Sunday, November 30, 2014

Friday, November 28 & Saturday, November 29: Queens, NY


11/28/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

I celebrated Black Friday by getting a hair cut and buying two new tires for my trailer!
Oh, and I also got trampled a bit, in the spirit of the day.

Our friends, Steve Smith and Al Rios, came to visit this afternoon and to watch the first show.
Al was a Ringling clown, and he is currently a teacher in Long Island. Steve was the dean of Clown College for ten years, and has also directed a few editions of the Big Apple Circus.

Al brought Thanksgiving leftovers and cookies for us, so Ryan and I enjoyed sitting and enjoying the delicious food with some amazing company.



I was disappointed that the audiences tonight were rather subdued for the show; I'm hoping they lighten up a little for the other weekend shows.

Eddie, our production manager, had us try a lighting change in the vacuum gag. He lit just the front of the ring so that the audience won't be able to see the Flying Heroes climbing the ladders to their trapeze platforms.
It took some getting used to, but I think it is going to work out great.

Speaking of the vacuum gag, at the beginning I was in the seats cleaning people's belongings with my feather duster when I saw a woman with a purse.
Like the Artful Dodger, I quickly snatched the purse out of her hands and began cleaning it. I was highly amused when I looked inside and saw that she had stolen three rolls of the circus' toilet paper from the donnikers! 
For shame, Madame!


11/29/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Today was my last chance to see "The Book of Mormon" on Broadway, so I went to the theatre a little early to get in the Standing Room line.
I made friends with the people around me, so when it was time for the Lottery we held each others' places in line so that we could all enter our names for the drawing.

I'm happy that I got into the Standing Room Line early, because once again I did not win the Lottery.
However, after a mere hour and a half of waiting in the cold, I was sold a Standing Room ticket for $27!
Thanks for the recommendation, Matthew!

Cue Heavenly choir

Ticket clutched triumphantly in hand, I quickly made my way to a restaurant to eat and warm up. Even though I prepared for the cold by wearing double layers, I neglected to put two pairs of socks on, so my feet were frozen!

I had a great "seat" for "Book of Mormon". All of us with Standing Room tickets were assigned a space behind the last row of the orchestra where we could stand and watch the musical.
I was never that uncomfortable as I had a railing to lean on while I watched the performance.

What a great show! I'm so happy that I finally got to see it after weeks of trying. I was one happy clown.

I was worried about getting back to the lot in time for the show since "Book of Mormon" let out at 4:30 p.m., and our show was at 6:00 p.m., but I made it to my trailer with plenty of time to get into make up.

I don't know if it is because of the Thanksgiving weekend, or just because we are towards the end of our run, but we are not getting the weekend crowds that I remember from the beginning of our Queens engagement (I'm talking size and response wise. They're good, but not amazing like they were).
Hopefully things pick up a bit so we end the season with a bang instead of a whimper. 

Wednesday, November 26 & Thursday, November 27: Queens, NY-


11/26/14- 7:30 p.m.

The weather today was rather yucky. There was a wintry mix of rain and a little bit of snow, but not enough to really stick to the ground.

I did encounter a bit of ice on the bridge into Flushing, but aside from that I was bundled up and had my umbrella with me, so the weather didn't bother me that much.

Dominik and Claudie, the couple who perform the foot juggling act in the show, had a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese this afternoon for their daughter, Angelina.
I stopped by to say hello and visit with everyone for a bit before going grocery shopping.

I was extremely happy to see Helen again today!
Georgie is recovering well from her pneumonia, but she will not be returning to perform in the show,  so the Vazquez brothers asked Helen to please return to finish the tour.
Since she was able to get everything sorted out at home, and her family insisted she do so, Helen returned on Tuesday night to our circus family.
I am so happy that I get to spend more time with her before the end of the season!

We had a very responsive audience for the show tonight, which surprised me since a) it was a weeknight, and 2) the weather outside was miserable.
I was happy that we had friends in the crowd as well: Dan Berkley and Lisa Soverino came with two of their friends, and Scott O'Donnell and "Heavy" were in town all the way from Baraboo, WI.
Scott is the executive director of the Circus World Museum, and he was in town to bring a circus wagon for Big Apple to use in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Unfortunately Scott told us that the horses used to pull the wagon were not going to be able to make it to the parade due to an Interstate closure, but I was happy that he and "Heavy" were able to come see the show.

Scott, Dan, and two other guys

Our ringmaster, Memo, made me laugh at the beginning of the water gag. He was impressed that I had the connections to go backstage at "The Elephant Man" last night, so when he introduced us to the audience, he said, "From Broadway, Steve & Ryan!"

After the show I joined our friends for dinner at a Mexican restaurant down the street that was conveniently open 24 hours.
Scott, Dan, Lisa, and I all worked together on Ringling in 2006, so it was fun reliving that year by sharing our memories and tall tales.


11/27/14- 7:30 p.m.

This morning I headed over to Manhattan to meet the dancers and some of the Espana family for a Thanksgiving meal at P.J. Clarke's, a restaurant right next to Lincoln Center.
For $30 we each got a plate full of the Thanksgiving standards: turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, vegetables, and a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert.

All of my lunch companions had gotten up extremely early to stand in the freezing cold and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Even though it would have been nice to see it live, I did not regret not having to brave the cold for several hours, especially since I could feel myself becoming sick....for about the third time since we've been in New York City!

I was thankful to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving away from home, and to share it with great company.


Back at the lot I took a nap so my body could rest and fight off my oncoming illness.

I had a rough show tonight. My throat was bugging me, so I really tried to keep my yells and girly screams to a minimum. 
On top of that I strained some tendons in my left shoulder last night, so moving my arm certain ways caused me to wince from the pain. (Despite all the crazy falls we do in the show, I hurt myself by pointing sharply at someone in the audience)
As if that wasn't enough, the crowd was not into the show. For coming to a show on Thanksgiving evening, they didn't seem to be very thankful to be at a circus!

Glen Heroy and his wife, Barbara, came to the performance this evening, so Ryan and I had a good time visiting with them afterwards.
Glen was a clown in the Big Apple Circus production, "Play On", a few years ago, and he was also featured on the PBS reality show, "Circus".

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Monday, November 24 & Tuesday, November 25: Queens, NY


11/24/14- 7:30 p.m.

This morning Ryan and I went to the Forest Hills Hospital to visit Georgie, who is recuperating from pneumonia.
She was in the I.C.U, so we had to wear masks over the lower half of our faces, as well as rubber gloves.

