Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Friday, June 6-Sunday, June 8: Houston, TX

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

I could not sleep last night (probably due to the major nap I accidentally took yesterday afternoon), but on the plus side it gave me some time to finish the excellent book I have been reading. I highly recommend "Still Foolin' 'Em" by Billy Crystal; what a great read!

Ryan, Tatiana, Nico, and I met up with our friend, Rob Lok, for lunch at a dim sum restaurant. I didn't know what to order, so I let everyone else (the comparative dim sum experts) order for the table to share.

Clearly the restaurant got the Nico seal of approval

Yesterday the show started firing up its generator in the afternoon so everyone would have enough power to run our air conditioners. It was so nice not having to go out and buy gasoline just so I could run my generator and stay cool.

Even though we celebrated it the other night, today was our foot juggler, Claudie's, actual birthday. Here's the card we bought/made for her.

During the carpenter gag of the first show, our music cut out about halfway through the gag. Luckily it came back on when we started the portion of the act with the circular saw, since the sound of the saw is on the music track.
Afterwards I asked Teo what had happened, and he told me that the remote control that he uses to change tracks stuck on the "Next Track" button, so the CD just kept cycling through all its tracks on an infinite loop.
He had Enrique, who runs the lights, fix the problem since Teo had his hands full trying to follow the act to play our sound effects.

We had a very enthusiastic audience for the second show, but their vim and vigor seemed to have dissipated by finale. 
When we all gave our final style, the applause died out after a couple of seconds, and we were all left standing in complete silence.
I made Helen, who was standing close to me, laugh by muttering, "Well, this is awkward."

6/7/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

We had big crowds for the shows tonight, which is always a treat. If Halloween has taught me nothing else though, it is that conversely, with every treat there is a trick.
This evening's trick was brought to us in the form of staggering humidity that was so thick it threatened my ability to breathe properly in the dressing room.
After the carpenter gag I came out of the seats, basking in the applause and air conditioning, only to run into an almost palpable wall of humidity.

Martin and Pompeyo were taking bets backstage for the big fight that was being broadcast on TV this evening.
I suggested that we put money on who from the show was going to pass out first tomorrow during our afternoon shows. 

The vacuum gag never ceases to baffle me sometimes. A bit that was getting fine reactions since we implemented it several weeks ago has been falling flat lately.
Ryan had a good idea for a different way to play the bit, which I tried tonight. My schtick needs tightening up, but we got laughs, which was encouraging.

One thing can be said for sure, these audiences do not allow us to rest on our laurels (or our hardys); we are constantly having to tweak and work material.
It's frustrating sometimes, but what a great education we're getting!

6/8/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

Today was a tough one to get through. The shows actually flew by, but the heat and the crowds did not make it an easy journey.

These Houston audiences are a tough nut to crack. Ryan and I both agreed that it reminds us of our early shows in Donna, where we had to do so much retooling to get the reactions we wanted.
On the one hand, it is daunting to think that we have three more weeks of working for these tough audiences, but on the other hand we can view it as an opportunity to keep on fighting and find out what makes them tick.....or laugh.

I'm happy to see that my silly little pre-third show motivational speech has caught on into becoming a tradition here.
Every week more and more people come over to see what it's about, and the dancers and I are always encouraging new people to give the pep talk.
This week Emma gave a very nice inspirational yet funny speech that really got me in gear for the last show.
The last audience was good, thank God, and their energy also helped me get to the day's finish line.

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