Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Happy Yet Paniced

Now that I've gotten in a good solid breath, let's pick back up with this blog! -What do you say!?

Things are going swell! I am back on track with school and it is going very well. Classes are (for the most part) fun, stimulating, and THEATER BASED!

Laura is in Mankato, but we still manage to chat on the phone when it is needed. Long distance relationships have ALWAYS been disasters with me. However, I feel confident, content, and happy.

Auditions for Noises Off! (My favorite show of ALL TIME) came and went. I got the part of Garry/Roger. For those of you who don't know, there is a movie version out there with Carol Burnett, John Ritter, Michael Caine, and (Believe it or not) Christopher Reeves. I am playing the John Ritter part -WHICH entitles me to speak in incomplete thoughts and fall down A LOT! I couldn't be happier OR more excited.

The end of the day gets a little lonely and boring... It's good to go home and spend some quality time with the pup, but I wish there was a bit more of a social life going on. Sadly, most of my best and closest friends are either out of state or have a REAL job... Oh well. This lack of interaction keeps me foucused and concentrated on my schooling.

Ren Fest is going well. I am not as much of a hard core festie as I used to be. After this summer I really put paychecks into perspective. However, with my last visit, I impressed a lot of the higher ups in the entertainment feild. Who knows! This could lead to actually getting paid for more performing! Even though the festival sight is on the brink of extinction.

Speaking of paid performing, I'm really starting to panic and plan twards the next summer and year. I need to get more income and SAVE!I desperately need to get out of the family house and into a place of my own. Having Tucker makes the process of finding a place a real bitch. PUN INTENDED.

Well, I'm off to lunch. I just needed to rant, vent, catch up, and write. Skoyfalls is back up to speed. More to come!


Monday, August 31, 2009

The End of an Era

I have decided to take a summer off from Circus World.

The last week was alright and was a great transition into my new schedule. It was a tough seperation from Laura, who left for college a week early, and it was also a swift kick in the pants to start packing and bring myself back down to earth.

I had a GREAT camp ground gig with Tristan that I will write about at a later date, and the last day flew by with the greatest of ease. The drive home was alright and the unpacking and cleaning will eat up all of my free time from schoolwork this week.

I am swamped but ready for the change of pace and setting. I am back home and loving it.

My funny bones are tired and sore. I still love clowning with all my heart, but it's time to take a breath!

Until further notice--

Thanks for reading! See you in a week or so!



Friday, August 14, 2009

End of the Road

First off, I have fallen INSANELY behind on my blogs. Partially due to business and also from a lack of ambition to do anything.
To cut to the bone of this blog… I have gotten terribly burned out. It has gotten to the point where I am bringing it into the ring. I have never been this burnt out before and frankly it frightens and depresses me. What do you do when you lose interest in the one thing that you’ve loved your whole life -that you’ve poured your whole heart and soul into. It is definitely time to go back to school. Yes, I was tired at this point last year, but this year I’ve become burnt out. I do tend to get restless and irritable when stuck doing the same thing for a long period of time (Who doesn’t!?) but this is disheartening. I’ve been coming closer and closer to the conclusion that I shouldn’t return for next summer to Circus World. It’s a tough schedule and the fact that little changes around this museum could also account for my feelings of being trapped etc. There has to be more out there… We shall see. This whole ball of stress and emotions has been taking up most of my time from the last blog until now.
Baraboo National Bank Day was a hit. I barely reaped any benefits from the face painting booth, however, as I was unable to man it during the tight schedule that day. The Second Buffalo Phil’s date was a success and I got video of my “Captain Willy DeWitt” character. Prior to that, we had a campground date which was great practice and great show -DESPITE THE EXTREME HEAT AND HUMIDITY! The road trip was great -being able to hang out, talk, and vent with Tristan. He really has grown to be a great friend and even a slight performance mentor. I finally caught up with the DeSantos and helped out a bit with their Youth Circus Camp. It was a great experience and I continue to hold them on their pedestal of awesomeness. My best friend, Gilby, came through and brightened the road a little bit -and Toto Johnson also visited TWICE! Once with Ringling great and now Disney/MGM physical comedian all star -Brian Weckerly, the second time he came through with a buddy of his from Iowa.
I’m almost home and I still have a handful of visitors coming. I’m starting to pack and send home some of my crap, and starting to plan for the last week -as Laura will be gone and attending her first week at MSU-Mankato. The road ahead is rocky, and I am a weary traveler with motion sickness. More to come (Hopefully) stay tuned and thank you for your patients and understanding. This was a good and healthy vent.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More Photos!

