Monday, February 23, 2015

The Great Winter Post Of Aught Fifteen Part II: The Royal Hanneford Circus Holiday Gala

While we were performing in Queens with Vazquez, we were visited by Billy Martin and the cast of the Royal Hanneford Circus.

After the performance Ryan and I were chatting with Billy, and we mentioned that we would be in Pennsylvania in December performing on the Christmas tour.
Billy mentioned that he also had a show going on in Malvern, PA (outside of Philly) in December. As luck would have it, not only was Malvern close to where we were staying, but their run was also during our days off from the Christmas tour.
We told him that we were looking forward to visiting and seeing the show, and we left it at that.

A couple of days later, Billy e-mailed and asked if Ryan and I would be interested in working the Hanneford date since we would be in the area with time off.
He asked us to perform meet and greet entertainment before each performance, take place in finale, and assist Mark Gindick with one of his clown gags.
Since we had spent a good amount of time with Mark in New York, Ryan called him up and asked if we would be cramping his style by taking the gig, but Mark was totally on board with the idea.

Billy's one concern was that the sponsor for the Holiday Gala was extremely worried that Ryan and I would scare children with our circus clown looks, so at their request, Ryan and I seriously toned down our make up and costuming.

Seriously toned down......

I felt like such a cheat wearing next to nothing on my face, but that is what the sponsor wanted, and when she saw us she said, "You look great!"
As long as the person signing the check is happy, I'm happy!

The Royal Hanneford Circus Holiday Gala run was three days long. There were three shows on Friday, and four shows on Saturday and Sunday.
Even though it was a busy schedule, Ryan and I definitely had it easy. Thirty minutes before each show we would greet the audience as they entered the reception tent and picked up drinks and goody bags.
Ryan and I generally hung around the table with water bottles and apple juice boxes throwing out one liners and made bartending jokes. We also encouraged people to take as many drinks as they wanted because we weren't footing the bill.

In the show itself, Ryan did some shtick with Billy Martin, the ringmaster, to introduce the camel act.

Much to Billy's dismay.

Both of us also assisted Mark Gindick in the "Singin' In The Rain" act that Mark performed with Barry "Grandma" Lubin on the Big Apple Circus several years ago.
It was strange being in the ring to clown and not even breaking a sweat. Our job was to provide the "rain" by spitting on Mark as he performed the titular song from the movie.
It was an honor to perform the act with Mark, and although I knew I'd never perform it as well as Barry did, I did my best and the audience and staff enjoyed it.

Here are some more photos of the hour long show, taken by one of the performers:

Everyone was very nice and welcoming, and we happy to be working with several familiar faces, including Larry Stout, who also provides music on the Christmas tour, and Armando Loyal, who we worked with for five years on Kelly Miller.

Many thanks to Billy Martin for extending the invitation to fill in our days off with extra work in a fun environment, and also to Mark Gindick for being gracious enough to let us work the date with him.
It was a pleasure working with him, as well as laughing and discussing clowning with him in the dressing room.

Coming up next, the thrilling conclusion to this three part saga! 
Don't miss it!!!!!!!

1 comment:

Megan Ivey said...

Great photos. Saw Mark do that same act in Sonoma California 2 years ago. Would have been great to see all three of you in the ring together. Have a Great season. Megan Ivey