Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday, October 27

Greetings from dreary Hugo, OK!

On Friday the 25th, the show made its 105 mile jump from Ardmore, OK to the Kelly Miller Winter Quarters in Hugo.

The final jump occurred without incident for me, no matter how hard the fates tried to get in one last mishap.
I stopped for a bathroom break around the halfway point, and as I walked back to my trailer, I noticed that the door to my propane tanks was completely off, and it was just leaning against my trailer jack. One big bump, and that bad boy would have gone sailing into the road.
Thank goodness my guardian angel was watching over me for my final Kelly Miller jump.

Once my rig was parked at Winter Quarters, I immediately plugged my trailer into a power source. Hooray for 24 hour power!

Ryan and I have been taking it easy the past few days. We began organizing and cleaning out Ryan's storage unit, which is always a monumental undertaking due to the sheer amount of clown props and paraphernalia, PLUS household items from both of us.
I also began cleaning out and organizing my trailer. I've been scouring the web for a new trailer, and I've found a few exciting leads.

I've been having fun showing John, and Clara the sights around Hugo, and taking them to some of my favorite haunts. Of course we've been to Angie's Circus City Diner, and also to Busy Bee for delicious burgers.

On Saturday it rained, and rained, and rained, and rained! I was so happy that we didn't have to go out in the elements to perform!
It was a perfect day to stay in to play video games and watch movies.
Speaking of which, Ryan and I have continued our "Scare-athon". My pick of the week is the excellent ghost film, "Mama", produced by Guillermo Del Toro.

Things should start to pick up this coming week as we begin to work on props for next season. We also have a couple of gigs coming up, so I'm sure I'll have stories to share.
I also have an exciting announcement.......

Tune in next Sunday for the full scoop!

Friday, October 25, 2013

"I Feel So Sorry For You"- Kid To Ryan

Thursday, October 24: Ardmore, OK-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

It finally arrived, the final day of the 2013 Kelly Miller Circus season, as well as our final day with the show.

Ryan, Tatiana, Nico, and I spent most of the afternoon running around town. We browsed the books, movies, and games at Hastings, we went by Staples so I could print out a contract for an upcoming Halloween gig, and then we swung by a florist so Tatiana could buy flowers for her parents.

Our final day at Kelly Miller was chock full of visitors. Ryan and I had a nice visit with Tina Bausch, the advance clown for Culpepper Merriweather, who was recently honored with a Lifetime of Laughter award for her 29 years (and counting!) in the circus business.

Natalie and her daughters, Georgia and Genevieve, also came to visit, fresh off their tour with Culpepper. It was good to see them again, and I was able to give them the gifts I picked up for them on Kelleys Island.

Last night at the Halloween party I was able to see Lucky and Vickie, who were the music department our first several years on the show, and also Mike and Pat, who tour with us in TX. Both couples were around today to see the final shows.

Dudley, the Kelly Miller WQ caretaker, his daughter, Carol, and her husband, Rich, also came out today to see the first performance. I look forward to catching up with Dudley this winter over root beer and cashews.

The surprise visitors for the evening were former Cole Bros. clown, Manny Casalino, and his son, and Joel Falk, who was the rope spinner and substitute camel presenter our third year on Kelly Miller.

The last two performances were extremely hectic as usual. It was a shame that the ground in the tent was so terrible for our final stand. I am REALLY looking forward to performing on a solid floor next year.

After the gaucho act in the second performance, John Moss made a presentation to Mr. Fusco in honor of his final performance. John talked about Norberto's career while the whole Fusco family (that is on tour with KM), came into the ring to give him flowers.
I wish I could have seen it, but I was backstage waiting to go on for the mouth gag.

When it was all over, I wasn't feeling sad or nostalgic. I was just relieved that the tour was over.
We will miss our Kelly Miller family, but for right now, it's time for a break!

I capped off the evening by joining a large group of folks from the show for dinner. It was a nice way to end the season, but we didn't get to bed until 1:00 a.m.

Check in Sunday for the next update!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Peaches!"- Crazed Little Boy After Examining His Coloring Book

Monday, October 21: Pryor, OK-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 57
Lot: fairgrounds

Just so you all know, the name of this town isn't pronounced, "Pryer"; instead, the locals say, "Prrrryrrrr".
And now you know!

