Ryan and I have been so busy this past week...nay, this whole winter break. The work on props and costumes just never seems to end. Even when I actually have some time to relax my mind is still trying to convince me that there's some work I need to be doing.
Ryan began sewing costumes for next season's gags, and when he finished he would pass them on to me for the grunt work, aka sewing buttons.
Besides sewing, Ryan and I continued to rehearse our material for next year, as well as our gags for the Christmas tour.
I am now (becoming) proficient on the trombone. Unfortunately, when we picked up our cornets to practice, I found I had regressed on that instrument. D'oh!
One big prop in particular (which will be used in a chase next year) has been a royal pain in our butts. It required lots of time and attention on many parts that then all had to be brought together.
Oscar Perez did some welding for us (for which we are very grateful), and once we got all the parts of the prop together, a ton of hand stitching was required.
We stayed in the shop very late on Friday night just to get it done. The good news is that after all of our hard work, almost everything is ready for next season! There are just a few minor things that Ryan will take care of when we return from Pennsylvania. I know we are both looking forward to some much deserved time off.
Even though we have been kept busy, we've found a little time to be social. One night my friends Nick and Tangie had me over to their trailer at the Carson & Barnes Winter Quarters for dinner.
I walked over to Dudley's house one night so we could watch some Ringling TV specials on DVD (I found it funny that even though Dudley lives maybe 100 feet from my trailer, I was so busy that I wasn't able to go over and properly visit with him until over a month into our "vacation").
Another morning I had coffee with Jan over at the storage unit facility across the street. That same night our friend Natalie had me and the Combs family over to her house in Paris for dinner. It was nice to catch up with her and her daughters; we sure do miss them on Kelly Miller.
Saturday morning there was a memorial service to celebrate the life of Lucy Loyal. I was happy to see so many friends from the circus business, including people that I don't get to see that often like Jimmy Hall and Becky Raborn.
Jim Royal made an opening speech about Lucy's life, there was a video slide show, and then friends and family members got up and shared their memories of Lucy, both funny and touching.
The service was concluded with a big meal and lots of laughs and jackpotting among the guests.
After the get together I went home to get Emmie ready for travel. Buckner is being nice enough to take care of my duck while I'm away. I sure am going to miss him, and I hope he survives the winter so we can have some more adventures next year.
That same day Ryan and I drove to Dallas to pick up the rental minivan that will take us (along with Tatiana and Nico) all the way to Pennsylvania and back.
As I type this we are on the road to Louisville, KY to stay with our friend Jeff Schott for the evening.
Tomorrow we will press on until we reach Philadelphia, the first town of the Bill Hall produced "'Twas The Gift Show Before Christmas".
Check our website at www.steveandryan.com to see where we will be performing until December 21st.
If we're playing near you, please come out and say "Hi!"
I'll be updating the blog daily once the shows begin, so be sure to keep checking in here.
Before I forget, Christmas is coming! If you're looking for the perfect gift to amaze your friends or anger your enemies, then look no further! Order an autographed Steve & Ryan 8x10!
E-mail me here for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
OR check out https://www.oaba.org/2013-circus-calendar/ to order a 2013 Circus Calendar, featuring a picture of yours truly along with GiGi Greene for the month of February.
Buy! Buy! Buy!
Now! Now! Now!
See you guys in a few days.