4/11/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Today I visited the fifth and final Half Price Books in the Austin area. Sadly it was my least favorite of the locations I've been to lately. Either it's because I have way too many books and there are no more surprises in store for me, or maybe it's because there is too much of a good thing. The horror!
The first show this evening had (what we first thought to be) a rough crowd. They just didn't seem to be digging our gags, but then in finale we got a huge cheer. Maybe they were just happy they wouldn't have to see us anymore!
The audience for the second show was much more responsive. At the beginning of the water gag, while we were doing shtick in the audience, Ryan had a teenage girl from the audience up on her feet dancing with him, which was getting a lot of cheers from the crowd.
Since there was no way I could compete for attention, I went over and included myself in the bit. I broke up the dancing, and then when I went to apologize to the girl, she grabbed my hands and started dancing with me.
The girl was such a good volunteer that we used her participation again at the beginning of the vacuum gag. When the lights came up on me and Ryan in the seats, we both had joined hands with the girl, and the three of us were dancing around in a circle.
Memo yelled out, "Hey! Hey! Hey!" to break up the party and tell us to get to work cleaning the circus. It worked out really well.
We added a two man high (where I stand on Ryan's shoulders) to the first part of the vacuum gag where we are in the seats. It gets a nice reaction from the crowd; now we just need to think of a good reason to go into it.
4/12/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
I had a pretty low key day. I needed to rest after running around Austin for the past two weeks.
Both audiences tonight were great, especially the second crowd.
During finale I was watching a big, black beetle that had wandered into the ring and was traveling across the carpet while the dancers did their chereography and the acts ran in to take their styles.
The beetle made it across without being stepped on, but all I could think of was what was going through its mind as it took in all the lights, color, and sound.
4/13/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.
I had a late breakfast with Rik Gern before the first show. He loaded me up with swag to share with Ryan: two Bonzo Crunch (his clown character) shirts, and two decks of trading cards featuring the 1993 Red Unit Ringling Clown Alley, which he was a part of. Score!
On the way back to my trailer I ran into Kelly Van Cleave and her parents, who were dropping off bags of homemade cookies for me and Ryan. Double score!
Thank you, Van Cleave family!
There's no way around it. Sunday afternoon audiences are a tough nut to crack. The first crowd was especially sleepy and stoic. I tried attacking the gags with energy to get something out of the people....it didn't work so much.
Klaus, who trains and occasionally presents the horse act, has been sneaking up on me in the dressing room and scaring the heck out of me by yelling, "Boo!" into my ear.
He's been doing it for several days now, and he always does it around the same time, so you'd think I'd have learned by now to be ready for it. But no, I just keep forgetting.
I'm like a lab rat that keeps running into the same wall instead of going around to get to the cheese.
It was so humid and sticky backstage for the last show that Ryan and I felt thoroughly disgusting by the end of it. I just wanted to go home and burn all my costumes.
Luckily the last audience was very responsive and gave us a lot of energy for our troubles.
Getting our props back to our trailers was a lot easier than it was in Brownsville. I loaded most stuff in the back of my truck and drove it over.
I was going to go out to dinner to celebrate the end of a successful engagement in Austin, but after getting cleaned up I was so tired that I just decided to stay in and get some rest.
In closing, here's a great shot that "Pepe" Vazquez took of us deep in a pow wow with Glen Nicolodi while the show was in Donna.
What do you think we're talking about? Make up your own caption for the photo and post it in the comments section. Best caption wins a prize!