Today for our "Scare-athon" we watched "The Lords Of Salem", a new Rob Zombie film about witches. I liked the movie, but it was a little slow; the ending also left something to be desired. However, there were some great, disturbing moments and visuals.

Jonathon, who is the blow off of our carpenter gag, was sick tonight, so his twin brother, Jonary, filled in for him.
When he was chasing me at the end of the gag, I realized that he runs a lot faster than Jonathon, and I had to actually put some effort into not getting caught!

It was mighty cold tonight, so the show left the generator running all night.

Four more shows to go!

Monday, October 21, 2013

I'm Getting Lazy With My Posting....

"I Came All The Way Over Here On My Bad Ankle To Get A Picture With You!"- Limping Woman
Friday, October 18: Strafford, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 69
Lot: school grounds

This morning I went to a laundromat in Springfield, MO, which wasn't too far away. Pete tagged along because he wanted to check out a used movie and video game store.
Luckily our last laundromat visited on this year's tour was a good one; no flooding washers or faulty dryers!
Before we headed back to the lot, we swung by Gamestop so Pete could buy a few used video games for my birthday.

Back at the lot Ryan, Pete, and I helped John Sayre with his rehearsal in the tent. We had him run his strongman gag a few times with music, sound effects, and props.
John has an audition tomorrow for the clown job for next season. Jim Royal is coming to see it, along with Mr. North.
Ryan and I requested that John do his gag in the first show today so that tomorrow he wouldn't have the pressure of the audition AND doing the gag for the first time in front of an audience.

Around show time it began to rain, which made the cold weather even more nasty.
Ryan and I had a great carpenter gag in the second show, but unfortunately the public was really getting on my nerves during Intermission. I think part of the reason for my short patience was the weather.

Tonight during the shows I watched the classic zombie movie, "Night of the Living Dead". I am a huge zombie fan, and it's always nice to see the film that created the type of zombies that people are so familiar with today.

After the shows we all had to move off the lot because the rain was expected to continue throughout the night.
One of the semis got stuck right in the entrance to the lot, but the rest of us were able to get off the grass in different places.
Unfortunately the lot was surrounded by a ditch, which limited the number of exits, but I followed a few trailers through a spot where the ditch was just a slight dip in the grass.
We all parked down the street in the parking lot of the high school.

"You Want Your Face Painted? I'll Do It With A Roller When We Get Home"- Man To His Child
Saturday, October 19: Wheaton, MO-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Miles: 79
Lot: Body of Christ grounds

Today was my 30th birthday. Where did my 20s go?!?!
John and Clara Sayre treated me to breakfast at a restaurant across the street. I thought it was interesting that the restaurant was an establishment where people can still smoke inside; despite that, the food was delicious!

John Sayre performed his strongman gag for both performances today as an audition for Mr. North and Jim Royal. Ryan and I gave him tips after each performance, and I was happy to see the routine tighten up and John's confidence grow each time.

At the start of the second show Ryan and I were talking and joking around with Jim Royal when Ryan suddenly realized that he had forgotten his microphone for the trombone gag.
Ryan quickly gave me his trombone and rushed to the back door to retrieve the mic. Fortunately he made it to the tent's entrance just in time to start the gag.

After the shows Ryan, Peter, Radar, Elisa, John, Clara, and I had a big cookout to celebrate my birthday.

I think I can safely say this was one of the best birthdays I have had in a long time. Thanks, everyone!

"It's Time For Action!"- Nico
Sunday, October 20: Commerce, OK-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Miles: 78
Lot: Beside Commerce Community Church

I don't have much to report from Commerce. At this point in the tour, knowing that we only have 5 days left, my boredom has begun setting in.
To help alleviate my weariness, I changed the color of my bottom lip to black for the first show, and red for the second.
I know, I know....I need to calm down.

Peter gave the cast and crew a good laugh in the second show's production number. He plays a whooshing sound effect when Lamont blows his final, giant fire ball. For several days now Pete has been hinting to Lamont that a different sound effect might get played sometime, but it would have to come as a surprise.
Well, today was that day! Lamont readied himself, blew the fire ball, and the sound of a gigantic burp echoed throughout the big top.
All of us backstage were doubled over with laughter, and Lamont was no exception when he came backstage.

Six shows to go!