We have here...

-A groundhog that I trapped in the hippodrome bathroom

-Me cleaning out a wardrobe wagon before helping fill it and load it out for the Great Circus Parade. GOOD TIMES!

-An awesome shot of me chilling out before the parade.

-Laura and I after the parade...

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Greater Part of July...

It happened. Right before the parade... the week of parade -I hit my wall. I did not want to be here. Crowds were quiet, I was tired, and above all -I MISSED HOME!
Luckily the parade came along in time to break up the monotony and tension that was rapidly building.

It was the day before the parade and I decided to head out to the fairgrounds to check out the scene and plan ahead for the upcoming day of madness. I also wanted to see the circus that Kelly Miller (John Ringling North II) had put together... it was a two hour drive to Milwaukee. We loaded the car with our snake charmer costumes (3rd arm puppets. a basket sewn onto a jacket with a hole and a foux arm holding the basket creating the illusion that a snake -being operated by the free hand- was alive and biting me in the nose). We also packed make-up, over night packs, and face paints. I was to be making up 20 or so "clowns"* in the parade (*actually rich people who rode on top of wagons wearing clown costumes -while I had to walk through the damn thing. -SCRATCH THAT- I ANIMATED during the parade. I was TOTALLY into it and the crowds were abundantly responsive! I was happy and proud and both Laura and I CONQUERED the 3.5 mile parade -and heat stroke!
Before the parade I spotted shade under a tree (prime real estate with our elaborate costumes bearing NO skin.) We got into the shade and a large man with a foofy beard said that that space had been reserved for the horses. I calmly said that the horses weren't in sight yet and that we weren't hurting anyone waiting there for the time being. He responded with a threat of calling the sheriff. I was livid. I said that we were all working together doing the same thing (I didn't mention that I had helped put this parade together and that I was with Circus World and that I was good buddies with BOTH parade directors!) We moved to the edge of the shade and he clammed up. THEN, who should pull up in his golf cart, but Ernest Borgnine himself! In full clown getup. It was awesome. To have a legendary actor and Oscar winner right in front of me -in FULL CLOWN TO TOP IT OFF! Did bushy chins ask him to move? HELL NO! Then ol' Santa clause himself came up behind Laura and I and put his arms around our shoulders "Let me guess... are those snakes in those baskets?" "Yes they are," I responded trying not to be pissy. "Why didn't you tell me!? These are the snake charmers! You are exactly where you are supposed to be!" I turned around to see a group of lounging teens in Arabian costumes... I took a good look in the Tupperware and found giant snakes -REAL snakes. They were pretty cool and calm. I told the security officer "Well, this is where they TOLD me to go... you had me very confused." Fluff neck apologized and we parted ways right before the parade began. THE PARADE WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! The wagons looked BEAUTIFUL. The weather was PERFECT. The crowds were AMAZING -and I was shocked and surprised to have so many people recognize me through out the parade "ROGER, ROGER! HEY ROGER!" It was remarkable and it recharged my batteries. However, my voice and legs and back were SHOT! I was exhausted. We stuck around in Milwaukee and had diner at the Safe House. It was an awesome restaurant with a spy theme. Complete with secret entry way and passage ways and gags all through out the restaurant. It was an easy drive back to Baraboo and we were greeted with puppy kisses. While we were in Milwaukee, Tucker was being looked after by Maggie -Tristan's Gal- and what a sweetheart she is. The next day I was sore, my voice on the fritz, and my mind was in a land far, far away... However we had great crowds coming back from the parade -who were loud and enthusiastic. It was marvelous.

Another big event happened just the other night...

Tristan had a show at a big restaurant in Wisconsin Dells and he asked me to help and do a 10 minute spot. I premiered a stuntman character named "Captain Willy DeWitt Professional Stuntman Extraordinaire." It was a cold jump in the water but it went decently I now know what works and doesn't work for our second show coming up there in August. MORE developments to come.

