Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sunday, September 28 & Monday, September 29: Bronx, NY

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.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Saturday, September 27: Bronx, NY- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning I went to Manhattan to get a belated birthday gift for Georgie. In that mission I succeeded, but unfortunately I wasn't able to find the clown make up that Ryan and I need.

I felt like having some NYC pizza this afternoon, and Google Maps led me to a Zagat rated pizzeria not far from where I was.
My pizza was very tasty, but it came uncut, and my only utensils were a fork and a butter knife that was not ideal for cutting through crust. To add to that, the pizza came on a slightly warped metal dish,  so as I attempted to cut the pie, the whole dish kept rotating on the table. Did I mention that the table was also off kilter, so with every movement of the knife everything on top of the table started to slide towards the edge.
I'm sure it was very entertaining to see me eat my lunch.

A similar buffoonish thing happened to me the other night while I was enjoying a post musical drink with Claire and Georgie.
I went to wash my hands in the bathroom, and the sinks were the kind where you hold your hands under the faucet to get the water to come out.
I did as I was supposed to, but the water shot out, completely missing my hands and going out of the sink and onto the crotch of my jeans.
I went back to the table with my shirt untucked to hide my accidental wetting and told the dancers, "Just once it would be nice not to be a clown 24/7."

This afternoon Ryan and I were happy to have some of our friends visiting. Seth Bloom, Christina Gelsone, and Jane Lok came by the lot this afternoon to catch up with us.
Seth and Christina were recently the clowns on Big Apple Circus; Ryan and I worked with them in Shanghai back in 2008. We got to see Jane several times in Houston with her husband, Rob; we were happy to see her smiling face again.

Both shows had great audiences, which I'm especially happy about since our friends watched the first performance.
Unfortunately I was off my game in both carpenter gags. In the second gag I could not stand still to save my life! I was constantly off balance and stumbling when I meant to stand still. I guess I need to lay off the hootch before the shows!

A small group was going to a jazz bar to celebrate Georgie's birthday after work. I got all dressed up to go out, but as I was waiting to leave, my eyes started to get very heavy.
Since I saw the bar was open until 4 a.m., and I know how late people on this show like to stay out, I graciously bowed out until the next time.

In closing, here is a link to the photos that Alex Beker took of me and Ryan on the last day in Miami.


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thursday, September 25 & Friday, September 26: Bronx, NY

9/25/14- Day Off!

Today was rainy, but I didn't let that stop me from taking a bite out of the Big Apple!
First I took a bite out of some tasty Hungarian food at Andre's Cafe in Manhattan. I fell in love with Hungarian cooking on Ringling, which is where I worked with many clowns from Hungary.

At Andre's I ordered one of my favorite magyar dishes, rakkot krumpli, which is a casserole with potatoes, eggs, sausage, and sour cream. It was delicious!
I was hoping they'd have dobos torta (drummer cake) for dessert, but they were out that day. Good thing we're in town for 10 weeks!

After lunch I walked up the block to a shoe repair shop. Even though one of my Marty Scott clown shoes had its holes stitched up in Atlanta, the leather is just so dried out that it tore open again.
The cobbler is going to replace the whole piece of leather on the front of the shoe. This time I'll make sure to take better care of my footwear!

Later in the afternoon I met Genevieve and Amanda in Times Square. Genevieve was a clown on Ringling last year, and she is in NYC auditioning for Cirque Du Soliel. Amanda is a photographer in town who took some great shots of me and Ryan on Kelly Miller last season.
We had dinner at a pub a block up from Times Square where it wasn't so crowded and crazy.

I had a good time visiting, but I had to cut out after awhile so I could catch an 8:00 p.m. performance of "Pippin" on Broadway.
The show was amazing! If you get a chance, please check it out. I thought the circus theme was used very well throughout the entire musical; there were so many creative uses of the ensemble's circus skills.

After the show I met up with Georgie and Claire at an upscale bar to have a drink. They had seen "Cinderella", and they were waiting for midnight when Georgie would turn into a pumpkin....I mean, start her birthday.
Emma and Laura arrived just in time to wish her a happy birthday with us. They had just gotten out of Madison Square Garden, where they went to see Pitbull in concert.
The dancers, and everyone else who stays in hotels on this tour, are all living in rented trailers for our New York engagements, so I gave them some lessons in "Trailer Life 101".
(If they had read some of my old Kelly Miller blogs, they would have known better than to ask me for trailer advice!)

When the bar closed down we attempted to catch the subway back to the lot, but the trains were taking forever.
We finally caught a cab, which wasn't bad at all since there were five of us splitting the cost.

9/26/14- 9:00 p.m.

There is a large plaza right across the street from the lot that contains a Target, BJ's, Home Depot, Best Buy, as well as several other shops and restaurants.
I went to Target to pick up some groceries for this weekend. Some friends told me that I should stock up on supplies while we're here in the Bronx, because there isn't the same kind of shopping convenience in Queens.

At 5:00 p.m. Ryan and I were in make up and costume for our television publicity, but once we got to the front of the tent we discovered that we were not needed until 6:00 p.m.
A little before 6:00 we returned to the front to film a couple of teases and a weather segment with a lady from the local UNIVISION station.
A group of people who had come to buy tickets to the show came over and stood behind the three of us while we made television magic.
When the camera wasn't rolling Ryan and I talked to the people and made friends...probably a couple of enemies too.

We only had one show tonight at 9 p.m., which was fantastic. Ryan and I got all of our props unloaded and set up between the end of the publicity and the start of the show.

We had a great audience for our opening night in New York City. The only downside was that we picked a guy in the audience for the start of the vacuum gag that turned out to be a real jerk. His attempts at being funnier than us put a damper on the end of the show for me.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Monday, September 22-Wednesday, September 24: Travel To Bronx, NY

9/22/14- Travel Day

Ryan and I didn't leave as early as we would have liked to this morning because there was a flat bed trailer in front of Ryan's house.
Luckily some of the men on the show were nice enough to help us move it out of the way, and we were able to leave Miami around noon.