Georgie was in great spirits and said she was feeling much better than she had yesterday; she claimed her first good night's sleep in awhile did wonders.
Georgie's parents are with her all the way from England, so it was nice to meet them as well.
It was great to see Georgie and hear her laugh at our stupid jokes and pointless stories.

After leaving the hospital Ryan and I traveled to the Garment District in Manhattan to go fabric shopping.
The Garment District is HUGE, and even though we only saw one small part of it (one block), I was completely overwhelmed after searching through every other fabric shop.

Ryan was looking for material for his new agent suit, and we also needed fabric for new pairs of pants for the water gag.
Luckily we found everything that we needed in that one block, but I can't imagine all the amazing fabrics we missed by not looking in other areas.

Back at the lot I was just in time to meet up with Eggroll and Bob Yorburg so we could have dinner before the show.
Bob used to have a talent agency called Wizard Productions, and he also played "The King", the mascot for the "Burger King" restaurants that was portrayed by different people around the country in the 1970s.

Oh, and at dinner Eggroll bought my meal. Thanks!

During the show tonight I was pleased to see that there was a new ring carpet in the tent. I noticed when I took my first fall in the carpenter gag; the new carpet was so soft and fluffy! It was like falling on a cloud.......covering a slab of cement!

After the show a family approached us with their son, Matthew, who was wearing a rainbow clown wig.
His parents told us that they have been to our show three times, and Matthew loves us. He even watches our Youtube videos constantly.

Don't let his expression fool you!

I told them to hold tight until we were done taking pictures with everyone so I could run back to the trailer and get Matthew an 8x10 photo.

The pressure was really on since I had just learned to write my name that morning.

I had been feeling down and sorry for myself during the show, so Matthew's love of us was exactly what I needed to snap me out of my funk.

After the show Ryan and I went into the tent to practice our trumpets for the new act we'll be doing on the Christmas tour.
We will be playing a Dixieland style song in two part harmony, and this was the first time we have played our parts together.
Luckily it went very well; I just need to get my trumpet looked at because the valves are sticking a bit.

A little later I walked to the 24 hour laundromat not far from the lot so that I could drop off my dirty clothes; I wanted to get that part over with since I planned to be gone all day for our day off.


11/25/14- Day Off!

This morning I joined the dancers, the Pompeyos, and several members of the Espana family for a traditional English breakfast (egg, back bacon, sausage, tomato, mushroom, beans, toast, and tea) at the Chip Shop, a British pub in Brooklyn.

Visan and Laura had been before and invited the pub's owner to the circus, so he was nice enough to put on the English breakfast for us today even though they usually only do it on the weekend.
He was also nice enough to treat us to the meal. Such a nice guy!

After our delicious breakfast, Claire and I journeyed to explore Williamsburg, a part of Brooklyn that came recommended to us.
Brooklyn is the one area of New York City that I know the least, so I was excited to look around.
Claire and I found lots of great little shops to duck into and browse through, and the weather, although not as beautiful as yesterday's, was still great for an afternoon of walking.

In the evening we met Eggroll in Times Square to have dinner. Afterwards Claire headed back to Queens while Eggroll and I went to see the play, "The Elephant Man".
I really enjoyed the show; the true standout was Bradley Cooper, who played Joseph Merrick, the titular character.
He had to contort his body into such an uncomfortable position to mimic Merrik's disfigurement that I was truly impressed at his ability to hold the deformities while masterfully acting.

During Intermission Eggroll and I saw Memo, our ringmaster, and Hugo, his boyfriend, in the lobby. I was saying how I had a great seat in the Mezzanine for $89, and Memo said that although his seat was fantastic (fourth row in the orchestra section), he had paid almost $900 for his tickets!

My friend, Buist Bickley, is in charge of the props for the show, and even though he is in our hometown for Thanksgiving, he was kind enough to set me and Eggroll up with a backstage tour after the play.

When Eggroll and I exited the theatre there was a mob of hundreds of people at the stage door waiting to see Bradley Cooper.
It didn't seem like we'd ever get over to security to tell them that we were on the list, but luckily Eggroll is a take charge kind of guy.
He essentially dragged me around the fences and right up to the stage door!

When security asked who we were, I gave our names and said we were there to see Diane Divita, the stage manager.
We were whisked backstage to meet Diane, who gave us a great tour. We saw all of the props that Buist had either bought or built for the production, and she took us onto the stage for an up close look.
I was astounded when I saw that the stage was raked, meaning it is tilted at an angle towards the audience.
So not only did Bradley Cooper have to act while twisting his body into a semblance of "The Elephant Man", but he was also working at a slant the entire time!
Bravo, sir!

After our tour, Eggroll and I prepared to go through the stage door and into Shubert Alley to face the waiting mob. The woman at the door gave us a little pep talk and told us to put on a show for the crowd.
Even though I was too embarrassed to follow her advice, Eggroll once again felt right at home and began blowing kisses and waving to the crowd as soon as we exited the stage door.
The people waiting for the stars thought it was hilarious and began cheering and laughing.
It was nice to feel important for a few glorious seconds!

video
Many thanks to Memo, who captured it on his phone!

I guess we should have stuck around, because when Bradley Cooper came out to meet his fans, he took a selfie with Memo on Memo's phone!


On the walk to our subway station Eggroll and I saw a protest over the verdict of the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, MO.
Thousands of people were walking right up Broadway, holding signs and chanting, "Hands up! Don't shoot!"
The protestors just kept coming and coming, and every so often there were police officers marching alongside the crowd.
Traffic was completely stopped in all directions. It was quite a sight to behold.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Saturday, November 22 & Sunday, November 23: Queens, NY


11/22/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

I was so happy that it was warmer today. It got all the way up to the low 40s! A veritable heat wave!

I went into Manhattan this morning to once again try and win cheap tickets to "Book of Mormon"; I bet you can guess the outcome of that....

On the way back to the lot I stopped in Long Island City to pick up a package at the apartment of my friend, Dan.
While I was there he made coffee and we chatted for awhile.

Before heading back to my trailer for the day I went to Flushing to grab a late lunch. My friend, Christina, had given me a list of restaurants that I must visit while I was in the area, and so I decided to try "White Bear", which I had seen several times on my walks.

