Thursday, February 7: Brownsville, TX-6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
An addendum to my last post:
During the show walk through on Wednesday, Tavo came over and told me that two people on the midway were looking for the clowns.
It turned out to be a married couple that had wedding photos taken in Brownsville last year. They came by with a beautiful book full of the photos, and they wanted me and Ryan to sign it since we were in many of the pictures.
I told them that they would have to come see the show to get Ryan's signature since he was sick in bed, but I was happy to sign the book for the them.
Also, that night Radar, Elisa, and I went to have sushi for dinner to celebrate our last free evening before the tour officially began.
On our walk back to the lot we noticed that a flock of birds was perched on the power lines where we would have to wait to cross the busy street.
In fact, it was almost exactly the same scenario as when we returned from sushi last year. As we were waiting then, a deluge of bird poop fell upon us.
I didn't feel like taking my chances this year (I was wearing a nice outfit), so I took us far out of the way to get back to the lot.
Take that you avian jerks!
Now, on to opening day.....
I was restless all day. I didn't want to sit down and relax, I just wanted to start our first two shows.
I cleaned off our props (Brownsville is a very dusty lot, so if anything stands still for more than a second, it instantly becomes filthy), and I made sure they were all set and ready for showtime.
I saw Ryan in the morning, and he informed me that he was feeling much better thanks to the antibiotics he received at the hospital.
After a day of waiting and fidgeting, I was relieved when 6:00 p.m. finally rolled around and the 75th Anniversary edition of the Kelly Miller Circus kicked off its 9 month tour.
Here is the show running order: (skip this part if you want to be surprised when you visit)
Tigers- Ryan (Holder) Easley
Trombones- Steve & Ryan
Chair Balancing- Fridman Torales
Zebras- Mike Rice
Juggling- Raul Olivares
Carpenter Gag- Steve & Ryan
Tropical Fantasy Production:
Single Trapeze w/ Webs- Rebecca Ostroff and North Starlets
Dance and Volcano- Lamount and Cast
Hula Hoops- Patsy Rosales
Gauchos- Fusco Family
Big Mouth- Steve & Ryan
Llamas, Goats, and Dogs- Carolyn Rice
Head Balancing Trapeze- Gerard Rosales
Elephants- Armando Loyal and the North Starlets
Pinky- Raul Olivares
Perch Pole- The Rosales Family
Both shows ran almost exactly two hours including Intermission, but I believe it will tighten up and be a bit shorter as our Brownsville run continues.
There was no fire in the show because the lot here is too dry. You have no idea how nice it is to write that!
The tiger cage took quite awhile to take down, so Ryan and I really had to stretch our trombone gag. Between new people on the prop crew, a lack of a take down system, and a bigger arena and net, there were a few problems.
Once again, hopefully as our run here continues, things will smooth out.
The little clown car that the show bought for us is gas powered, and Christian, Radar's groom, helps us out by taking care of it and making sure it runs well.
The first show, he got it running more than an act before our cue. All I had to do was throw the clutch down and enter the tent.
As Raul was performing and Ryan and I were sitting in the car, I said to Ryan, "Watch, it's going to die at the last minute."
As soon as those words were out of my mouth, the car did just that. D'oh!
Just then, Johnny Moss threw open the curtain. We were on! We started yelling for Christian, so he ran over and gave us a push to get the car started again.
He pushed us to the curtain, and I threw the clutch down: nothing. We were just sitting there halfway into the tent looking like a couple of stupid deer in the headlights.
Christian pushed us the rest of the way into ring, so Ryan and I made the best of the situation and directed him as we sat in the car.
It actually got a nice laugh from the audience. I wish that I had had a carrot or some other treat to give him once he had pushed us into position.
After that rough start, the rest of the gag went fine, although I was feeling a little off my game.
To be honest, I felt off for the entire first performance. Oh well, I suppose there is nowhere to go but up!
The good news is that the second show went much better. The crowd seemed to have a lot more energy as well, which I'm sure helped things.
Between shows Christian diagnosed the problem with the car....it ran out of gas! Whooops!
At least we know we have a funny saver if the car doesn't run in the future. We just need a horse hitch on the front for Christian!
As we were waiting to go on for the second carpenter gag, Ryan asked, "What are we going to do if they ever don't open the ring up for us?"
Sure enough, when we entered the tent this time (without being pushed), the ringcurb was mostly closed, with just a tiny gap to fit through.
WE NEED TO STOP JOKING ABOUT WORST CASE SCENARIOS!
One of the crew guys ran over and pulled the ring curb out of the way at the very last second, but I still clipped the edge of the curb with the front bumper.
I turned around and shook my fist at him, which got a big laugh from the audience. From then on the gag went smoothly and we got a lot of laughs.
After the show I joined a group for a celebratory dinner over at Buffalo Wild Wings. Unfortunately the service we received was terribly slow, even though there was next to no one in the restaurant.
In closing, here's the interview that Ryan and I did on Tuesday morning at the Fox station in McAllen. Thank you very much to our friend Rick in Michigan for finding this for me!
(I'm terrible at knowing which camera to look into)
Here's to a prosperous and fun circus season!