Thursday, February 18, 2010

GEEZ! So my internet situation has been an annoying one these past few months. I've got about a month left out here this time. nothing really of NOTE per se, though I've got a new video to post - I'll be done here at the end of New Jersey which is in march.
Originally I was supposed to stay through New York as that's a big market - it's the big opening etc. but miscommunication perhaps or who knows ... anyway I'm out on a month and as far as I know, there's no replacement on the way - so if anyone reads this and is or knows a keyboard player who wants to run away with the circus - just say the WORD!

Right now I'm on South Carolina, in some strange coffee shop by the train yard, which seem soddly misplaced, but has free Wi-Fi! - was in North Carolina last week and saw probably the most snow I've ever seen in my life! Guess there's a lot of snow hitting the east coast this year and we're right in the middle of it.
Some of these arenas have stunk cause it's freezing and the place'll be small and all that cold air just comes rushing right backstage and yeah, it sucks. probably sucks more for the dancers who don't wear much as it is - and some dudes that are just plain shirtless for their contortion or strongman act - whatever it is. so ... yup. cold. it's just cold.

next week is Philly which'll be fun - it's kinda cool seeing these cities for the 2nd time around. Philly is where i got kicked out of a bar for the first time ever and ... that's about all i remember. i was hoping to have my buddy, Eli's , bachelor party there, but the schedule is packed - so i'm in the midst of trying to orchestrate that ... possible NJ .. yup, hes getting married in April - back in TEXAS
I'l be back there by then, and it should be fun.

so , it's Philly, then 2 cities in NJ then back home! Later Circus!!

this is a video of how they make our ear molds for in ear monitors and a tour of the BRAND NEW PIE CAR - it's pretty fancies, and cost over 1 million i 've heard. there ya go

here's that video

Monday, January 18, 2010

PR's and World Records

some quick videos to put down . btw. We're in Orlando now, just pulled in, this afternoon, I think. I slept through the spotting, I guess. Tony (sax - US), Cricket (clown - US) and I had this great idea during last shows yesterday and loud out, to stay up "TILL THE TRAIN MOVES" it's an unofficial post load out tradition i guess one could say. it sure is fun to be up when the train first starts moving though. although in this case. the train was cut up , so the first movement was just to link up the cuts and THEN roll out - a 1 -2 hour process so we were told, so it wasn't THAT eventful of a move, but still!

Anyway . just posting some videos here. So Cricket, as a clown, has to do PRs from time to time. pretty much all the main performers have got to do PRs weekly. THankfully, or maybe not, we band guys don't have to do those. A lot of times . on a day off or 1 show days they've gotta get picked up at 6 AM or sometimes earlier. Psh, whatever with THAT.
BUT they get to be on TV spots or go to schools for meet and greets, or photo ops for the papers in that town. So .... that's cool .
well, here's a TV spot with a few clowns, and some flyers. (trapeze girls) well, some. they do this aerial act. and Eric and Tara (US) are flyers, and Luana (Brazil) who's a dancer . Cool spot. Cricket does most of the talking and he's got this funny little voice which actually isn't TOO far off his "actual" voice. Also, of note, the clown, Ben, is this video is from San Antonio, TX which is pretty neat, as is Oscar the clown. How bout that? (.)

Here's the stinkin' video already!

Some really important circus type news . check THIS out!

pretty important stuff right? (.) so Ivo's (Ivo Silva Jr. - Brazil) been cracking at this all winter quarters and through our first shows. etc. and i've heard people speculate that he'd get it, but not until halfway through the tour or something ... it's a really rare thing, of course, you know this IF, in fact you DID click on the link ....
well, he got it, first city out. right there in Tampa! and the place went NUTS. the band started hollering and i know i missed a bunch of notes in his big Style fanfare music. crazy .
here's his youtube video . etc

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Video Surfing

Oh Boy, so as ya'll can probably presume, there's a whole mess of videos up and around of and by circus folk. I've taken the liberty of sifting through some and putting them up for all of the 3 or so people I'm sure visit this thing ....