We made our first stop at a Flying J truck stop about 120 miles into the 1,300 mile jump. While we were filling our propane tanks, dumping our black water, and fueling up, it began to rain buckets!
I got completely soaked while filling up my truck because the rain was blowing right into my back. I had to change into some dry clothes before we continued our drive.

The heavy rain stayed with us for a long time after leaving Flying J. Even later into the evening it was still drizzling on and off; the precipitation really slowed down our progress.

We stopped for the night around 1:00 a.m. in Walterboro, SC, my home town!

9/23/14- Travel Day

This morning my uncle, Richard, and my Nana came by the Walmart where we had parked for the night.
We went back to Nana's house to visit until Ryan, Tatiana, and Nico had woken up. When they were ready to go we went to pick them up and go to eat.

Nana and Richard treated us to breakfast, and it was nice to spend some time catching up with them. I haven't seen my family since the week surrounding Christmas. My Mom was unfortunately in San Francisco on vacation.

Nana and Richard dropped us back off at Walmart where we did some shopping before hitting the road again.
I purchased a new battery for my trailer since my old one wasn't charging very well.

We left Walterboro around noon. We had 545 miles under our belts, but still a long way to go.
Unfortunately it was still drizzling for most of the day.

We finally stopped at a Flying J in North East, MD at 3:30 a.m.
Tatiana's twin brothers and her younger sister, Delena, arrived around the same time. They were heading down to Georgia from New Hampshire, so we made plans to meet in Maryland.

I said, "Hello, I must be going" before quickly heading into my trailer and collapsing into bed. I have a hard time keeping awake once we start driving after midnight, and it is a miracle that I did as well as I did considering the ungodly hour we stopped.

9/24/14- Travel Day

One of the reasons we picked our stopping point in Maryland was so that we could see some of our friends from the Baltimore area.
First to arrive was Carol Lang, who we first met on Kelly Miller through our mutual friend, Natalie.
Carol brought bags of goodies for all of us to share, which we appreciated greatly.

Also visiting were Pat and Thom Stevenson, our friends from the Freestate Clown Alley and the John Ringling North II/Steve & Ryan Circus Fans of America tent.
Pat and Thom brought us each a snazzy new shirt bearing the tent's logo!

We visited with Carol, Pat, Thom, and Delena all afternoon, and our friends from Maryland also treated us to lunch at the Denny's conveniently located in the Flying J.

Finally in the late afternoon we said our goodbyes, and around 7:00 p.m. we left North East to embark on the final 150 miles of our jump to New York City!
We waited all day before leaving so that we could avoid horrible rush hour traffic.

I've been so worried about the drive into NYC since the beginning of the tour, but in reality I think it was the easiest part of the jump.
It definitely helped that we crossed the George Washington Bridge into the Bronx around 11:00 p.m. Traffic wasn't bad at all.
Once we were across the bridge it was just a few miles to the lot.

Shortly after we arrived at the lot our trailers were parked. It was a bit of a tricky parking job because a lot of trailers were already spotted in the long, narrow area where we needed to go. We had to squeeze by some of the houses and take a sharp turn between a trailer and a concrete wall to get to our spots, but we had Enrique directing us, so it wasn't too bad.

Once we were parked we were able to plug into power, which had just been provided to the trailers.
I got everything hooked up and went to bed, excited to begin our 10 week engagement in the Big Apple!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Saturday, September 20 & Sunday, September 21: Miami, FL

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

This morning I met Michael Newton-Brown and his husband, Ralph, at the Hilton for breakfast. They were nice enough to treat me to the meal, and I enjoyed hearing Michael's stories from his year on the road with The Greatest Show on Earth.

After we ate, Michael and Ralph dropped me off at my trailer and began their drive back to Sarasota. I picked up Claire at the hotel and took her to a laundromat.
She and Helen had attempted to catch a cab to do laundry yesterday, but no driver was any help in finding a laundromat, and to top it all off they got rained on.
Even though we are mortal enemies, I decided to show a smidgen of pity and helped Claire out....this time.

After dropping Claire off I went to a Jiffy Lube to get my oil changed. The tricky part is always finding a place with garage doors tall enough to allow my truck inside.
It turned out to be an expensive visit since in addition to the oil change I also had my transmission flushed, but I have not had that done since I bought the truck, and I figured better safe than sorry.

On my way over to the tent today I noticed a line of protestors standing across the street from the circus. They were holding their signs, some of which had elephants on them. Our show doesn't have elephants....don't these people do their research?
Speaking of research, I wanted to go up to the dolts and say, "We've been here for over two full weeks, and you're just now showing up?"

Luckily their presence didn't affect business at all; both shows had great audiences, and we even had two celebrities at the first performance.
Gloria Estefan, the well know singer, and Adriana Lima, a Victoria's Secret Angel, were both in the crowd.
Can you guess which celebrity most of the guys were more excited to try and spot?

There was a man texting on his phone the entire time during the second carpenter gag. I called him out on it during the hat kicking part, and afterwards he sat and stared at me with a scowl on his face for the rest of the act.
When I was running around the ring with the out of control circular saw, I ran right up to him and yelled out, "Quick! Text 911!"

Wesley, a Circus Smirkus performer, watched the 9:00 p.m. performance with his family.
I met Wesley seven years ago when Ringling played Miami. Wesley had won a contest to be a guest clown for the Pre Show, and he came with his own costume, and he was prepared to do his own make up as well.
I was cracking up because Wesley knew all of us in Clown Alley by name, and he also knew how long we had been on the show.
It was like seeing myself as a kid!

9/21/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning I went to Panera Bread to have breakfast. While I was eating I was texting with Jennifer Fuentes, who was the "Singing Songstress of the Circus" my final three years on Ringling.
We had seen her earlier in the tour in Austin, where she lives, and she just happened to be right next door to the tent today at the Adrienne Arscht Center. She was auditioning for Gloria Estefan to obtain a role in a Broadway show. She saw the tent next to the Arscht Center and texted me to let me know she was in town for the day.
When she said she was standing in line and hadn't eaten yet, I told her that I was conveniently at Panera Bread, so I picked up some food for her and delivered it to Arscht Center.
We visited for a few minutes, but she had an audition to rock, and I had a 1,300 mile jump to prepare for.
I hope to see you on the Great White Way, Jen!

