Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thursday, June 19-Sunday, June 22: Houston, TX

6/19/14- 7:30 p.m.

There was a radio station doing a live broadcast at the circus all morning and into the mid afternoon. Many performers were interviewed during that time; Ryan and I were on the air with the dancers from 1-3 p.m.

There was a contest taking place during our time slot where the first five men to come to the circus dressed as clowns would win tickets to see our show.
All five men who showed up were simply wearing lipstick smeared on their faces, but at least they put forth some effort.

And yes, the irony is not lost on me that they look more like clowns than we do. Thankfully our PR team is sane and lets us do radio interviews sans make up and costume.

Although we had some yuks at the radio PR, the most fun we had was this evening after the show.
Ryan and I took place in an impromptu interview with a children's news program. The cameraman filmed the whole show, and afterwards the three kid reporters interviewed the dancers and then us.

I can't wait to see the finished product, and I will be sure and post a link here when it is done.

6/20/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning Ryan and I took part in another radio interview, this one at a station, and we were joined by Memo and Alexa Vazquez.
The interview wasn't as fun as the one we did yesterday, but I was grateful that one DJ asked me a question in English so I didn't feel completely useless.

After we were finished on the air we were treated to breakfast at Diner 59. As soon as we got back to the lot from breakfast, Ryan and I grabbed Tatiana and Nico, and we drove to have lunch with our friend, Rob, and his fiancé, Jane.

I was surprised that I was hungry at all after eating breakfast only an hour before lunch, but I managed to polish off a few pieces of sushi.

Today one of the flyers slipped backstage and busted his head open, and his wound required stitches. Because of that the flying act was out of the show, and we closed the performance with the motorcycle act.

I was a little worried about me and Ryan spending enough time in the seats before the vacuum gag to give the motorcycle rigging a chance to go up, but everything went off without a hitch for both performances.

6/21/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Today a small group from our show went to catch Ringling's Gold Unit in Beaumont, TX. I was hoping more people from Vazquez could make it to their 1:00 p.m. performance, but most people needed to be back by 4:00. Since it was a two hour performance and Beaumont is an hour and a half from Houston, that wasn't going to work for those folks.

Before the show we got to visit with our clown friends, Ivan and Andrew. Andrew went to the show's General Manager, Rob, to set up the tickets for us. Many thanks, Andrew and Rob!

During the Pre Show we ran into Chase, who is currently a clown on Ringling's Red Unit. They are on break right now as the show goes from Mexico to New Orleans, so Chase, who lives in Houston, was home seeing his family.

A big surprise for me and Ryan was seeing, Darien, one of the members of the teeterboard troupe that we worked with in Manila.
He has been with Ringling for the past couple of years, and he actually came and saw Vazquez on Wednesday night with the rest of the Gold Show folks that visited.
He didn't know we were on the show at all, so when our water gag came on (essentially the same act we did in Manila four years ago), he started saying to himself, "I know this act."
It wasn't until he saw us in our agent suits later that he put 2 and 2 together.

We all enjoyed the show, especially the folks who have never seen a Ringling production before, and everyone who drove to Beaumont made it back to our lot with plenty of time to spare before our first performance.

We had two great crowds tonight, but I felt the first one was slightly better. At the end of the 6:00 p.m. performance a man came up to us and said, "Thank you for making me laugh until I cried."
Boo ya!

Cathy Carden, who presents three animal acts on Ringling's Gold Unit, was at the second show tonight. She introduced herself and was very complimentary, so I told her how we saw her afternoon performance, and how much I enjoyed her energy. Every time she was on the floor she was giving 110%.
I also told her how I enjoyed her work on "The Living Carousel" tour when she presented a liberty horse act while singing.

After the shows there was a birthday party for Carmelo. During the shows Ryan and I gave him his presents: a Jerry Lewis film that he really enjoys, and a new pair of ratty, hole filled socks to go with his tattered drunk costume.

Having fun with the birthday boy

6/22/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

After bragging about how last week's three show day was so easy, I was very tired for this one.

In the second show's opening there was a man in the front section of seats that pointed at his eyes and then at me to let me know he was keeping an eye on me.
I managed to do the same motion to him in each of our gags, which the audience enjoyed.

With a little thinking I came up with a way to incorporate a similar running gag into every show, and I tried it out in the third performance.
It went well, but with a little fine tuning it should be great.

The third audience tonight was fantastic, which really gave me some much needed energy to finish the day.
Laura's motivational speech was also a big help in that regard. She gave a tribute to Texas, complete with country music playing to set the mood, and a list of funny laws still observed in this state.
Two of my favorites were that it is against the law to milk someone else's cow, and it is also illegal to sell one's eye.

I was going to go to bed almost immediately after the last show, but Martin invited me to a cookout taking place in front of his trailer.
While I was visiting with people I was surprised to see Nathan Valencia walk up. Ryan and I worked with the Valencia family in Guam and Manila back in 2010, and we were happy that we also got to see them earlier this year in Donna.

Nathan was drove over from Dallas to deliver some circus equipment; I was so happy I got to see him.

In closing, here are a few photos:

A photo collage from Matt, a Gold Unit concessionaire.
 A fantastic photo of finale from Dominik, the husband of our foot juggler
 My ugly mug on the cover of a weekly paper
 Our photo in the main article
Our neat, tidy table in the men's dressing room

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