Monday, March 17, 2014

Friday, March 14-Sunday, March 16: Donna, TX

3/14/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning I went to Hobby Lobby to pick up little cans of spray paint. Unfortunately later in the day I had to go back and return half of the cans I bought, as I had picked up the wrong kind.

My friend, Ramon, treated me to lunch at Poncho's (where else?) this afternoon. Towards the end of our meal, his wife Tammy joined us.

Before heading back to the lot I had to swing by Tractor Supply Company for a new headlight for the little clown car.
One of the lights has been out for awhile now, and I found out from Danny on Kelly Miller that he had bought the lights at TSC.

Tatiana and Jovan, one of the electricians, helped me detach the old light and attach the new one. Well.....they did most of the work while I stood there watching.
Unfortunately, the new light I bought didn't work either! Tatiana and I went to Tractor Supply again to exchange it for another one, and in this case the third time was the charm!
Tatiana got the new light attached and the little car was once again ready to blind audience members of all ages.

Ryan finished painting all the props for the vacuum gag this afternoon, so once we get going in Brownsville next week we should be able to rehearse in the ring and get the new gag into the show!

Mario was nice enough to help me with a minor repair to my trailer this afternoon. He had the proper tools and the know how to fix the problem in no time flat. Thanks, Mario!

After a day full of running around town, I was feeling drained by the time the shows came around. Luckily we had two good crowds, and my energy was restored.

3/15/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Yesterday while I was driving around town I noticed that my truck's "Service Engine Soon" light had come on.
This morning I went by O'Reilley's, and they diagnosed the problem as two cylinders misfiring, which proved what many folks have always told me, "You're not firing on all cylinders!"
Unfortunately everywhere I went to get the problem fixed was either closed or crazy busy.

Back at the lot I cleaned house and organized the storage room of my trailer in anticipation of tear down tomorrow night.
I also cut out a piece of wood and used it to replace a part of one of my cabinets that suffered water damage.

I'm so proud of myself. I've come a long way since 10 years ago when I tried to use a screwdriver to attach nails to a prop.

Tonight both shows were being filmed for the souvenir DVD, so of course Ryan and I began the evening feeling completely dead.
We tried our best, but both shows were pretty rough for us. I was disappointed, because I felt the crowds were much livelier the past few nights....when they weren't filming for the DVD.
Oh well, I'm sure they'll fix it all in editing!

I was very happy that my friends, Ramon and Tammy, were able to come to the show this evening. They had a great time, and they even purchased a photo with us after the show, which helps me and Ryan sustain our crippling gambling addiction. Hooray!

3/16/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

Today was our last day of shows in Donna. It seems like just yesterday that we were pulling up to the tent for the first time in our rigs, ready to begin rehearsals.

The backyard was full of semi trucks ready to be loaded, and as the day progressed, even more were brought in and strategically parked around the big top.

None of the cast members seemed to be feeling very lively for the first performance, and unfortunately we didn't get any help from the audience.
What did help were the delicious sweets that Laura, one of the dancers, brought to me and Ryan from England.
She brought Jelly Babies, Cherry Bakewell Bonbons, Lemon Willy Whips, Fruit Pastilles, Cholly Whozzers, and Sour Vintage Jelly Buttons. (I may have made a couple of those up....)
Ryan and I shared the wealth with our fellow performers to keep everyone's spirits and glucose levels high.

This morning I went to Tractor Supply and picked up another squeegee. This helped me and Ryan to implement a new water mat cleaning technique that worked very well and cut down on our cleaning time considerably.

The last show was very busy backstage. As soon as people were done with their props, they began packing them up and moving them out of the tent.
Ryan and I began packing up and moving our props at Intermission. We got the back of Ryan's trailer loaded, and we got the rest of the props over to my trailer, but then we had to stop so we could go perform the trumpet gag.

Once the show was finished Ryan and I completed loading the props in the back of my trailer, and then we moved our trucks from one part of the parking lot to another so they wouldn't be in the way of the semi trucks during tear down.

As soon as finale ended, the crew began taking everything out of the tent. I'm very excited to see the process they employ to tear down and set up this beautiful tent.

In closing, here are a few lot shots:

 The new corporate office
 The old corporate office

 Thank you, Rio Grande Valley, for that lovely, windswept look

And finally, for a little backstory on this last photo, here is an excerpt from my blog on February 11:

In the carpenter gag I was being very careful as I ran around with the circular saw. Right as I went to shove the saw into Ryan's face, I slipped on the wet rubber and landed on my back, which put the saw directly into Ryan's crotch.
I had already committed to the bit, so as I lay there running a power saw into Ryan's family jewels, I was also setting off the sparks that indicate the grinding of the saw.
I didn't think I was going to be able to finish the act, I was laughing so hard.

Thank you to Alex Garcia for being there and capturing that magical moment!

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