Friday, November 27, 2015

Tuesday, November 3-Tuesday, November 10: Freehold, NJ

11/3/15-7:30 p.m.

Pamela and I had lunch at an empanada restaurant this afternoon. The empanadas were good, but they weren't better than the ones Tatiana makes.

After lunch Pamela and I visited Turkey Swamp Park to walk around in nature and enjoy the beautiful weather.

We did such fantastic photo concession business the first weekend in Freehold that I had a sizable chunk of extra money burning a hole in my pocket. I took that and combined it with a couple of birthday gift cards to buy a Nintendo Wii U game system. Now you all know what I have been doing rather than updating my blog.....

We had a good crowd for the show tonight, but they were very unfocused. Any of the more subtle bits we did seemed to be missed completely; the people mostly responded to the big slapstick and sight gags. Mostly.

Our clown friend, Dan McCallum, came to visit again this evening, so we enjoyed chatting with him before and after work.

11/4/15- 7:30 p.m.

Today I met my friend, Doug Young, for lunch at the mall right next to the lot. Doug is the owner of the New Jersey Circus Center, which is just down the road from where we are set up.

After eating we checked out a new Japanese store called UNIQLO that just opened in the mall. I found some great black and white striped socks that made perfect clown costume accessories; I picked up a few pairs at a great price.

Back at the lot I invited Nico over to take my new Wii U system for a spin.

Last night was supposed to be our last in Freehold, but the show made a knee jerk decision based off the great business we did this past weekend, and we will be staying here through next Tuesday.

I feared a terrible drop off in business, and although we did get a small crowd tonight, they weren't a bad audience, which was some consolation.

11/5/15- 7:30 p.m.

Today Pamela and I had lunch at Bobby's Burger Palace, a restaurant chain owned by TV chef, Bobby Flay.
It was ok.
Return again? I don't think I may.

Look out Dr. Seuss!

Ryan and I died a horrible comedy death in the show tonight. On the bright side, our clown friend, Brenn Swanson, visited with her family, and she brought delicious cookies for us. She also brought a program from the very first clown festival in China that she helped organize back in 2007.

11/6/15- 7:30 p.m.

Our clown friend, Pat Cashin, came to visit this afternoon so his son, Jamie, could play with his new friend, Nico.
While the kids played, Ryan, Pat, and I visited and shared many laughs.

We had slightly better attendance for the show tonight, which was promising. Our friends, John Bundy and Morgan, came to watch the performance.
John plays Santa on the Christmas tour that Ryan and I perform on every December, and Morgan is his assistant when he performs his magic shows throughout the year.

The alternator belt came off the little car this evening. Unfortunately I didn't discover that until I threw down the clutch so the car could make its entrance into the tent.
I quickly jumped out of the car and pushed it around the ring. I thought I was in pretty good shape until I noticed how exhausted I was for the gag after having to do that impromptu change.

After the show we visited with Bundy and Morgan for awhile, and before we headed back to our trailers, we saw Luis, who gave us an amazing gift: a microphone and all of the equipment that goes with it so that we can record our own high quality announcements and sound effects.
It was such a thoughtful gift that for once Ryan and I were speechless.

11/7/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

It completely slipped my mind for us to fix the alternator belt on the little car before the first show, so once again we had to push the auto into the ring for the 2:00 p.m. carpenter gag.

At Intermission we went to fix the problem, but it turned out to be a more involved job than we had  anticipated.
We had to borrow an Allen wrench from Martin to properly fix the belt, but I was happy that we finished the repair before the second show.

I was worn out and achy today from being sick, but the second audience was really into the show, and they gave me a burst of energy.

By the third show I was feeling incredibly discouraged. I had so little energy from being sick that I felt like I couldn't do a good job for the crowds no matter how hard I tried.

11/8/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

I chose to sleep in as much as I could today, and it seemed to help. My body felt much better, and I had energy for all of the shows.
I owe a lot of that to my wonderful girlfriend, who drove to the grocery store after doing three shows last night so she could get the ingredients to make me chicken and dumpling soup.

I did feel that the audiences were tough today, but I had a very good second show.

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

My clown friends, Lee Andrews and Joey Klein, came to visit this afternoon. Before we went to lunch I warned them that I was feeling really run down from the six pack and from being sick, but by the end of our visit, I was feeling in much better spirits.

