4/30/15- 7:30 p.m.
Today I drove to Chandler, AZ to visit with the Taylor family. Barbara Taylor was a clown on Ringling's Red Unit in the 1980s, and now she and her husband, Martin, have a family circus with their children Elia, Aubrey, Ian, and Liam.
The Taylor family treated me to breakfast at T.C. Eggington's, a great breakfast restaurant that is close to the lot we'll be playing in Mesa next week.
After eating we went back to the Taylor's house where Barbara showed me some of the costumes and props that she had made.
In the middle of one of our conversations, Barbara whipped up a delicious batch of cherry scones for me to take back and share with Ryan and his family.
The Taylor family was so nice to me, and I had a great morning and afternoon visiting with them. I can't wait to spend more time with them when we get to Mesa!
The temperature reached triple digits today: 101 degrees, to be exact.
Not surprisingly, it was still warm in the tent by showtime at 7:30 p.m.
I received some upsetting personal news right at the beginning of the show, and I was down for the entire performance.
What's worse is that my mood affected my performance, and I had an awful show.
My funk must have caused a cosmic disturbance in the ring, because as the water tank was pushed out for Duo Exxtrem's act, it came off of one of the rails just as it reached the entrance of the ring.
Mecho and Mira were unable to use it for their act, and we had to run out for finale dodging the giant tank in our way.
I'm not sure how they got the extremely heavy tank back on the rails after the show, but I don't envy anyone who had to deal with that problem.
Marcos España invited me to join a group going to see the new Avengers movie tonight after work, and at first I wasn't going to go because of the mood I was in. Finally I decided I needed to get out and occupy my mind instead of wallowing in self pity in my trailer.
I made the right choice.
Marcos, his brother Julius, and Franchesca Cavalini, and I caught the 10:30 p.m. showing of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" at the mall's movie theatre.
I expected a huge crowd, since the movie just came out, but we were four of eight people in the auditorium.
Since we saw the film at a Cinema Latino location, the movie was in English with Spanish subtitles.
Two and a half hours of mindless entertainment was exactly what I needed, and I enjoyed the film, even if I didn't like it as much as the first film.
5/1/15- 6:00 and 9:00 p.m.
Happy First of May, everyone!
For those of you who don't know, and I'm paraphrasing here, circuses used to hit the road on May 1st, and so new circus performers are still known as "First Of Mays".
One of my favorite parts of May 1st is looking at pictures that my circus clown friends post on Facebook of their first year with a show.
I posted this photo from 2003 on Ringling that I felt perfectly summed up what it is like to be a First of May.
Sandor Eke, my personal big brother/bully
This year I had a very frustrating First of May. I spent all day up until showtime dealing with my phone at the Verizon store.
Ever since we arrived in Phoenix, my phone has been acting screwy. My signal was never strong, and my phone would drop a call anytime I moved even a few feet.
When I found out that no one else on the show with Verizon was having service issues, I decided to go to a store in the Desert Sky Mall to hopefully solve the problem.
After much troubleshooting to no avail, I was told to go to one of the big stores. There was one about two miles away from the lot.
Once I got there my problem was pegged as a manufacturer error, so my phone was replaced with a new version of what I already had.
It took forever to transfer all my photos, contacts, and other information from one phone to the other, but finally I was able to go home.
Not thirty minutes after leaving the store, my phone flashed the message Invalid Sim Card, and I was unable to make calls, send texts, or use the Internet.
I was cutting it close to show time by this point, so I rushed back to the Verizon store to see what the problem was.
The staff member who helped me tried a simple reset of the phone, and after that my service returned, and luckily all of my information was still intact too.
Weather wise, today was another triple digit day, and the audiences coming to our shows were just not having it.
It was so hard giving the people all our energy and getting nothing in return.
In the first performance Ryan and I popped a car tire at the beginning of the carpenter gag, so we spent all of our free time after Intermission replacing it.
Then, when we were throwing the beach balls in the audience during the second show, my ball got a rip in it, and it quickly deflated.
Mind you, this happened on my second throw, so I was left with nothing to do for the rest of our time covering the Russian swing set up.
I pulled every bit of schtick out that I could. I gave the deflated beach ball CPR, and then I began doing hat tricks with the bowler I was wearing from the carpenter gag. Luckily that got me through until the end of the number.