Saturday, June 7, 2014

Monday, June 2-Thursday, June 5: Houston, TX

6/2/14- 7:30 p.m.

Like I said in the last blog, all of us with the show have to move our trucks out of the parking lot on the weekends to allow more space for the audience members to park.
Due to all the rain we received last week, the entrance to our makeshift parking area was a mud pit, so I left my truck there all weekend for fear that it might get stuck.

This morning I turned on my truck's four wheel drive and had no problem getting through the muck and onto the asphalt. Whew!

I went to Trader Joe's to pick up some groceries (I've been eating out too much lately), and then I went to the Fiesta market right next to the lot to pick up supplies for our post show barbecue.

After getting all my groceries shoved into my fridge and freezer, I loaded up all my dirty clothes and drove to the laundromat.

Today was very hot, and my air conditioner was not cooperating. I tried just lounging around in my underwear (everyone enjoy that visual for a minute), but I was about to roast to death, and I had to get outside in the shade where at least there was a breeze. Don't worry, I put on some clothes first.

Our clown friends, Luigi, Silvia, and their son, Jordan, came to visit today. Luigi made a dish of ceviche (, and he was nice enough to invite me over to enjoy some.

Another of our clown friends, Alex Barney, came to the show tonight with Craig, one of his co-workers.

At the end of the carpenter gag a 15 second version of our theme song is played as a tag to the act. A few weeks ago Aldo Vazquez requested that the band play it instead of the recorded version being used.
Larry Lees, who composed our theme, put together the sheet music and sent it to us.

Tonight the band played our tag live for the first time, which was exciting. It's a shame losing the recorded version since it has our ringmaster friend, Kevin Venardos, extolling our virtues in the lyrics, but the band sounds great blasting out the tune.

Rob Lok, yet another clown friend of ours, is in Houston this month doing advance publicity for Ringling's Houston run. He came by after the show to join me, Ryan, Luigi, Silvia,  and Alex for a good old fashioned former Ringling clown barbecue!

Ryan was especially excited to see Rob, because he worked with him for several months in Japan back in 2007.
The barbecue was a great success, and as always I loved getting to talk shop with other clowns.

6/3/14- 7:30 p.m.

Today I was very frustrated that my air conditioner was not cooperating once again. Remembering something Klaus had told me our first weekend here, I decided to test whether the problem was my AC unit, or the city power we are connected to.
I dragged out my generator, fired it up, plugged in my trailer, and wouldn't you know, my AC ran like a charm!

Although I was relieved that the problem was not on my end, I don't look forward to the extra money I'll be spending for the next month just so I can run my AC.
(Of course, after the way my home resembled an oven yesterday, I better just shut my mouth and be thankful that I have an option to be comfortable!)

6/4/14- 7:30 p.m.

I wasn't feeling too great today. Last night I noticed that I was getting a sore throat, and today it was much more aggravated. I also developed a nasty sinus headache in the afternoon that really laid me low.
Besides a brief trip out to run some errands, I stayed at home and tried to rest.

Luckily by show time I was feeling much better, and on top of that, we had a great audience for the show tonight.
It's amazing what a good crowd will do for my spirits after a few nights of mediocre responses.

Ryan and I tried a little cultural experiment in our first two gags. Usually we start off by doing a call and response with the crowd: we'll yell, "Hello!", to one side and have them answer us.
Tonight we tried saying, "Hola!", instead, and it worked very well. Again, I'm not sure if it helped us with the reactions we received, because we knew from opening that we had a lively audience on our hands.

After tonight's carpenter gag I got a little choked up on my way out of the seats. Sometimes when we really rock the crowd, and we finish the act to our theme song, and the audience is cheering for us, I get such a great feeling; it makes me feel so lucky to be living my dream, and it makes me appreciate all the good things in my life.
It's a feeling I don't get all the time, but it's a nice reminder to be thankful, even when I'm having a bad day.

During our post show photo session with the audience, a very attractive and shapely woman came up to get a picture with us.
While posing in between us, she put her hands around our waists and pulled us tight against her.
Before walking away, she asked us in Spanish to tell Carmelo that he was the love of her life.
From the way she was manhandling us, I'd say we at least rate as one night stands!

After the show there was a big barbecue in front of the Espanas' trailers to celebrate three birthdays: Nico Espana, Elena (one of the members of Trio Bellissimo), and Claudie (our foot juggler).

The party was a lot of fun, and Ryan brought over a big tub of Sangria (, which was a big hit!
No one even went blind from his homemade, bathtub concoction!

Although it did knock me and Tyson for a loop. He didn't even call the next day....there was just cab fare and a bone on top of the nightstand. 

6/5/14- 7:30 p.m.

Today I went to the post office to make my quarterly tax payment. Hooray....
To add a little joy to the trip, I finally picked up a book of vintage circus poster stamps for my collection.

This afternoon I was watching a movie and dozed off. I had the forethought to set an alarm, but unfortunately I slept right through it.
A text message from Radar woke me up about an hour before showtime. Many thanks to him for his impeccable timing! Whew!

Shortly after I woke up, Jorge Pompeyo, who performs the dog act on the show, came over to tell me that I didn't need to run my generator anymore.
Apparently enough people were having issues getting their air conditioners working that now we will be plugged into the show generators during the day, which will provide us with enough power to run our ACs and not die from heat stroke. Hooray!

Despite that good news, I had a very off show. It all started in opening; I did a bit and felt like it missed its mark. From there it was a rapid downward spiral; thank God I've got plenty of chances to redeem myself this weekend!


Greg Michales said...

Glad to see you got the stamps they are really nice. When I went to get mine they told me they were going fast had had to keep reordering them. May have to frame them.
Made contact with Ryan E. So we look forward to meeting up with him and his cats in Mine Hill in two weeks. Stay cool!

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve,

From my many years experience traveling with my trailer, I hope you own two items. 1. A little plug in gauge that tells you that your are getting the correct amount of power to your trailer. Green, good, Yellow, so, so... Red lights very low under powered. Under powered electrical circit boards for refridgerators, air conditioning units and such are damaged and will cost you hundreds of dollars to replace. 2. You can get a serge protector for the outside of your trailer that is a box that if underchared, will blow before your boards are destroyed... I've blown a lot of refridge boards before I learned this. Love hearing your adventures on Circus Vasques...

Keep up the great work.

"Mr. Bill" Machtel

Steve Copeland said...

Thank you for the tips, "Mr. Bill"!
Hope to see you and the family when we get to Chicago!