Friday, October 18, 2013

"How Much Are Them?"- Grown Man Asking The Price Of Coloring Books

Thursday, October 17: Camdenton, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 95
Lot: Lake of the Ozarks Amphitheater

Last night while we were hanging out with the Red Unit clowns, I was making everybody laugh by describing the overly complicated method one clown used to teach the simple walk into a wall bit.
Well, this morning I rolled out of bed half asleep, put my wallet and phone in my pockets, and turned around, nose first, into a wall.
I prefer the overly complicated method....

This morning's drive seemed to drag on and on, and towards the end my eyes were getting very heavy.
I planned to take a 30 minute nap once I was done setting up my trailer at the new lot, but I ended up sleeping through my alarm and crashing for almost two hours. I guess I needed the rest!

John Sayre had rehearsal time in the ring this morning for the strongman gag he wrote. Ryan and I helped him get used to the ring space, block the bits, and tighten up the gag.

Today's lot was definitely difficult to work on; there were huge rocks all over the place. In fact, the ground was so bad that we didn't use the little clown car for fear all the wheels would just break off the chassis before we made it around the ring. I was grateful that I only do one easy fall in the carpenter gag!

Ryan and I have been slacking the past couple of days with our "Scare-athon". We've been so busy helping John, plus just our daily routine of moving and doing the shows, that we haven't found the time to sit down and watch a film.
I decided that even if we don't get to watch a horror movie together, I'm still going to get my Halloween fix.
Tonight during the shows I watched the Universal classic, "The Mummy". I appreciated the make up effects on Boris Karloff, but I just have a hard time getting into the slow pacing of the classic monster movies.

Just a heads up: I'm taking tomorrow off to celebrate my 30th birthday. I'll see you all again on Sunday with two blog posts!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"Do It Like A Clown! Boing Boing!"- Lady Instructing Her Daughter How To Jump In The Bounce House

Wednesday, October 16: Auxvasse, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 38
Lot: Lions Club grounds

Today Ryan and I worked with John Sayre on his new strong man gag. We didn't have access to the ring, but we were able to run through it in the area between the bleachers and the ring side seating.

Over half of the current Ringling Red Show Clown Alley came to visit this evening. They open tomorrow night in St. Louis, which is about two hours away, so they made the trip tonight to come see us work.
They brought a free roll comprised of strictly red items: red Gatorade, a red can of Pringles, BigRed chewing gum, etc.
This is an old tradition between the two Ringling units. You always take free roll to the clowns that is strictly red or blue.
Frankly, I don't care what color food is, as long as it's free! Thanks, clownies!

The ring mat was very slick for the second show, so the Alley got to see me slip and fall a few times while I was running around with the power saw (or chainsaw if you live in a wealthy town in Illinois). Hopefully my floundering looked funny; I pictured myself flopping around like a clubbed seal.....however, I stayed committed to making the saw seem like it was out of control the whole time!

After the shows I ordered some pizzas and hosted a hang out in my trailer. We were able to fit seven Ringling clowns, the head of the Red Show's nursery, Ryan, Peter, John and Clara Sayre, and myself into my narrow trailer.

We had such a great time visiting and laughing, but unfortunately all good things must come to an end. The Ringling clowns had to get back to St. Louis, and we all had to get to bed in preparation for our 95 mile jump in the morning.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"You're A Terrible Driver, Ryan"- Boy After I Told Him The Story Of Ryan Crashing The Clown Car

Tuesday, October 15: Paris, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 94
Lot: fairgrounds

I was still feeling under the weather today, so I tried to rest as much as possible.

This afternoon for our "Scare-athon" we watched "Slither", a really fun, gory movie about slugs from outer space that turn the residents of a small town into zombies to breed even more slugs.
There were so many hilarious lines in the movie, and there were some nice, gooey special effects as well.

Pregnancy, nature's most beautiful miracle!

Our friend, Alex, called us today from Tel Aviv, Israel, where he is living until early next year. It was nice to catch up with him since we haven't really talked since he went over there a few months ago.

There was a guy sitting in the front row during the second show that had a ridiculous flock of seagulls-ish hair style. The girl sitting next to him was having a great time, but he looked absolutely miserable.
After the carpenter gag Ryan mentioned to me his dour expression, and I assured him that I would be pretty upset too if I had that hair cut!

Not his actual hairstyle, but just as ridiculous.