I've hit my wall and I am moving on. The light at the end of the tunnel is starting to shine brighter and brighter. I'm about ready to sit in a desk for a couple of months. I'm dreaming of home and looking forward to some family visits in the next couple of weeks. The next post will be about Baraboo National Bank day... and also a short story about the night before the parade.

Hope all is well on the reader side of the computer. The summer has hit it's peak and is slowly coming to an end. Enjoy it while it lasts. ALL my best! And I am sorry for not posting earlier... things should pick up from now on!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Welcome Back Readers!

I have come to realize that I have not posted in quite a while... This blog is due for some SERIOUS updating. Sit back and enjoy readers; this could be a long one.

Since we last checked in, it was Laura's night off... Laura made it back safely the next day and no great tragedy was seen or heard from. In fact, it was nice to have a night alone. We have been inching towards P-Day, (Parade Day), and have been holding up surprisingly well. No one has been chewed out, there have been no meltdowns in the ring or in the office, and spirits are comfortably maintained at a relatively high state.

I got a surprise visit from my Uncle Don and Aunt Julie from my father's side of the family. Sometimes all you need is a familiar face -a friendly visit -and your comedic batteries are re-charged and the season coasts along without any moments of impatience. -Also on the visitor's list was my High School Drama Director, Gary Parker and his grandson Owen. I was glad that Gary got to see me, as he was a great theatrical influence and he is the reason why I got into working at Renaissance Festival. (A WHOLE other blog that will surface sometime in September.)

SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS came to the circus. Well, actually, it was Sponge Bob's body shell, shoes, leggings, and fabric bag to prevent dust or any other harm in the ever-so-dangerous dressing room of a Ringmaster, Magician/Drummer, Clown and Production Girl. -AND which one of these lucky members was chosen to do meet and greet sets in between shows in a giant, friendly, yellow heat box of PR DOOM!?!?! -LAURA! YAY! We had a weekend with Sponge Bob at the Circus -and, SUPRISINGLY, It brought in GREAT crowds! -I am very happy and excited to say that, because of Sponge Bob Square Pants, I BROKE THE 100 DOLLAR MARK IN THE FACE PAINTING BOOTH!!! $123 to be exact! I've only broken the $100 mark once since then... which means I get roughly 50 EXTRA DOLLARS PER VICTORY! I've already surpassed my gas and snack food funds for my ride home... and am still working on school books -however much THAT'S gonna run me up... yikes!

I've decided that (even though it's gonna be a huge pain in the wallet) I'm going to pay for my tuition and books for this semester. -So, student loans won't be as hard to pay off on the upcoming future... I just have to keep working hard and picking up odd jobs to get my damn degree!

I am ALL juiced up for two shows that I'm doing with Tristan off site. I'm working on a comedic character performance that is going to be a great break from the clown I am everyday -I can take a stab at straight up physical comedian. I was inspired as one of my great influences and teachers, Chris Allison, got on America's Got Talent -and made it to the next round in Las Vegas! He has a Coney Island Chris character -who performs old sideshow acts as a bumbling nerd resembling Jerry Lewis. He KILLED at the Clown College reunion and I can only imagine how far he will go, he is truly one of the greats. -ANYWAY, I am taking inspiration as my character (who is still yet to be named) is a stuntman/amateur magician. Who's favorite word is "Extreme" I can't WAIT to see how he plays and have a new personality in my repertoire.

The 4th of July was festive and cute as always in the small town of Baraboo. The local band played patriotic songs as the sun went down on the football field of Baraboo High. Then the entire town watched the annual fireworks display. It wasn't as impressive as I remembered it last year -but it was still a fun night out. We had some fantastic White trash behind us claiming that a quarter of the fireworks resembled a dolphin and he would predict every time they picked up the speed that we had indeed come to "The Grand Final!" (You did not misread and there is no misprint... f-i-n-a-l. as in final four or final countdown.) I caught up with the DeSantos and we planned a get together.

In other news, since I last wrote a blog, we filmed a TV commercial for Circus World and I was the lead character in it! It’s only running in Wisconsin, but I’m getting a copy of it to gloat about in the very near future. I probably should have asked for some money, but promotional footage is a fantastic trade off for now. It was just another bit of excitement to add to this crazy summer of circus and mayhem.