I spent the rest of the morning preparing my trailer for our jump to New York City. While I was putting a little air in my trailer tires I discovered that one of them was completely bald on half of the tire.
Why do I always find this stuff at the last minute!?
Luckily Martin helped me change the tire between shows, and he gave me a tire iron that fit the lug nuts on the wheel. Many thanks, Martin!

Alex Beker, a photographer, was backstage today taking photos of the circus behind the scenes. Alexa introduced him to Ryan, and they discovered they had a mutual interest: Argentina. Alex is from there, and Ryan is married to an Argentinean. Small world!
Alex was very interested in photographing us preparing for the second show, as well as re-setting our props during the performance.
He snapped a lot of great photos that will soon be on his website. I'll be sure to share the link when the content is available!

It was my turn to give the third show motivational speech this week, and I enlisted the help of my good, mentally unstable friend, El Payaso Loco (i.e. me in a clown luchador mask that I picked up in Mexico).
El Payaso Loco struck fear into the hearts of the regular speech attendants, while making vague and threatening statements in Spanglish.
Inspiring? Maybe. Terrifying? Most definitely.

We did great business at all three shows, which was a fantastic way to wrap up our engagement in Miami.
Another plus was that load out was not nearly as bad as I feared it would be. Ryan and I took all of our props to the front of the tent and left them under a tall tree (since it was drizzling rain occasionally).
I then ran to the trailers to get my truck, and we were able to load our props into it and get everything to our homes in two trips.
The second trip was made with Ryan driving my truck and me following behind in the little clown car.
My late night, load out drive to the trailers is always exhilarating, but this one in particular will stand out in my memory.
It's not every night that I get to drive a little clown car on city streets past crackheads and panhandlers. 

In closing, here's a great piece on Circo Hermanos Vazquez that we filmed in Atlanta, GA, that then aired on CNN Mexico.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Friday, September 19: Miami, FL- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning Ryan and I drove to Ft. Lauderdale, FL to teach a physical comedy workshop to the Miami unit of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit.
Ron Hoffman, the unit's supervisor, is a former Ringling clown, and he invited us to come and share our knowledge and experience with his co-workers.

Everyone who took the workshop was so much fun, and they picked up on everything so quickly!
Ryan and I only had the loosest of strategies when we went in to start teaching, but it was all material that we cover in our Circus Clowning Intensive, so we were able to jump right in without even thinking about it.

After the two hour workshop we sat down to eat lunch with the students and answer questions about circus life. I also picked Ron's brain for a few stories from his time on the road.

After lunch Ryan and I headed back down to Miami, running errands along the way. Unfortunately there was heavy rain during that time, so both of us were soaked by the time we got back to our trailers.

Tonight Michael Newton-Brown, a former Ringling clown and current lighting designer, and his husband, Ralph, came to visit and watch the first show.
Michael brought some of his homemade hummus as a free roll, and it was amazing!

At the beginning of the water gag, when I yelled, "Hola!" to my side of the audience, in return, a punk kid with long hair blew a loud fart noise using his mouth and hands.
That gave me an idea of the type of crowd we were up against....

The little car wouldn't shut off in the carpenter gag, and the gas fumes in the ring were ridiculously strong.
I felt so bad for the people sitting in the front row by the car, but every time I checked in with them, they were smiling and laughing (I thought maybe as a result of the fumes).
After the gag Ryan and I realized why the front row was unaffected even though the smell was so strong in the ring: the air conditioning was blowing all of the fumes right to us!

Luckily there was an easy solution to the problem. We simply had to tighten parts of the on/off switch, and the car shut off without a problem for the second show.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Wednesday, September 17 & Thursday, September 18: Miami, FL

9/17/14- 7:30 p.m.

Today many of us from the show went to Jungle Island, a wild animal park not far at all from the tent.
Many thanks for our complimentary tickets go to Dwayne Cunningham, a former Ringling clown, who is better known to Jungle Island patrons as Doc Wasabi.

I went to the park with Ryan and his family, and when we arrived Dwayne began giving us a great and informative tour.
One of our first stops was over at the petting zoo, where we saw two HUGE tortoises. Dwayne told us that one of them was in her nineties, and the other was over one hundred years old!

Next Dwayne took us into a pen with baby kangaroos, and he allowed us to feed them grapes. For me, that experience was the highlight of our visit to Jungle Island.

Kangaroo selfie!

There are three shows that you can watch when you visit Jungle Island, and thanks to Dwayne's scheduling, we were able to catch all of them.

The first was a bird show, which I really enjoyed. The best part was seeing the wide variety of birds brought out, some of which I had never even heard of before!

Next we caught the Doc Wasabi show, where Dwayne and his assistant, Becca, brought out a variety of animals, including a kudamundi (which was placed on my head), a monitor lizard (which licked Ryan's face), and a ring tailed lemur (which ate a grape off of Claire's head).
It was fun seeing how Dwayne translated his experience from years as a Ringling clown into his current job as humorous host of a wild animal show.

After the performance Dwayne and Becca gave us a backstage tour of the Doc Wasabi show. We got to meet an umbrella cockatiel, a big porcupine, and we even got to hold an adorable kinkajou.

Awww. He's got my eyes.

After our backstage tour we were just in time to catch the third and final show in the park, which was an educational performance about baby tigers. There was also a baby liger (bred for their skills in magic) and a couple of primates thrown in for good measure!

In the early afternoon we bid Jungle Island adieu to visit the beach. There is one at the park, but currently it is only open on the weekends.
Since Ryan had promised Nico that we would be visiting a beach, we drove a few miles over to South Beach to have some fun in the sand and surf.

We were only able to visit for a couple of hours before we got rained out, but Nico had an absolute blast.
I was happy that we got such a full, fun day in before our show in the evening.

Dwayne and his crew came to the show, and afterwards we gave them a backstage tour as a thank you for the great day we had at Jungle Island.

9/18/14- 7:30 p.m.

