Monday, February 24, 2014

Thursday, February 20-Sunday, February 23: Donna, TX


2/20/14- 7:30 p.m.

This afternoon I took Teo, our sound technician, to Walmart. We needed to pick up a few things, and Teo, who will be living out of hotels the whole tour, needed to buy some necessary household items so he could live more comfortably.

After dropping Teo and his purchases back off at the hotel, I made one more stop at Bed, Bath, & Beyond so I could buy a new convection oven.
One downfall of my new trailer is that there is not an oven. My last trailer had one, but it didn't work, so it isn't a monumental loss for me. Still, it will be nice to be able to make casseroles and baked goods.

It was a very hot day, and I was happy that it cooled down substantially in time for the show.

During our post show photo session we snapped a picture rocking out with one of our fans:



2/21/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning I went to see "The Lego Movie" at a nearby movie theater. I was never impressed with the trailers I saw for the film, but after reading so many good reviews from friends and people of like minded taste, I decided to give it a chance.
I'm glad that I did, because I thought the movie was great fun.

At 4:00 p.m. the entire cast and crew of the east coast unit of Vazquez met in the tent for a company photo.
Well, the photo was supposed to start at 4 p.m., but we didn't begin posing until almost 5.
While we were being positioned I snapped this selfie:

The face of the Russian flyer behind me pretty much sums up everyone's mood about waiting

I'm not sure how the photo will turn out since it seemed like everyone who wasn't in the front will be blocked out, but I'm not a photographer. Besides, photoshop can fix most everything! 

After our photo shoot Ryan, Visan (who performs in the motorcycle and Russian swing acts), and I were all talking about how drained we felt.
We couldn't believe how it felt like we had just done a show when all we were doing was standing around and waiting.

Our music for the water and carpenter gags has been incredibly low for the past week, especially compared to the rest of the show. Ryan and I were constantly frustrated because we would ask for the volume to come up, and then after one performance, it would be way down again.
I asked Glen, the production manager, about it during Intermission of the first show, and after the show Memo Vazquez, the ringmaster, came over to explain the situation.
He said that they want to keep the music low in the background for our acts so the audience can hear us  and we can really connect with them.
This went against what we had been told before that we needed to go as fast as possible and really keep our tempo up, but we were fine with this new direction since it was in line with how we like to perform.

Even though we wish our music could be higher, Ryan and I changed tactics and embraced the new situation. We were thrilled that it worked like a charm, and we knocked them dead for the carpenter gag. 
We felt like we were finally able to take our time where we needed it, and we worked hard to connect with the audience; the gag went over the best that it has since we opened. 
Also, Teo is really coming along with the sound effects, which helps bump up the act even more.

I was thrilled with the way the second show went, and I was even happier that Radar and Elisa were able to see it.
They rushed over from Kelly Miller after the cat act, and they arrived just in time for our first act.


2/22/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This afternoon Glen was able to squeeze in an hour of rehearsal time in the tent for the carpenter gag.
Ryan and I worked on cleaning up some of the bits and our blocking, and Teo worked on the sound effects.
By the end of the rehearsal, he was hitting every one like a pro. Ryan and I were so proud of his hard work.

Teo, sound tech extraordinaire 

After the rehearsal, Ryan and I channeled famous Russian clown, Oleg Popov, and had a little fun:

video

A day or so ago, Ryan bought some feather dusters, and today I picked up some headbands. For the shows tonight, Ryan and I came out for the Intermission announcement wearing our version of the dancers' headdresses.


The sight gag was well received by cast and audience members alike.

Especially when they got to see our good side.

The carpenter gags went great tonight. Teo did an awesome job nailing the sound effects, and Ryan and I continued to tweak our performance to complement our low background music.

Between shows Ryan put his make up on Franco, the son of Aldo Vazquez. Franco is a big fan of ours, and he was even wearing his overalls so he'd be dressed like us in the carpenter gag.
Apparently Franco wanted to be me, but he wanted Ryan's make up.
I wish I had a photo to share of the three of us, but unfortunately I don't.

During our post show photo session a little boy was nice enough to give me his tub of leftover popcorn.
I immediately went over to the dancers and began bragging about how our fans give us food.
I then feigned generosity by offering the tub to them, only to yell, "Psyche!" and jerk the tub out of their reach.
I know, hilarious, right?
After a few more fake outs, I finally gave the tub to Claire, who proceeded to dump the contents on my head.
Ow, my pride......

I hope Claire, and the rest of the dancers, know that this means war!


2/23/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

Today Ryan and I were wishing everyone a "Happy Sunday" before the first show, but we weren't feeling it. We were both dragging for the start of the day. 
The humidity didn't help matters either. It was nice and cool in the tent, but backstage was like a sauna.
The inside of my clown nose didn't dry out from the water gag for the entire day; my nose felt like it was constantly in danger of falling off since the surgical cement I use wasn't reacting well with the wet foam inside the nose.

Teo inadvertently turned up the volume on my microphone for the trumpet gag, which was a godsend.
My voice has been shot for almost a full week, and with no days off from shows, I haven't been able to fully restore it.
With my mic's volume up in the trumpet gag, I was able to talk a lot softer and not strain my throat as much. Thanks, Teo!

Between the first two shows Ryan and I talked with "Carmelo", who does a drunk comedy act in the second half.
Carmelo is from Chile and only speaks Spanish, so I tried to follow the conversation as best I could. Ryan translated most of it for me afterwards.
We talked about comedy, and it was neat to see that we share many of the same theories and thoughts on the subject, despite our different styles and cultural backgrounds.

Today was the last day of shows for the band from Puerto Rico. They will be missed, because they were all nice guys and excellent musicians. 
I am looking forward to hearing the new band play tomorrow night.

After the shows I made amends with Claire and acquiesced to her request to wear my clown boxers for a photo.


After the shows Visan and Martin Espana hosted another barbecue outside their trailers, which is something I hope becomes a weekly occurrence. 
I spent most of the evening talking with the wife of Tisok, the stage manager. She is from China and works in concessions on the show.

In closing, here are a few pictures from the week:

Alfredo, the production manager of the west coast unit.
Nico wearing his Luchador mask to keep the sun out of his eyes

2 comments:

Mia said...

Enjoyed your show last night was great to see the clown show in person. My respect to you all. i can truly say the laughter was real medicine needed.

Steve Copeland said...

Mia,

Thank you so much. It was nice to meet you last night, and I'm glad you were able to come enjoy the show and laugh at us.
Could you please send the picture we took with your family last night? I'd love to include it in the next blog.
You can e-mail it to: stclown@lowcountry.com

Thanks!

Steve