The fairgrounds we were showing had power outlets all over the place, so many of us plugged in our trailers and had power all night.
It's wonderful to occasionally have the creature comforts that you take for granted when you live in a house that doesn't have to move everyday.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fish Eyes!

Monday, October 14: Warrenton, MO-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 37
Lot: Athletic Complex

This morning for our "Scare-athon" we watched the new killer doll movie, "Curse of Chucky". When I was a little kid, I was terrified of the Chucky movies, but at the same time, I always had a morbid curiosity about them.
I was a little disappointed in the newest film. It had some nice moments, but it took way too long to get to the good stuff, i.e. Chucky running around killing people and cracking wise.

The cold that's been going around Kelly Miller finally caught up with me today in the form of a sore throat. I'm hoping that with rest and medicine it won't get too much worse.
The lot certainly didn't help. We were on a rocky lot that was also very dusty; I'm sure all the dirt I inhaled wasn't good for my sinuses.

To save my voice, I wasn't doing my usual high pitched screams in the carpenter gag tonight. The changes caught Ryan off guard and made him laugh a few times.

Roger Estill came to see the second show tonight, and he made sure to stop by our coloring book table to visit. It was good to see you again, Roger.

Monday, October 14, 2013

"Da F**k?"- Man In The Front Row Confused By My Hijinx

Sunday, October 13: Union, MO-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Miles: 75
Lot: Jaycee Fairgrounds

This morning, before the little clown car was unloaded, Pete noticed that one of its tires was flat.
Ryan grabbed our bicycle pump and climbed into the back of the truck to re inflate the tire.
After accomplishing that task, he jumped down onto the ground and kept an eye on the tire to make sure it wasn't deflating again.
Suddenly, something caught his eye, causing Ryan to move in closer to get a better look. My curiosity aroused, I joined him, our faces mere inches from the tire.
We could see a small bubble forming in the tire's inner tube that was getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger until BAM!, the tube popped right in our faces.
We were so startled, and yet we stood like deer in the headlights the whole time the bubble was growing, knowing that the outcome wasn't going to be good.

Our advance clown, John, and his wife, Clara, met up with the show today. They finished their work on Friday, and now they are going to travel with us for the remainder of the season.
We had a good time catching up with them today.

Our friend, Claire Wedermyer, who was formerly a clown on Kelly Miller, came to see the first show. I was happy that I got to visit with her between shows to hear about her life and work in St. Louis.

During the second Intermission a woman sitting in the bleachers behind us kept calling out to us until we turned around to acknowledge her. As soon as we did, she pointed to her toddler aged son and said, "He doesn't like you!"
As I turned back around I sarcastically thanked her for sharing.
Sometimes when we're meeting the public at Intermission, Ryan and I feel a lot like Luke Skywalker in the Mos Eisley Cantina.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"He Wants To Know If You Have A Tail"- Woman Explaining Her Son Looking Behind Me

Saturday, October 12: Troy, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Dan Reynolds, who used to work with us on Kelly Miller, came by to visit today. I talked with him a bit before the first show, and then Ryan and I were able to chat with him a little more during the Intermissions.

There was a man in the audience for the first show who wanted to propose to his girlfriend. Right before the end of finale John Moss stopped the number and introduced the man, whose name was Paul. Paul took the microphone, got down on one knee, and proposed. Fortunately his girlfriend said yes, which saved us all from a very awkward finale.

A lady during the second Intermission felt the need to tell us that she didn't like clowns. By this point in the tour, I have begun to just immediately ignore anyone that says something of the like, but that just caused the woman to explain herself further, "A clown chased me one time, and I ran into a pole!"
This made me laugh pretty hard. Ryan put the topper on the situation by adding, "Shouldn't you be afraid of poles, then?"
After she left, Ryan and I began wondering aloud where all these clowns that chase people are coming from. We agreed that we'd both be too lazy to chase anyone.

After the shows Peter and I drove to St. Louis to visit the City Museum, a huge warehouse that's designed like a giant jungle gym. Patrons are invited to climb on and play in almost any architecture in the museum. There are tunnels made of old refrigerating coil suspended high in the air that you can crawl through, there are hidden crawlspaces everywhere, some of which take serious exploration to discover, and there is even a ferris wheel on the roof of the museum!
Jessica Hentoff, the executive director of Circus Harmony (which is based out of the City Museum), hooked us up with free passes, which we were extremely grateful for.

