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


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What A Fine Day!

Steve and Ryan posing with some very cool pirate props in a blurry photo taken by me.

First of all, allow me to preface this post by stating that it's good to be around showfolk again. It's been way too long. And it's been way too long since we've spent some time around fellow clowns.

Pammy and I drove out to Seguin to visit with Steve Copeland, Ryan Comb and his lovely wife Tatiana and their beautiful and funny son Nico. Steve and Ryan are the featured clowns for the Kelly Miller Circus where they get to showcase their fine comedic skills. Both Steve and Ryan are top notch circus clowns putting together gags that have all you'd expect to see from circus clowns but seldom ever see these days including some really amazing pratfalls.

We had lunch at a diner in the old downtown section of Seguin where we joked around and shared stories about the circus and clowning. The food was okay but the company was great! Steve is a walking encyclopedia of clown history. He's really quite amazing. I can see him writing a book or two on the subject and hopefully also about his life as a circus clown too.

And Ryan is a genius of a prop builder. The photos above and below show some of the props he's made for the show. He builds everything from scratch.

I've been wanting to make a water squirting rig of the kind that creates the illusion water is shooting out of your ears. I've asked around and gotten some advice on the supplies I'd need and how to put it together. I tried a few times but the rigs never worked. They leaked water and fell apart so I figured one of two things: 1)I'm a terrible prop builder or 2) I was missing some crucial information on making the rig. Fortunately, it was the latter. A couple of days ago I had mentioned to Steve and Ryan how I'd tried unsuccessfully to make one for a job out at Seaworld back in October. Ryan gave me some very detailed advice on making one. I mean it was precisely the technical advice I'd needed for so long. Then, not two days later I got another priceless gift from Ryan: He drew a blue print with instructions on making the water rig along with a bulb for the water and a tool to cut the copper tubing for it. What a generous soul! Thank you Ryan. I'll have a rig to play with before the end of the month!! Wahooo!!!!

After lunch we went back to the lot and got to see some of their gag videos from their previous years on Kelly Miller. When we finally had to go it was with great reluctance but we left feeling inspired and rejuvenated. They are very talented performers and they've got a very bright future ahead of them. We'll definitely being seeing them again when the circus rolls into town.

"I lack the adjectives and nouns to do justice to clowns." - Ogden Nash

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