Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Friday, April 4-Sunday, April 6: Austin, TX

4/4/14- 6 and 9 p.m.

This morning I went out to run errands and pick up things that Ryan and I needed for quick fixes to our props; a wing nut here, some cleaning rags there....
While I was out, Ryan took the props stored in his trailer over to the backstage area. The walk from our houses to the backdoor is even longer than it was in Brownsville, but luckily it is on cement, so pushing the props over was much easier!

All of the props stored in my trailer fit into the back of my truck, so we were able to drive everything over and save ourselves a lot of time and energy.

Ryan and I had a radio PR thirty minutes before the show. The DJ was set up in the concessions area, and she called in to the station on her phone so we could do the live segment.

Mexican telenovela star, David Zepeda, was back again for our opening night. We also had a new act debut in the show this evening: Trio Bellissimo came in with their hand balancing act to replace the Azzario Sisters, who had been filling in until the Trio could arrive.

Ryan and I added a new piece of playoff music to the vacuum gag tonight, which seemed to work out better with the changes Memo wanted to make to the way we exit the gag.

Since our lot is cement, Ryan and I were able to take the water mats outside and clean them during Intermission, which was wonderful. It was nice not to have to deal with them after the shows like we did in Brownsville.

This afternoon I was liking the Facebook page for my new favorite coffee shop, Kick Butt Coffee, when I saw that I had a FB friend that also liked the page.
It was Jennifer Fuentes, who was the "Circus Songstress" my final three years on Ringling. I had no idea that she lived in Austin, so I wrote her a message to let her know that Ryan and I were in town.
She and her two year old daughter, June, came to the 9:00 p.m. show. Ryan and I got to speak with her for a few minutes before the show, but she had to leave after Intermission since it was way past her daughter's bedtime.

Julie, our student from last year's Circus Clowning Intensive, was also at the second show with her friend, Paige.
After the performance, she and Paige took me out to the Kerbey Lane Cafe, which is a bit of an Austin institution.
We shared their famous queso dip (which was a blend of cheese and guacamole....yum!), and I tried a benedict that had poached eggs and chicken fried chicken on top of a biscuit, covered in hollandaise sauce and green chile; it was Heaven on a plate!

5/5/14- 6 and 9 p.m.

Today I walked to a cool movie store called I Heart Video. The shop was two stories tall, and they had an amazing selection of VHS tapes and DVDs. The bottom floor was categorized by genre, and on the top floor all the flicks were organized by director. They even had an entire room of foreign films.
I could have spent days perusing their collection. My sole complaint was that 95% of their movies were for rental only, which doesn't do me or Ryan any good.
It's probably for the best, though. Otherwise we both would have left Austin completely broke.

Here are some photos of the shop's sign, as well as the mural that first attracted our attention to the place.

That classic comedy team of Divine and Charlie Chaplin

On my walk back to the circus I stopped in at Your Mom's Burger Bar; they specialize in stuffed burgers.
I got a burger stuffed with bleu cheese, topped with buffalo sauce and bleu cheese dressing and garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion, and green chile. (Would you believe that I'm actually losing weight on this tour? I must have a tapeworm.)

Back at the lot I took a nap before the shows, which was a stupid idea. I went into work extremely groggy, and it took me until the water gag of the 6 o'clock show to fully wake up.

I wasn't the only one feeling disoriented for the first show. Everyone staying off the lot had to change hotels due to the high level of crackheads at the original hotel. I guess the move didn't happen until the last minute, and everyone got to the circus only a short time before the first show.

The audiences in Austin have been fantastic. We had big crowds for opening night, and the trend continued this evening. The people have been extremely responsive as well, which is always appreciated.

The vacuum gag has been feeling better, but there are still a few bits we need to switch out. First we just need to think of something better to replace them!

After the shows we had a quick rehearsal to re-block opening and clean up finale. Ryan and I were switched to a different group of performers for opening, but we kept our same blocking. Last night we had been changed to a different group because of the arrival of Trio Bellissimo, and now the Flying Heroes are our new comrades in the war against.....opening.

After the shows Visan hosted a get together at his motorhome, aka The Office. I stopped by and visited until the power shut off; I couldn't believe how many people fit into his house!

4/6/14- 2, 5, and 8 p.m.

I woke up several times during the night from the rain pounding down on my trailer. The precipitation let up during the day, but it was still cold and dreary out.

I was feeling lousy when I went in to work. My head was extremely congested, I could feel a sore throat coming on, and I was very tired.
It didn't help my constitution that I woke up on my own at 8:30 a.m., even though I had grand plans to sleep in as late as possible.
Luckily some medicine, a little Vitamin C(offee), and three good shows had me feeling tip top from top to toe by the end of the evening.

As I said, we had three good shows today. The second performance was jam packed! Our assistant manager, Hector, took this photo of the tent at the start of the water gag.

Ryan and I weren't able to clean our mats outside because of the rain, but luckily there was plenty of room backstage, so we were still able to get them done at Intermission.

Even though the lot is on a slight slant where rain would normally be running into the big top, a line of concrete was built up around the perimeter of the sidewall to prevent that from happening.

"The Great Wall of Vazquez", as named by Teo

Today was the last day for Jenny, one of the dancers. She is leaving to take a job as a choreographer in a Mexican resort town. During my third show motivational speech to the dancers, I told the ladies that Jenny was going south of the border to teach them something other than the hat dance.

At one of the shows a gentleman named Steve came down to get his photo taken with us. He told us that at his job, a guy named Ryan works at the desk across from him. I told Steve that he should hit him with a hammer!

Steve, Steve, and Ryan


Anonymous said...

Saw your last show in Donna. Enjoyed it. Try Franklins BBQ while in Austin. Thanks for your stories.

Steve Copeland said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the show.
You are the second person to recommend Franklin's to me. I will have to swing by. Thanks!