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


Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Roundup

David Darwin- One Man Sideshow.

This week was pretty busy with prop maintenance but my Doc Ed shows for Friday were canceled. With any luck they might get rescheduled in the near future. These things happen.

My fellow Seaworld Sideshow performer, David Darwin, will be leaving the cast after this weekend to return to his stomping grounds of Philly. Good luck to you, David. His replacement will be around later next week.

Nothing else to report except that Rancho Ramirez is in high gear in preparation for Halloween. I helped my son cut out wings for his dragon costume and my daughter decorated the porch. It's looking pretty good. Until next time!

The Unforgettable Lukas!

Here's another one of my fellow performers at Seaworld- Lukas Dudek.

The Raven- John Astin

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

From the Sketchbook- Slimer

It's thirteen days until Halloween and I'm starting a countdown by posting drawings from my favorite monster/ghost movies. One of my all time favorite movies is Ghostbusters and the first nasty spirit they tangled with as Ghostbusters was "Slimer". The countdown begins!

Circus Memories- Moroccan Gag RBBBC 1995

"The Moroccan Gag" on the Red Unit of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.

For the 125th Edition of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus our clown alley had the opportunity to work with Alexander Chervotkin, a young man from Russia who was an acrobat among other things and had a bit of a funny bone. I had met him at Clown College in 1993 where he came to do a demo on comedy acrobatics using a teeter board. Fast forward to December 1994 Winter Quarters and a number of the clowns were selected to be in a parody of the Moroccan troupe's acrobatic display. In it, the aforementioned young man would play the part of the head acrobat attempting to get his bumbling troupe to perform an acrobatic display using a teeter board.

The rehearsals went well and the gag was pretty funny. So, the gag makes it on the road and all is well until the teeter board breaks in half during a performance. It broke not once but twice in the early part of the tour. Fortunately it always happened at the end of the gag so it kind of worked out. The trouble was that the board that was purchased for the routine was just a plain ol' piece of wood from the lumber yard rather than a specially treated board that could withstand the stresses placed on it show after show day after day on the two year tour. Why they never got the right kind of board was beyond me but management finally said no more boards. Use a mini-trampoline, they said, which isn't quite as impressive as a teeter board but oh, well. Mr. Chervotkin wasn't very happy with that decision. Despite that change, the gag worked out just fine and continued to be just as funny.

The series of photos below show the last bit of business that closes the gag commonly known as the "Blow Off". When these shots were taken the teeter board was no longer being used. I don't remember who took the photos but I'm glad we had someone documenting this routine. I remember it being very difficult to photograph or video tape our work because it was frowned upon by variety of the "higher ups" on the show, i.e. "circus suits". I recall clearly how one of them said "That's not happening on my watch!" So I'd like to thank our undercover photographer without whom these images of that fine gag would not exist. Thank you very much. I wish I had a video of it though.

Clown performers (L to R): Mike Simpson, Benny Schultz, Darren Cooper, Two-man high- Edzui Szumwski (bottom), Josh Schulman (top), Max Richardson, David Stubbings and Alexander Chervotkin.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


That's Magic Mike's shadow taking a card out of his volunteer's hand during his "Snake in the Basket" routine.

I'm waiting for my cue to perform my "Broken Hearted Skeleton" routine.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Magic Mike


I thought you might like to know a bit more about the fellows I'm working with at Seaworld. Say "hello" to Magic Mike.

Flipping Out

"Magic Mike" Williams of Dallas, Texas shot this a couple of days ago in the backstage area of our Sideshow over at Seaworld which runs till October 30th. I was passing the time practicing flipping my hat onto my head. He even added a soundtrack to it! Thanks for the footage. Your really are magic!!

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