The three of us were like big kids climbing all over and through the different exhibits and mazes. One of my favorite parts is climbing through the refrigeration coil tunnels outside of the museum. Some of the tunnels even arch high into the air, which give you a terrifying view below. You can even crawl through two airplanes suspended between tunnels.

One of the highlights for the three of us was the 10 story slide inside the museum. Around 11:00 we decided it was time to head back to Troy, but we all wanted to go on the slide one more time.
Peter went ahead of me, and then when it was my turn, I noticed lots of money and cards in the slide.
I grabbed as much as I could on my way down, and when I got to the bottom of the slide I found out that it was the contents of my wallet!
Peter was holding onto my wallet since he had pockets that snapped shut (having the contents of your pockets slide out in the City Museum is a constant possibility). Unfortunately his shorts tore on the slide, and my wallet tumbled down the slide after him, dumping all of its contents.
I had grabbed some cash and one of my credit cards on the way down, and luckily the girl behind me grabbed the rest of the loot for me.
It was definitely a memorable way to end the evening!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bad Decisions

Friday, October 11: Troy, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 27
Lot: Next to RP Lumber

Ryan was still feeling under the weather today, so he skipped the "Scare-athon" in favor of more rest.
I watched "Bram Stoker's Dracula", which I had never seen before. I liked it, but it was a little long towards the end. Still, it was one of the best movies we've seen so far out this year's selections (not that the competition has been very stiff).

Ryan and I met a lot of people during Intermission that were very complimentary. One gentleman said that he enjoys reading the blog, one woman had heard we weren't coming back and told us she would miss seeing us, and a few people told us they come every year to see us perform.
It's nice to know that we have made an impact on audience members during our time on Kelly Miller.

One woman and her grandson came up to us during the second Intermission and said, "We made some bad decisions."
Ryan quickly countered with, "So did we. Just look at us!"
The woman went on to say that she was teaching her grandson a lesson. He wanted a coloring book, but had already chosen to buy a few other novelties as soon as they arrived at the circus.
At first I thought she was going to give us a sob story to try and get free merchandise from us, but I was pleased that she was legitimately teaching the boy a life lesson in delayed gratification....or Reaganomics....I'm not exactly sure what her point was.
Ryan and I gave the kid a high five and told him to enjoy the rest of the show, which he seemed pleased with.

The St. Louis Arches, a group of young performers from the St. Louis based "Circus Harmony", performed at the beginning of the second half.
I didn't get a chance to see them work, but from what I heard they did an outstanding job.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sorry, There Was Lousy Internet Yesterday

"Congratulations On The 75th Anniversary Of Your Circus"- Sincere Young Man At Intermission
Wednesday, October 9: Litchfield, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. 
Miles: 40
Lot: A& D Electric parking lot

This morning for our "Scare-athon" we watched the Italian horror film, "Demons", about a group of people trapped in a movie theater as they are transformed into monsters one by one.
I had seen the movie as a kid, but it had been quite awhile since the last time I saw it; most of the plot was still a surprise to me.

Elisa tipped us off that there was a big Salvation Army across the street from the lot, so I joined her over there after the movie.
I was very lucky and found everything I needed for my Halloween costume. 

After a quick trip to Walmart to pick up supplies, I dyed the jacket and pants that I bought from the Salvation Army.
The jacket came out exactly like I wanted, but the pants still have a long way to go. Looks like I'll be picking up more dye!

Ryan was sick today, so I took over the talking parts in the trombone gag.

There was a lady in the front row during the second show who was on her cell phone for almost the entire performance.
During the carpenter gag I made a big deal about turning off the car alarm so she could deal with her phone call, which was obviously so important that she needed to devote all her attention to it.
My rant got some nice laughs from the audience, and Mr. North came over to tell us how much he enjoyed it, and how he couldn't believe how rude some people are.
The last time we saw her in the seats, the woman was still on her phone. Sigh.

After the show I got a wonderful surprise. Tina Bausch, the Cupepper Merriweather advance clown, gave me a call from Sarasota, FL, where she is attending the 45th Anniversary reunion of the Ringling Clown College.
The reunion begins tomorrow morning, but a group of alumni had already arrived, and they were having a good time around the hotel pool.
Tina passed the phone around so I could talk to some of the folks there; it really meant a lot to me.
I would love to attend the reunion (even though I didn't go to Clown College, road clowns are welcome), but my job as a circus clown comes first.
I'm very grateful to Tina for letting me be a part of the fun for a little while. Have a great time everyone!