I went up to the counter and perused the menu for a minute before asking the woman working the register, "May I please have the pork and cabbage dumplings?"
The woman looked at me with a straight face and replied with a blunt, "No."
I was taken aback for a second, and I waited to see if she was going to laugh and let me in on the joke, but she just continued to stare at me before saying, "Number six is good."
Slightly perturbed, I looked over the menu once more to choose something else. I started to say, "Then, can I please have......", but then I saw that the woman simply walked away from me and went to fix a sign in the window.
I decided there were plenty of other places with far better customer service that I'd rather patronize, so I left in a huff.
Maybe it was more like a minute and a huff.....

It was nice and toasty in the tent for the shows tonight, and we had good crowds.

After work I headed to the East Village to have dinner and a drink at Simone's with my friends, Cricket, Evelyn, and Melissa.
After leaving Simone's Cricket and I decided that we were still hungry, so we all visited Mamoun's Falafel Restaurant, where we had delicious, inexpensive Middle Eastern food.

My friend, Dan, was nice enough to offer up his apartment as a place to lie my head tonight. It made perfect sense since it would keep me from having a long, late night trip back to my cold trailer at the circus, and also because I was having breakfast with him in the morning anyway.

I got to bed around 3:30 a.m. for the second night in a row. I'm getting too old for this!


11/23/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

Dan's girlfriend, Lisa, arrived from L.A. a couple of hours after I went to sleep, so she was feeling even more tired than I was this morning.
After a preliminary cup of coffee the three of us walked to a diner not too far from their apartment. Cricket met us there for breakfast, and we all had a good time catching up.

The weather today was even nicer than it was yesterday.
I was very worried about doing three shows after getting such little sleep, but the day was a piece of cake.
Sure my body felt exhausted a couple of times during the more strenuous parts of our gags, but I was expecting much worse!
It helped that we had great crowds for all three shows.

In the second vacuum gag I was doing a new bit where I flirt with a woman in the front row after knocking out Ryan.
It was slim pickings for women sitting front and center that show, but I had spotted a large woman with long, curly hair spilling out from her pink knit cap.
When it came time to do the bit I ran up onto the ring curb and flexed my muscles for her before getting on one knee and taking her hand.
I was very surprised to be offered a large paw of a hand that was as hard as stone. Suddenly I was doubting whether I was dealing with a she or a he.

It was too late to go back, so I committed to the bit and began kissing the mannish hand.
Ryan yelled out to stop me, and as I walked back towards him, I mouthed, "Is that a man?!"
Ryan couldn't give me a definite answer to that question, but noting that the person was wearing sunglasses inside the tent, Ryan commented, "I'm not sure, but I think she's blind."
This struck Ryan as hilarious, as out of all the women in the audience I chose a possibly blind transvestite.
Well, I guess we've identified my type....

Marcos gave the third show inspirational speech tonight, and then I gave an addendum, welcoming Amanda, our newest dancer, to the show. I also read a message from Georgie, and I dedicated the final show to her and Helen.

After the shows Claire invited me over for a delicious home cooked meal. I saw it as a peace offering to end our long standing rivalry, but that didn't stop me from laughing when she dropped her phone screen down in her food.

Silly ol' Claire!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thursday, November 20 & Friday, November 21: Queens, NY


Hey everyone.
It just occurred to me that I wrote about Ryan and Tatiana's surprise baby shower, but I never made any kind of announcement about their great news on the blog preceding that.
Ryan and Tatiana will be having a baby girl. She is due either at the end of January or the beginning of February.
I think Steve is an excellent name for Nico's little sister!


11/20/14- 7:30 p.m.

This afternoon Ryan and I went to Astoria to have lunch with Mark Gindick, a former Ringling and Big Apple clown who is currently working on his one man show, "Wing-Man".
We ate at a great diner, and then we went back to look at a prop that Mark wants rebuilt for his show. We took a lot of notes, measurements, and photos so that Ryan can build the apparatus for Mark this winter.

I was ecstatic to discover that our trailers once again had running water this afternoon!
The first thing I did was fill up my trailer's water tank for the next time the hoses inevitably freeze.

Yesterday during Ryan and Tatiana's baby shower I was told some bad news. Helen told me that due to a family matter, she would be leaving the show, and since we only have a little over two weeks of the tour remaining, she will not be returning.

It just so happens that Amanda, one of the dancers from Vazquez's west coast unit, was here visiting Emma, so she will take Helen's place until the end of the season.

Last night was Helen's last performance, and she took off for the airport this afternoon around 5:30 p.m.
I was very sad to see such a great friend leave, but I was comforted by the fact that in the circus we use the phrase, "See you down the road", instead of "goodbye".
I can't wait until the next time Helen and I can go on adventures to find sushi and used books.




11/21/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

I was upset to hear more bad news first thing this morning. Georgie was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.
Luckily she is going to be ok as she is receiving the care she needs, but they expect her to be in the hospital for at least a week for recovery.

It was a real chore to get through the 6:00 p.m. performance tonight. There weren't a lot of people in the tent, and they were cold, so it was like pulling teeth to get a reaction out of them.
Wednesday and Thursday's crowds were no fun either, but I can't really blame them. It was so cold that the tent's heaters couldn't keep up.

Luckily there were a lot more people at the second show, and they were a much livelier crowd.
My friends, Cricket and Evelyn, were in the audience; I'm really glad they didn't decide to come to the first show!
I worked on Ringling with Cricket for almost two years; in fact, Cricket came in to replace Ryan when he left.
Evelyn is a burlesque dancer who lives in Charleston, SC; we met a few years ago through our mutual friend, Cricket.

After saying goodbye to my friends I headed into Manhattan to have dinner and a drink with Yael at an English pub.
Both of us were pretty beat after interminable, frustrating days at work, so we didn't stay out nearly as long as we did last Friday.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tuesday, November 18 & Wednesday, November 19: Queens, NY


11/18/14- Day Off!

I desperately needed to do my laundry today, but I didn't want to waste precious time on my day off.
What a quandary!
After much debating I decided to use the drop off service at the laundromat near the lot.
WHY HAVEN'T I BEEN DOING THAT ALL SEASON!???!
What a wonderful feeling to not be wasting a couple of hours in a small, crowded laundromat!

I took it easy for our day off. I felt no need to go out that much because it was windy and freezing cold.

In the late afternoon I did join Ryan and his family for a trip to Times Square.
I got them to the theatre where "Aladdin" was playing, and then I headed over to try and win cheap tickets for "The Book of Mormon" AGAIN.
I lost....AGAIN!

