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.