"I Cut Off My Daughter's Head"- Man Talking About Taking A Picture….I Hope
Thursday, October 10: Staunton, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 17
Lot: Fireman's Park

This morning for the "Scare-athon" we watched the 1986 horror film, "April Fool's Day".  The movie has a nice twist ending, but it was slow going up until that point. It didn't help matters that the movie's audio track was so low that I could barely hear the dialogue, even with the volume cranked up.

It's hard to believe that our tour with Kelly Miller will be over in just two weeks. During the shows tonight I was reflecting on how quickly five years has gone by.
I will do my best to cherish my remaining time on this show.

Monday, October 7, 2013

"How'd You Guys Like To Scare The S**t Out Of Someone?"- Conniving Man At Intermission

Saturday, October 5: Carthage, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Miles: 43
Lot: saddle club

Elisa, and I went to a laundromat this morning since it had been about two weeks since our last laundry trip.
The inappropriately named "Convenient Coin Laundry" had many machines that were out of order, and I helped the establishment out by finding one more that was faulty.
It continued running after our other washers were finished, and when we opened the lid we saw that the cylinder was steadily filling with water after the final spin.
We had to wring every item out, and then it took a long time to completely dry the sopping wet clothes. At least the laundromat attendant finally made an appearance and gave us our money back for the defective washer.

I went on an improvisational tangent during the second carpenter gag that could have really crashed and burned, as I had no idea where I was going with it or how to end the bit.
Luckily, through quick thinking and a little luck, the bit payed off with a big laugh from the audience.
I was very pleased with the reactions we got for both shows today, because in the past I remember dying a horrible comedic death in Carthage.

One little observation that Ryan, Peter, and I have made about this part of the country is that people call coloring books "color books".
I didn't realize there was regional slang for soft drinks AND circus novelties.

Earlier today I had picked up steak for our barbecue tonight. Radar and Elisa specifically wanted thick steaks, so I got (what I thought was) two huge slabs of meat.
When it came time to cook the steaks, it turned out that it was just one gigantic cut of meat! Radar and Elisa cut it in two, and then it took quite awhile for the steak to cook to their satisfaction.
We kept joking that in the morning we'd all wake up for the jump and the steaks would just about be done cooking.

Sunday, October 6: Mt. Sterling, IL-2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Miles: 65
Lot: fairgrounds

We were in another town with lousy cell and Internet service today, hence this double blog post.

During the night the weather changed drastically; today was very cold and it was drizzling rain on and off.

We still managed to have a barbecue after the shows, even though the misting rain seemed to get worse as soon as we settled down to cook.
There were some towners on the property next to us who were giving us a hard time for wrapping up our grilling session so quickly.
I much prefered my remainder of the evening snuggling up with my girlfriend in my warm trailer and watching a movie.
But I guess they do things differently in Mt. Sterling....

In conclusion, both Ryan and I are honored that the talented artist, Patty Vicknair, painted fantastic pictures of both of us!

If you're interested in purchasing a print of either painting, click on the link below!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"I Like Your Sequins. I Used To Wear Them When I Was A Stripper."- Woman Complimenting One Of The Showgirls On Her Makeup

Friday, October 4: Bushnell, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 71
Lot: VFW Park

This morning I didn't have a problem getting off the muddy lot. I turned on my 4 Wheel Drive, and Danny directed me through an area that was fairly solid.

Today for our "Scare-athon" we watched "Ice Cream Man", a movie about a homicidal librarian.
Just kidding....

The movie stars Ron "Opie" Howard's brother, Clint, who is one of those actors with a face made for horror movies.

Yeesh. He and Gary Busey should do a movie together.

This afternoon I crashed and took a long nap. I really needed it after Ryan and I stayed up so late talking and laughing with "Toto" last night.

It was another muggy day. During the first show both my and Ryan's clown noses kept wanting to slide off from the humidity.

