2/27/14- 7:30 p.m.
This afternoon I took John and Clara Sayre to lunch. I picked them up at Kelly Miller (located in Pharr this weekend, which is just a 10 minute drive from our lot), and took them to Poncho's Mexican Restaurant, which was just down the road from their tent.
On Vazquez, I am happy that Ryan and I have a good relationship with Glen, our current production manager.
He can come tell us notes and news, and it is never too serious; we enjoy joking around with him.
This evening the music for our water gag entrance was late due to a CD player malfunction, so Ryan and I carried on in silence until the music kicked in.
When Glen came over to apologize at Intermission, Ryan and I were re-setting the props for the carpenter gag. Ryan threw down the bricks he was holding and yelled, "No excuses!", and I chased Glen off with a giant, foam sledgehammer.
Never a dull moment!
After the show Radar and Elisa came over from Kelly Miller and we had a cookout, our first since last December.
While I was getting set up, Radar did me a solid and changed one of my trailer tires with the tools he brought over.
2/28/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Today I did nothing but lounge around the house. (Now I'm sure you understand why I didn't want to write a daily blog)
Just like opening night on the 7th, we had a special celebrity guest at tonight's performances, that celebrity guest being Eduardo Yanez.
Eduardo went out before Intermission to interact with the crowd, so Ryan, the dancers, and I didn't have to go out for our pre Intermission tableau.
I loved having all that extra time between the carpenter and trumpet gags. It was nice being able to re-set all our props and then still have lots of time to relax backstage.
Robert, one of the prop guys, was handing out Puerto Rican sweets to everyone backstage. His mother had sent him a care package of goodies that he graciously shared with everyone.
The candy I picked was a bar of sesame seeds and honey, and it was tasty.
3/1/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
This afternoon Ryan called me with distressing news. There was a swarm of ants all over our two water ring mats.
When I showed up backstage Ryan had already hosed the mats off, and there was a clump of thousands of ants writhing right next to them.
We had to unfold both mats and clean both sides to get the remaining ants off. This was made more difficult by the fact that wind was blowing right into the back door and causing the mats to flap all over the place.
Before moving the mats back (to a table top now), I sprayed ant poison along the earth between the cement floor and the raised stage where the ants had come from.
Luckily we had two great shows tonight to make up for the pain in the butt we had to deal with in the afternoon.
During the shows Ryan and I talked with Jose, who is the father of the Azzario Sisters, and is a clown with the renowned Jose Michel Clowns.
While Jose is here we plan to pick his brain and glean as much information from him as we can.
This evening he was talking about audiences in different countries, and what he has found plays well to each different culture. It was very interesting and helped us change our thinking about how we've been approaching some of our material in this show.
Mia, a former Vazquez employee who came to see the show not too long ago, was back tonight. We snapped another picture that she was nice enough to share with us.
I felt bad for Glen and the prop crew tonight. They had spent the afternoon fixing broken ring curbs that the horses had been kicking, and they had to stay after the shows to fix the rest of them.
On top of that, there was a significant leak in the big top that needed to be addressed.
It began during Carmelo's act, and when Ryan and I went out to take pictures after the show there was a mop bucket placed in the ring to catch the water.
I met Radar and Elisa in McAllen for dinner. I was invited to go out dancing with a group from the show, but after dinner it was past 1 a.m. and I was ready to crash, so I decided to pass on the club scene.
3/2/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.
This morning John and Clara Sayre treated me to the breakfast buffet at Poncho's Mexican restaurant. When I went to pick them up at Kelly Miller, a lot of folks were standing in line waiting to get paid.
As I walked up to say hello several of them yelled out, "You can't get paid! You don't work here anymore!"
Today was a very hot and sweaty day backstage. However, when I saw the weather that our west coast unit is dealing with in Oklahoma City, I didn't feel so bad.
Danny and Tavana came over for the first performance today. I was happy to have them in the audience; I just wish the crowd had been livelier. They must have all eaten the bountiful Poncho's buffet before coming to the circus.
During the second show a mysterious and threatening figure wearing a clown luchador mask wreaked havoc on the men's dressing room.
I was conveniently away when the whole thing happened, but from what I understand he called himself "El Payaso Loco", threw some metal folding chairs around, and challenged all the men, who he called "ninas" (little girls), to a fight before forewarning his return and running off.
I just missed him, as I entered the dressing room moments after the whole terrifying experience. I sure am glad I wasn't there when that intimidating fellow was about!
A funny thing happened after the third show while Ryan and I were cleaning the water mat: Nikolai, one of the flyers, ran over and then began walking on his hands across the mat. Ryan slid him a towel, which Nikolai took in one hand, and then he began to mop up some of the water while still maintaining his balance.
It was a very amusing sight, and a much more dignified way of cleaning the mat than we've been doing: crawling around on our hands and knees with towels, like Cinderella and her ugly stepsisters rolled into one.
Ryan had me all excited about a cookout with his in-laws happening at his trailer, but after the shows he informed me that he had gotten confused. The barbecue is next Sunday.
Luckily I had gotten an invite from the dancers to go to Poncho's Mexican Restaurant, and as I'm sure you all know by now, I do not turn down an offer to go eat there!
Maybe thirty or more people from the circus came out for dinner and karaoke tonight. The folks running karaoke never played my song for me, but Teo was nice enough to buy my dinner.
In return I gave him a ride back to his hotel, and David, with the amazing diabolo act, a ride back to the lot.
In closing, here are a few photos:
Lighting "rehearsal": Glen, the Production Manager, is in the middle with the red collar.
Josue, the director of the band from Puerto Rico
Self portrait by "Carmelo"
Visan by "Carmelo"