Luckily, Ryan and Nico both won two cheap tickets to "Aladdin" in the lottery, so I happily joined the Combses to see that wonderful show once again. (Apparently the lottery for "Aladdin" is WAY easier to win than for "Book of Mormon")

Ryan and Nico had box seats, just like when Josh and I saw the show a few weeks ago. Tatiana and I had excellent seats in the orchestra, so I was able to see things I missed the last time because of my obstructed view in the box.
I was also happy that the original actor who portrayed the character of Iago was in the show, since his understudy had been working last time.
He was excellent, and my second favorite actor, after the Genie.
Once again I loved the show; I highly recommend it if you're in NYC!

Back at the lot Helen came over to watch one of my favorite movies, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", with me.
I told Helen that I hadn't seen the film in awhile, meaning it has been a few months. Helen totally trumped me when she said, "Me either! I think it's been sixteen years since I've seen it!"

It was extremely cold this evening. According to my phone it felt like it was 9 degrees outside.
I was grateful during the night when I woke up and found out that the power was still on long after the time it usually cuts off, which meant that my electric heater was running almost all night.


11/19/14- 7:30 p.m.

I was less grateful this morning when I woke up and found that there was no water.
I had left my faucets running all day and night so the water wouldn't freeze, but the main hoses providing all of us with water were disconnected and drained last night so they wouldn't freeze.
The problem is that all of the hoses going to our houses were not, so they all froze.

Hooray!

Luckily, my pump and pipes were not frozen, but I had neglected to fill my tank, so I didn't have any running water.

D'oh!!!

On a happy note, Natalya Pompeyo organized a surprise baby shower for Ryan and Tatiana that took place today.


Ryan and Tatiana were extremely surprised and happy, and the shower was a great success.
Many thanks to Natalya for all of her hard work and planning!
(A couple of days ago I went over to set the carpenter gag and heard Natalya talking to Ryan about the plans on Wednesday afternoon. Assuming that she was telling him about the shower to help surprise Tatiana, I opened my big trap and said, "Oh, Ryan knows!"
Natalya gave me a look that stopped me in my verbal tracks, and then she quickly saved the situation by repeating what she had just told Ryan. "Yes, he's excited about the Russian restaurant we're taking him and Tatiana to on Wednesday."
I quickly caught on and said, "Yeah! That's a great restaurant! You'll love it, Ryan!"
Luckily he didn't catch my mistake, and with my back to Ryan I mouthed to Natalya, "I'M SORRY!"
I'm so happy I didn't ruin the surprise, despite my best efforts!)

During the day I was amazed at how much I take running water for granted! Even the smallest thing like washing my hands or rinsing off a spoon was made into a chore.
I'm just happy I had stockpiled jugs of water in case of a situation like this one.

Another downside was that I couldn't put temperate water in the bottles and buckets for the water gag tonight.
I filled them up with the hose in the horse stables, so the water was ice cold for the show!

We had a lot of friends at the performance tonight. Chris Allison, Ray Grins, Matthew Duncan, and Josh Edelman were all in the area for one of Chris' "Cirque Du Jour" teaching programs, and Mary Kelly Rayel and Doug Jones were also in NY for a different teaching gig.

After the show Chris, Mary Kelly, Ray, and Doug took me out to dinner, where we had a great time sharing stories and laughing.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sunday, November 16 & Monday, November 17: Queens, NY


11/16/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning Georgie invited me over for the dancers' Sunday breakfast. What a spread Georgie prepared! There were eggs, croissants, muffins, danish, fresh fruit, lox, and plenty of English tea.
I was so grateful that the dancers let me join them; it was great way to start the day.


Weekends in NYC are big business! The first two shows were full, and the third show had a big crowd as well.

Eddie asked us to move to a different position for the start of the vacuum gag so more people would be able to see us; the same kind of change we made for the opening of the water gag.

The first time we started in the new spot it was a bit awkward, and we were sorry that due to limited space we had to lose a bit that we had been doing.
The next show we came up with a better bit, and everything worked out well.

Claire treated me and Georgie to take out Chinese food between the last two shows. I really lucked out on my meals today!

Jan gave the motivational speech today, but for once I didn't need the inspiration to get through the third show.
I attribute the easiness of the day to the fantastic breakfast I had to start my day off right.

In the third water gag I was spitting water in Ryan's pants (how weird is that phrase?), but my form wasn't that great; there was a lot of sputtering and bursts of water instead of a nice, steady stream.
Ryan broke me up when he quipped, "Prostate problems?"


11/17/14- 7:30 p.m.

Early this afternoon I walked to Target to do a little grocery shopping. It was raining pretty steadily, so I had my umbrella handy.

On the walk back I was crossing the bridge from Flushing to Queens when a bus drove by, went right through a huge puddle, and sent a torrent of water directly onto me.
The worst part is that I had my mouth open. The next worst part is that no one was there to see that perfectly comedic moment.
I got drenched, I paused for comedic effect, and then I turned and did a spit take with the nasty street water in my mouth.
The third worst part is that the gutter water gave me Hepatitis A-Z.

Tania, one of the local girls working on concessions, came over to my house before work for a late lunch.
She brought some delicious Peruvian food called arroz de chaufa, which is fried rice with vegetables and meat. It was very tasty!

Our friends, Pat and Thom Stevenson, Jim Shores, and Carol Lang, came up from Baltimore to see our show tonight.
Afterwards they took us to dinner at Applebee's and gave us gifts on behalf of our Circus Fans of America tent. 
We are so lucky to have such an amazingly supportive group of friends.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Friday, November 14 & Saturday, November 15: Queens, NY


11/14/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning many of us in the cast were slated to appear on "Despierta America", UNIVISION's version of "Good Morning America".
I got up at 5:30 a.m. to huddle in front of my heater and have coffee before slapping on the greasepaint.

Even though the program didn't begin until 7:00, we were told to be ready at 6:30 a.m. This left Ryan and I, two groggy, bored clowns, waiting in the tent in full make up and costume for a half hour. That's a sure recipe for disaster....or hilarity, depending on how you look at it.
UNIVISION brought some circusy music to play during some of the shots, and they had a very jaunty piece of clown music playing over and over on the sound system.
Ryan claims that music woke him up more than the coffee he was drinking. In fact, with the music and a couple of stray balloons serving as his inspiration, Ryan put on a little impromptu performance for the entertainment of anyone watching.

video
Ok, I guess disaster was the more appropriate term

Our first two hits for the broadcast were done outside, where it was freezing! 
I was cold in my layered agent suit, so I can't even imagine how the dancers felt in their skimpy little outfits. 