Friday, October 4, 2013

"La Cucaracha!"- Man Shouting Out A Request For Us To Play On Our Trombones

Thursday, October 3: Kewanee, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 61
Lot: corner of 3rd & Elm

During the night it began raining, and during our drive this morning there were times when the rain was coming down in buckets. At one point I could barely see five feet in front of my truck from the amount of precipitation.

When I got to the lot, trucks and trailers were lined up along the street waiting to park. As soon as I pulled onto the lot's saturated ground, my truck got stuck. I turned on my 4 Wheel Drive and got to my parking space without further incident.
The lot was a disgusting, muddy mess after all the vehicles had pulled on. It finally stopped raining once everyone had arrived, but it stormed again in the late morning.

Today for our "Scare-athon" we watched the 1982 horror film, "Basket Case", about a man who carries his parasitic twin brother around in a picnic basket.
There's not much I can recommend from this film, but the terrible acting and hideous actors were amusing.
Seriously, he was one of the best looking ones

My friend and mentor, Ron "Toto" Johnson, came to visit today, bringing with him a case of Heineken beer. Thanks, "Toto"!
I had a good time catching up with "Toto"; he and Sam Drummond were the first two former Ringling clowns who mentored me when I was a teenager.

The audiences tonight were great, which made me and Ryan happy. We always like for our friends to see us in front of responsive crowds.
The mud didn't pose too much of a problem to us during the show either, so that was a plus.

There was a profoundly drunk man in the tent during the second show that was drinking malt liquor from a paper bag.
When he was ejected from the tent, he became agitated. His sister let the folks at the front gate know that he was fresh out of jail.
Before finale the man was stumbling around in the backdoor looking to bum a smoke from somebody.

They all come do they find us!?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Let The "Scare-athon" Begin!

Tuesday, October 1: Marseilles, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 31
Lot: 10 Acre Park

When I was getting ready to leave Channahon this morning, I heard a lot of sirens in the distance.
It turns out that there was a big wreck involving multiple semis, one of which was on fire, on the Interstate two miles from the lot.
We got caught in some congestion getting onto the Interstate, but luckily the accident was in the southbound lanes, and we were heading north. Traffic on the other side of the road was backed up for miles.

This morning Ryan, Peter, and I started our 2013 "Scare-athon", where we (ideally) watch one horror movie a day until Halloween.
We kicked things off right this morning by watching not one, not two, but TWO horror movies!
…..wait a minute…..

First we started with Peter Jackson's ultra gory zombie classic, "Dead Alive". Peter Jackson started out making all kinds of bloody, campy movies, and then went on to make mainstream hits like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. 

None of which featured his biggest star, the Sumatran Rat Monkey

We were feeling pretty good after finishing that film, so next we popped in the Stephen King werewolf movie, "Silver Bullet".
That flick stars the most horrifying monster ever to grace the silver screen…..

Gary Busey!

All in all, our two choices were a great way to kick off our "Scare-athon"!

It was surprisingly humid today for the first day of October. I wouldn't be too sad if the weather stays decent for the final few weeks of the tour.

We met a lot of entertaining people during the second Intermission. One gentleman was wearing a pink shirt that said, "Don't Laugh, This Is Your Girlfriend's Shirt".
After reading that statement, Ryan raised his arms in triumph and exclaimed, "Hooray! I have a girlfriend! And apparently she's topless!"
That made the man laugh, and he responded by saying, "I got this shirt at Walmart. Best eight bucks I ever spent."
I added my two cents to the conversation, "Funny enough, that's where Ryan got his girlfriend too."

Wednesday, October 2: Washburn, IL-4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Miles: 63
Lot: across from high school

Washburn, IL is one of those out of the way towns that Kelly Miller occasionally plays where there is no cell service. Hence the absence of a blog post yesterday.

This morning Ryan, and I watched the film, "Waxwork", for our "Scare-athon". About the only thing to make it notable (for circus fans anyway), is that Mihaly "Michu" Meszaros, who toured for many years with Ringling as "The Smallest Man In The World", has a small (snicker) part in the film.

That must be from when Michu visited the Red Unit clowns....

Dave Williams, Charlie Bellatti, and Tim Tegge were at both shows this evening. I was ashamed that they saw the first carpenter gag since there was a group of kids in the bleachers that talked loudly throughout the entire act. They were so disruptive; I felt like the audience wasn't following us on anything we were doing, especially the more subtle bits.
Luckily the second performance was much better and everything was back on track.