This afternoon I started learning a new song on the trumpet for an act we will be performing on the Christmas tour this winter.
It took me a little while to get back in the swing of playing the instrument; I hadn't even picked up my trumpet since the music gag was cut in Brownsville back in March!

Our friend, Kenny Mikey, a Ringling Clown College grad who we worked with in China six years ago, came to visit tonight....with a bag of candy! (Really, isn't that how all friends should visit?)

Kenny watched the show tonight, along with Ron Hoffman, another former Ringling clown, and some of his co-workers from the Miami unit of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit.

When I walked backstage to get into make up for the show, I saw that our two bottles for the water gag were standing alone by our props. Both were almost completely devoid of water (I had filled them both earlier in the afternoon), and one had a big jagged piece of plastic missing from the top.
I quickly called Ryan and asked him to grab our last spare bottle from my trailer.
We used to be able to find the carafes that we use for the act from Walmart, but once we left Texas we were no longer able to find them, hence us being on our last spare.
Thank God for Walmart's website! We should have more in time for opening night in NYC.

We had a fantastic audience for the show tonight. Enrique Santos, a former well known radio personality who now has a television show (similar to Jerry Springer's, so I was told), was our special guest.

When Enrique came out before Intermission to do his guest spot, he started yelling "Hola!" to one side of the audience and then the other, just like we did in the water gag.
As soon as we were offstage, Ryan said, "That guy is stealing our material!"
On our way into the dressing room, Mario came behind us and said, "I can't believe that guy is stealing your material!"
Ryan and I both laughed and told him that Ryan had just said the same thing.
A few minutes later I got a text from Teo saying, "That guy stole your material!"
Great minds think alike.....

Kenny, Bill, Ivan, and Ron

Enrique even stole Kenny's pose! That rascal!

After the show Ryan and I had a great time catching up with Kenny. A lot has happened for all three of us since we worked together at the International Clown Festival in Shanghai, China!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Monday, September 15 & Tuesday, September 16: Miami, FL

9/15/14- 7:30 p.m.

I was going to go do laundry this morning, but Claire invited me to join her and Georgie at the beach, so I decided that my dirty clothes could wait for one more day.

I picked up Helen at the show hotel, and then we drove to South Beach to have some fun in the sun. Luckily I was able to find parking a block from the beach, and we found Claire and Georgie without too much trouble.

I was a little worried about getting in the ocean since there had been many jellyfish sightings lately, but once Claire and I went in the water and started playing, I was having too much fun to care.

Claire and I played a game that she introduced me to called "Whales". It's a fairly straightforward game, and we even had Georgie use her dulcet tones to serve as our National Geographic narrator.

As you can tell, I was the great white whale....

We also played beached whales,

and did handstands underwater.

I wasn't awarded any points for style.

At one point Claire and I were out pretty far where we had found a sand bar to stand on. We were talking, and I looked over just in time to see a huge jellyfish floating by my head!
It was at that point that I decided I'd had enough ocean fun for one day, and I headed back to our beach umbrella.

After awhile we all decided that we were hungry, so we walked along Ocean Drive, which runs parallel to the beach.
We dined at an Italian restaurant that had great lunch specials, and the nicest wait staff I've experienced yet in Miami, a town not really known for customer service.

After a little more time on the beach I dropped the dancers off at the hotel and went back to my trailer to rinse all the sand out of my nether regions.

We had a small crowd for the show tonight, and to make matters worse we had an awful carpenter gag. Ryan and I were both way off our game, and we were screwing up technical things left and right.

On our walk of shame from the tent to the trailers, which takes us through an unsavory part of town, a friendly drug dealer across the street yelled over to us to hawk his wares.
After listing all of his products available for purchase to the two clowns, he advised us to "holler at him" if we wanted something.
Well, this life is never boring, that's for sure!

9/16/14- 7:30 p.m.

This morning I finally went to do laundry, which I simply couldn't put off another day. While my clothes were drying I had lunch at a nearby Latin American restaurant, a Miami chain that came highly recommended by a friend. The food was great, but my waitress is not going to be winning Miss Congeniality anytime soon!

I had a very low key day compared to yesterday. Ryan, Nico, and I walked a few blocks from the lot to an art store so Ryan could shop for supplies.
While he browsed I explained all the different art tools to Nico. I think it was a mutually beneficial lesson.

We had a better crowd for the show tonight, a trend that I hope continues until we get to the usually busy weekend shows.

Klaus, who trained the show's horses, implemented a new ending to the liberty act tonight. He threw a handkerchief to the last horse, who caught it in his mouth and used it to wave goodbye to the audience.
Very cute, and a real crowd pleaser!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sunday, September 14: Miami, FL- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning I had breakfast at a French bakery that I spotted yesterday on our way back from Miami Beach.
It wasn't a terribly long walk from my trailer, but it seemed a lot worse before I had my morning coffee.

I was really worn out for the three shows today. The first show seemed to drag on forever, and I was getting so sleepy sitting backstage and reading.
Luckily there were big crowds for the first two shows.

After the second performance Ryan and I were waiting to take pictures when a mother, father, and their two small children walked up to us.
The mother asked Ryan, "Are you American?"
When Ryan replied that he was, she went on to say that they enjoyed the show, but they didn't think it was a good idea for children to see the bits we do with the circular saw in the carpenter gag.
This is a complaint we had on Kelly Miller, so Ryan was ready with a response.....until the husband then chimed in and likened our slapstick violence to the beheadings that are going on in the middle east.

When I heard that I bit about an inch off of my tongue before I could tell him how ridiculous he was being.
Ryan told the couple that he was sorry that they didn't like our act, and he directed them to the ticket office if they would like to make a complaint.
The woman said that they didn't want to do that, and then proceeded to repeat her earlier sentiments like a broken record.
Before they left, they also managed to accuse us of being insensitive to people's feelings.
Boy, do I feel sorry for those kids. They are screwed!