After the first hit the dancers went back inside, but Ryan and I put on our robes and waited for the next segment since the crew told us it would be in a few minutes.
After the second hit nothing was said to us about when we would next go live, so Ryan and I went inside the tent to warm up.

It turns out that we weren't needed again until the end of the program, so I'm happy we took the initiative to seek shelter.
We spent our time in the seats talking with the dancers. They had gotten back to the circus at 3:30 a.m., so I was happy that I decided not to go to the drag show with them.

This was when Claire was telling everyone the story of when I fell off my trailer

Our PR information sheet told us that the broadcast lasted until 11:30 a.m., so you can imagine my happiness when I was informed that the show actually ended at 9:30 a.m.
We filmed two quick hits at the end of the broadcast, and then I went home to shower and climb right into bed!

This evening Maike Schulz, the amazing photographer who takes pictures for Spectacle Magazine, came to watch and shoot both shows.
I can't wait to see her work!

Maike was nice enough to bring us a CD of the photos she took on Kelly Miller last year, and she also brought prints of two of the pictures:



Maike told us that the photo of Ryan putting on his makeup sold at one of her shows for $600! 
Who knew that Ryan in his underwear would be that valuable?!
I better start hustling him on the street corner after the shows.

After work I jumped on a train to Manhattan and met Yael at Barcade, a bar with classic arcade games.
When I arrived at midnight the place was packed, but within an hour the crowd had thinned out considerably.

Yael and I played so many arcade standards: Mrs. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Tapper, Frogger....it was definitely a fun, nostalgic trip down memory lane.
I was most excited that Barcade had the Simpsons arcade game, which I haven't played since I was a little kid.

Yael and I had such a great time that before we knew it it was close to 4:00 a.m., the bar's closing time.
We grabbed a couple of pieces of pizza at a nearby parlor, and then I headed home.

I got mighty cold waiting on the subway trains to take me back to Queens. I found no relief in my trailer either, as it had become an icebox after the show power was turned off.

I was fine once I crawled under all my blankets, and I finally fell asleep about 5:00 a.m.


11/15/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

Even though I only got five hours of sleep, I felt great when I got up this morning.

I headed into Times Square to try and win cheap tickets for The Book of Mormon, but once again my name was not drawn.

I headed back to Queens since it was too cold to stay outside for longer than necessary. 
Once I got to Flushing I visited the dim sum restaurant in the New World Shopping Center, but I didn't enjoy my meal as much this time.
I didn't think there was enough variety in the food on the carts going by, and I really missed the fantastic company I had the last time I ate there.

We had full houses for the shows tonight. The Azzario sisters' act was back in the show after an absence of two days.
Katie had pulled a muscle in her back, but luckily it was minor and she just needed some rest to heal it.

In the second show we made some changes to the entrance and exit of the water gag. Memo asked us to change the entrance; he wanted us to come down to the ring curb earlier during our time in the seats so that more people could see us.
We had to change the exit out of necessity. During the first show one of the follow spotlights burned out, and Eddie told us that the replacement was worthless as well.
Because of that I exited through the seats with Ryan so that they could light us both with the same spot.
It actually worked out well, because we milked one more laugh out of the crowd. When we both styled at the end of our theme song, I cracked Ryan in the face with the back of my hand.

Our composer friend, Larry Lees, came to see the second show. Larry has composed and written several pieces of music for us, and this was the first time he has seen us perform.
I was happy that he got to hear the band play the Tarantella and the Steve & Ryan theme that he wrote.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Wednesday, November 12 & Thursday, November 13: Queens, NY


11/12/14- 7:30 p.m.

Today Eggroll and I met for lunch in Times Square at Junior's. We split a combo meal that came with two small sandwiches, and I also got a piece of their famous cheesecake, which was humongous. (Later, when I told Helen about it, she agreed and compared a slice of their cake to a door wedge, which I thought was a funny analogy.)

Eggy went to see a matinee performance of "On The Town", while I caught the 2:00 p.m. performance of "Side Show".
What a great show! So far it ranks with Pippin and Cabaret as one of my favorite Broadway shows I've seen since we've been in town.
I was familiar with some of the music from the original production back in the late 90s, but the storyline was not familiar to me.
Side Show is definitely the first musical I've seen recently that touched me; I teared up a couple of times during the final scenes.

I was sad to see that our audience for the show tonight was back to what I usually expect for a weeknight.


11/13/14- 7:30 p.m.

This morning Helen and I went to Lincoln Center to see the Big Apple Circus's show, "Metamorphosis".
I saw the show a few weeks ago, but Helen didn't come with the group from Vazquez and really wanted to go.
I wanted to see the show one more time anyway, so I was happy to go with her to her first Big Apple Circus.

I enjoyed the show even more the second time, and Helen absolutely loved it. We had excellent seats thanks to Smiley, the head usher, who moved us to the second row in the center right when the performance was about to start.

During Intermission I visited with Jimmy Tinsman, who works in the Big Apple road office. He was kind enough to give me and Helen some popcorn and bottles of water for the second half of the show.

I'd really like to thank everyone at Big Apple Circus for their amazing hospitality.

After the show we went backstage where Smiley and Eggroll gave us a tour. We were also able to snap some fun pictures while we were there:




Tato and Steve, the most "a-dork-able" performers of our respective shows....according to Eggroll, anyway.


After having our fun backstage, Helen, Eggroll, Tato, and I went to the Olympic Flame Diner to talk and have lunch.

I had planned to go to a drag queen show with the dancers after work tonight, but I found out a few days ago that several of us performers had an early morning television publicity tomorrow.
I decided to pass on the drag show because I knew I'd be hating life at the PR if I only got a couple of hours of sleep.

I did; however, stop by a birthday party (yes, another one) in the tent. This one was held for four members of the Pompeyo family, who lumped their birthdays together into one party (each birthday is only one day apart).
Their was a pajama theme to the party, so I put on my red plaid PJ pants, my Steve & Ryan bathrobe, and my sweet zombie slippers before heading over to visit and have a drink.

There were some funny bedtime ensembles at the party, but Ryan's took the cake:

He decided to keep his make up on for the PR in the morning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tuesday, November 11: Queens, NY- 7:30 p.m.


This morning I borrowed a ladder from the big top so I could do some work on my trailer's roof to stop a leak in my bedroom.
The ladder I borrowed was not an A frame, instead it was one of the ones that has a sliding extension.

