Monday, February 17, 2014

Thursday, February 13-Sunday, February 16: Donna, TX

2/13/14-7:30 p.m.

On Thursday morning Memo Vazquez called me and Ryan into the main office to meet Glen Nicolodi, our new production manager.....for the next month anyway.
Glen is being groomed to work for the show in the near future, so Memo said this is his training period.
They are hoping to have our permanent production manager soon.

Memo told us that he wants a new song for the opening of the water gag, so we suggested "El Coco No", which is a currently popular Latin song that is a little more fun and silly than the Pitbull song they have been using.

At lunchtime I met my friend, Ramon, at Poncho's. Poncho's is my favorite Mexican restaurant EVER, and Ramon was nice enough to buy my meal. It was nice to catch up with him since I haven't seen him since the last time I was in the Valley with Kelly Miller.

After lunch I drove over to McAllen where the Kelly Miller circus was finishing set up for their 5 day stand.
I got to visit with a lot of my friends, and I met a couple of new faces as well. I took John, the new clown, and his wife, Clara, to Home Depot so they could pick up some L brackets for John's strong man box prop.

I'm so proud of everyone on Kelly Miller, because they have not had an easy start to their season. The weather has been awful, and they are shorthanded in the crew department. Everyone, all the way up to Mr. and Mrs. North, has been chipping in to put up and take down the tent, run cables and hoses, pick up trash....everything.

I had to head back to the lot for a finale rehearsal. The rehearsal was quick and easy; we are keeping finale pretty much the same, only now the acts are entering the ring as a group for their style, rather than one at a time.

One of the dancers told me of another change that I was sad to hear. Usually when we enter in the little car for the carpenter gag, there is a dancer on each side of the ring's entrance to style to us as we enter.
Ryan and I would take the opportunity as we drove by to channel our inner Animaniacs and bellow, "HELLO NURSE!"

Unfortunately the girls were taken out of that part of the show, so we lost one of my favorite moments.

The crowds during the week have been smaller than they were on the weekend, and unfortunately tonight's crowd wasn't on par with others as far as responses go.

After the show I drove to McAllen to pick up Radar, and Elisa, and we all went out to dinner. Just like old times!

2/14/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning Ryan and I had a radio publicity from 8-9 a.m. The DJs spoke only in Spanish, so I tried my best to keep up.
Ryan did most of the heavy lifting, but I got some information on the airwaves in English, which the DJs then translated for me.
I also threw out jokes and bits of information in Spanish whenever the opportunity presented itself. The DJs went on for long periods of time talking about things other than the circus, and I figured that if I had to get up early and get into make up for radio, I was going to plug the show whenever possible.
Due to my unpredictability, by the end of the interview Ryan said the look on the female DJ's face was priceless every time I approached the microphone.

I was hoping to get a nap this afternoon since I was feeling pretty worn out, but Memo called and asked us to come over to the main office.
We met up with Glen, and he told us his ideas for tightening up the endings of the water and carpenter gags. We also found out that they were changing our opening water music back to the Pitbull song we had been using.
Ryan had to re cut the final music tracks for water and carpenter, and then I had to get the new CD to Teo for our quick 4:30 p.m. rehearsal.
We just ran the two endings with music and lights a couple of times, and then we were done.

Both shows tonight went well, but the audience for the second show was especially fantastic.

During the day I made Steve & Ryan Valentine cards for the women and men in the cast, and before the first show I stuck them on the dressing room curtains.

The cards were very well received, and everyone had a good laugh over them. One of the dancers told us, "Your abs really made my day."
I countered with, "If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that....."

After the shows I drove to McAllen to have dinner with Radar and Elisa again.

2/15/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Today I spent the early part of the afternoon at Kelly Miller. We visited with more folks, and then we watched the first half of their 3:00 p.m. show.
Everyone was happy that all the crew members had finally arrived from Mexico last night, which will ensure much easier set ups and tear downs from now on.
It was nice to finally watch Kelly Miller, since I have only ever seen the show from the inside looking out.

 Ryan Holder and his tigers
 The Mongolian contortionists, in their very first performance.
 Nicholas Sorren
 Carolyn Rice's Patriotic Mixed Animal Review
 J.P's Strong Man Gag
 Fridman Torales' Chair Stacking
 Carousel Production Number

Unfortunately I had to leave at Intermission so I could get back for our shows, but I'm hoping to catch the second half at some point in the near future.

We had great audiences over at Vazquez, especially for the second performance.
Tonight Ryan and I began doing our photo concession after finale. Once the show ends, the audience has a chance to come down into the ring to take a picture with us or the dancers.
Unfortunately, the whole process was fairly unorganized since it was the first time we'd done it. Also, the cameras being used for the concession were not working very well, which held everything up.
New cameras are supposed to be coming in on Wednesday, though.
It was nice to meet some people from the audience and get their feedback. I feel a lot more disconnected from the audience here than I did on Kelly Miller.

At the end of the night I couldn't believe our cut of the proceeds from just posing for photos. I'll never sell another coloring book in my life!

2/16/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

I got up at 7:00 a.m. to drive to McAllen so we could pick up John and Clara for breakfast.
None of us got to bed until around 1:30 a.m., so we weren't the most exciting or talkative group when we first met up.
Once we got some coffee into our systems, things were looking a lot brighter, and we had a great time talking and eating.

Ryan and I were both in very high spirits at the start of the day, wishing everyone backstage a "Happy Sunday" (something I hope to make into a regular tradition around here), but as the day went on, the heat and three shows slowly drained us of our good cheer. By the start of the second show we were both really dragging.

In the third show the motorcycle act had just begun when the music suddenly stopped. We heard Memo asking, "Are you ok?" in Spanish, followed by some conciliatory announcements to the audience.
Ryan and I knew something must have happened, so we bolted out of the dressing room and waited backstage just in case we were needed.
However, we heard the audience applaud, and then the Pompeyo's dog act went out to perform and the show continued.

We later found out that a loose cable had hit Jhenni in the head as she and Visan drove around the motorcycle platform.
Jhenni was banged up and bleeding from her cuts, but I don't believe it was anything serious. We were glad that everyone is ok.

After the shows there was a company barbecue over at the Espanas' trailer. Everyone that attended brought beer, some people brought dishes of food, and Visan and Martin acted as grill masters.
It was nice to see everyone outside of work in a festive environment, and the food was delicious!


Tejano said...


Sent you a photo of a newspaper article I read in a resturant in La Joya. It is an article about KM being sponsored by a local org. The article mentions you and Ryan still with KM. Guess they still want you! :)

Steve Copeland said...

Where did you send it?


Greg Michales said...

Thought I always wanted to be a clown but my wife says I don't have the abs for it. Loved the Valentines cards. Sounds like you guys are fitting in just fine.

Greg Michales

Tejano said...


Steve Copeland said...

Thank God!