Ryan and I were pretty upset about the whole thing, and it pretty much ruined the rest of the evening for us.
I couldn't even enjoy the third show. I was just ready to be done so I could put the day behind me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Saturday, September 13: Miami, FL- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning Ryan, Tatiana, Nico, and I drove over to Miami Beach to visit an Argentinean bakery. I had a couple of empanadas, and I picked up two different sweets to go; both containing dulce de leche as a prime ingredient.
We also walked to a supermarket that had different Argentinean products that Tatiana wanted to buy.

Back at the lot I ran out to do some of my own errands. I got gas for the little clown car, I stopped by a pharmacy to get baby powder, and I swung by a hardware store to get new locks for the backs of my truck and trailer.

The first show tonight was almost full, and the audience was fantastic! Thank goodness we have these weekend shows to give us our laugher fix after a week of dismal response.

About fifteen minutes before the second show began there was a fierce wind and rain storm. People that walked over from the trailers said that the wind was absolutely terrible.
David Confal, our diabolo-gist, came into the dressing room soaking wet, and Ryan naively asked him, "Is it raining?"

The ground backstage quickly flooded from the deluge of rain. Carmelo saw this as an opportunity and caught himself some dinner.

There were less people at the second show (I blame the storm), but the audience was even better than the first crowd!
We really rocked them in the carpenter gag. What a feeling.....

While we were taking photos after the show we were chatting with a family that had posed with us. They were asking the standard questions (i.e. Where are you from? How long have you been with Vazquez? Why are you two so devilishly good looking? [ok, I made that last one up]), and then out of the blue the patriarch of the family asked if he could say a prayer for us.
Ryan replied with a robust, "Please!", and then we gathered in a little circle while the man asked God to look after our safety as we travel with the circus.
It was very nice of him, and of course I gloated to the dancers about how our souls were saved and how they were a bunch of shameful sinners.
Honestly, what good is redemption if you can't flaunt it?

I should have asked the devout man to ask God to smite the nightclub across the street from where our trailers are parked.
Their music was incredibly loud, and my trailer was vibrating from the bass all night.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Friday, September 12: Miami, FL- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This afternoon I repainted the base of the vacuum prop, and I also replaced one of the wheels, which has been broken. I should have done both of those jobs a long time ago, but I have been lazy. Bad clown!

While the vacuum was drying I caught the commuter train downtown. One nice thing about Miami is that if you take a train in the downtown area, it is free!

I found a sushi restaurant where I had lunch. The sushi was good, and the staff was friendly; they gave me a menu to take back to the circus since they deliver.
I also visited Quarterman's, which had delicious ice cream. I'll definitely return there before we leave town.

"El Gordo Y La Flaca" was filming at the circus today, but luckily Ryan and I were relieved of national PR duty for the day so the program could have a little variety.
One juggling act was brought in for the publicity from the west coast unit, which is currently in L.A.

After the first show tonight a man approached me and Ryan to tell us that he was a circus clown in France. He didn't speak much English at all, so we communicated through hand signals and simple words. Ryan attempted to communicate in French, but as soon as he opened his mouth all of the words and phrases he knew from High School left him.
He did manage to say, "I am Ryan, (motioning to me) and she is Steve".
Darned tricky pronouns!

We had a couple of celebrities at the shows tonight. Jorge Salinas, a big telenovela star, was the special guest at both shows, and the former Miss Universe was in the audience for the second performance.

Speaking of the second show, the audience was fantastic! Ryan and I definitely needed their enthusiasm and laughter, as we had a rough week of shows.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Thursday, September 11: Miami, FL- 7:30 p.m.

This morning I woke up at 4 a.m. to get ready for our national television appearance on UNIVISION's "Despierta America" (Wake Up, America).
Ryan and I gave Laura a ride over to the tent around 5:15 a.m. as we and the dancers had been told to be ready to go at 5:30 a.m.

We were all in make up and costume at the time we were told, but we didn't actually do anything until the show began broadcasting at 7:00 a.m. grumble grumble

All of the segments we filmed concerned William Valdes, a young host from the program, joining the circus.

William was very nice, and Ryan knew from meeting with him a couple of days ago that he was game for whatever crazy ideas we had.
It turns out that William had actually worked as a clown in the Cuban National Circus at the age of 6, so he was no stranger to wearing make up and acting a fool.

He knew what was coming...

We filmed our three segments pretty early in the broadcast, but the director wanted us to hang around for the final shot, which was still two hours away.
Ryan and I made ourselves comfortable, had a donut and a couple cups of coffee, and visited with people while the broadcast continued.

Finally 10 a.m. rolled around and we filmed a segment where everyone waved goodbye to the viewers at home.
As soon as it concluded, we were told that we needed to film a two minute segment in about twenty minutes.

We were a little thrown, because we had planned for everything else; this new segment was news to us.
Filling two minutes of air time would normally not be a problem, but they wanted us to include William in our hi jinx.

Ryan and I quickly brainstormed some ideas while we gathered props and changed into our vacuum gag jumpsuits (since Ryan's has rip away pants, giving us one more visual bit to use).
While we were changing, Mario ran into the dressing room to tell us that we were going live in one minute!
Ryan and I freaked out; I'm not sure what happened to the twenty minutes of prep time we were promised.

Ryan and I ran out to the ring with thirty seconds to spare and quickly briefed William on how to swing a board and knock us down. That was the only thing we were able to plan before we began filming.

Ryan and I pulled two minutes of "comedy" out of our butts, including William in the improvisation as best we could.
Most of it didn't make sense, and it wasn't really funny, but we filled the time and no one was killed or seriously maimed.

I was a little upset that this segment was thrown on us like that. It's one thing to look bad on a local channel, but to present a mediocre product on a national broadcast is not something I'm proud of.

Ryan and I were finally finished around 10:30 a.m., so we headed home to get cleaned up and rest.
I noticed that my truck was not blocked in anymore, so I took advantage of the opportunity and drove to the post office before taking a nice, long nap.

Patrick Acton, a former Ringling clown, and his wife, Candice, came to see the show tonight.
Here's me and Pat when he was on Ringling. I was 16, and only slightly more of a dork than I am now:

Pat's brother, Leo, and I worked together on Ringling, and Leo is currently on tour with Culpepper Merriweather.
Alright, enough with the Circus Edition Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon....