I had no sooner placed the end of the ladder on the back of my trailer than I looked over to see Claire, my next door neighbor, watching me like a hawk.
"Don't fall, Steve", Claire creepily intoned. I asked her in the event that I did fall to please call 911 after she was finished laughing.
As I climbed the 45 degree angle to my trailer's roof I became more and more aware that the ladder was not resting very securely on the top of my house.
As I was about to take the last two steps I turned to Claire and said, "This is the scary part."
She was just asking why when I took one more step and the ladder slipped off my roof and quickly dropped away.

Luckily I had put my hands on the roof's edge before I took the fateful step, and as the ladder was falling it was stopped by one of the latches for the trailer's cargo door.
One of my feet landed on the ladder, and the other leg went in between the rungs. The ladder supported my weight for a second before falling to the ground.
I hung from the roof until I had sufficiently prepared myself, and then I let go and dropped to the ground.
When I landed on my feet I lost my balance and fell on the ground in a heap with the ladder.

To her credit, Claire only laughed a little before running outside to make sure I was ok.
I gratefully accepted Claire's offer to hold the ladder while I climbed up to fix the problem.
One part of me wishes that Claire had gotten the whole thing on film, but on the other hand I really don't feel like being a Youtube sensation because of my lack of common sense.

Greg Michales, one of my friends from New Jersey, came to Queens to take me to lunch today. We went to the dumpling house that I visited last week with Yael, and it was just as delicious the second time around.
Greg and I talked about the circus; he asked me questions about the shows I have been on (Greg and his family met me on Kelly Miller a couple of years ago), and he told me about the times he auditioned for Ringling's Clown College.

This evening Ryan and I had some more friends in the audience: Mark Gindick, Michael Bongar, Bob Good, and Alan Jacobs.
Mark is a clown who has worked for Ringling and Big Apple, and he currently performs his highly acclaimed one man show, "Wing Man".
Michael is a Ringling Clown College grad, a former mud show clown, and is currently one of the top variety agents in NYC.
Bob has worked for many years as a hand balancer and magician, and Alan is a member of the well known juggling duo, The Gizmo Guys.

We had another big crowd tonight; I'm hoping this weekday trend continues for the remainder of our run in Queens.

After the show Ryan and I spent some time visiting with Mark and Michael, and then I went over to Georgie and Claire's trailer for a Disney movie night.
We attempted to watch "Monsters University", but the disc we borrowed from Nico was scratched, so we had to stop halfway through due to the movie skipping too much.

Monday, November 10: Queens, NY- 7:30 p.m.


Today Ryan, Lee, Pete, Tatiana, Nico, and I met our friends Rob, Jane, Eggroll, and Bob Good in Flushing for Ryan's birthday lunch.
We were going to eat at the amazing dim sum restaurant that we visited last week, but Rob called us from the mall in which it was housed to let us know that the whole restaurant was closed to the public because a wedding party had rented it.

Instead we all walked to a nearby hot pot restaurant. I haven't been to a hot pot restaurant since I was in Shanghai six years ago. They work like this: everyone has a pot of water situated in the table in front of them, plus the controls for the temperature of the water.
You are provided with a bowl of vegetables, and then you order any meat or other items you want to eat. Once you have all of your food, you cook it in the pot in front of you.
Eggroll had never been to a hot pot restaurant before, and when I told him he had to cook his own meal, he asked, "Well, what am I paying the staff for?"



Even though I got a good night's sleep, my body was still feeling very worn out when it was time for our one show tonight.

I was impressed because we had a huge crowd for a Monday night show; the tent was almost full.
We had a lot of friendly faces in the crowd along with the "townies". Around forty members of the Big Apple Circus crew came to the show, as well as our friends, Rob and Jane, who brought Al Calienes, a clown who has worked on many different circuses, and Michael, who is a juggler.

I found it interesting that the audience seemed a bit reserved for such a big crowd, especially during our first two gags. But then we did the vacuum gag and killed! Go figure....

After the show I visited briefly with Jimmy and Tischa Tinsman, who came with the crew from Big Apple. They were both on Ringling in the 1970's, and they were also on Big Apple as performers in the 1980's.

I joined Rob, Jane, Al, and Michael for dinner at a Muslim Chinese restaurant in Flushing. The food was amazing, and everyone was nice enough to give me their leftovers at the end of the meal.
Hooray for mooching!

Alexa Vazquez was celebrating her 20th birthday with a big party in the tent tonight, but by the time I got back from dinner with my friends it was very late and I was too tired to stop by.
Ryan and I had given Alexa her present before the show, so I didn't feel too guilty about not attending the party.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saturday, November 8 & Sunday, November 9: Queens, NY


11/8/14- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.

This morning I went to the Village to get more gifts for people; it's crazy how many birthdays on the show are happening right around the same time.

While I was in the area I got in contact with Yael, and we met up for lunch at a delicious Mexican restaurant that wasn't too far from where she lives.

Back at the lot Ryan and I were needed to film a segment for "El Gordo y La Flaca", where Lupe (one of the characters on the show, played by a man dressed in drag) is trying to join the circus.

Lupe in all her glory

Several other performers were used for filming the segment, so Ryan and I were only needed for a few minutes.
Because of that, Eddie told us to come at the end of the hour filming slot so we wouldn't have to get into make up only to sit around, which is what we did yesterday.

We filmed a quick bit where I was standing on Ryan's shoulders, and Lupe decided that she wanted to try that too.
Ryan and I then tried, unsuccessfully, to lift her up onto Ryan's shoulders, but instead we suffered back injuries and gave up.
We filmed the bit twice, and then we were done. I'll be sure to post a link here once the segment is aired and available on the website.

Ryan's high school friend turned comedian and comedy writer, Nate Fernald, came to see the show tonight with his girlfriend, Calla.
Nate brought a VHS that he and another friend had made for Ryan while Ryan was away at Circus Smirkus. I transferred it to DVD, and we all watched it after the first performance. Both Nate and Ryan were really excited to watch it again since they hadn't seen it in over a decade.

After our shows this evening, both of which were full, there was a birthday party for Memo, our ringmaster, who is one of the five Vazquez brothers.
I'll say this, Memo knows how to party!
There was a company brought in that was making tacos and quesadillas to order, there were mariachis, a DJ that played a Spanish language version of "Achy Breaky Heart", and late in the evening there were even drag queens!