Joey brought a very thoughtful gift along with him. Last weekend when we were walking around the mall, I lamented that I have never been able to find a duck calendar.
Joey took it upon himself to find twelve different pictures from my Facebook page of me with my different pet ducks, and he made me my very own 2016 duck calendar.

After the show there was a birthday party for Alexa Vazquez. Pamela and I only made a brief appearance as I felt the need to rest since I was still recovering from my sickness.

11/10/15- 7:30 p.m.

It rained all day today. Pamela and I spent most of our free time running errands and getting ready for our jump.

Today was Ryan's 31st birthday, so when he and his family got back from running errands, Pamela and I went over to his house to take him his present.

Everything was wet in the tent for the show tonight, especially the ring curb and track where the audience walks to their seats. To avoid slipping and busting our butts any time we had to run in our gags, Ryan and I had to be very careful and really pick up our knees as we ran; it looked like we were involved in a Benny Hill chase sequence.

There was a small crowd for our final show in Freehold, but they had a good time.

Ernest Albrecht, the editor of Spectacle Magazine, came to watch the show with a friend. Here is the review that he wrote in the most recent issue:

"I caught up with the so-called Western Unit of Circo Hermanos Vazquez in an upscale mall in New Jersey that the Cole Bros. show played several years ago, just once.  The Vazquez troupe was  there with the stipulation that the show would include no animals, which apparently even included dogs and horses.  To compensate the circus brought in new thrill act, made of up motorcycle daredevils who jumped from one ramp to another across the space of the entire ring .
The show also included one new act which I had never seen before.  Duo Exxtrem’s double strap act upped the spectacle by being dunked into a tall and rather narrow fish bowl between flights.  For a spectacular finish they included bursts of bubbles, fire and smoke to their impressive work aloft.
I also enjoyed seeing Klaudie Legronova Bremlov, the show’s amazing foot juggler, again, and, of course, the cast included Steve Copeland and Ryan Combs, whose work that rainy, chilly night before a very small audience was about as close to comic perfection  as you will find.  I was impressed anew by the duo’s  carpenter gag whose beautifully realized props, turned the act into a small Laurel and Hardy movie set.  The vacuum gag’s blow off utilized more of the team’s clever props.  Obviously Ryan is the Paul Jung of the present generation.  I know of no other producing clowns, who are as effective, that is to say funny, clever and surprising as this talented pair.
I also enjoyed watching Steve get even with an audience member who decided not to play by the rules in the beach ball bouncing time filler interlude.   He knows how to handle a recalcitrant or uncooperative audience member and make him regret his trying to top the clowns.
Another new element added to the show is a bit of sermonizing a la UniverSoul.  “Kiss your parents and thank them for bringing you,” kids in the audience are admonished.
The audience on the night I attended was small because it was the closing night of a week’s extension of the original run.  As is often the case, the added week was not as well promoted as the first week, but the company played it all full out."

The "getting even" with an audience member that he referred to happened like this:
After the carpenter gag I caught my beach ball on the ring curb and descended the steps into the audience. The spotlight was right in my face, temporarily blinding me, so I walked right into a row of empty metal folding chairs. I bashed my shin really hard and fell on my face; not the best way to start an act.

As I limped around the stands hitting the ball to people, one smart aleck man grabbed the ball, held onto it, and smiled at me as if to say, "What are you going to do now, clown?"

I simply smiled and waved goodbye to him, and then I left the tent. I made sure to wave goodbye to him one more time before going down the stairs that lead to under the seats.
I quickly ran as fast as I could under the seats, and I went up the staircase that brought me directly behind where the troublemaker was sitting.
Before he could react, I grabbed his hat, taunted him with it, ran down the stairs, and tossed his cap into the ring.
I turned around and blew him a big kiss before returning to my beach ball.
Big laugh from the crowd.

The lesson to be learned? Don't screw with the clowns, especially when one of them is limping and bleeding under his costume.

Taking the props from backstage to my truck wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.
We loaded as much stuff into my truck as we could, and then we pushed the big props over. That part was easier since there was hardly any traffic at the intersection we had to cross. I was even able to drive the little car over, which was very easy.....and fun!
The one frustrating thing that happened was that the weld broke on one of the wheels on the carpenter box.
Guess what we'll be fixing in the next town?!

Most people weren't going to leave for Newburgh, NY, the next town, until the morning, but Ryan and I wanted to avoid traffic, so we decided to leave tonight.
Nestor helped us leave since the trailer parking area was so tight, and by the time we hit the road it was already midnight.