After the show Pat and Candice treated me to dinner over at Bayside, where we swapped war stories over fruity tropical drinks.
Ah, Miami, the lap of luxury!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tuesday, September 9 & Wednesday, September 10: Miami, FL

9/9/14- 7:30 p.m.

We had another small crowd for the show tonight. Afterwards, while Ryan and I were in the concessions area taking pictures, a woman was walking by the tent doors when the big Mastiff belonging to one of the Vazquez brothers wandered into the tent.
The woman stopped in awe of the humongous dog and exclaimed, "Oh my God, you're beautiful!"
From nearby I responded, "Thanks! You're not so bad yourself!"

After work I went to a very classy dining establishment. Maybe you've heard of it? It is called Hooters.
When it was time to leave I needed change for my waitress' tip, so I went up to the bartender and asked her to break a five dollar bill.
She took it, looked in the register and said, "I'm sorry, but all I have is singles."
I waited for a minute to see if she was joking, but when I saw that she was serious, I bit my tongue before I could burt out, "How else would you give me change for a five?!"
I just smiled and bade her a good night.

God speed, Hooters bartender. God speed.

9/10/14- 7:30 p.m.

The past couple of days have been very low key for me. I feel bad that I'm not taking advantage of any of the sightseeing opportunities in the city, but I just haven't been motivated to go anywhere.

Business was up tonight from our Monday and Tuesday shows, which was a relief.
Sam McCollum, who Ryan and I met on Kelly Miller last year, came to the performance tonight.
Sam and his son, Braxton, saw us on KM in Waynesburg, PA for several years before coming over and introducing themselves to us last year.
They caught us again in Hancock, MD, and I keep in touch with Braxton through Facebook.

To make a long story even longer, Sam is in Miami on a business trip, and on his way to dinner last night he drove by the tent and saw our faces on the advertising.
He got in touch with Braxton, who contacted me to let me know his dad was in town.
As luck would have it, Sam had tonight off, so he came to catch the show!

While Ryan and I were waiting to do the vacuum gag tonight, Raul Gonzalez, a television host formerly with UNIVISION, came over and told us that he thought we were amazing.
It was very nice of him to come over and give us the kind words of praise.

After the show Sam and I went out to have dinner. We were going to take my truck, but it was blocked in, so Ryan was nice enough to let me use his truck.

We had dinner and caught up, and then I dropped Sam off at his hotel, the Ritz Carlton over on the island of Key Biscayne.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sunday, September 7 & Monday, September 8: Miami, FL

9/7/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning my first order of business was visiting an auto parts store to pick up a new squeegee for the vacuum gag. Last night ours broke right before we went on, so we had to flex our improvisational muscles a bit.

Next I had breakfast over at Bayside, and while I was enjoying my danish and Cuban coffee a homeless man came up and asked for a dollar for a cup of coffee.
I went up to the counter with him and bought him a coffee, which made me feel good. I had been sitting feeling sorry for myself, and doing something nice for someone less fortunate really gave me a good feeling.
(Honestly I just wrote about this incident because I see no glory in random acts of kindness when you don't tell anyone about them. Shameless self promotion and back patting for me all the way!)

Today one of the crew members adjusted an air conditioning tube so that it was blowing directly into the men's dressing room.
That steady blast of cool air made all the difference during our two afternoon shows, and made the day so much more bearable.

Some television personalities and the director of programming from UNIVISION came to watch the first show, and they came over with Memo to take a photo with us after the performance.

Ryan and I really were excited to meet them. Honestly.....

After the second show Ryan and I saw a woman leaving the tent who had had butt implants installed.
It was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen, yet it inspired me to get butt implants some day.....
on my chest!

There was a small crowd for the third show, which really surprised me. Usually that is one of the biggest shows of the week.

After work I met Teo, Teo's local friends, Anya, Dustin, Elena, and Anastasiia over at Bayside for drinks and dinner.
Teo's friends all know him from Puerto Rico, and a couple of them now work at the Miami Zoo.

I had a good time out. Towards the end of the third show I had considered backing out of the invite, but I'm glad that I didn't.
I caught a cab back to the lot with Dustin, Anya, and their baby, which sure beat walking through the hood at 2 a.m.

9/8/14- 7:30 p.m.

I slept very late today. Note to self: be aware of how humid it is before a night of fun with friends.

When I was finally feeling like I wasn't going to die, I went grocery shopping. What with our busy schedule since we got to Miami, as well as my frequent inability to leave the lot with my truck, I was long overdue for a food run.

While I was out Ryan met with Bronson, our go to guy for national PR, and they planned for our upcoming appearance on "Despierta America".

We had a small crowd for the show tonight. The only thing noteworthy that happened was when a little girl from the audience ran into the ring at the end of finale to collect some of the glitter on the carpet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Saturday, September 6: Miami, FL- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning I walked over to the tent to check on the crew's progress. Backstage was not ready, but I called Ryan and suggested that it would be best to start taking our props over to the tent.

I'm glad that we stared early, because it took a long time for us to load in. We loaded the props in my truck, drove the half mile over to the tent, unloaded them, and then took them around the tent and into backstage.
It took us three trips to take everything, and then we had to make one extra trip over in the little car.
I always drive the little car to the tent from the trailers, but this time I brought Ryan along since it was such a journey.

Unfortunately we discovered that one of the tires had a flat when we were waiting to cross the street to go to the tent.
We popped the same tire that we had to change twice in Atlanta, so this time we put electrical tape inside the wheel's rim since it seemed that is what keeps popping the tubes. Hopefully we covered any sharp edges with the tape....if that is even the problem!

Once we got all of our props backstage we couldn't set them up because the floor and dressing rooms were still being constructed. We left everything out of the way, against the tent's sidewall.

After breaking for lunch Ryan and I went back over to set up our props. The ground backstage is dirt; that coupled with the awful humidity left us feeling disgusting by the time we were done.
I felt so bad for the crew that have been working nonstop in those conditions for a couple of days.

