Thursday, February 27, 2014

Monday, February 24-Wednesday, February 26: Donna, TX

2/24/14- 7:30 p.m.

It rained buckets on and off throughout the day. I stayed indoors and watched movies; when we went outside later in the evening we saw that there were huge pools of water everywhere on top of the gravel.

The rain made the air extremely humid, which was not fun backstage. The tent was nicely air conditioned, but behind the scenes I was sweating like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis.

One nice surprise backstage was that the men's dressing room had been expanded, so now there is a big space in the middle of our area, and we are not having to squeeze past each other as we enter and exit for costume changes.

Emma and Helen, two of the dancers, came back today after a two week trip to England. The dancers are having to go back home to get their work visas, so they are going two at a time. Laura and Claire are the two girls that left today.

This evening's show was rough. I didn't feel like the audience was really with us (any of us) for the whole show.
The new band began playing tonight. They have big shoes to fill, as the last band really rocked, but I'm sure after some time this new group will be just as good.

Glen, our production manager, devised a plan where Ryan and I could work the carpenter gag on the ring carpet, and we implemented that plan tonight.
Basically, there used to be a musical break between David's diabolo act and the carpenter gag where the crew would remove the carpet. The main reason was because after us were the horses, who have to work on the ring rubber.
Glen suggested that the musical break happen after the carpenter gag, which worked like a charm.

Besides providing a little cushion whenever we fell, the carpet also provided a little dignity to the act. It was nice to feel like human beings while we worked, and not the filthy animals that we are!
(One funny little side note: Since we all had to get used to the new timing of the carpenter gag's entrance, I almost ran over Jeison, one of the prop guys, with the little car as he scrambled in the dark to pick up David's diabolos. Good thing he and I both had quick reflexes.)

During our post show photo session I met Mia, who worked for Vazquez last season. She told me that she follows the blog, which I was happy to hear. It's always nice to meet new readers.
Mia, please send me a copy of the photo we took with your family. My e-mail is

After the show I was walking back to my house when I ran into Sandy, the fiance of Bill, who runs the show's lights.
They were packing up their motorhome as they were leaving and heading back to Carson & Barnes, where they have worked for previous seasons.
They didn't have far to go as Carson was set up only two exits from us on the Expressway.

2/25/14- 7:30 p.m.

I started off our day by going to the laundromat. While there we ran into Deya, who we worked with on Kelly Miller, and her in-laws. It's comforting to know that even on a new circus, you'll more than likely run into someone you know while you're doing laundry.

Before heading back to the trailer I picked up a few groceries and sushi from H.E.B. Yes, you heard me correctly; we picked up supermarket sushi.
It is made fresh during the day (you can watch the person making it), and it was actually fairly good.

There were a lot of familiar faces in the audience for tonight's show. Courtney, one of the showgirls from Kelly Miller, was present, as well as Father Notter. Members of the Byrd family from Carson & Barnes were also in attendance.
I was worried because there was a small crowd, but Ryan and I rocked them with the water and carpenter gags.
Unfortunately, the trumpet gag did not go nearly as well, which was very upsetting.
Hopefully we'll be substituting the bull gag in its place soon, which will make us feel a lot better.

2/26/14- 7:30 p.m.

Today was a cold, dreary day.
At 1:00 p.m. Ryan and I went into the tent to meet with the lighting director of the west coast unit of Vazquez.
He was called in to change some lighting cues that had been established during rehearsals. For us he mainly wanted to change the lights for when we enter in the little car at the start of the carpenter gag.
Our presence wasn't necessary for any of the changes, but we appreciated that they wanted to talk us through what was going to be changing.

Ryan and I are hoping to substitute our bull fighting gag into the place of the trumpet gag. Today we took a look at the video of the bull gag, and then we spent some time rewriting it to fit the spot (setting up the trapeze net) as well as punching up the script (adding more action and sight gags).

After our writing sessions I laid down to take a little nap and ended up crashing for almost four hours. I guess a night of not sleeping will do that to a person.

Tonight's show was difficult to get through. The small audience was just not into the performance. Even acts that usually kill were getting tepid responses.
I was happy that at least all three of our gags went really well.

After the show Ryan and I went to clean the mat we use for the water gag, but we couldn't find our squeegee anywhere.
While Ryan went to look for it, I began cleaning the entire mat with towels. I finally finished just as Ryan came back with our squeegee.
Apparently someone in the concession area needed it and didn't bother to return it to our prop area.
Looks like we'll be keeping that item at home until we need it!

Georgie, one of the dancers, invited me out to karaoke night at Poncho's Mexican Restaurant after the show.
Earlier in the day I would have declined, but after my snooze fest this afternoon, I was feeling wide awake.

A group of 12 of us from the show wound up at the very loud restaurant. My voice is still recuperating, but after some encouragement and a beer to loosen me up, I went up to sing "Talk Dirty To Me" by Poison.
I figured the whole situation of the goofy white boy singing that song would be silly enough to forgive any vocal cracking or squeaking that might happen.

The karaoke host was a lot of fun and was continuously playing different characters throughout the evening: a drag character, an old cowboy, etc.
He kept giving us shout outs once he found out we were from Vazquez. The dancers were definitely favorites of his; the girls (all from England) even treated the restaurant to a rendition of a Spice Girls song.

Usually when I go to Poncho's I order the same meal every time. Tonight I selected a new dish that came highly recommended by David, the diabologist (I may have made that title up).
I was extremely happy with my delicious choice, and I was grateful for the invite to a fun evening.


Anonymous said...

Love following your blog. We'll see you in MD in a couple of months. Take care Steve, Shelby, Ryan and family. Keith

Steve Copeland said...

Thank you, Keith. Can't wait to see you guys again!