It was supposed to be about 104 miles to Newburgh, but Ryan's RV GPS took us on a route that was about 20 miles longer. I didn't mind too much because it took us away from New York City and all of that traffic.
It rained the whole drive, so that was bad enough. There were a few times that the road was so shiny from the collected water that I couldn't see the lines for lane separation.

We stopped at a Walmart in Newburgh around 4 a.m. Our plan was to wait there until we were called to be parked at the new lot.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Wednesday, October 28-Monday, November 2: Freehold, NJ

10/28/15- Day Off!

Our lot is right next to a really nice mall, so while we waited to be parked, Pamela and I walked around and checked out the different shops and restaurants.

There were intermittent periods of heavy rainfall today, and unfortunately one of them occurred while I was getting my trailer parked.
I got soaked to the bone by the time I was done unhooking my truck, which left me none too pleased.
Adding to my bad mood was the fact that our trailers are parked far away from the circus, and it is going to be a real pain in the butt to get the props to the tent on our opening day and then back again on load out night.

Once I had a hot shower I was feeling much better, and I was even happier when Pamela and I stepped out for a date night.
Unfortunately back at the lot I was met with more frustration. Because Ryan and I have trailers with cargo doors that need to open for prop loading and unloading, and because all the trailers are parked in a tight area, Ryan and I are all the way at the end of the long line of trailers.
This also put us very far from the power boxes, and I discovered that I didn't have enough cable to plug my house into electricity.

Since it was late and no one was around, I resolved myself to dealing with the problem in the morning.
This was one day that made me glad that we are getting off the road next year. I've had about enough for now.

10/29/15- Day Off!

Today was a new day, and I felt completely refreshed after getting a good night's sleep.

Nestor, who parks our trailers, was nice enough to let me borrow his power cable for this town. It was just long enough to let me plug into electricity; if my trailer had been another few feet away, I would have been in the same predicament.

Pamela and I went out to do laundry today, and then we went to a couple of different thrift stores to shop for my Halloween costume.

We ended the evening having dinner with the Combs family at the Cheesecake Factory just a stone's throw from our houses.

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

Ryan and I put all of our costumes and the majority of our props into the back of my truck and drove them over to the tent this morning; it took two trips.
The carpenter box and the little car we pushed to the edge of the road, and then across a busy intersection with no crosswalk to get them to the backstage.

Our twin photographer friends, Jason and Justin Senft, came to visit and watch the show this evening. They brought me a belated birthday gift, an awesome Bumble decoration for my Christmas display back home.

We had a good crowd for our first show in Freehold. We don't have the dog or tiger act in this town because the mall didn't want animal acts, so the Vazquez brothers brought in a motorcycle jumping act to close the show.
Jason and Ray are jumping their bikes from a small ramp in the entrance to the seating area to a humongous landing ramp located at the back of the ring.
As soon as one of them would complete a jump, they would then drive under the seats and back into the lobby area to get ready to jump again.

Ryan and I found out right before the show that we would be covering the set up of the two ramps, and we were worried that the portion of the vacuum gag that happens in the seats wouldn't be long enough for the crew to set up everything properly, but that turned out to not be an issue.
What was a problem was that the ramp in the seating entranceway blocked many of our bits from different sections of the audience; it was frustrating to try and adjust all of our blocking on the fly.
In addition to that, Luis couldn't see us for half of the gag, so he had to keep guessing when to hit our sound effects.

10/31/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

We had a small, dead crowd for the first show; it was really tough performing for them. I guess they all came to the show as zombies in honor of Halloween.

The crowds improved for the last two shows, but I think we would have done much better business today if it wasn't Halloween.

Speaking of the holiday, the circus kids trick or teated door to door at the trailers this evening.

That's Nico on the right as a mummy.

There aren't many children on the show this year, and even though I loaded up each child with a mountain of sugar, I still had lots of leftover candy at the end of the evening.

11/1/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

I loved getting an extra hour of sleep tonight for the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Joey Klein picked me up this morning and took me to brunch down the road at a diner. We then went back to my trailer and visited until it was time for me to get ready for work.

We did good business for the first show, which was a welcome change from yesterday's 2:00 p.m. performance.

The second show was jam packed with people, and Ryan and I rocked them with our gags; it was awesome!
After the show we were mobbed by people wanting pictures with us. I was happy to be doing such good business for our photo concession, but at the same time it was a bit overwhelming. A few times I had to ask the crowd to back up, because we really were getting surrounded, and it was making me incredibly anxious.

