Sunday, December 2, 2012

November 19-December 2

I posted this last least I thought I did. Today I checked my blog and saw that I hadn't. Stupid technology!
Sorry that I (apparently) went a week without updating. Here's last week's update:

I thought that things would calm down after we finished our second Circus Clowning Intensive....boy, I hate it when I am wrong!

The day after we dropped our second student, David Levine, off at the airport in Dallas, we were back to work in the Kelly Miller Circus Winter Quarters shops.
We've been in the shops every day (except Thanksgiving) working 9, 10, and even 12 hour days!
The good news is that we have made great progress! All of our wooden props are built and painted, and all but one of our foam props have been carved, latexed, and painted.
Aside from a few finishing touches in the paint department, the next major project will be sewing our costumes.

Thanksgiving was a much needed day of rest. Even though I shut off my phone so I could sleep as late as I wanted, my body still woke me up at 8 a.m. Ack!
I had lunch with Ryan and the Fusco family. They prepared a delicious meal from which I sampled everything....twice!
My belly full, I drove to the nearest movie theater to watch "Wreck It Ralph". If you haven't seen it, check it out! I enjoyed it a great deal more than I thought I would.

As soon as I finish writing this post, Ryan and I are heading to Dallas to pick up John Sayre, our third (and final) Circus Clowning Intensive student for the winter.
I'll be sure to check in next weekend and let you all know what we've been up to. Have a great week!

And now this week's:

The third Steve & Ryan Circus Clowning Intensive went off without a hitch. Our student, John Sayre, ran an Internet campaign to raise the funds to study with us.
He was telling us that in addition to his family and friends that helped out, he was contacted by complete strangers that wanted to donate money so that he could follow his dream. How cool is that?!
John worked hard throughout the grueling four day intensive, and (just like our first two students) it was exciting to see him leave as a more confidant performer, full of new information: a base of techniques upon which he can build his career.

We are done with our Circus Clowning Intensives for the year, but next year's roster is already filling up! If you are interested in learning more about the program, please e-mail me at:

This weekend Ryan and I went back to work in the prop shop. Luckily we had worked so hard during the previous week and a half that we were able to take it easy.
Yesterday we worked from 9 to 5 (just like the Dolly Parton song!), and then we took the evening off to relax (something we've rarely done since the season ended).

As I was watching a movie in my trailer, I heard something land on my step, which caused my house to shift.
I didn't think too much about it until a few seconds later when it struck me that Emmie's cage is right outside my door.
I bolted off the couch and opened the door. A raccoon was inside the pen with Emmie, and when I opened the door it quickly climbed out and ran away.
Thank goodness Emmie was ok; I'm scared to think what would have happened if I had been away from home (or even if I had hesitated a few more seconds before going outside)!
It looks like from now on Emmie will go in the back of my truck when the sun goes down. I'd rather he be inconvenienced for a few hours than inside some varmint's stomach.

Just this morning Ryan and I did only a little bit of prop work. I am happy that each time we go in the shop there is less and less to do.
I was painting a prop for our upcoming Christmas tour when my pants dropped around my ankles. Certain pairs of jeans are baggy on me, even though the waist size is correct. Since I had a brush in one hand and a paint can in the other, I could not keep adjusting them as they slipped down. I guess I should just wear a belt, just like any person with common sense.
At least Ryan got a good laugh out of the situation.
There is a can all thank me that I have the good judgement not to put it up here on the blog.

Since our prop work is drawing to a close, we began working on our main gag for next year's show.
We had already written the act, but in physical comedy you never know what will work and what won't until you get up on your feet and work through it.

Sure enough, we discovered some bits that weren't possible, or simply didn't make sense. Luckily we were both in very creative moods and we came up with lots of good solutions to those problems.
I think we are going to have very funny material next year, but of course you never truly know what's good in clowning until you do it in front of an audience!

In closing, I just wanted to share a photo of this awesome coffee mug I bought on eBay:

On the front it has Tom Parish, Tammy Parish, and Frosty Little. The back features Peggy Williams, Tuba Heatherton, Lou Jacobs, Wayne Sidley, and Uncle Soapy.
A great, hard to find mug, and it was a steal at only $20!

I will see you all next weekend before we take off for our Christmas tour in Pennsylvania! Peace!


Anonymous said...

Are you talking about this weekend coming up (dec. 8 and 9) or next weekend since your are having problems with your weekends? Just kidding keep up the good work.

Steve Copeland said...

Oh hardy harr harr, Anonymous.
How droll. How droll!


Keith Karas said...

It's great hearing about the progress being made at WQ's ...I feel like I am given a nod and wavearound and allowed to watch the process unfold. What you are doing is historic (the gags, the Show, your blog, the props being created) and no one else is doing what you guys do, and allowed the freedom and license to run with something. Thank God we have artists like you who know the classics, are students of the art (self-professed clown geeks - if I may), guys who combine their physicality, creativity and sense of what is actually funny into an updated and relevant gag for today's audiences. You are the Chaplin and Keaton of our time.

Steve Copeland said...

Wow, Keith. That's a hell of a compliment.
Thank you so much for your kind words.