Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Grinches Who Tried To Steal Christmas In July

Merry Christmas in July from Steve & Ryan! Nutty ol’ fruitcake Steve Copeland here to tell you all about that wonderful holiday that Circus World celebrated this past weekend: Christmas in July….it ranks up there with Kwanza in April and 4th of July in June.
Dave SaLoutos, everyone’s favorite jolly ol’ elf, decorated the entrance to the Feld building with Christmas trees, stockings, and wreaths to get our guests into the Christmas in July spirit. 

Our customers could also enter to win the world’s largest Christmas stocking, which was stuffed full of goodies.

In our big top show we had a special celebrity guest for Christmas in July: Santa Claus….in July! He made a couple of appearances throughout the circus performance, and joined us after finale to say goodbye to all the good boys and girls. Not the bad ones though, Ryan and I threw coal at them.

I wanted to share a funny story with all of you about last year’s Christmas in July celebration. Ryan and I did a gag in the big top show that involved me falling out of a metal folding chair over and over.

I can hear you laughing already. 

Anyway, I went through about ten chairs in the course of the summer, because after a week or two of abuse, the chair’s legs would start to bend, or the chair would completely break…sometimes in the middle of the gag!
We had a chair graveyard outside our dressing wagon, and by the end of the summer the grass was starting to grow over the twisted aluminum corpses. If one of the chairs was just a little slanted but still had a few good sits in it, I would put it outside the dressing wagon so we could enjoy the beautiful weather as we waited for our next cue.
Anyway, last year during Christmas in July, Santa Claus needed to take a load off while waiting backstage. He spotted one of the chair gag rejects (no, not me and Ryan, I mean one of the chairs), and he hunkered down to relax.
Ryan and I thought nothing of it, and we were standing off to the side talking. All of a sudden we heard a loud crash and looked over to see that the chair had completely collapsed underneath Santa. All we saw was his jolly boots sticking straight up in the air!
Luckily Santa was shaken, but not injured, but you can bet your mistletoe that’s an image we’ll never forget! Coincidentally, Ryan and I didn’t get anything for Christmas last year. (Santa also brought his own chair to sit in this year)

Unfortunately not everyone got into the Christmas in July spirit this year, and a couple of Scrooges came and tried to “Bah Humbug” all over everything. During the morning big top show on Sunday, I heard an unusual amount of cheering during the elephant act. Later I found out that two women, who had jumped a fence to sneak into the park, stood up as soon as the elephants came into the ring, and they started shouting and holding up signs protesting animals in the circus.
Oliver Ramos, who owns the big top, quickly leapt into action and escorted the unruly trespassers out, amid raucous cheers from everyone else in the tent.

They were gone before the police could be notified, but then in a Christmas in July miracle, the two dinks then tagged Circus World in a post on FB about how they “disrupted family fun” at the show. Both of their names were clearly on display in the post, and if you looked at their Facebook profiles, they had multiple posts bragging about different places around the state where they had similarly made a scene. 

Scott promptly sent that convenient info on over to the police so they could handle the two grinches. 

Besides the Christmas in July excitement, things have been pretty uneventful around here lately. On Tuesday we had an excellent performance of Nothing But Nonsense. There was a family in attendance that was laughing uproariously at everything we did, and they really got the rest of the crowd going. They had been at the big top show too, and the oldest woman in the family gave a hearty laugh when I did my flip up wig bit in the pants chase. I told everyone that she was my mom, which got an even bigger laugh from the rest of the audience. Ryan and I carried that bit over to our show, and we milked it for all it was worth. Our “mom” loved every minute of it.

Nico gave me a couple of good laughs in the second big top show that day. When Ryan and I came into the dressing room at one point, we found Nico in the pants looking like this:

Before I tell you about the second laugh he gave me, I need to provide a little backstory. Dave got Ryan and I two afro wigs, an orange one and a purple one, for our disco production costumes. We haven’t worn them because since we are clowns, they come off as cheap clown wigs instead of 70s disco afros. However, Ryan picked out the orange one until it was ridiculously huge….bigger than our heads! 
Robert was ringmastering Tuesday afternoon, so I wore the huge wig to make him laugh. I made a few afro jokes for the audience before cueing Nico to run out in the pants and start the chase. Nico ran to the front of the ring, stopped, dropped the pants down so his head could pop out, and I saw that he was wearing the purple afro wig. I doubled over from laughter, and the audience got a kick out of it as well. 
It’s nice to have a little fun in the show to break up the monotony, but it’s even sweeter when the audience enjoys it too!

I will do my best to post next week, but I make no promises. Things are going to be crazy, because next week is the Ringling Homecoming and Baraboo Circus Parade, and pretty much every evening next week we have something going on, whether it is an event for the Homecoming, or something to be done in preparation for the event.
If I don’t write next week, you can be sure I’ll have a massive post ready for the following week detailing all the fun and excitement that happens at Baraboo’s Circus Week. 
I hope to see some of you there. Take care!

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