We did good business for the final show of the day, but it didn't top the second show.

After work we had the 2015 Vazquez Halloween Party. Nico, Abrianna and I went as Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, the Warner Brothers (and Sister) from one of my favorite cartoons, "Animaniacs".

I wish I could share my photos from the party, but the colored lighting in the tent led to terrible pictures taken on my phone.

Here are a few of the different costumes as photographed by Dominik, who has an excellent camera.

11/2/15- 7:30 p.m.

This afternoon Dominik was nice enough to take new promotional photos for me and Ryan to use for the show we are building for next summer in Baraboo.
I'm so excited about how well they came out.

When I went over to the office to get paid this evening, I was informed that we would be staying one more week in Freehold because of the excellent business we did over the weekend.
I was happy because it meant one more week before we have to deal with the hassle of getting our props all the way from the tent back to our trailers.

Our clown friend, Pat Cashin, visited tonight with his sons Shane and Jamie. Another of our clown friends, Dan McCallum, who works at the nearby Six Flags park, also dropped by. Their presence was a great addition to the good news I received about staying in Freehold for another week.

We had a big crowd for the show tonight, and they were an excellent audience. After the show we were taking pictures with the public, and one father asked, "Can I give you guys a tip?"
I answered, "Sure", expecting him to give us a bit of advice or criticism, but then he slipped five dollar bills into each of our hands. 

Nico watched the show tonight with our friends, and he and Jamie became fast friends, bonding over putting buckets of popcorn on their heads.

After work we ordered pizzas and had a little get together at Ryan's house with our friends, which of course was great fun.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tuesday, October 20-Tuesday, October 27: Windsor Mill, MD

10/20/15- Day Off!

Pamela and I walked around the mall next to the lot while we waited for my trailer to get parked. It wasn't as nice as I was expecting it to be, but it did have a fantastic suit store where Ryan and I bought wardrobe for our show in Baraboo next summer.

While we were purchasing the outfits, one of the salesmen asked us why we were buying so many suits. We responded that we were performers. He asked what we did, and we decided to keep the word "clown" as far out of the conversation as possible.
Ryan told the man that we were singers, and the guy perked right up. Apparently a singing group had recently bought their suits from the store, and they had even given an impromptu a cappella concert to the staff.
The salesman begged and pleaded with us to do the same since he had given us such a good deal on the suits, and Pamela did her best not to burst out laughing as we squirmed and tried to get out of exposing ourselves as frauds. True we could have sung for him, but it wouldn't have been anything like he was expecting, and we wanted to take a little break from disappointing people.

We finally weaseled our way out of singing; instead we did a little eccentric dancing so the staff wouldn't be left empty handed.
As we walked away from the store, I turned to Ryan and exclaimed, "Singers?! You couldn't think of anything better than singers!?"

Pamela and I did some laundry after my house was parked, and then later in the evening we met up with a few of the dancers to watch the new horror movie, "Crimson Peak".
I really enjoyed the film, and I had forgotten that Guillermo Del Toro had directed it until I saw the end credits. Suddenly some of the more grisly scenes in the picture made a lot more sense.

10/21/15- Day Off!

This morning I went all over creation looking for a certain brand of orange paint that Ryan and I use. I wasted way too much time before finally giving up and picking up a different brand.

In the early afternoon I had my belated birthday party at a bowling alley just down the road from the lot. I was happy that in addition to a group of friends from the circus, our Baltimore area friends that we have met through the circus were also able to attend.

I had a lot of fun bowling (I even won one of the games on my lane), and even more fun visiting with everyone that came to celebrate.
I don't know what I would have done without Pat Stevenson and Carol Lang, who helped organize things once we got to the alley; they made sure that everything ran smoothly, and it was greatly appreciated.


One of the presents I received for my birthday was a gift card that was good for use at several different restaurants, so tonight Pamela and I used it to go on a dinner date.

10/22/15- 7:30 p.m.

Ryan and I were up early this morning to paint Pompeyo's dog props. I was happy, because even with a break to load our props into the tent, I felt we got a lot accomplished.

A couple of funny things happened while we were outside painting. One of the set pieces we created for the act is a big set of Western saloon doors with angled gates coming off the side.
I had the whole thing standing up so I could paint the back side, and while I was working, Pompeyo called his poodle, Sugar, to come to him.
The set was between Sugar and Pompeyo, but he didn't let that stop him. The poodle ran right at the set, and jumped through the open space in one of the side gates without even touching any of the edges.
Circus dog!