Carmelo singing with the mariachis
 One of the drag queens. I was a mite disappointed that it wasn't Lupe.

It's a good thing that Memo's party was late in the season; it set the bar pretty high!


11/9/14- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

I was feeling pretty worn out for the three shows today. A week of staying up late for parties finally caught up with me, and my body was constantly reminding me that I needed more rest.

The first two shows today were full, and the audiences were fantastic.

I went over to Georgie and Claire's trailer for tea before the third show, and I stumbled upon a little meal that Claire had prepared for all the dancers. I was happy that my mooching radar had worked so well, and also that the girls invited me to join them in their pre show nosh.

AJ, one of the stage crew members, gave today's motivational speech. He told us he was just going to speak from the heart and tell us things that he liked about each of us.
He told me that he learned from me that even if you're having a bad day, you still need to go out and do your best.

That was a nice reminder, because although the third show also had a big crowd, they were not as into the show as the earlier audiences were.
On top of that, I had a very off performance. The worst was in the vacuum gag, where I had a complete brain malfunction.
I didn't put the broom in the right spot at one point in the act, and it totally threw off the next section of bits.
I guess my brain finally caught up to my body in terms of being exhausted.

After the shows I went by Ryan's house to wish him Happy Birthday at the stroke of midnight. Ryan's mom, Lee, and brother, Pete, came to visit from Boston to spend time with him on his birthday.

At midnight we all gave Ryan his gifts. I was happy to see that he seemed to enjoy mine:


I left Ryan's house and popped over to Helen and Emma's trailer for a late night cup of tea. While we were talking, Emma decided that she was craving fries, and Helen and I both agreed that we were also hungry.
Helen and Emma didn't have any fries in their fridge, so Emma peeled potatoes and made the fries herself.
And that's how two dancers and a clown came to be eating homemade "chips" at 2:00 in the morning after a three show Sunday. 
And that amazingly random sentence perfectly sums up one of the things I love about the circus.

(Mostly I just love free food)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Friday, November 7: Queens, NY- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.


This afternoon Ryan, his family, and I met our friends Rob, Jane, Seth and Christina for lunch at an amazing dim sum restaurant in Flushing.
The food was delicious, and the company was great: the recipe for a wonderful afternoon out.
We're planning on returning Monday for Ryan's birthday.

Before the shows tonight, many of the performers were needed for a television PR. "El Gordo Y La Flaca", the popular television show on UNIVISION that we appeared on in Miami, was broadcasting live from our circus.
Everyone was ready for the beginning of the show at 4:00 p.m., but Ryan and I weren't needed until the very last hit, at the very end of the hour long broadcast.
I was fine with the fact that we sat around the whole time, only to work for a minute; if I can be honest, I was feeling pretty lazy this afternoon!

Before our first show I went over to have tea at Georgie and Claire's trailer, and I got to meet Claire's parents, who have been visiting this week. I was happy to see that hating me doesn't run in Claire's family, or at least, her parents hid it much better than Claire does.

Whenever Eddie, our production manager, comes into the dressing room to give me and Ryan an information sheet about an upcoming PR, Carmelo always stands behind Eddie and does a happy dance, bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet and pumping his hands in the air with a ridiculous smile on his face.
Well, tonight Eddie came in during the second show and gave Carmelo a PR sheet for a television event tomorrow, so Ryan did the happy dance for him.

Karma is a fickle mistress, because just a few minutes later Eddie informed me that we would also be needed for the publicity. D'oh!

After the show there was a barbecue held backstage for Visan's birthday. I didn't stay for too long because it was very cold in the tent, and also because I have been staying out so late the past few nights.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Wednesday, November 05 & Thursday, November 06: Queens, NY


11/5/14- 7:30 p.m.

This afternoon Helen, her friend, Sam, and I went to see a matinee performance of the play, "Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time".
I really enjoyed the show; the young man playing the autistic main character, Christopher, was fantastic, and I loved all the creative ways that the set and lighting effects were used to enhance the story.

Tonight our friends, the Klein family, were at the show. We first met Joey Klein four years ago when his mother reached out to me about Joey wanting to be a circus clown.
We've stayed in touch with Joey ever since, and every year the Kleins would come see us on Kelly Miller.
I was happy we were still able to continue that tradition this year on Vazquez.



After the show the Klein family was nice enough to take me out to dinner, where Joey told me about some of the circuses he's been able to guest clown with this year.

Back at the lot I quickly stopped by the tent for the party celebrating Quincy Azzario's 21st birthday. 
I was happy to see Glen Nicolodi, who was our production manager for a month at the beginning of the season. He is in town for a week to attend production meetings about next year's new tour.


11/6/14- 7:30 p.m.

Today I had lunch in Manhattan with Zac Whinnem. Zac was a Ringling Red Unit clown in 1993, and he currently works for a video game company that makes the popular online multiplayer game, "League of Legends".
We ate at an Irish pub right next to his workplace; the stew I had was the perfect antidote to the dreary, wet weather, and I really enjoyed hearing about Zac's experiences in Clown College and on the road.

Before heading back to the lot I visited a little British store in the Village called Myers of Keswick. I picked up some cookies called Hobknobs for Claire and Georgie since they have been giving me tea so much lately. 

Our friend, Pat Cashin, came to watch the show tonight with his sons, Shane and Jamie. Pat is one of the funniest and quick witted people we know, and we always look forward to his visits.
After the performance he had us laughing about such diverse topics as his proposed circus musical version of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the benefits you could reap as a well known Ringling clown during the 1940's.

After visiting with Pat and getting cleaned up, Ryan, Tatiana, Nico, and I took the subway to The Courtyard Ale House in Queens for Visan's surprise 30th birthday party.
Visan's girlfriend, Laura, had been planning the party for weeks, and she had the back room of the pub rented and decorated for the party.
I wish I could have been with the group to see Visan's face when he came in and everyone yelled, "Surprise!", but we got there afterwards.

I really enjoyed myself at the party. A whole cooked pig was delivered for food, there was a guitarist providing music in the main area of the pub, and I had a great time talking with my friends from the show.


In closing, here is a great review of our show that Ernie Albrecht wrote in the newest online issue of "Spectacle Magazine":

Serendipity in the Bronx: Circo Hermanos Vazquez

Turns Out to Be a Revelation.