a co-worker of ours, er ex-clown I guess I should say, has got a youtube page which i just recently came across after this gem of a video floated around our band rhsl today. It's Chuck Wagner, our ringmaster on 136th ad 138th editions of the G.S.O.E. singing Dancing Queen before pre-show in Auburn Hills at the close of last year's tour. Now, i wasn't there, but it's a fun video and shows off Chuck's fun side. man, he had a great voice. In TWO years on that tour, out of about 800 shows he sang all but 1 weekend! that's amazing for a vocalist. there's an emergency backing track in case a singer gets sick out here .... some "get sick" more often than others.Chuck Wagner- he's just the man.

that clown, Aji, I believe his name was, (I didn't get to know him really, he was new as I was headed out and he's not back this tour) he's got some great video's on his page so check him out - Here's a great one of him putting his clown face on and one of the Bouncers act practicing. Great act, lots of folks' favorite. tough act, these guys are no Joke. That's Sereban there. awesome guy. the only dude I know who can pull off an all white get up and keep his mojo.

oh yeah, so Nintendo Wii put out a Ringling Bros. game of you haven't heard. Some friend put up a link on Facebook not too long ago while i was still back in San Antonio, and it was wild seeing all these people on a TV commercial that I worked with. First you see good ol Chuck coming through the door, then it's all real, quick but there's Boo Booand Laurel behind him. Then the Flyers, and some dancers. Fulkerson's wife is in there. (they even got a free copy of the game if they were in the shoot. He's giving it to his nephew as a gift. ) Cricket's there in the back, he's the one with the green, crazy wig.
Anyway, it's nutty.

in the opening freeze frame - the clowns in the back are Sandor (see Boo Boo link) and Coochie (real name: Henry. My old neighbor on the 90 car)

As you might you might imagine, the circus, both Ringling and Circus as an institution, has a following. Fans, if you will, that know the show dates, collect memorbilia never miss the Red OR Blue Units coming to town. maybe even take some juggling classes and take pictures with all the clowns whose names they've memorized.

maybe even build homemade reproductions of every edition's sets and portals in their bedrooms while singing covers of the ringmasters' song to a video playback with their shirts off.

Chuck used to sing "Over the Top," the theme song for this past edition. We'd play and he'd sing, and it was so nice .... He sounded great. we all had fun playing this song ... sigh...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Winter Quarters 2009

so, I'm back. we're here. it's the end of week 1 - got my card up and running. the elephants are in, the acrobats are practicing. set's looking good - the welcome back's are done and train living slid right back over me a LOT easier than I thought it would.

we're at the same place on the Florida State Fairgrounds in the same back as last time - only this time it's really muggy and hot instead of really, really cold.

The cast of characters is a little different this time around as well. Shawn (drummer) is gone and so is Mullen(sax), replaced by Steve and Tony.
Tony is our sax guy now and is from the Jersey area, like Mullen and I think Steve is from Buffalo, NY.

Nice guys, I met them a couple of times

while out here subbing a couple of times this past year.

geez, so It's been a year ... I've been in San Antonio, TX for the past year back at the Magik theatre. It was a good year. A show I scored and
Dave Morgan
wrote, Jungle Book went out for a 2 month National tour this past summer and that was exciting. read all about it

so how's the new show? that's what everyone's asking me these days. It's looking to be cool - i haven't been able to get any shots of actual runs and rhsl cause they keep a tight watch on that sorta thing. I've been "strongly advised" not to film or shoot in the house ... but i've got a couple of us rehearsing the back, sure.
But I can write about it! ... I think ...
got the same motorcycle act, no horses anymore, though we do have some llamas, i think ... i could've Sworn I'd seen llamas around there somewhere ...

got a couple of high wire walker ladies, who also do a duo Lyra act (also known as aerial ring/hoop) which I've never seen before here, but i looks great from what little I've seen. The Tiger act is back and there's this pretty cool looking trampoline act by the new Chinese troupe. There's also this teeterboard act that looks CRAZY! This guy's on some kind of Uni-Stilt thing on one end of a see-saw teeterboard. and this other guys jump off this landing and launch him in the air where we flips and twirls and , Ideally, sticks a landing. Pretty cool, and some of my favorite music in the show.

Different composer this time around the music is composed by Michael Picton and it's proving to be good and tough in a couple of spots. It certainly does seem a lot more cinematic this time around.