Another amusing incident: At one point I was running back and forth between our painting area and my trailer.
I kept passing by Nico, who was outside his house playing with some of the other kids. On one of my trips by, Nico raised his head from what he was doing and greeted me with, "Hello, white man!"

We had an extremely small crowd for our opening night show in Windsor Mill. They weren't a bad audience....there just wasn't anyone there.

Pamela began her new job with the show tonight. She stood at the tent's entrance and collected tickets.

The circus figured out that the crew doesn't need three days between towns when our jump is relatively short, hence our Thursday opening.
I was bummed not having another day off, but it is much worse for the crew, who are now busting their butts from Monday evening until the first show in the new town is finished.
Yay, circus!

10/23/15- 7:30 p.m.

Ryan and I were up early again this morning to paint. I finished painting the backs of all the foam props, and then Ryan gave me a better brush and had me paint fine lines on some of the wooden crates. What a pain in the keister that was!

Since we were mainly doing detail work on the props, I felt like we didn't get as much accomplished today, even though we worked the same amount of time.

We had a slightly bigger crowd for the show tonight, which was encouraging.

10/24/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning I finished painting lines on the wooden crates, which made me very happy.

We had small crowds for the first two shows today, but we finally did good business for the 8:00 p.m. performance.

10/24/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

Ryan and I did a little more painting this morning before the first show. Normally we don't do prop work on a three show day, but none of the animal acts will be with us in the next town, so we figured we needed to get as much done as possible before that happens.

We had a small crowd for the first show, but the audience was surprisingly responsive.
Our friend, Keith, was watching that performance, and he was nice enough to bring us a bag of gifts to enjoy.
Among those presents was a Ringling Bros. program from the 40's that I found amusing. There was an article that listed the different types of clowns, and I was cracking up at some of the ridiculous names they apparently pulled out of their butts for the numerous clown types.

The 5:00 p.m. show was the performance with the biggest crowd today.

By the third show I was going out of my mind. I may have tied an audience member's blanket around my neck like a cape and tried to fly from the second row of seats during the beach ball reprise.....

Visan has been brewing his own beer over the past few weeks, and after the shows he invited the male performers over to his house to try the first batch.
He even asked me and Ryan to create a label for the brew:

10/26/15- 7:30 p.m.

Pamela and I had a nice day out today, running errands and spending some time together away from the circus.

While we were out I printed out the first draft of our script for our new show, and I also did a little birthday shopping with some of the gifts cards I received last Wednesday.

Our circus historian friend, Dick Flint, came to see the show tonight with his son. I was happy they were in the crowd; otherwise the show would have been a real drag.
I'm getting mighty tired of working to small crowds in this town.

10/27/15- 7:30 p.m.

Today I ran out to do some more errands, and then I got everything in my house ready for travel.

Pamela is from Alabama originally, and for today's lunch she made some authentic Alabama cuisine for me: kraut and wienies, fried taters, okra, pinto beans, and corn bread. I added my Nana's macaroni and cheese recipe to the mix, and we had a good ol' down home meal!

Thankfully we had a responsive final audience in Windsor Mill. Our Baltimore friends, Pat, Thom, Jim, and Carol came to watch, along with Dan Kleintop, a circus fan from Virginia who was in town on business.

We visited with our friends for awhile after the show, and then we hit the road for Freehold, NJ around 11:00 p.m.

It was a 166 mile jump to the next town, and it was close to 4 a.m. by the time we arrived at the beautiful Freehold Raceway Mall.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tuesday, October 13-Monday, October 19: Landover Hills, MD

10/13/15-7:30 p.m.

Today I spray painted the hurdles for Pompeyo’s act. It sounded like a much easier task in my head, but when I went to do the job, the wind was changing direction every few seconds, and I had to constantly move the props to get them in the path of the paint spray.

We had one uneventful show this evening, and then we celebrated Eddie’s birthday with a peace and love party. Everyone was encouraged to wear all white clothing to the party; since my white clothing items were almost non existent, I had to improvise.

White thermal underwear and white trash bag shoes. Circus chic!

10/14/15- 7:30 p.m.

Ryan and I were up early this morning to coat the foam dog props with hardener. Ryan also started painting the wooden crates that will serve as dog seats.

Once again the wind caused us to have a frustrating work day, because leaves and other detritus kept blowing onto and sticking to the tacky chemical on the foam.

