Saturday, September 14: Mendota, IL-2:00 p.m and 7:30 p.m.
This morning Fridman did a lot of work on the harness that goes inside the big mouth prop. He bent the metal for us (I should have known we could turn to him for help when we failed in bending it yesterday), he took the old frame out of the mouth (Ryan and I are not looking forward to reattaching it), he cut the weak pieces of metal off the old frame, and then he welded the new metal onto it.
The new and improved harness is beautiful. Ryan and I just need to do a little more work on it before it can be reattached and the mouth gag can go back in the show.
John, our advance clown, came over this morning to run some new gag ideas by us. Ryan worked with John on the gag while I was with Fridman.
John then did a portion of his show for us; we helped him clean up some bits and gave some advice.
We had a very productive morning!
I'd rather not waste any data talking about the first show. The only thing worth mentioning is that when it came time for me and Ryan to pass clubs around somebody in our second half spot, no one in the audience was willing to help.
Ryan finally went over and pulled Mr. North out of the crowd; he was a perfect audience victim....er, volunteer!
Since the second show wasn't until 7:30, we had a three and a half hour break. I was in a bad mood from the first show, so for most of the time I was antisocial and sat on my couch watching the TV series, "Oz".
I did go outside to do some work on the skirt attached to the big mouth, though. Some areas at the bottom of the skirt were coming undone, so I sewed them.
Today was Mr. Fusco's 75th birthday (now he's the same age as the Kelly Miller Circus!), so at the conclusion of the gaucho act in the evening show, his grandchildren, Nico and Argio, went into the ring and presented Mr. Fusco with flowers and balloons.
After the shows there was a big party for Mr. Fusco. I went by to wish him a happy birthday, and we also enjoyed some of the delicious Fusco cooking.
Sunday, September 15: Brookfield, IL-Day Off!
Lot: Ehlert Park
This morning's drive seemed to go on forever, and when we got to the lot it was cold, dreary, and drizzling.
I picked up Peter, as well as John and Clara Sayre for a trip to Panera Bread, which was a much better place to start the morning than in our cold, powerless trailers.
Back at the lot I cleaned up and then drove to Chicago. Our first stop was Hamlin Park north of downtown, which is where the Midnight Circus was performing.
Some of the performers from Midnight came to see us last week, and I was looking forward to catching their show.
Ryan, Tatiana, Peter, and Nico also showed up for the sold out 1:00 p.m. performance under the beautiful, intimate, blue and purple bigtop.
I was blown away by the energy and talent presented by the cast of the Midnight Circus. It definitely recharged my batteries to see such a great show.
After the show we visited with some of our friends in the cast, but then I had to leave abruptly to meet my mom downtown.
My mom and step dad are in Chicago for a few days for a conference, so our day off was a perfect chance to meet up with them.
They are staying at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers right off State Street, and they worked it out with one of the valets for me to leave my car right in front of the hotel for a few hours.
It was literally parked on the curb right outside the doors where all the taxis and limos were picking up and dropping off the hotel's clientele. We couldn't have asked for a better parking space!
I joined Mom and Jeffery in the hotel bar for a drink, and then I dropped some of my stuff off in their room before we headed out.
They were staying on the Club Level, at the very top of the hotel, and the view outside their window was awesome!
We walked around downtown Chicago a bit, but we finally caught a cab since the weather was still yucky.
We caught a ride over to Navy Pier and had dinner at "Bubba Gump Shrimp Co."
I was glad I got a chance to visit with Mom and Jeffery this evening. Hopefully Mom is going to catch our show on Tuesday; she's never seen me perform on Kelly Miller.
The drive out of Chicago was easy (I was surprised how easy the drive in was as well), and I was happy to get home and relax.
I had a long, full, fun day off.