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.
THE GREAT CIRCUS PARADE.
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...
THE BUFFALO PHIL'S GIG.
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!