Finally, a few hours before showtime we drove our costumes over to the tent and hung them up in the dressing room, which had just been completed.

I got into make up over at the tent, and I spent the entire evening there. I didn't go back to my house between shows like I usually do since it would take too much time. I also didn't want to walk alone and in clown make up through the sketchy neighborhood where we are parked.

One definite downside of not going home during the shows was that Ryan and I had to wear wet costumes for the second water gag.
Usually we run the costumes over to Ryan's house so Tatiana can dry them for the next show, but the Vazquez brothers wouldn't let us bring my truck over to the tent to be used for the laundry runs.

I couldn't believe how humid it was backstage. It made me want to travel back in time to Houston and Atlanta so I could slap myself for complaining about the humidity then. Those towns seemed like a cakewalk in comparison!

Luckily the audiences tonight were great. Ryan and I were grateful for that silver lining.
Mona Loyal, Armando's sister, was at the second show with some of her family. It was a nice surprise to see them.

After the shows I went out to have dinner, but I couldn't find the restaurant I had set out to visit.
Since I was out I decided to swing by Walmart to get a new squeegee (the one we use in the vacuum gag broke right before we went on), and some more tire accessories for the little car, but the store didn't carry half of the things I needed.

Since I was striking out left and right I just decided to go back to the lot. I almost failed at that too!
There is a night club across the street from our trailers, and people were parking along the sidewalk bordering the lot.
Some genius parked his car right in front of the open gate allowing us access to our truck parking area.
I had just enough room to squeeze in between his hood and a street sign; I had maybe an inch of clearance on either side of me.

Off to an auspicious start in Miami, FL.......

Monday, September 8, 2014

Thursday, September 4 & Friday, September 5: Miami, FL

9/4/14- Day Off

This morning I woke up and looked outside my trailer to see what was going on. I noticed that most of the trailers parked on the street had been moved, so I was hopeful that soon Ryan and I would be parked as well.

Finally in the late morning we received word that we could head over to where the trailers were being parked.
Here in Miami the trailers are a half mile walk from the tent; I can tell this is going to be an interesting engagement.

At 1:30 p.m. Ryan and I met with Alexa Vazquez, her dad, "Pepe", and Bronson, who is in charge of Vazquez's PR team.
They told us that tomorrow we would be appearing on "El Gordo Y La Flaca" (aka The Fat Man and the Skinny Woman), which is a famous nationally broadcast television program on UNIVISION.
Bronson stressed to us what a big deal this appearance was, but we were happy to hear that the only thing we needed to be concerned about is being funny. Memo Vazquez would also be appearing on the program, and it would be his job to promote our show.

Since we were going to be on national television tomorrow I went to the laundromat to clean some of my costume pieces, and I also got a hair cut.

When I got back to the lot I found that I could hook my trailer up to the city water, but unfortunately I didn't have enough hose to reach the main water outlet, and I couldn't connect anywhere closer because my Y connector was stolen during tear down in Atlanta.

I drove to Home Depot to pick up fifty more feet of hose, and I also grabbed another Y connector. Back at the lot I used both of my purchases to get running water in my home.

By this point I was starving since the only thing I had eaten today were some disappointing mini empanadas from a little restaurant next to the laundromat.
I walked over to Bayside, the shopping and dining plaza about a mile from the lot, and I had dinner at the Mambo Cafe. I was able to get a table with a nice view of the water, and I had a very relaxing evening enjoying a glass of sangria and a medianoche (a Cuban sandwich with pork, swiss cheese, and pickles served on a soft roll).

Back at the trailers I discovered that we still did not have power, and my generator was about to run out of gas.
The area where we were all temporarily parking our vehicles was very small, so my truck was completely blocked in.
With no other choice, I grabbed my gas can and walked to the nearest gas station, which was about half a mile away.

9/5/14- "Day Off"

This morning I woke up to run my generator, but I saw that I could now plug into show power. I got my trailer hooked up, and then I went on the hunt for breakfast.
My truck was still blocked in, and I didn't feel like walking all the way to Bayside, so I tried to find a restaurant closer to the lot.....to no avail.
I finally bought some eggs from the little ghetto convenience store on the corner near the lot.
I didn't have any food available in my house because everything in the fridge went bad due to the long periods without power.

Ryan and I were picked up at 11:00 a.m. and taken to the UNIVISION station to film our appearance on "El Gordo Y La Flaca".
We met with the director and producer of the show, who briefly outlined the different appearances they had planned for us. They gave us their ideas and asked for our input as well.
They seemed thrown by our serious, studious nature during these brainstorming sessions. I think they were expecting us to be cavorting around, honking bicycle horns, and spraying them with our lapel flowers since we were dressed like clowns.

After our meeting we had a lot of down time until the show began taping, so we hung out with Bronson and picked his brain about promoting the circus.

I was under the assumption that "El Gordo Y La Flaca" was broadcast live, but although the filming is run like a live shoot (i.e. no stopping to fix errors), everything is taped to be broadcast later.
"El Gordo" was not present, as he was in NYC, but Lili (a.k.a "La Flaca"), and her co-host, Carlos, were both very nice.

Ryan and I were prepared to take place in five segments, but due to extensive coverage of Joan Rivers' death, we were cut down to three appearances.
For the first two segments Ryan and I took on a Marx Bros. attitude, and we would run in unannounced to wreak mayhem on the program.
For the final segment Memo Vazquez promoted the show while Ryan and I provided color and action around him and the hosts.

Thank you to everyone at UNIVISION and "El Gordo Y La Flaca" for your hospitality and a very entertaining experience.

Back at the lot Ryan and I got cleaned up, and then we were able to watch ourselves on TV as the program was broadcast coast to coast. That was the first time I'd ever been able to do that, and it was a neat experience.

After "El Gordo Y La Flaca" ended I joined Ryan and his family for dinner at an Argentinean steakhouse at Bayside.
We weren't too impressed with the quality of the meat; however, everything that you receive with the price of the buffet made our meal a hard deal to beat.

