4/24/15- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
When it came time to unload our props this morning, I had to call Nestor, who parks all of us, and have him bring someone with a forklift to move my trailer forward.
The back of my house was too close to the perimeter fence that goes around the lot, and I was unable to get the ramp down so we could get the props out of my cargo area.
After we were finished unloading, my trailer was moved back into position. The fences won't be an issue for load out since they are always taken down on the final day of an engagement.
For some reason our show will not have animal acts here in Phoenix, or in the next town, Mesa.
A flying trapeze act performed by the Cavalini family was brought in to help fill the gap in the program, and a couple of acts were moved around.
Since there was no dog act in the first half, Ryan and I had to hurry up a bit after opening to get ready for the water gag.
The trapeze act was put at the start of the second half, which moved the Russian swing to the end of the first half.
Eddie asked Ryan and I if we could come up with something to cover the set up of the Russian swing; what bugged us was that he asked us two nights before we opened, instead of weeks ago when this presumably was all decided.
We planned to go a simple route, especially since we would be performing this filler material immediately following our carpenter gag.
We went to Walmart and bought a couple of large beach balls which we could toss around the audience while the swing rigging was erected.
Ryan and I had a quick rehearsal to map out the beach ball cover this afternoon, and then the cast rehearsed opening and finale to plug the Cavalini family into those numbers.
It was hard work going into the beach ball cover right after the carpenter gag. There weren't a lot of people in the audience, so it was tough keeping my beach ball constantly in motion. I had to keep running around and retrieving the ball from where it had stopped in a section of empty seats.
By the time I got backstage I had a painful stitch in my side, yet I had to rush to get ready for our Intermission tableau with the dancers.
We were all worried about our show being way too short with two acts missing, but the DJ who was appearing tonight as our special guest took it upon himself to take care of that.
He hosted a dance contest during both shows that went on For. Ev. Er.
The first show the DJ went on after Carmelo, and he roped the poor guy into helping him out, right after Carmelo had finished his 10 minute act.
In the second show there was no hula hoop act, which meant we had to rush even more to get ready for the water gag.
Once we got to our spot to start the gag, we discovered that the DJ was going to be doing his dance party right before our act.
This frustrated us because he brought the show's energy to a dead stop; we knew that we'd now have to work extra hard to get any reactions from the already small and quiet crowd.
After the DJ finally finished, Ryan I bypassed any of our schtick in the seats since the crew had used the copious time they had during the dance party to remove all of the aerial motorcycle rigging.
We went directly to the ring curb to do our warm up bits, and I about lost my mind when I saw that the DJ was standing right in front of us, at our knee level, in our light, signing autographs and taking pictures with a group of people.
I stopped what I was doing, put my hands on my hips, and tapped my foot as I stared down at the back of his head.
After a few seconds I realized that he had no situational awareness (or common courtesy, apparently), so I said, "It's ok. We'll wait."
He turned around and said, "Oh, um.....sorry."
Right then our publicist, Lidia rushed up and escorted everyone away from the front of the ring, but by then I was absolutely furious at the lack of respect we had been shown.
I tried to take that anger and convert it into performance energy, which worked very well, but I still let everyone in the men's dressing room know my thoughts on the situation after the act. I think I made my point rather.....passionately.
Even though the rest of the show went fine after the water gag, I was completely over the day, and I was happy to be in my trailer after work.
4/25/15- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Today was the birthday of our ringmaster, Marcos Valdes. Ryan and I bought Marcos a gift back in San Antonio, a DVD featuring his father, famous comedian "Loco" Valdes.
I was worried that Marcos would have already picked up the DVD while we were in town, but he hadn't, and he loved the gift.
The dancers had cake prepared, so before the first show we all gathered in the backstage to sing, "Happy Birthday", and get all sugared up before work.
My brother, Trent, came to watch the second show tonight. He lives in Tucson, but he drove up to visit and watch me work. I was really excited, because he hasn't seen me perform since my final year with Ringling, eight years ago!
Luckily he saw us with a good audience; the one drawback was the bald guy I picked for the vacuum gag was a real pain in the butt, and he didn't want to play along at all.
After the shows there was a birthday party for Marcos in the backstage tent. I was hoping Trent could stick around, but he had to drive a couple of hours back to Tucson and then go to work early in the morning.
The circus band provided live music for the party, and Marcos even entertained his guests for his own celebration.
The music was hot, and pretty soon everyone was dancing.
I played the part of a wall flower, but I did take Abrianna in my arms for a bit so Ryan and Tatiana could dance.
While I was swaying back and forth to the music with the baby girl in my arms, she let out a big yawn. I guess that sums up my dancing abilities rather well!