Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Monday, July 7: Chicago, IL- 7:30 p.m.

There was a thunderstorm during the night that woke me up. I couldn't believe how much rain was falling, and it made me dread what the lot was going to look like in the morning.
Sure enough, there were plenty more puddles of standing water in the backyard when I was walking to the tent for my television publicity.
Luckily there were new loads of gravel being put down, and I even saw one crew guy touching up the white paint on the heads of the tent stakes. It's funny, some of the attention to detail around here.

It was very humid today from the fresh rainfall, so all of us involved in today's publicity were pouring sweat inside the tent.
The local UNIVISION station came around noon......ish to film a segment with someone we had met at the station last Wednesday.
He has a character called Mariachico who wears a mariachi outfit with a huge sombrero. Mariachico goes around to different events in Chicago and takes part in some way.

The segment we filmed today featured me, Ryan, and Alexa teaching him different skills that he could try in the circus.
Mariachico told me that he wanted to be made up like a clown, but he wanted an awful make up, so during one part of the segment I was happy to whip something up for him.

We filmed a couple of takes where I was powdering his make up gently before stopping, thinking for a second, and then giving him a good whack in the face with the sock.
During our third take of that bit, I happened to look up while Mariachico was talking, and I saw Ryan motioning for me to whack him in the face with the sock again. Ryan was essentially like the little devil on my shoulder.

Out of nowhere I delivered a stealthy, ninja powder sock hit to Mariachico's face, which he was not expecting at all.
Everyone watching, including his crew, was laughing, but I felt so bad because I really caught him off guard.
Luckily he was a fantastic sport and wasn't angry with me.

After our make up escapades Mariachico tried his hand at juggling, walking on a rolling globe, and hula hoops.
This PR was the most fun one I've done in a long time, and I can't wait to see the finished product!
I'll be sure to post a link here on the blog.

After our publicity Ryan and I met Enrique up at front of house to change a couple of lighting cues for the water and carpenter gags.
Recently when Ryan and I watched video of the gags we noticed that there were a couple of lighting designs that were really distracting from the focus of what we were doing, so we simply wanted to get rid of those to make the acts look better. It didn't take long at all.

Last night Ryan and I were told that our power would be unplugged some time during the day so that all the power cables could be straightened. All the cables and water hoses are usually run in neat lines, but they are pretty sloppily arranged in this town because of all the mud and water.
I kept waiting for my power to cut off, but it never did.

Today my friends, Greg and Beth, came to visit and watch the show. Greg was a clown with me and Ryan on Ringling, and Beth, his girlfriend, is a clown in Indiana.
All three of us were hungry, so we walked down the street to a Mexican restaurant I found last week where we enjoyed an early dinner.

We had a very responsive audience for the show tonight, which made me very happy, especially after a few of the crowds we had this past weekend.
Everything was going swimmingly until the end of the carpenter gag. I had just begun to run around with the saw when the music cut out.
I assumed that there was an issue with the CD player, as that had happened before, but then all of a sudden all the lights went out as well.

Ryan and I had no better option than to continue with the act. We had just reached the part of the gag where everything speeds up towards the big finish, so we didn't have much room to improvise or stretch.

Teo turned on his mag light and shone it on us from up at the sound board to provide a little illumination.
I'm not sure how much the audience could see us, but I was surprised that our bits still got a reaction from the crowd. (Idea for a new slogan: Visual Comedy So Amazing It's Even Funny In The Dark!)

We got off the floor from the carpenter gag and the power was still off. The horses didn't go on, so there was suddenly a stall in the show.
I booked it back to my trailer and grabbed our juggling clubs and my trumpet, but when I got back to the tent power had been restored to the ring.

Backstage I was furious. Of course the power cuts out when we have friends in the audience, and of course it happens during our gag.

Ryan lightened my mood a bit by quipping, "Maybe they were straightening out the power cables now."
Once I had calmed down I joked that I was going to text Eddie, our performance director, and write, "Thank you for scheduling a lighting rehearsal for us this afternoon. Did you like the changes we made to the carpenter gag?"

Again, I was frustrated that our friends saw us under less than optimal conditions (and that no explanation, apology, or bit of thanks for being ready to cover was offered to us after the fact), but I was happy that the audience tonight was having so much fun.

After the show Ryan and I visited with Greg and Beth for awhile until they had to head out. I'm so glad we got to see them, especially Greg, who we haven't seen in four years.

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