Arts in the Family: A Family of Artists Just Trying to Make a Living in the Wilds of Texas


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Painting at Salado the Silver Spur

I'll be painting a backdrop at the Silver Spur this week. The drawing above is a very very very rough sketch of what it will look like. It will look much better as a backdrop... I hope.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pammy's Hunk Wagon

Pammy, in 1989, pulling the massive circus wagon mightily across the arena floor for the Gunther Farewell Tour . You can see the tigers in the background too. Click on the image to magnify it.

Hello everyone,
Pam here to tell the story of the "Hunk Wagon". This wagon got it's name because one day the very talented female skater that stands on this float was sick. Backstage I pointed out the fact that it was just guys on the wagon that day. I was on the floor and they were on the wagon and one of the acrobats looked down at me and said " I am not wearing any underwear". The rest of the guys started laughing but he was dead serious! I blushed for the rest of the day. Also, on the very last show of the tour the chain came off the wagon and was dragging on the floor while the wagon was moving by itself...... now that's funny!!! I wish I would have thought of it!

Also I would pass the cats ( that was the next act which was by the late, great, Gunther Gebel Williams) and I had to pass this tiger every show and every time she would mark me!!! Yes I mean pee. My costume smelled awful. I would start to pass her and I'd yell "Don't do it! Don't pee on me!" If I didn't yell this she would really get me, but if I played my part then she would just do it a little. Weird. She knew... That wagon was more fun to pull. I had a great time and feel honored to have pulled a circus wagon. I was living the dream!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer of Doc

Summer is shaping up nicely for ol' Doc Edwards. Here's the schedule so far:

Monday, June 14th Bill Brown, Goodwin Baker
Wednesday, June 16th 9 a.m. Olympia Elementary; Salinas Elementary
Thursday, June 17th 9a.m. Converse Elementary; 10:30a.m. Paschell Elementary
Tuesday, June 22nd Memorial Branch Library 6:30 p.m.
Monday, June 28th Timberwood, Johnson Branch
Thursday, July 1st Cody Branch Library 2 p.m.
Monday, August 9th Seguin Parks and Recs Camp 10:30 a.m.
Thursday, September 30th Crestview Elementary

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Splish and Splash

At the Witte Museum trying to make talking about the water cycle "fun". Whoopeeee!

In 2005 I got a edu-tainment job at the Witte Museum playing the part of...of ...well I'm not really sure who or what I was supposed to be but the part came with a steady check so there you have it! Someone at the Witte had been to New York and saw "Avenue Q" on Broadway, which used muppet- style puppets but didn't hide the puppeteers, and thought it would be fab to do that in their museum. The difference being that I would be the sole actor on stage and I'd be playing two parts in what essentially would be a ventriloquist act. I tried to convince them that having me do a ventriloquist routine without the necessary skills would not work but they weren't willing to listen. Oh, well.

Chad Miller and I would be playing the same part but doing the shows on different days. I wanted to be paid a certain amount per show but they thought I was asking for too much though they didn't tell me to take a hike. I have to mention that back in 1992 I was in a play there and the salary then was still the same thirteen years later. After some haggling this is how they finally resolved the issue.

They gave me the contract to review and sign and on it was my name. So far, so good. A few lines below my name was a break down of my pay per show. Are you ready for this? I would be sharing my salary with my puppet. He would be making a little less per show than I would (which was a relief) but there it was in black and white. For some reason that made sense in their happy little world. That's comedy!

I wish I still had that contract because I'd like to frame and keep it as a reminder that even the "man" can still have the heart of a child and believe the magic of puppetry gives life to inanimate objects. He was real to the "man" and that's what it's all about people. "Come with me and you'll be, in a world of pure imagination...".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

American Crown Circus 1999

In the spring of 1999, after four years away from the circus, we took the job of advance clowns for the American Crown Circus which was owned and operated by the Osorio family of Las Vegas. As advance clowns we'd travel ahead of the show performing in a wide variety of venues and talk up the show. We did it for two months and then returned to Dallas for our summer work there.

Pammy and I have the greatest respect for anyone that decides to put together their own show and take it on the road like the Osorio family did. It's not meant for the weak and timid. Be aware, it involves not only performing but means you would be setting everything up from the sidewalls to the bleachers and all the equipment used in the show not to mention the concessions as well. THEN you had to sell the tickets AND concessions until showtime at which point you performed in the show. At intermission it was back to selling concessions until the second half began and you were on again. At the end of the night you took everything down and it's off to the next town to do it all over again. That is what you call love for the art. By comparison, theater people have it easy wheezy. So get to work thespians!

The Osorio family's circus had a side wall set up. That is, it was performed in the open air and not under a tent just like at the end of Cecil B. DeMilles"s "The Greatest Show on Earth" but without all the technicolor and Betty Hutton. Vavavooom!

Try to picture the both of us chugging along in our 1989 Ford Areostar van, in a city we don't know trying to find our way to our next destination with only the questionable directions given to us. Getting lost was not an option.

The long and winding road begins in what will prove to be one of our most unique adventures. "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

We gave out so many of these daily leaving them at businesses and libraries. Back in Dallas we kept finding then in our van, luggage, our hair, beach towels, etc. They were multiplying like tribbles! Yes, I'm a Star Trek nerd.

We always looked for a locally owned restaurant so we could try out the local cuisine.We definitely favored the Mexican food.

One more month to go before our circus odyssey concludes just before summer.

We spent almost two wonderful weeks at this campground. Normally we would arrive the night before and leave the following afternoon. We were in paradise, baby!!

Pammy and I clowning in Oregon House, California for a group of school children.It was up in the hills of northern California. Time definitely slowed down up there. Weird.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Caterpillar: the Sequel

I'm testing out a pattern for the face that later I'll cut out of fabric. Try to imagine that cool music they always play on C.S.I. Miami whenever they're doing some kind of tedious lab work. It's just like that for me except I don't have the cool lighting effects and my music comes from an old clock radio tuned in to a seventies music station but I do wear the David Caruso shades.

Now I've added a few more features made from poster board just to see what it looks like. Nothing is permanent yet.

I've added the fabric and the permanent features made of foam and fabric. There's just a few more details missing. To be continued!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sundays at my House

"Conchas Sagradas". Pastel on paper. 9"x12".

Sundays at our house always begin with a tasty treat or two or three. This time around it was conchas from a nearby panaderia, which always has a wide variety of pastries to threaten the waistline. Viva Sunday!
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