As I have said before on all too rare occasions one of the greatest joys of my job is making unexpected discoveries. These surprises always seems to come when least expected, for instant what happened on a recent weekend when I had arranged to see Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs working their new gig with Circo Hermanos Vazquez. I have been following the careers of these two young men ever since I first met Ryan as a teenager with Circus Smirkus. So my expectations were entirely centered on seeing what the change in venue had meant to this pair of traditional, red-nosed American clowns.
They did not make their first entrance until several of the acts had already had their time in the ring. By the time they appeared I was already mightily impressed with the style and first rate artistry of what preceded them. The surprise was all the more powerful given that this show markets itself almost exclusively to an Hispanic population, and does so with great success.
As it turns out Circo Hermanos Vazquez is far more than a niche production. The lineup of features within its classy performance was one top line act after another, all of which were presented with great style, panache and beautiful costumes. The features were supported by a quintet of gorgeous showgirls, who made their way through some novel choreography, a live band and state of the art production values. I haven’t been this excited about a new show since the Circus Fans took in a brilliant production in Mexico.
This is a show that really belongs in the top echelon of American circuses. Insofar as skill level of each act, presented by an array of international stars it easily falls within the top three or four American circuses. And it’s performed in a ring under a big, handsome big top. How many circuses can match or top that?
The only element that sets it apart as a niche product is the talking clown Carmelo, whose repartee with the ringmaster is conducted entirely in Spanish with obviously hilarious results, judging by the enormous reaction of the almost exclusively Hispanic audience in the Bronx.
And then, of course, there is Ryan Combs and Steve Copeland. In these surroundings they have never looked better. They make three appearances, one of which is a major production number. The others are designed to help cover some rigging changes, but each has a great blow-off sight gag. Their major production is swift, slick and handsomely produced with some new props and scenic elements all of which helps put their current work far above what they were able to do on the mud shows from which they recently graduated, and the results have never been more satisfying to them and their audiences, who obviously love their slapstick comedy, which is in huge contrast to the talking clown who is wisely scheduled late in the show. Together the two styles of comedy make for an ideal situation in which the show has its comedy from the best of both worlds, . physical vs. verbal.
The roster of featured acts is another element that sets this show apart from others. The proceedings begin with Alexa Vazquez, the youngest female member of the family, and her hula hoop act, but the real excitement begins an act later when the Azzario Sisters take the ring. Their hand to hand, head to head balancing act is exquisitely choreographed, and they and their work are elegantly impressive, each maneuver completed with a perfect balance of skill and beauty.
High in the apex of the big top the aerial motorcycle act of Visan and Zheni Espana is visually arresting and topped off by a terrific finale in which both the cyclist and his partner at the other end of the rigging are simultaneously airborne turning somersaults and spinning wildly. Their huge rigging is struck and removed with amazing dispatch.
Another knock-out performance is contributed by foot juggler Klaudie Legronova Bremlov. Her work is extraordinarily exciting visually. Talk about hand to eye co-ordination. Bremlov adds eye to foot and hands in a routine so complex it almost impossible to follow. And once again presented, like the sisters, with appealing elegance.
A big liberty horse display with four black and four white Arabians was presented by Aldo Vazquez, the youngest of the Vazquez brothers. The same elegant style prevails here as well, an Intricate series of maneuvers accomplished with almost imperceptible cues and great dignity from the presenter, the very model of ideal composure as described by Antony Hippisley Coxe in A Seat at the Circus .
I have seen the three blond women aptly billed as Trio Bellisimo several times before meeting up with them here where they remain as amazing as ever. They build a series of balanced poses through contortion that tests one’s credulity. But they are indeed the real thing.
The flying act, billed simply as the Flying Heroes, dressed in the most understated, least flashy costumes I have ever seen on a flying act, make up for all that with the daring and precision of their flying and use of a complicated rigging that allows drops and catches on several levels. They also complete a triple most impressively.
There is also a frantically paced diabolo act offered by David Confal, a fairly ordinary dog act, disguised by its handsome costumes, presented by the Pompeyo Family and a Russian swing which is not one of my favorite acts anywhere. Add to all this a quintet of dancing girls decked out in spectacular feathers and day-glo costumes, and you have a spectacular production.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Monday, November 3 & Tuesday, November 4: Queens, NY


11/3/14- 7:30 p.m.

This morning I went to do laundry at a laundromat not too far from the lot. It was way too crowded, and there was an annoying child running around with a laundry cart and crashing into everyone, so as soon as my clothes were dry I left and folded them back at my trailer.

Later in the day I put together my costume for the company's belated Halloween party, and I also practiced my trumpet.
Ryan and I are trying out a new song and dance number for the Christmas tour this year, and we also play trumpet in the act.
I had set November 1st as my deadline for being able to play the song without the sheet music, but I have been slacking on my practice lately.

We had a good turnout tonight for a Monday night performance. My friends, Watson Kawecki and Christine Duenas, came to see the show with their two children.
Watson and Christine were both Ringling clowns, and they were nice enough to correspond with and encourage me when I was a teenager.
They brought an excellent free roll of goodies from a bakery in Staten Island, which is where they live.

After the show was the Circo Hermanos Vazquez Halloween party.


Before the party started, Ryan and I helped Nico Espana apply his devil prothesis and make up.


Ryan had already helped Nico apply the same make up on Halloween, so it was simply a matter of reattaching the latex pieces and then touching up any areas that had ripped.


I had plenty of time to help Ryan and Nico because my costume was very simple:

Half the people at the party didn't understand what I was, so I had this picture handy on my phone to explain the joke.

Here are some of the more involved costumes from the party:














11/4/14- 7:30 p.m.

This morning I went to a post office in Long Island City to pick up a package that my friend, Jessi, sent to me from Japan.
I then went to the Union Square area to pick up a few gifts for upcoming birthdays. 
While I was there I couldn't pass up the chance to go back to Desi Shack, the delicious Pakistani restaurant that I was introduced to last week. 

Tonight a group of folks from Big Apple Circus came to see our show, including our friend, Eggroll, the ringmaster, West Hyler, who directed the current BAC production, and Mark Lonergan, who is directing next year's show.
They really enjoyed our show, and it was nice to chat with them for a few minutes after the performance.

After the show I left Ryan to visit with the Big Apple folks, and I hurried to get cleaned up for dinner with Yael.
Yael is an advertising executive for the make up company, L'Oreal, and she used to be a flying trapeze student and instructor.
We walked over to Flushing and had a delicious dinner at Nan Xiang Dumpling House, followed by a drink at a nearby pub. It was a nice night out.