I am currently writing and re-writing my 10 minute spot of madness for the illusions of reality magic show at Buffalo Phil's a major restaurant in Wisconsin Dells. I am also looking forward to a few more visits coming up... Friends from college and my mom and dad both plan on making the trip out. I hit a mini-wall and wanted to go home for a few days, but the sun is back out and I'm still happy to be here. Still not sure about next year -but why worry!? All things happen for a reason. P-Day is closing in... Here I go... wish me luck!

Until next time...

Stay safe, happy, healthy, and West Nile Free!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Night to Reflect.

Laura's family came to visit today. Luckily I was "ON" for both the shows they saw. I've been inspired lately reading a book entitled "The Pickle Clowns" It's composed mainly of interviews with the original Pickle Family Circus clowns. The circus name might not ring too familiar to most -but the clown celebrities that sprouted out of this open-air circus wonder remain BIG names in the world of clown and physical comedy. Bill Irwin, Geoff Hoyle, and Larry Pisoni were the originals (Others gave great interviews -but I'm shooting at big names for the moment.) It is inspiring to hear their outlook on clowning, as well as how they truly roughed it from nothing into the biggest open air circus (and theater circus) to this date. I feel like a Pickle Clown... they came from these great backgrounds and were very skilled in their own areas. The circus show (being animal free) revolved around the clowns -and they had great creative control and freedom. This being a genius "feed me, feed me -I feed you -We are awesome!" environment, the clowns flourished, grew, and basked in their creative, skilled, and slapstick brilliance. I feel like I have great freedom and trust in me when I go into the ring. Here at Circus World I am the only clown -and the only resident act. I have become a circus name. And for some reason my clown persona soaks this up and feeds it back ten-fold whenever I do my acts. I have an out of body experience. I watch myself clown -I can see what I'm doing -and I truly surprise myself! I am actually pretty funny. I'm pretty darn good -I've "Borrowed" some material but have revamped it to make it my own (As just about every clown has done before me in the past.) To sum up the situation -I've gotten good! and I impress myself. and I love my job. and I'm happy with where I am at.

Today was father's day -as well as my dad's birthday. I made sure to call him -and we had a good talk. I miss my family terribly, yet the summer is short and continues to advance at a nearly overwhelming pace. Laura went home tonight and has tomorrow off. So, I did dishes, laundry, cleaned out my car, read, wrote a few clown acts, surfed the web, and wrote this blog. I also had time to make some phone calls that have been severely put off. It's been a busy night, but I'm glad I had things to distract me. Tomorrow I get to work with "the replacement Laura" more details to come. Goodnight, readers!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

One Month In! (Wal-Mart Bingo)

Things have been quite quaint here in "the Boo." We've been watching movies quite a bit and have a weekly rehearsal schedule -not to mention a weekly schedule.
Laura has been bitten by the circus bug (No, not Humphrey) and has the sudden itch to pick up as many skills by the end of the summer as possible. The list, in order of inspiration, is as follows... Magic, Contortion, Juggling, Clowning, Acrobatics... and I'm sure there are more to come. Tristan and I have been entertaining the idea of putting together a vaudeville show -YES, it has been done before. I am aware of the many attempts to revive vaudeville. However, with our combined skills and passion to perform, we dare to dream and continue to jot down notes and ideas... well, I write it all down -and leave all the talent and management to Tristan.