Back at the lot I spent a couple of hours hanging out with Teo, who was waiting to set up his sound equipment in the big top.
We were scheduled to open tonight, but yesterday we were told that we wouldn't open until Saturday evening since the tent didn't start going up until late Thursday night.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wednesday, September 3: Travel Day To Miami, FL

This morning Ryan and I got up fairly early and began the final 150 miles of our drive to Miami.
We arrived without further incident around lunchtime; however, there was no place for the trailers to go. The lot containing the tent is too small for our houses, but for some reason there wasn't another area ready for us to begin parking.

Ryan and I just pulled our rigs in line with the other trailers, which were all parked along the curbs of side streets close to the lot.

I went for a walk to get my bearings and also to find something to eat. Since I hadn't eaten anything since I woke up at 8:00 a.m., I was famished.
The lot is close to the American Airlines Arena, which I played three times with Ringling, so I walked over to one of my old haunts, Bayside, which is a shopping and dining plaza right on the waterfront.
I found lunch at a good mediterranean restaurant in the food court area.

I spent the rest of my day and evening relaxing in my trailer's air conditioning, just waiting to be told where to park.
Around 8:00 p.m. my generator ran out of gas, and since I only had a little bit left, I decided to save it for tomorrow.

Not having any power forced me into an early bedtime. I conked out around 10:00 p.m., even though I was pouring sweat in my house. I opened my windows to let in a little breeze, but it was still incredibly humid outside even though it was later in the evening.

(Note: I know I'm behind schedule on my postings, but things have been pretty hectic around here. I'll catch up very soon!)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Tuesday, September 2: Travel Day To Miami, FL

Ryan, Tatiana, Nico, and I got up early this morning to have breakfast. I wanted to experience the wonder of the Flying Biscuit Cafe one more time, and I wanted to share that wonder with Ryan and his family.

I couldn't believe it when I stepped out of my house, but the majority of the trailers had already left! This was two hours before the time we were all supposed to leave, which usually seems to be viewed as a suggestion rather than an order.

Once we got back to the lot from breakfast I rolled up my cables and hoses, I hooked up my truck to my trailer, and I finished packing up my house.

Ryan and I left the lot in Atlanta at 10:30 a.m., and we were among the last trailers to leave, quite the opposite from the usual travel day scenario.

There were all manner of set backs keeping us from having an easy 675 mile jump down to Miami. We theoretically could have been there by 1:00 a.m. or so, but......
1) We missed a hard to spot Flying J truck stop at one exit, and we went 7 miles out of the way on a winding back road before we could find a place to turn around and drive back to the truck stop.
2) Ryan popped a trailer tire, so I went ahead to another truck stop to have lunch and wait for him
3) After changing the offending tire, Ryan noticed that most of the others on his house were on their last leg (so to speak), so he found a shop that changed out almost all of his trailer tires.
4) Nico wasn't feeling well and threw up a couple of times, so each time we pulled over so he could get cleaned up.

Finally around 2:00 a.m. I threw in the towel and said that I couldn't drive anymore. I had a cup of coffee around 1:00 a.m., but as soon as I finished it my eyes started growing heavy again.

We stopped at a travel plaza on the Florida Turnpike that was about 150 miles from Miami. I was grateful we found a plaza with parking; the previous two had been completely full with semi trucks.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Monday, September 1: Atlanta, GA- 5:30 p.m.

This morning Ryan and I went to Jim Maltman's house to get in one more visit before we left town.
Also, Jim was nice enough to let us have another package sent to his house, this one containing our new wigs from Tara Kelly. (www.proclownwigs.com)

When we opened the box, our faces lost their excitement and took on looks of confusion. Inside were the items that Tara had said she was sending along with the wigs: skull caps, snaps, needles and thread, and brushes......but our wigs were nowhere to be found.
Instead, there was a big pair of granny panties, and a Prince wig.

Just when I was about to call Tara to find out what had happened, Jim burst out laughing and pulled our clown wigs out of their hiding place.
I couldn't believe that he pranked us so beautifully; he really had us going. I bet our faces were priceless!

Back at the lot I got my trailer all ready for travel. I had meant to do some of the work yesterday, but with the three shows we had, all I felt like doing during my down time was resting.

We had one show this afternoon for Labor Day, and it was well attended for a midday show on a weekday.
I had a hard time summoning up any energy for the performance. I'm not sure if the heat took it out of me, or if I was just ready to hit the road.

It took us about an hour to get all of our props out of the tent and into our trailers, but it wasn't a difficult job. Luckily my energy had returned to me at the show's conclusion.

Atlanta was a lot of fun, but now it is off to Miami, FL, the sun and fun capitol of the world!

Peace out, ATL!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sunday, August 31: Atlanta, GA- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning Jamarr and I went to have breakfast before I dropped him off at his sister's house. I'm so glad that we got to spend some time together, because we really didn't hang out that often when we were on the road with Ringling.

While I was setting the water for the first show I checked the tires on the little car and discovered a flat.
Ryan came over and helped me change the inner tube; strangely enough it was the same tire that popped a couple of weeks ago. I'm just glad I caught it before the show.

Unfortunately the car wasn't done giving us trouble for the first show. When I parked in the ring to start the carpenter gag, the engine wouldn't shut off.
I tried flipping the switch a couple of times, but to no avail. Finally I turned the choke on, which really quieted down the engine's idling rumbles.
The car was still running for the majority of the gag, but funnily enough the engine stalled and died the instant that Ryan hit the car with the sledgehammer.

Luckily the solution to the engine not wanting to shut off was a simple one. One of the cables going to the on/off switch had simply come out.
Jovani, one of the electricians, fixed the connection between shows so that it shouldn't happen again.

We had good attendance for the three shows today (Saturday's business was good too), which surprised me since this whole week was added on at the last minute.
Also, for those of you keeping score, Marcos Espana gave the motivational speech today!

At the end of the third construction gag a guy tried to trip Ryan as he exited through the seats. Ryan was moving at a healthy clip, and the audience member stuck his leg out straight in front of him.
Ryan's foot connected strongly with the man's foot, but while Ryan remained standing, the guy's shoe went flying.
I'd say Ryan emerged victorious from that match. Take note, any other jerk audience members out there.