about the situation, "These pants needed cleaning anyway."
The cashier, on the other hand, gave me a look of such pure and utter hatred, loathing, and anger that I feared I might turn into stone.
I tried to help by cleaning up the mess, but the cashier barked at me, "You'll just make it worse!" before embarking on an invective in Spanish about how I threw the detergent on the floor. I believe several slurs were made against my mother as well.

I just couldn't get over how embarrassed I was about the whole situation. I made it a point to vacate the premises as quickly as possible once I had paid for my wares.

One of the current Ringling Blue Unit clowns, Oscar Liendo, is from Laredo, so he alerted his family that Kelly Miller was in town.
His mother came by before the show with Mexican food for me and Ryan. Later in the evening, more of his family brought us Whataburger.
The Liendo family rocks!

The first two shows today were almost full, and there were a few less people at the final show.
I am glad that Laredo turned out to be successful for the show.

Business Is Picking Up!

Saturday, March 3: Laredo, TX-3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.

It was extremely windy today. My trailer was rocking almost nonstop, and dirt was flying everywhere.
On the plus side, it was a cooler day than yesterday, so doing the three shows wasn't a grueling sweat-fest.

We did good business for the first show, the second show was almost full, and the third show was 3/4 full.
I think it is safe to say that word has gotten out that we are in town!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Fire It Up!

Friday, March 2: Laredo, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

It was very difficult to find a laundromat this morning. My phone located several, but none of the businesses would answer when I called to verify that they were open.

Luckily Radar had spotted one while making a run to TSC, so I went and washed a big load of dirty clothes.
While I was waiting I walked over to TSC and looked at the baby ducks!


They were so cute; I was extremely tempted to buy one, but I simply don't have the space for more than one duck this year.

I was tipped off to a good Mexican restaurant chain in town called, Danny's, so I decided to try them out for lunch.
The parking lot for the restaurant was packed, so I chanced parking by a nearby laundromat.
The entire meal I was worrying about my truck receiving a ticket or being towed, but luckily the service was swift (and the food delicious), and my truck was exactly how I had left it.

We did average business for the first show, and we finally had a good sized crowd for the second performance.

After the shows there was a BBQ over at the Marathon trailer; I went by to hang out for awhile and eat.
Jeremiah and Lamont even treated us to a little show.

video

Friday, March 2, 2012

Positivity

Thursday, March 1: Laredo, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Miles: 93
Lot: Casa Blanca ballroom grounds

Besides some construction, fog, and lots of traffic and stop lights in Laredo, this morning's drive wasn't bad at all!

I was happy to see that a Target (complete with Starbucks), Wal Mart, and a Chick-Fil-A were all within walking distance of the lot.
I walked to that area in the afternoon, but it was very hot. I think I will drive there from now on!

The tent was set up on ground covered with thousands of rocks of varying shapes and sizes (and pointy-ness).
Looks like Ryan and I will be falling like old men for this four day stand.

Both shows had small crowds. The first show's tiger arena strike took forever; it was torture being out in the audience for so long with no one to play off of.
In the second show we implemented new material to cover for the arena strike. Even though it was our first time doing the new bits, everything went very well.
Hooray for positive things!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Wednesday, February 29: Roma, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

I went to the grocery store next to the lot today to take advantage of the shopping convenience.
I then sewed my hillbilly wig onto a new skullcap. OH THE EXCITEMENT!

The first show was 3/4 full and the second performance was almost full.
I wish we could have been more on our game: I managed to burn my thumb while cooking dinner between shows, plus I had something in one of my contacts and my body just felt worn out. Ryan, on the other hand, was slowly losing his mind and control of his faculties...for some reason.
My apologies to anyone that saw the 8:30 p.m. show, specifically the tiger arena take down, which may very well have been the lamest excuse for circus clowning ever attempted.

As a redemption, I offer this short video of us slaying them in the hillbilly gag in (I'm guessing) McAllen, TX:


Ya hear those laughs? That's why I miss the Rio Grande Valley when we get deep into the rest of the tour.