Once again I was worn out for our show this evening; thank goodness it was just one performance.

I had another guy in the audience that was a pain to deal with at the beginning of the vacuum gag, plus there were a couple of grown women behind him who were screaming their fool heads off because they were “afraid of me”. I made sure to sit in their laps at one point while Ryan was doing a bit.

Luckily after the show we had the redeeming factor that one man came up to us and said that he didn’t expect to have as much fun at the circus as he did.

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

Today Ryan did more painting while I ran out to get supplies for the project.

The good news is that we finished coating the foam props in hardener. Yay progress!

Bill Karlton and Todd Schall-Vess came up to see the show all the way from Richmond, VA. 
They are friends of John Moss, and I knew from seeing them in the audience that I had met them before.
Ryan and I chatted with them for a bit after the performance.
(Todd, could you please send me the link to your Flickr account so I can share the photos you took of the show?)

10/16/15- 7:30 p.m.

Ryan and I were up early once again today to sand the coated foam props, and then we primed them all.
I was happy that we finished all of the priming after a full day of work. Yay, more progress!

We had a good audience tonight; the best of the week so far.

After the show we saw our manager up in the seats talking with a man. He claimed that one of the beach balls hit him and caused him to fall and badly injure himself.
Some people from the show asked Ryan about the supposed incident since it had happened on his side, but Ryan raised a valid point. He didn’t see anyone get hit and fall down, and if it did happen, there would have been a big reaction from the audience. We know, because it has happened before, and those guys didn’t cry about it and try to take advantage of the show afterwards.

After the show there was a birthday party for Emma. With a varied spread of appetizers and a chocolate fondue fountain, it was a welcome change from the usual birthday barbecues.

10/17/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

This morning I joined the dancers for Emma’s birthday brunch at the Silver Diner. 

There was almost nobody at the first performance today; it was a real chore to get through it.

The second show was a bit better, and then we had a great audience for the third show, so at least we ended the day on a high note.

Ryan invited me over for dinner with his family after work. We had the delicious won ton soup that he and Tatiana had been making over the course of the whole day.

10/18/15- 2:00, 5:00, and 8:00 p.m.

Before the first show I got to visit with my friend, Rebecca, who I first met during my Ringling days. She was a promoter in the D.C. area, and now she lives close by and works for the government.
She just happened to see a poster at the mall that she went to yesterday, so she got in touch with me and came to watch today’s first show.
She also brought delicious brownies that I shared with the cast.

My girlfriend, Pamela, arrived today, and the best part is that she is here to stay for the rest of the tour. Hooray!

Besides that bit of good news, today was a long day. The audiences didn’t really seem to care for me and Ryan in any of the shows.

After one of the vacuum gags Ryan remarked to me that he needed a vacation. Just after that we did finale and I absentmindedly started doing bits from the opening. I guess I need a vacation too!

Likewise, my mind was completely in outer space for the final show. It was just one of those days, and I was happy to get it over with.

10/19/15- 7:30 p.m.

Today was my 32nd birthday. After waking up I went over to Ryan’s house to see the beautiful Steve cake that Tatiana made for me.

The Combs family, Luis, and his wife, Nora, all joined me and Pamela for my birthday lunch at the Masa Hibachi restaurant in Silver Springs, MD.

The food was delicious, and I ate so much that I was feeling sick afterwards. Yay birthday gluttony!

After lunch we all walked around downtown Silver Springs for a bit, but pretty soon I was feeling worn out and I decided to head back to the lot to rest before our show and night jump.

Unfortunately I didn’t have much time to relax because I had a lot of work to do to prepare for load out and traveling.
Also, before the show I took Tatiana’s delicious red velvet cake around the circus to share it with everyone.

In the beach ball reprise, the first guy who hit my ball popped it, so I was up the creek without a paddle.....err.....beach ball. I quickly ran over to Ryan’s side, stole his ball, and pushed him into a row of empty seats.
I ran his ball over to my side and hit it around until Ryan came over. He picked up a metal folding chair and chased me through the ring and seats as people hit the remaining ball around.
Needless to say, I’m sure it was a wacky sight to behold.

I was so happy to finish our last performance in Landover Hills. It has not been one of my favorite towns audience wise.

We left the lot around 11:00 p.m., and then it was only an easy 38 miles to Windsor Mill, MD, the next town.

Our lot is set up close to a mall; the tent is located right next to a WEIS supermarket.