Saturday, October 4, 2014

Thursday, October 2 & Friday, October 3: Bronx, NY

10/2/14- 7:30 p.m.

I woke up this morning at 6:00 a.m., and Ryan and I were in make up and costume, ready to go by 7:00.
"Despierta America", UNIVISION's nationally broadcast morning program, was shooting segments at our circus, and Ryan and I were on hand to interact with the host, Birmania, Rios, and the local folks who showed up to be on television.

It was 80s day, which explains Birmania's outfit and my impression of a hair band lead singer.

Our first segment was us opening up the gate to the lot and welcoming everyone inside to the circus.
I found an orange safety cone lying around, and I used it as a megaphone to bark orders at the people: orders such as, "Come in! You're just in time! We have a show in 12 1/2 hours!", and "Step lively! Come inside before the C.H.U.D.s get you!"

C.H.U.D.s (Chemical Humanoid Underground Dwellers)

I believe the original plan was for us to do that one tease and then we'd be done, but Ryan and I explained to Vivian, our PR lady, that the difficult part (waking up and getting into make up) was over, so we might as well stick around and do the rest of the show.

We ended up doing three more live hits outside of the circus before the broadcast ended. Between shots we either stayed backstage or in our trailers so we wouldn't have to constantly be on and entertaining the locals who were hanging around.

After we finished the shoot I got cleaned up and caught the subway to Washington Square Park, where I met my friend, Peter Bufano.
Peter was a clown on Ringling back in the late 1980s, and he also returned as one of the keyboard players in the band during my final tour on the Big Show.
The weather was perfect, so aside from a quick trip to get coffee and something to eat, we sat in the park and caught up.
I enjoyed hearing about the huge, innovative, eight hour long show that Peter spent a year performing with in Las Vegas, and we also reminisced about our days on Ringling.

On the way back to the lot I stopped at Alcone, a make up store in Times Square, to get some tubes of flesh colored base for Ryan.

I took a long nap this afternoon before our evening show, which was unfortunately another rough one. 
The dead audience inspired me to watch a British zombie film called, "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie" tonight for the "Scare-athon".
I really enjoyed the final thirty minutes of the movie. I just wish it hadn't taken an hour to get to the good stuff!


10/3/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning I got up at 5:30 a.m., and Ryan and I were out in front of the circus at 6:30 a.m. to do our second early morning broadcast with "Despierra America".
Before we got coffee into our systems, Ryan and I were both grumpy clowns, which one man found out the hard way.
He ran up to me and shoved his phone in my face the instant I arrived in the concessions tent. "My friend is terrified of clowns! Can I take a picture of you and send it to her?", he asked.
Without missing a beat, Ryan replied, "Well, our friend is terrified of Latinos. Can we take a picture of you and send it to her?"

Our stage crew and the television crew created a mini circus set up in the parking lot of our tent. At that early hour there were a fair amount of locals that showed up to be on television, but I couldn't believe how many people were around by the end of the shoot.

Everyone with the television program seemed to be flying by the seat of their pants the whole time, and we could never get a straight answer from the producer as to which teases and hits we were needed for.
He simply told us that he wanted us in every segment, which is great, but we were never really allowed to do anything.
We were always pushed to the side or into the background to be used as color and movement, and we never knew whether we were on camera or not because the television set showing a live feed of the program had a 10 second delay.

After about two hours of standing around and occasionally doing hits, Ryan and I finally took a break to get something to eat and have a drink of water.
The producer seemed to forget about us after that, but we sat off to the side in the shade in case we were needed again.

(Photo by Enrique Caballero)

Finally right before 11:00 a.m. all of us from the circus involved in the publicity gathered together to say goodbye and sign off the broadcast.

(Photo by Eddie Horwath)

After cleaning up from the long publicity I ran over to Target to go grocery shopping. I then took a nap so I would have energy for tonight's shows.

Even with my grocery run and nap I had enough time this afternoon to watch "Haxan", a 1922 Danish silent documentary about witchcraft for the "Scare-athon".
Even though a good deal of the film was extremely boring, there were some great disturbing images that would have been even more effective if the movie wasn't scored with a classical soundtrack.

Not nearly as scary when accompanied by the strains of Beethoven

We had good crowds for the two shows tonight. Thank goodness we always have the weekends to look forward to when the weekday shows get rough.

I had a nice moment with an audience member in the first vacuum gag. He was being a smart aleck when he was supposed to throw my wig on my head, but I didn't get frustrated, and I was able to get a couple of bits out of the situation. The best part is that the audience ate it up.

Our friend, Pepe, came to watch the second show. Pepe is a funny clown from Spain who I worked with my final year on Ringling. He is currently on a break from performing in European circuses with his partner, Tom Dougherty.
I was very excited when I found out that he was coming into the city for the weekend and that we would be able to see him.

After the shows Ryan, Tatiana, Nico, and I went out to dinner with Pepe. We had a good time catching up with him and hearing about his experiences in the international circus festivals and on Cirque Arlette Gruss.

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