It was a long day at Circus World today... I was about to pass out after setting up for tomorrow's make-up demo. My back was aching and my voice was shot. It's a challenge being in character for most of the day -interacting at the face paninting booth (I brought in $94 today! -Almost broke the $100 mark!). By the end of the summer I plan to break a 100 both in the booth and in bowling as well. I'm starting to pick it up. The whole group(The Antons, Duo Fusion, Irene, Tristan, Maggie, Laura and Myself) went bowling about a week ago and it was a great bonding experience. (Before that we went out with Maggie and Tristan -our new best friends in town -if you couldn't tell already.) Besides bowling, The four of us went out the other night to see "The Hangover." The movie was hilarious -and proved to be a great outting and escape from the daily grind. Afterwards we went back to Maggie and Tristan's for pie (concocted by Maggie and Laura) -they needed heavy whipping cream, however, and Tristan and I set off for Wal-Mart at midnight. -AKA. the bewitching hour at Wal-Mart. The first sighting was of a woman taking her sweet time at the "Speedy Checkout -20 items or less" line -we laughed at the irony and contradiction as I believe the lady payed in change and coupons. Then, in walked the Manson family. Long haired hippy people from the Baraboo hills -probably there for beer, Doritoes, and soda. They had long hair, glazed eyes, and a confused yet giddy disposition. The youngest was around 12... I fear for the future. Next came in two men heading right for the condom aisle... I have no problem with this -more power to them -but the the pre-mentioned ombiaunce, they also got a chuckle out of us. We got up to the register and found ourselves victims of our own game when we looked down to realize that we were two giddy gentlemen buying a carton of heavy whipping cream. Yes, the last laugh was on us, and we laughed all the way home -to finish off the movie "Willow" which we started about a week and a half prior.

We are officially one month into the season and things are still going great. July is a sleeping giant about to be woken up by independance day fireworks. I fear that the great wall of midseason is coming upon us. Breathing deeply and calmly I keep entering through the curtain and making the most of my time. Family will start coming out soon, and my nephew's birthday is coming up. The parade is also in the oncoming future, along with many more stories -I'm sure. Keep tuned in and stay safe. More updates to come!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Few Pictures.

We have here 4 pictures...

