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.