Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 4th-November 18th

Whew! What a crazy, busy two weeks we've had. Please excuse my lack of blogging; after you read this you'll see why I haven't posted any updates.

Since November 4th, the majority of our time has been taken up with the first two sessions of the Steve & Ryan Circus Clowning Intensive. 
This year after seeing one of our performances, a fan of ours contacted us and asked for our help in learning to be a clown. 
We decided to give the matter some thought, and we concluded that we would be most comfortable teaching what we know and have done for the past 10 years: circus clowning.
Ryan and I thought it would be great to have a training program specifically dedicated to the art of circus clowning. We sat down and wrote out a syllabus in the mornings and in between acts during this previous year's tour. We kept in mind some of the most important lessons that we have learned, as well as what abilities and tricks of the trade would most benefit a circus clown.
We planned classes on everything from slapstick to working for a company, pie throwing to publicity, how to move and think like a clown, and everything else in between.

Several months later there we were, picking up our first student, Derek Henry, at the Dallas Airport. When he had completed the intensive, we dropped him back off at the airport and picked up our second student, David Levine.
Both of our students received four days of one on one training for at least twelve hours a day.
We gave Derek and David a solid base of circus clowning knowledge which they can build upon in their journey to the center ring.
As you can imagine, the days were long and grueling, but Ryan and I had a blast sharing our knowledge and experiences; it was very rewarding to see our students grow day by day.
We were very impressed with their work ethic. Derek and David met each new day with excitement and a desire to learn, no matter how hard the challenges (and items) we threw at them.
We have one more intensive scheduled for this winter, and the student roster for next winter is already quickly filling up. We feel so honored that out of all the great clowns in the United States, people are asking for the help of two intrepid jerks.
All kidding aside, we take that responsibility very seriously and we strive to provide as much knowledge and inspiration to our students as we have received from our role models.

After finishing two back to back Circus Clowning Intensives, sane men would have taken some time off.
Unfortunately we have always been a bit off kilter…
The day after taking David back to the Dallas airport, Ryan and I were hard at work in the welding and painting shops of the Kelly Miller Circus Winter Quarters.
We've been working long hours every day (even on the weekends), and luckily we have some progress to show for it. All of our wooden props for next season's gags are built and painted.
Next up we will tackle the construction, latexing, and painting of our foam props.

On Saturday we took our noses from the grindstone for a few hours to attend a circus in Antlers, OK.
Our friend Gene, who takes tickets on Kelly Miller during the season, is producing the Santa Claus Christmas Circus along with the Silverlake family. (I may have my facts muddled on that, please correct me if I'm wrong)
He graciously extended an invitation to us about a week ago. The two shows in Antlers were the opening for the circus's three week tour. We unfortunately missed the first thirty minutes of the show due to my stupidity and the poorly laid out Indian Nation Turnpike, but the performance proved to be a fun respite from prop construction.

That's all from me. I'll check in again next weekend before we go to pick up our third student, John Sayre.
Have a great week everyone! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steve and Ryan..
You have just won a free week of fun and sightseeing in our Nation's Capitol...Washington DC!
Uhm...ok, maybe a few clarifications are in order.
Steve and Ryan have just been nominated to attend a week at the Karas house 38 miles north of DC to teach Keith about the fine and honorable art of circus clowning.
I would love to spend four days with you guys...maybe a trip to Hugo is in order! Yeehah!