1. Me in a leotard and tights imitating a cirque clown... "Oopa!"

2. A sampling of my cooking skills! -Yes! It tasted as good as it looked.

3. Me imitating a Lou Jacobs picture that I love. (This is Humphrey the moth!)

4. Me in front of my billboard!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rainy Day

Waking up with aching hands for someone with arthritis -means it’s going to rain. Waking up with an aching everything else for clowns -means it’s going to rain. We’ve had about a handful of cloudy days with rain in the morning -but today was our first muggy day of the season, AND this being the Midwest and summer still not being in full swing -IT WAS COLD TOO! Yet, the show goes up rain or shine; full house or one eighty-fifth of a house. The make-up demo had a decent house today and they were all quiet and interested. I guess terrible weather really puts people in the mood to sit though just about anything, and since the crowd was a little fuller and more patient I filled out some of the details in the life story that I usually skip. I plan on switching over to an audio recording the whole time and having a Q&A session at the END of the demo in the near future, just because stopping to ask questions and gesturing slows the show down a bit to it’s full time slot of 30 minutes (and some times more.) I knew it would be a very quiet day in the face painting booth, but I grabbed the money and planned on pitching merchandise the whole time. Even if I don’t get any profits, it’s still nice to know that I’m making the museum some money. It is the least I could do, considering the knowledge and magic that it brought to me when I was growing up. I set up shop and watched a considerable amount of visiters walk their slickers and umbrellas over to the tiger show -if nothing else, we had some hardcore troupers here to see a show -AND BY GOD, I’D SHOW MY APPRECIATION BY GIVING THEM A DAMN GOOD SHOW!
I bought a new smaller suitcase at St. Vincent dePaul’s yesterday (a thrift store near the museum that stays open conveniently late on Friday/payday). I loaded the case and took it for a few test unloading and found it to be satisfactory. My old case that I was using was a cheep trunk that Ben Bolin gave me when I was on the road (He coincidently got married today! -I hope all is well for the new couple.) It was a thin, plywood footlocker found at a Target. From Ben’s first of may trunk -to part of my “leaving the show luggage” -to prop trunk at Circus World last year -TO functioning trunk and prop case in China -then here as opening number prop trunk -it has lived a great life exceeding it’s $15 worth. I had 3 REALLY GREAT shows today -all the volunteers I picked today were perfect and the audiences, though small, were surprisingly responsive. Even more surprising was my business after the first show. I drew in a deep, cold breath before I walked to the booth and started my pitch. “Face painting -get your face painted right here -that’s right as long as you have an umbrella and the desire to transform yourself into a LION, a TIGER, a BUTTERFLY -oh my, a performing DOG, or circus CLOWN -I can make your wildest dreams come true…” I turned around and there was a line at the booth! “Can I help you? -We also have toys.” “How much for face painting?” “Five Dollars,” I said ,“Five for full face and three for cheek stamp design.” I ended up painting TWO full faces and FIVE stamp designs! Bringing my grand total up to 25 Dollars! Not bad for the start of the day -I didn’t get further than that, but I was in shock all day that I was able to sell washable face paints to people on a rainy day! Old P.T. Barnum would be proud. It was so cold during the circus show that I could see my breath! And in the first show I peeked through the curtain during the elephant number and saw steam billowing off of a pile of elephant droppings -that made me laugh. The girls were very cold all day in their show costumes so we kept our distance and tried not to irritate.
The Magic Show was my favorite show of the day -this is an increasing trend. I LOVE my magic spoof now -I even cracked myself up a couple of times today. You GOTTA come out to see it. Business never picked back up in the face painting booth so I called it a day early. I helped Dave sweep the ring before I took off my make-up and deposited my money to the accounting vixens. The women in the accounting office are two women who are both grandmothers and very funny girls to get going. I like to visit them and talk to them, as it seems like barely anyone else goes back to visit them. They are sweet women who are very friendly and aren’t afraid to tell it like it is. Tonight I was going to get my haircut, but I found out that haircuts at Wal-Mart close at 5 on Saturdays and I’ll have to wait until Monday to lower my ears. I bought a few things for the dressing room -as well as a sweet card for Laura (who is in a once-a-month-slump) -that cheered her up and scored me some brownie points. She made dinner (Tuna Helper -I’m teaching her to cook for college) and I made dessert. I made s’mores on the stovetop. I put Golden gram cereal and chocolate pieces in small bowls then roasted the marshmallows before adding them. I did a DUMB thing on my second helping, however, when I ate my bowl with the metal fork that I had been roasting the marshmallows with… my upper lip still tingly and numb… I hope it doesn’t blister -D’OH! We took a cat nap which went on longer than expected (two hours! -I woke up and wrote this blog… Laura is still sleeping.) It’s 10:30 now and I fear that it’s going to be a hard night to fall back asleep. It has, however, been raining off and on -and the sound of rain on a trailer or train car always puts some weight on my lids… the space heater is on and I’m cozy as a bug in a rug -THAT REMINDS ME- Before I sign off, today Laura found a HUGE moth and brought it back to the dressing room. We took lots of pictures and made it dressing room mascot for a day. It’s name was Humphrey (Laura’s name after the Hubert Humphrey terminal in the airport back home…) There will be a full post of pictures coming very soon. Keep checking in -and keep optimistic -some days the dreariest days turn out to be the most fun.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another Day in Paradise.

(Lately I’ve been having trouble with internet connection -so the posts will be sporadic. I wrote this last night and couldn’t post it… if you are reading this…. I finally got it to work… DUH! -Enjoy!)

The make-up demonstration started a minute or two late -even though I was there 10 minutes early this morning. I got carried away snooping about in the projection booth (aka. one of the MANY “temporary” storage spaces on site). The Demo was okay… one kid raised his hand and said “I don’t like clowns…” I thought he meant he was afraid of clowns -so I started off with “Well, clowns don’t like you either.” That got a laugh, then I went on to explain that that’s why we are doing a demonstration this year -to help people understand what being a clown is like -and to help break down the illusion just a little bit -to help realize that underneath the costume, make-up, and character was just a normal person. The little boy then responded with “No, I’m not scared of clowns -I just don’t like them.” I was a tad miffed (being 9:30 in the morning and nobody cared about what I was doing) AND there was a BUNCH I could have responded with, but I simply replied with “Oh… well… good for you.” And hastily tried to finis the demo. After the demo I clean up and set the stage for the day of old circus documentaries -and while I was sweeping up my baby powder I noticed that kids just kept coming down the hall -TONS of kids… it was going to be a fun Circus Show.

