Thursday, April 28, 2011

Our 2011 Tour Schedule as it sits now. More to come?

Tour 2011

May 8 Depart Home

May 10 Holbrook, AZ 6 PM

May 13-14 Canton, OK Walleye Rodeo

May 18 Watonga, OK Liberty Theater 6PM

May27 -May30 Burlington Chocolate Festival WI

June 2-5 Hometown Days Swartz Creek, MI

June 10 Westgate Chapel Toledo, OH

June 14-18 Clarksville-Montgomery County Fair TN (Clarksville Speedway)

June 27-July 2 Lawrenceburg Fair and Horse Show KY

July 5-10 Laurel County Fair London, KY

July 11-25 Beech Bend Park Bowling Green KY

July 28-31 Plymouth County Fair IA

Aug 1-5 Clark Co Fair Winchester KY

Aug 11-13 Franklin Southampton Fair Courtland, VA

Aug 15-21 Delaware Co Fair Walton, NY

Sep 2-5 Three County Fair Northampton, MA

Sep 8-11 Madera Co fair CA

Sep 18-19 Louisiana Gator Festival Covington, LA

Sep 28-Oct 1 Titus County Fair Mt Pleasant, TX

Oct 21-23,28-30 Calico

Oct 31 Elk Grove First Baptist

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Egg Hunt - Practice - LA Fair Promoter Scammer

In a moment I am going to get very serious. First, let me mention how cool of a day it was going over to the grandparent's house for an Easter egg hunt. It was neat because no one was greedy. But in fact my three little ones helped the two younger friends find eggs or even give up their own eggs to them. I was very proud of them.
Before and after the hunt the older kids and Victor Jr. worked on their various aerial arts. Midori, a college aged Japanese girl who may travel with our show this summer, worked on perfecting a very nice dance-lyra routine. Nick powered up on the trapeze and Jim over saw the whole thing.
Yesterday Midori and Misato (the girls who will assist for our Japan Fundraiser show) came over for magic and aerial practice. They will also do a jazz dance number after magically appearing at the show next Friday.

It is the day before Easter, as it has come to be called. We call it resurrection Sunday because that better describes what it is all about. The bunnies, chicks, eggs, etc. are all part of pagan fertility spring festivals that the early church adopted for a number of reasons, right or wrong. That is not what I am here to write about right now. I only mention it in passing.
We are just back from Easter Egg Hunting at my parents house and as the children trade there favorite candies and separate jelly beans by color I think about the craziness of this past week. If you are not up to date this past week started with us ending a ten day run with our show in Southern California and didn't get paid and the promoter disappearing. Thousands were lost; thousands that are need to pay bills, and pay for the preparations of the upcoming six month summer tour. It was the first time in my life to experience, first, not getting paid, and second, loosing that much money. The promoter, David Jackson, did far worse than just not pay us. He didn't pay all the acts, stole from vendors ands sponsors, and cheated the people who paid to come. Hundreds, nay, thousands were hurt by this man.
So am I angry? That is what I was thinking about. Am I angry? I have to say I have been more sad for everyone, including myself, that angry. I want to believe that David Jackson is just inept as a promoter and the low turnout and high expense scared him so bad he ran. I can imagine his fears and pain. If that is true, he is not much of a man. A real man would face his mess, face his fears, face his troubles. But I have found there are fewer and fewer real men exist today. Watch one hour of news any day of the week and it will prove that. So I am sad.
If you read this blog you may have noticed I did not mention this over the course of the LA County Fair or this past week. I have been hoping that somehow David Jackson would man up and come forward. Sadly, he hasn't.
So I have started letting performers, vendors, sponsors, venues, fair and festival associations, agents, managers, newspapers, and everyone else to be wary of this guy. Here is the warning I put out on Facebook performer chat pages:

!!!!!!!!!!!!!Attention performers. This past week several performers including my slef were bilked out of our pay by a promoter in Southern California. He has presented many different events, often failures in attendance. He goes by many company names including West Coast Festival, L.A. Spring Fair, Orange Grove Festivals, Faithe Festivals, Revelations, (GWS Events-----the folks at GWS have disavowed David Jackson... But I list it here only because David himself claims to be an owner of the business. General Manger Tim Long has emailed me with information claiming Jackson is not in anyway affiliated with GWS...which means Mr Jackson has yet another lie in his bucket or barrel of lies. ), etc. His name is David Jackson. His wife is Lisa Jackson but sometimes uses Forsythe or Camp as a last name. He failed to pay thousands to several acts. He is based out of Victorville, CA but lists his office out of Ontario, CA. His home address in Victorville no longer his home (foreclosure some time ago but he still uses it.) He also has relatives in Arizona so be careful. He goes to fair conventions to book his events. I don't know if he intentionally bilked us or if he is just incompetent and got scared and ran. But I know he did the same to performers at an event in October!!!!!

