9/28/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.
Victor Ruiz, a Ringling clown from the late 70's/early 80's, came to the first show today with his friend, Don.
Victor brought us both framed photos containing a drawing of Emmett Kelly Sr. and a great quote from him:
"The laughter of children is a sound no circus clown ever can forget. It sticks in his mind, and he can still hear the echo warming his heart when he has put aside the makeup and quit trouping."
Thanks for the visit and gifts, Don and Victor!
There was a woman in the front row at the first performance who really made my day. At the end of the carpenter gag she had her hand to her chest, and as she was catching her breath she wheezed, "Oh my God, that was funny."
Our friend, Andrew Scharff, came to see the second show. We worked with Andrew in Myrtle Beach six years ago, and he was also my excellent roommate.
He came back to Ryan's trailer during Intermission so we could catch up a bit. We'll be seeing him in Pennsylvania during the Christmas tour, and maybe even again here in NYC before the end of the season.
Since good things come in threes, we also had surprise visitors at the final show: Izzy and Tad, trapeze performers who happened to be in the city.
Ryan performed with Izzy on Smirkus when they were younger, and after we talked for a few minutes I remembered that I had met her at Big Apple Circus when she was performing on the "Dream Big" tour a couple of years ago.
9/29/14- 7:30 p.m.
This morning I walked to the nearest laundromat, which was a little over half a mile away. It wasn't a bad walk, even with a bag full of dirty clothes.
The laundromat's proximity to the lot was about its only convenience, though. There were no proper seats in the small building, and since the radiator, the only viable option, was taken, I propped myself against a washer until my clothes were done.
Today Ryan and I started choreographing a dance to the new act we are going to be doing on this year's Christmas tour.
I was surprised that we were able to cobble together a decent routine even though our tap dance training is limited to a few lessons from Tatiana's father over four years ago.
The Azzario Sisters, Katie and Quincy, who began the season with us, have re-joined our merry band for the remainder of the tour.
At 3:30 p.m. Ryan and I attended their rehearsal so the stage crew could practice getting our water gag props out of the ring and the sisters' props in.
Unfortunately the way we have been ending the gag did not provide the stage crew with enough time, so we added a chunk of time to our ending.
We planned for the band to kick into our theme song after we take our final style, and the spot lights would follow us as we exited through the audience.
We didn't love the idea, but like Eddie, our production manager, said, we had to make it work for the show tonight, and then if we have a great idea in the future, we can change to that.
At 4:30 p.m. we had a rehearsal to reincorporate Katie and Quincy into opening and finale. Luckily that rehearsal was brief.
Barry Lubin and Mark Gindick came to see the show tonight. Barry, of course, is better known as Grandma, who performed for many years with the Big Apple Circus. Mark has also performed with Big Apple (as Grandma and also as himself), and has a one man show called "Wingman" that I hear is fantastic.
Ryan and I visited with Barry and Mark for a bit in my trailer before the show. In lieu of a free roll, Barry taught us the finer points of flossing before and after every meal.
Seriously, you can't make this stuff up
The new ending to the water gag was a bit of a disaster tonight, and it put me in a pretty foul mood for the rest of the show.
Lucky for me we had so many genuine people come up to us afterwards to tell us how funny we were and how much they enjoyed the show. I really appreciated their kind words after a stressful performance.
After getting cleaned up I went to Midtown to meet my friend, Lisa, for a drink and a bite to eat.
Lisa was on the lighting crew on Ringling my fourth year, and whenever I visit NYC I always stay with her and her boyfriend, Dan, who was one of my friends in Clown Alley.
Dan is a high school teacher now, so he wasn't able to join us tonight, but I had a great time unwinding and catching up with Lisa.