I picked up my money bag for the face painting booth and set out to clean shop. It’s hit or miss in the booth on school show days… either the kids have money and the schools let them spend it (YAY) -OR they are instructed to keep away from the dirty carnie vendors (BOO). I got a good feeling for the crowd as they filed across the bridge from KidsWorld to the Tiger Adventure. TONS of kids! I patiently waited backstage making a grocery list for tomorrow and reading a bit from “Ringmaster;” the Kristopher Antekeier book about his year with the red unit. I went out to pump the crowd (my favorite thing to do during kid shows -this started back on Ringling -kids are SO excited and they are ready to see this fantastic circus show… they have this great energy and buzz -and I’d love to get them pumped before the big show began). I went out to dust off the ring curb. I then proceeded to dust of the butts of our senior citizen volunteer’s butts (ALWAYS gets a good laugh) Potty humor is not below me. I did a little hat tossing -which went over well -so I ran backstage and grabbed my diablo. “Higher -Higher” is my favorite game. I toss the Diablo up as high as I can and try to catch it. I also throw in a bit where it lands on my head conking me out. The kids went NUTS! It was a good show. Big reactions for the Boom-Box Gag and the Karate Gag (It was too cold for a volunteer water gag). After the show we meet and greet as people exit -I was attacked as usual. This was all fun and good -until I went over to the face painting booth. -Note to self… if kids are bugging me too much -go to the booth MAKE ‘EM PAY OR LEAVE. In today’s case -they left -as if I crapped my pants and put on a dress -as soon as I got in the booth everyone vanished to the picnic area. NO buyers today… no 50% cut on face painting… I had lunch and read a bit more before the Ring of Illusions Magic Show.

The show went smoothly and I really starting to have fun and be comfortable with all my bits. I’ll be set by the middle of this month. My Magic Spoof act was hastily thrown together and at the beginning of the season -was better on paper than in the ring. But I’m re-working it and I’m getting some good reactions now. I still have to add and cut some more though. (Note: add large glass and marshmallows to grocery list.) During the last trick of the show about half the audience left (school group hours) they had busses to catch and absolutely would NOT wait the extra 2 minutes that the show would have taken. That happened a lot last year too during the Razzle Dazzle. I was brutally swarmed and swatted at again by cotton candy faced smart asses. There was a smattering of GOOD little children who can look forward to presents from Santa this year. But the rest of them were a bunch of nose grabbers (Children whos mission is to take the clown’s nose -even after they see the make-up demo.) I chased this with another terribly unsuccessful 5 minutes in the booth. I left the booth and read a little more of “Ringmaster” before I let Tucker out. Upon leaving the trailer I noticed that Steve Freese’s (The head director of the museum) Car had a large ziplock bag under each windshield wiper filled with what looked to be large coconuts. -With a closer look I noticed that these were not coconuts but elephant droppings. I laughed and applauded the practical joke by Brian Franzen (our animal trainer this year).

The last Circus Show was alright -but the crowd was VERY quiet. I had a last minute surge of business at the end of the day bringing my booth total up to $14. Two faces (a lion and a tiger), three swords, and one clown nose. I came back to my trailer to find that the two bags of elephant turds were on my front step… to retaliate I put them inside Steve’s grill. HOT LUNCH! -Don’t worry, they were still in their sealed ziplocks. -For extra measure, though, I opened the vent to let bugs into his grill as well. Tonight Maggie, Tristan’s wonderful girlfriend, was going to make dinner for the four of us -and Laura was to be her sous chef. We had Pot Pie for Dinner and a BANANAS FOSTER pie for dessert. It was VERY satisfying. While waiting Tristan and I watched a movie called “Shine A Light” -a documentary on the Rolling Stones and one of their recent performances. It was a great inspiration to see these 60 years old ( and PLUS) men RUNNING around and dancing like sex gods… They still have “it” and for two performance geeks like Tristan and I -we reveled and awaited our later days in the performance industry. After a fun night with GREAT food, full bellies (food and laughs), and great company we left to call it an early night. Laura went to bed at 9:30ish… and I wrote this LONG blog. I am beat now and can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. I still love my job and I am happy with how life is at the moment.

Happy thoughts readers!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Clown Acts For the Season (Spoilers -Beware)

So, here's a rough outline of my day... the circus show happens twice a day. The second Circus Show is after the Ring of Illusions Magic Show. Spoiler alert -medium. After both Circus Shows and the Ring of Illusions Magic Show I have a face painting set. -That's 3 sets a day... All of these acts and occurances will be refered to in later posts... again -just setting the pace for future blogs.