Since that posting I have contacted the San Gabreal Valley Tribune and they have opened an investigation and have found so much dirt on this guy that I believe it may end up with him in jail. Jackson has become a master of ovelapping and hiding and covering up and now he is gone, vanished! Better than Houdini. But there is a lawyer hired by one of the acts and a newspaper chasing him down. For now the money he owes is lost and there are hearts and lives messed up because of David Jackson and his family. So I ask all of you to pray for those who have suffered by this guy and to pray for David Jackson.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Jim and Nick Practicing the Trap then Nick Performs

Nick Candlish has moved from soundman-roadie to Daring young man on the trapeze. Here is some footage of him in his first performances. First a coujple of clips of Jim practicing some falls on the trap.

This is how we goof off at a fair

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Busy Day at the Fair

Four-show day! It was very hot and it turned out to be a very busy day. Miles would leave the show to head to Mexico with a church group to build homes for poor families so my sister came up from San Diego to give him a lift to meet up with the group before they corss the border.

It was the first time my borther-in-law got to see our show. It was great that the cousins could spend time together.

Later in the Day Gorodon wong, a childhood friend, and his family came out to visit. They aimed for tonight to catch Firefly, a Christian band, but their concert was canceled. Still we got to show them two of our shows and spend some fellowship time. Earlier in the day Gordon dropped a box of donuts off to us at the hotel. What a guy! Great family too.

Nephew Levi trying Olivia's Lyra. Levi, Bro-in-law, Olivia, Kim, and Jeez I forgot his name but he's my sister's friend. He's really nice.

Giving Anti Monkey Butt Powder samples to the crowd.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

At the Fair...some great pictures

Our set....(minus about 6 banners)

Finally it really feels like Spring. I am happy to report the sun is out and the fair is open. Sadly the day started off slow. But crowds picked up during the evening (fair opens at 5pm). In fact we had a nice rowdy loud fully packed audience for our last show. We pretty much spent the entire day at the fair to deal with issues that arose but it also gave the kids practice time. They spent a lot of time working on flying trapeze technique and swinging to keep in shape. But also on static or artistic trapeze moves. One such move is going from a standing swinging position then falling back and just at the last second your feet grab the rope and they slide down the rope to the bar leaving you upside down hanging by your feet. Very impressive. It's all been with the harness on. I actually replaced my wind burn with a sun burn today. Generally I have to say for content this fair has a lot to offer at really great prices. But in spite of massive ads on radio and newspaper and tv attendance has been low. At first we all thought it was the weather since it was so cold. But tonight, though the best night so far, was still slow and it was a nice night. I really mean it when I say you can't beat what you get at this fair. The entertainment (modestly aside) is really great and the concert stage is RIGHT there in front of the audience. Rick Springfield (Springstein???) was able to touch his audience last night. I am happy to report that all of us are healthy and doing well. My only complaint is that since we are across from the Southern BBQ place we all come back to the hotel smelling like we've been know that smoky smell.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Back to the Show

Well the two days off lasted for way too short of time. Even though the event made the fair free-gate and gave away wickets attendance was still down today. It's the economy stupid! And it was cold again today. But not nasty cold like last week. The alligator show didn't go on today but a new stunts show made up of some very cool people came in. Yes there are still some hotel headaches, but I figure I have spent too much time on that here so I will leave that out for now. Tomorrow will be a free gate day as well so come on down. Nick and the girls got to wear their new costumes today and yes I have pictures but you will have to wait as it is late and I am sleepy. Amelia finally worked out the kink that was keeping her from nailing getting the hula hoop onto her foot from her hands. So she is progressing well. Everyone is really do quite well on the show. James' stilt man was able to get past security and into the back stage and meet Bo Bice and even participated in a great prayer before the show. Us an the Kids Celebration show people had a great little prayer meeting ourselves tonight as well. I have to confess I am missing Mami and Titus. Good night

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day off Day 2 Griffith Park - Soup and more

