Thursday, February 14, 2013

Keepin' 'Em In Stitches

Wednesday, February 13: Port Isabel, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

I was organizing a group of people from the show to go on a pirate cruise today, but high winds prevented us from going.
I was pretty bummed, but we'll have a chance to go again in a couple of weeks.

Fridman went to an RV shop today and picked up a new switch for my water pump. He installed it and everything works beautifully.
Thanks Fridman!

Ryan did some sewing on the big mouth today. Last night we noticed a couple of stitches that had come undone, so Ryan fixed them before they became big problems.

Our friend, Christy, came to the first show with her husband, Darren, and her in laws. Christy was a clown on Ringling back in the late 90s, and she is currently entertainment director of the pirate cruise we were going to take.
Unfortunately she saw a rough show for me and Ryan; we just couldn't seem to catch a break. especially in the carpenter gag.

On the plus side, I changed the battery in the spark gimmick we use for the power saw prop, and it made such a difference!

Christy and Darren came back for the second show to visit with us backstage. It turned out to be very fortuitous that they were there.

During the second carpenter gag Ryan and I were performing the final few bits of the act. I threw the power saw in the air, it bungeed into him, and he fell into the box.
The problem was that the saw was going to miss Ryan, so he tugged on the bungee attached to it. This caused the saw to change directions, and it hit him full force directly in the face.

Normally that wouldn't be much of a problem, because 99% of the prop is soft foam rubber. However, there is a tiny piece of rubber tubing sticking out of the back of the saw to allow bungee to go through it. The rubber tubing smashed into Ryan's mouth, cutting his upper lip.

I noticed something was wrong when I saw how Ryan fell into the box. It looked like he fell a lot harder than usual. I ran over and looked inside the box like normal, and I asked if he was ok.
He replied, "I can't come out of the box".

My first thought was that he was stuck because of the force behind his fall. I offered my hand to help him up, but he repeated, "I can't come out of the box."
That was when I noticed the blood coming from his upper lip and running down his chin.
I quickly grabbed the handkerchief from my back pocket and threw it to him (since Ryan coming out of the box is instrumental to the gag's blow off).
Ryan came out with the rag covering his mouth, and we muddled through the ending.

After finishing the gag I went over to Ryan's trailer to see how he was doing. He had a C shaped cut above his upper lip, and a flap of skin hanging open. (I hope none of you were eating)
Ryan said he was feeling faint, so Tatiana helped him over to the couch.

Luckily Christy and Darren were on hand to take Ryan to the hospital. Unfortunately they had to go back to Brownsville since it had the nearest medical facility.

As soon as I made sure Ryan was ok, I ran over to the back door and informed John Moss of the situation.
In place of the mouth chase I went out with my cigar boxes and covered for a couple of minutes while the prop change occurred.
I'm glad I brought them along this year!

The second half was especially hectic tonight between doing the show, getting everything packed up with Pete's help, and trying to get Ryan's antibiotic information to the doctor in Brownsville.

The good news is that Ryan is ok. He had to have stitches put in his lip, so he will be out of commission for a few days until they are taken out.
Thank goodness the rubber tubing didn't hit him an inch higher in the nose, or an inch lower in the teeth.
Many thanks to Christy and Darren for taking him to the hospital. Never a dull moment on the Kelly Miller Circus!


shelftalker said...

Okay, I take back my FB comment; I don't want to see video of Ryan and with a bloody mouth. ;) Hope you heal quickly, Ryan!

Anonymous said...

Ryan was a super star in our hospital last night. He made my day for sure. Thanks for the little geek-out clown moment and reminding me that you should never be bashful about taking your picture with God's most wonderous creatures (clowns!)
-Chris aka Smiles T.C.
PS. Paint over them stitches and keep em laughing! You and Steve rock!

john said...

"Ryan did some sewing on the big mouth today." Gee, you mean he gave himself stitches? ;)

Steve Copeland said...

Hey oh!

Susabelle said...

Yikes...I'm glad he's going to be okay. What a freakish accident. Those people that think clowning isn't all that dangerous should read your blog! Thanks for the update and tell him I hope he gets better soon and that the stitches don't cause any trouble.