Make-Up Demonstration--


Catch it at 9:30am! I tell my life story, tidbits about make-up and clowning in general, and I display a full transformation into the poster clown for Circus World Museum 2009 -Roger the Clown!

Circus Show--


I come out into the ring with a boom-box. With a little help from a volunteer I figure things out. I plug the boom-box in (get electricuted) and break into "goofy dancing" to such classics as "I Feel Good"-James Brown... "The Mexican Hat Dance"... and "Quando Quando Quando". A newsflash comes on informing of an escaped gorilla -I get attacked! Then the ringmaster saves the day.


Clown hosts a squirtgun showdown with an audience member.


A cinder block breaking display -as Roger the Clown shows off his karate skills with another volunteer from the audience.


I come out and announce an intermission and go to read a paper. Yet I have a rough go with the chair and the newspaper and before I can get comfortable the "intermission" is over --"GALL-BLANG-IT-DANG-GUM-IT!"

Ring of Illusions Magic Show--


Light classics as "Is this your card?", "The vaporizing water!", and "Pulling a rabbit from the hat" are attempted... poorly.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Setting the Pace for This Summer

I am content in every sense of the word. The begining of the season was incredibly smooth. All rehearsals were painless and the first shows had barely any flaws. We have been well recieved and I've come FULLY prepaired for everything this year. Not to say that last year was BAD, it just didn't feel right until about a month into the season.

Last year I had two acts in the main circus show (which goes up twice a day) I had a string of smaller spots and one parody act in the Razzle Dazzle Revue -I was in KidsWorld Circus (which also goes up twice a day) and I had my own 20 minute clown show.

THIS YEAR -I'm not doing KidsWorld (Which was a lot of fun, but it DID make the days long -doing two shows that each repeated everyday)... and They scrapped the Razzle Dazzle this year and replaced it with a large illusion show featuring Tristan Christ, the magician -drummer -sound & lights -assistant performance manager -and all around good performer and friend. He works WAY more than he should -yet he has great energy, patience, and vision to keep this museum afloat. --ANYWAYS I do both circus shows (two spots each), the Ring of Illusions Magic Show, and I also have a Make-Up Demo every morning. I am ALSO doing face painting. I am doing less shows this year but am keeping just as busy. However the pace is less draining and I haven't hit a "wall" yet.

The trailer life is GREAT! I feared it would seem small (YES, this coming from a guy who traveled with Ringling in the same 5' x 10' box for two years). With Laura and Tucker this mobile valhala is a comfortable and sweet place to call home whenever I need it. I have a working sink, stove, refrigerator, shower, bed, lights, microwave, and windows. It is very cozy and I could get used to this in the future (LOOK OUT BIG APPLE CIRCUS!)

I continue to find myself on more and more wisconsin dells promotional material. IT'S AMAZING! Never in my WILDEST dreams did I ever think I'd reach this level of celebrity with my clowning. I am SOOO lucky and blessed. It's going to be hard leaving this place in the future... but, such is the life of a performer.

It is almost midnight, however I wanted to get the basics out of the way before I really started getting into details... I should start inviting people... maybe tomorrow.

Goodnight moon. Goodnight stars. Goodnight Circkets. Goodnight Trailer. Goodnight Baraboo. Goodnight... me.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Hello Readers.

Granted, I am writing this at a point when there aren't ANY followers, but for now and future joiners this will just be the basic welcome and introduction.

I started this as a journal of my second summer at Circus World Museum here in 2009. This is a place to vent, escape, and stimulate my creativity. Also it's a way to keep my dear friends, and family posted on the current on-goings in my life.

I will write a more "bloggy" blog tomorrow, as it is 11:00PM and I am the only one awake in my trailer.

I live in a comfy "Salem" trailer on the backlot of the museum with my girlfriend, Laura, and my dog, Tucker. It's been a smooth and fun season so far... let's see how long this lasts -I am currently 2 weeks in. I have no idea what lies ahead this summer, in my blog, in my life -but I do believe that all things happen for a reason and that the good and bad work together and co-exist. I just have to keep smiling, keep looking at the positives, and keep getting back up when I fall.

Welcome to Skoy Falls!
You've been expected.


Neal Skoy