Another day off in southland....tomorrow things get busy again! We got to sleep-in late and once again there was no coffee for me in the lobby. Since we had no real schedule today we got a late start after I spent time checking phone messages from the office, emails, etc. I also tried to start my California taxes (did my federal a few weeks back). Can you believe the Cali tax form is three pages long (front, back and another page)? But I gave up when the instructions told me to add line 40 and 27 together to get the answer for line 47....there was no line 40????????????/ Frustrated, I put things away and we headed out to Griffith Park in the Hollywood Hills. This is my buddy JC's favorite place (next to being next to his wife). It's wonderfully beautiful there. You can see the entire LA Valley. And there is a lot of great trails and wild life. You can also see the SMOG (you know what smog means don't's a mixture of two words...a small hog!) The best time to drive LA freeways is after 10AM and before 4PM . It was a smooth drive in and we really enjoyed the sights. I think the best area to live if you have to life in SoCal is off the 210 along the northern part of the valley. Hiking, running, exploring, climbing, and general frolicking was the name of the game for everyone but me. I stayed in the van and worked on my taxes. I finally figured out that whole this line that line thing. I also worked on parts of our up coming summer tour and made a few calls. Before I was done the kids dropped Belle off with me who enjoyed a whole glass of water. Then they headed into the Observatory and checked out science. (Pictures below). By the time they had enough of all that learning and playing it was close to 2pm and we headed down into the valley, through Hollywood, over to Beverly Hills to enjoy another one of my friend JC's favorite spots, the Soup Plantation. The kids loved it. Giant salad bar followed by all the soup, pizza, ice cream, etc you can eat. Lots of drink choices too. It was fantastic. We all rolled back to the van then back to the hotel for R & R from our day off. At the hotel the coffee pot was once again empty. So I walked down to Burger King and got some joe. We are vegging now in front of the TV....well, mostly. Amelia has just started reading the Bible to Olivia and I just over heard them praying....very cool. For dinner we had PB and J sandwiches. Those too were very nice. I want to say something about last night. I have to say I am so very lucky to have friends like Gordon Wong. I mean we haven't seen each other since High School (we had gone to kindergarten through high school together). Still when he visited us at the fair a couple of days ago he brought hot wings, cookies, mandarins, etc. I told him in a conversation on the phone or email that we were pepper heads and we loved our wings. So he remembered that and brought us wings. Wow! Then last night he took us out to dinner. He picked up the tab to my chagrin.(I wanted to pay but he did it when I wasn't paying fault!) His kids had monster homework so we couldn't meet them. But his wife (a knockout, by the way), joined us after her busy day at work. They make a fantastic couple and are so generous and kind. They are two very mutually blessed people to have each other. Oh, and Gordon brought us Thai chills because I had told him about a family challenge we have with them. Nick tried to beat my 9 pepper record but crammed 16 or 17 into his mouth at one time. Doesn't count.... You have to don one at a time and show your mouth empty after each....we will do the record this week. He also brought us some hot chili pepper sauce. What a guy! By the way he can't stand hot peppers. I almost forgot. The Soup Plantation recognized us as new customers so they brought us four nice sized cookie package gifts. Our dessert tonight.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hurray for Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Gordon Wong.

Day Off: In my many many years of doing fairs and festivals this is my first fair that took two days off. A shame too, because today was perfect fair-going weather. We took in the sights of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. But first we dropped by Covina, CA to Millie's Dancewear shop and picked up two unitards for Nick for the trapeze and biketards for Olivia (for the lyra) and Amelia (for the hoops). Nick said he felt weird in the unitards, but if he hadn't had said it or said, "Hmmmm, Nice", I might have worried about him. The hotel gave my third day without morning coffee and their shelves were bare or breakfast so on the way to Covina we hit a ratty hole in the wall donut joint. These are the best places to get good donuts, usually. But they did have great coffee. While in Covina we also stopped by a hole in the wall pet store for Buttercup's lunch....two mice. Then it was off the glitz of Hollywood. But not without me making a wrong turn on the 134 to the 101 and heading north ten miles out of our way. Even legendary drivers like me make mistakes. But rarely (hehehehe). In Hollywood we drove around first then parked near the Hollywood toy and Costume shop. Sadly nothing of interest to get there. And sadly Hollywood Magic was closed to day. But we did enjoy a hole in the wall hotdog joint and we strolled the Blvd spotting our favorite stars on the street. Belle was a hit an several tourists took pictures of the pretty white poodle on Hollywood Blvd. A film school student asked me to hold Belle up and say I love you and act all lovey dovey for a project. It was my pleasure. From Hollywood we drove to Beverly Hills and visited the Grayson mansion (I think that's its name. It's a city park but the buildings and land are used in tons of movies. We came back then met up with Gordon Wong (childhood friend) and his wife for dinner at a nice Mexican place. He gave us a package of Thai chilies since he know we are chili heads. Nick downed 15 all in one or two swallows....the rules for the record require one at a time so my record of 9 still stands. But he has challenged me so we will face off soon.
new costumes
Gordon and I

In front of Lou costello's star

At the Kodak Theater....Ollie and Victor would end up wet! Kodak Hotdogs!!!!!!!!!! At the costume store in Covina...not the Hollywood store above.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 3 LA Spring Fair

Sunny beautiful day in Southern cal today. Again windy in the afternoon, but otherwise awesome day. Once again the attendance was slow at first but picked up as the day went on. By evening it was much busier but started getting cold and then the attendance dropped off again. We've been blessed with two very nice acts to work with, Kids celebration (a game show like thing) and Gator Show. Both groups are really nice folks. Olivia and Amelia know the lines of the presenters by heart and have participated in almost every one of the Kids Celebration shows. Belle and both girls got new outfits yesterday evening after the shows. I mentioned Belle's outfit yesterday but failed to tell you that for the same reasons that Belle got a sweater the girls got new long pants and sweatshirts since we packed for warmer weather than we got. Love those discount sales because those cute little outfits for the girls were cheaper than Belle's sweater...and her sweater was given to us at a great discount. The shows were a ton of fun today. Everyone did well and the new routines are really getting better and better. I am really proud of all of them Sadly our dog show friends, the Sundance Dog troupe finished their run at the fair today due to booking confusions. It was Kyra, the human part of the troupe, who gave us a book last year that taught me how to train Belle.
Modeling their new clothes. How smart is she....doing the newspaper crossword!

NRA proud!