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


Friday, October 28, 2011

From the Sketchbook- Star Trek Planet M-113 Monster

Friday Roundup

Our beloved Pink House.

A cold front moved in last night and I think Autumn is here at last as we begin our final weekend at Seaworld for their Hallo-Scream. It's going to be a very interesting weekend at the Seaworld Side Show because Lukas Dudek finally got the green light from the "suits" there to swallow swords like he was originally hired to do. Better late than never, I guess. I hope I can get some photos of it. Six more shows after today. It was fun while it lasted but I'll be glad to get back to my regular schedule.

I had a couple of Doc Ed shows this week and November is looking busier than ever for the fearless aquifer explorer. It'll be even busier once we get the salamander vent puppet so we can book the kindergarten shows.

Pammy was in the Hansel and Gretel ballet produced by San Antonio Ballet. In it she played the part of a gypsy. On top of that she had a very busy week baking at work and for the kid's Halloween parties at school. Things will calm down a bit for both of us next month. We hate it when the holidays fly by at the speed of light.

This morning, though, we started our day in a mellow fashion with a fine breakfast at our favorite Mexican Restaurant: Natalie's or as we like to call it: the Pink House. It got us in good shape in order to deal with a hectic day at Rancho Ramirez. Tomorrow we get to sleep in. Yaaay!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Circus Memories- RBBBC Winter Quarters 2001

Pictured above is the Winter Quarters rehearsal schedule for the 131st Edition of Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. By the 22nd of December we'd been working for almost a month with the end of Winter Quarters just a couple of weeks away. We had gotten to the point where we were running the show from start to finish for the most part. Things were quickly coming together.

Still, the days were usually long, tiring and for the clowns sometimes frustrating. As the schedule above clearly shows every part of the show has a specific rehearsal time allowing the acts sufficient time to run through their routines in the circus rings. Even "Adventure" is listed in the rehearsal at this point in time. Adventure is the pre-show entertainment which included the clowns along with other acts. Being included on the schedule wasn't the norm for Clown Alley until we neared the end of Winter Quarters.

In the past clowns didn't get to work on the performance floor until everyone else had which was usually after dinner when the only people remaining were the technicians running the light cues. During this time the lights could change from blue to red to a complete blackout during the course of our rehearsal. It could at times be surreal. Our rehearsal day usually ended around nine in the evening or a little later only to start all over again a few short hours later.

In 2001 things hadn't changed too much although we did have a side room we shared with the prop builders and costumer adjacent to the rehearsal building where we could work on our gags. In this space was a trailer that served as an office for the our clown bosses. We made the most of the space setting up our Clown Alley there and rehearsing our sole ring gag and track gags as space availability and time permitted. If we needed to work on more than one gag we also rehearsed outside. We tried to be as flexible as possible.

When it rained we quickly discovered that water seemed to be attracted to Clown Alley collecting in a large puddle smack-dab in the middle of it. We had nowhere else to go so we elevated our trunks on wood and bricks and threw down sawdust to soak up the water. The magic word is flexible.

I haven't reminisced with Pammy about Winter Quarters in a while but I'll ask her tomorrow. If we get a chance to talk about it I'll post some more. When we talk we tend to jog each others' memories.

The Raven- Vincent Price

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Raven- Christopher Lee

Behind the Curtain

Working at a theme park can be a noisy, unpleasant experience but there are some beautiful even elegant sights, especially after dark. Our backstage isn't much until you look beyond the area behind the walls that separate us from the mass of humanity going from attraction to attraction. It's a man-made lake that usually has a ski show in the summer. I get to see that three nights in a row and is a perfect tonic to relax oneself after a evening of razzling and dazzling the crowds.

Monday, October 24, 2011

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