And that's about it. Tonight was Clown Night where the clowns showed off new acts for consideration. No pics cause I suck, but I will get clown pics for ya'll ASAP. We've got a bunch of new faces and some old ones, and some gone which i'm bummed about. No more Boo Boo, Ketchup or Laurel, and I will miss them. More on that later.

For now, here's a new video made up of completely boring footage of getting ready for work made somewhat interesting by means shown to me in the iMovie tutorials and music.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

going BACK!

So..... I'm headed back to the Blue Unit, back to the train, back to the circus but just for a few months. A fella named Matt Richard
(ri-SHARD) replaced me this past year after the December break, and I guess he decided the train wasn't for him. So,
Tim Eaton
calls me a couple of months ago or so and tells me this news asking if I'd come back for
Winter Quarters
and on through New York which is late Feb/Early March-ish, I think.

anyway, it took some prodding and me clearing a lot of schedule and working it out with my current job at the
Magik Theatre
but it worked out and here I am in the San Antonio International Airport waiting to get to Tampa.
It might take me a bit to get an internet card set up, but I'll be blogging back up here. To all those back home, stay tuned for WQ and circus blogs. Take care


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

going home

so, i've recently made the decision to leave Ringling and get myself back to San Antonio, TX that's where i'm from see... i told myself when first starting this job that i'd do it for a couple of years or so - i knew from the start this would be a chapter in my life and not a career. i feel the itch of wanting to go back, to change - maybe back, but definitely change. maybe it's the nature of just about all of us here. being circus folk IS to be nomadic. it seems everyone here has bounced around a couple of times before landing here. who KNOWS how many back stories most of these people have?!

to wanna pick up and go every couple of years or so. i have a friend, Josh, who, as we who know do know, seems to just be in a different place every time we look him up. josh'd be good circus folk.

it's been a great ride, it's been fun, but i'm excited to do laundry in a full sized machine and not have to wait for my 10 or so neighbors to do theirs during the days outside of a run when the machines aren't LOCKED! i'm excited to cut my yard, to check my mail, drive my truck (though, not to pay for gas) to walk my dog, to bbq on my grill, to sleep in my full sized bed, to enjoy a day off NOT on a moving train - to be able to go to concerts because we're always working during showtimes and in arenas. you get the idea :)

it can sound like griping, sure. i was talking to a friend this evening on the phone, talking about the not so greatest points of this greatest show. yes, there are pros and cons, just as there are ANywhere. moving train - cool. tiny room? good and bad - it's cozy, need little cleaning though it needs it more often. interesting neighbors? good and bad. muddy train yards? eh.... free travel? good.

it really comes down to whatever you make of it, and the same can be said of ANything really. as my good friend, Dave once said - it's about just deciding what kind of life you want to lead.
this has been a great chapter, and i regret nothing - there are stories FAR too numerous to tell in the moderately (at best) updated blog of mine. G rated on up kinda stories. hit me up at my house over a beer or back at Eddie's over some of those DELICIOUS lengua tacos, and i'll be glad to tell some of them.

Monday, October 27, 2008

speaking of flies, it seems we're dropping LIKE them.
i think we've got about 12-14 performers out with injuries right now.

Rollo is one of our star clowns, he's one half of "Pepe and Rollo" (from Spain and France respectively) and they play sort of the sidekicks of Chuck the ringmaster as he battles with Tom Daugherty our Star clown for control of the ringmaster hat and, subsequently, the show. He also does (DID) this awesome part of the show where he played "What a Wonderful World" on the trumpet while balancing on his HEAD!

anyway, Rollo's out with a bad knee and may not return.
we've got a cossack horse rider out with a busted leg something.

two inner tube ukranians out with a bad ankle and wrist.

i think a couple of from our Henan troop are out. one, in particular, Wong Long had a BAD turn of events recently.

for some reason - no accident as far as i know - he's lost his SIGHT!
it was slow going at first, but now he's just about completly blind.
this kid's great too, very charismatic, everyone loves him - everyone's friend - great performer great showman.
here in Denver he had some doctor visits scheduled - and now he's already gone back to China.
i think there was something pressing up against an optic nerve in his brain that caused all this. (information when there're so many people around, it's like a HUGE game of telephone, who can really tell sometime - water cooler news when you're in the circus and everyone speaks different languages )

i hope he's alright
hope not too many more people get hurt