Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday, September 7-Sunday, September 13: Aurora, IL

9/7/15- 7:30 p.m.

I was going stir crazy in my trailer today, so close to show time I went for a long walk. That helped immensely.

We had a great crowd for the show tonight, and we absolutely killed with the carpenter gag. That was exactly what I needed since I haven't been happy with the reactions the gag has been getting for the past few days.

9/8/15- 7:30 p.m.

I had an incredibly stressful morning trying to pay my quarterly taxes. I tried to buy money orders from the post office, but the lady refused to sell them to me because it was such a big amount of money, and because my mailing address and the address on my driver's license were different.
I tried to explain to her that I was on tour, but she wouldn't relent.

It really bugged me that a government facility was keeping me from paying my federal taxes.
I ended up getting checks from Bank of America, and I had to pay for each check even though I have an account with the company.

After finally finishing the whole ordeal, I met up for lunch with my friends Gary and Ellyn Podolsky. Gary is a 1985 Clown College graduate, and he brought his photo albums from CC and his time working at Carnival Plaza in Japan; I had a lot of fun perusing the pictures.
His wife, Ellyn, makes amazing home baked goods, and I was thrilled that she brought some of her delicious strawberry jam bars, which are me and Ryan's favorites.

My nice meal and visit with my friends helped alleviate the frustration of my taxing tax paying morning.

It was rainy and humid today, and to make matters worse, the air conditioners were not turned on for our one show.
It felt so disgusting in the tent, and coupled with the fact that not many people showed up to watch us, it wasn't a very fun work night.

9/9/15- Day Off!

It is my understanding that we had today off because the circus wasn't able to procure permits that allowed us to work on our lot for more than five days in a row.
Whatever the reason, I was thrilled to have a night off in the middle of a work week, which is something that never happens on this unit.

For my night off I went to Naperville, IL. I meandered along the River Walk and spent some time watching the ducks swim, bathe, and play in the water. I then checked out some of the shops downtown.
There were little cars scattered around town that all had different themes and paint jobs. My favorite was this classic cartoon character themed car.

Later in the evening I met up with my friend, Brittany, and we had dinner at Ted's Montana Grill, home of bison burgers and steaks.

9/10/15- 7:30 p.m.

Today I had lunch with my friend, Don Lansu. We spent most of the afternoon visiting with each other and talking about clowning.
I was happy I got to visit with Don a few times while we were in the Chicago area this year.

Today was another nasty, rainy day, and I got soaked while saying goodbye to Don.
I took a long, hot shower that felt amazing, and then I curled up in bed where it was dry and warm.....until I wet the bed.

We had a great audience for the show tonight, and our friends, Jim, Carol, and Allison Streit were in the crowd.
Jim was a Ringling clown in the early 80's, and I haven't seen him and his family since we were with Kelly Miller.

After the show the Streit family took me to dinner so we could properly catch up. When I got back to the lot I quickly stopped by the birthday party for Jo, one of the dancers.
I missed out on having some of Vincent Von Duke's famous brisket and wings at the party, but I was glad I got the opportunity to spend time with my friends.

9/11/15- 7:30 p.m.

This afternoon Emma, Grace, and I went to the Hollywood Palms Theater, which was one of the coolest movie theaters I've ever visited.

There were movie posters all over the lobby, and to get to the theaters, we had to go through a big set of doors that looked like they were taken out of the movie "King Kong".

Each auditorium had its own theme and decorations; naturally I was thrilled that we were in the cartoon themed theater.

There were long tables throughout the room with rolling office chairs for seating. Before the film started a waiter took our food and drink orders; the menu was filled with funny movie references.

We saw the new horror movie, "The Visit", which was a lot of fun. I was on the edge of my seat many times, and a couple of the scares made me jump.

This week we began a new show schedule. Instead of two shows on Friday and Saturday, we are now doing one show on Friday (yay!) and three shows on Saturday (boo!).

I loved having extra free time today, and we had another great crowd for our one performance.

9/12/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning Emma and I had brunch at Blueberry Hill, the same restaurant where I met up with my friends Gary and Ellyn the other day.

Today was our first day of having three shows on Saturday. Unfortunately there was a very small crowd at the 2:00 p.m. performance.

One thing I noticed today was that there were a lot of Caucasians in the audiences. Memo did some of the announcements in English as well as in Spanish for their benefit.

For today's third show motivational speech I had the cast play a game of Hangman to figure out the inspirational message.

We had a great crowd for the final show of the day. One thing I enjoy about this new show schedule is that we no longer finish work after 11 p.m. on Friday or Saturday.

9/13/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning Emma and I had brunch at Panera Bread. I passed on going anywhere more unique because I had a very important errand to run, and I needed our meal to be quick.

After dropping Emma off back at her hotel I made the two hour round trip out to Berwyn to pick up my laptop.
My computer should have been repaired last week, but the motherboard that the repairman ordered ended up being defective.
I let him know that time was a factor since I was leaving for Maryland tonight, and luckily he finished everything in the nick of time.

I was happy to see that my laptop was as good as new, and I didn't lose any of my files due to my negligence.

Speaking of negligence, maybe thirty minutes after getting my computer home, I spilled a cup of water onto my couch, and the liquid landed just a few inches from my computer.
I'm a walking disaster area!!!

The first audience today was so dead; it was tough to get through the 2:00 p.m. show.

In the second performance Ryan and I were doing the carpenter gag when all of a sudden the audience released a huge laugh at an odd moment.
We were confused until we realized that the prop guy striking our car got yanked off his feet because the car got stuck on the edge of a ring curb as he was exiting.
Everybody wants to get in on the act!

Today Mecho gave the third show motivational speech. He talked about how he was a chubby kid that coaches wouldn't give the time of day to, but he worked hard and practiced all the time, and soon he was performing better than all of the other children.

Some of our friends from Kelly Miller were at our last performance in Aurora. I was glad they picked that show to visit, because I was really on.

After we finished loading out, Ryan and I visited with our friends for a bit. We were in no big hurry, because we had to wait for other trailers to move before we could leave the lot.

I was able to get my trailer out after an hour or so, but I had to wait forever before Ryan was able to get out.
We didn't end up leaving Aurora until 2 a.m. By that point I was exhausted, so we only drove about 70 miles before stopping at a Walmart in Indiana for the night.


Unknown said...

Next time you are in the Chicago/Aurora area I would love to meet you and pick up the tab for lunch. I really appreciate your blog and the stories of life on the road. Thanks for the way you promote and preserve the art of clowning. -Ken Johanson (Hamburger Clown emeritus...)

Steve Copeland said...


Absolutely. I'll let you know the next time I'm in the area.