Monday, May 30, 2011

Last Day 40 degrees to 95 degrees overnight!

OK, it rained for three hours yesterday and left a swamp around our stage. Our fingers and toes were frozen when we left in the fog last night. Today it was 80 degrees by 8am and getting hotter. Nothing more than an occasional wisping cloud floated by all day. It was hot...and the wet ground meant it was humid too. Whew!
It drained us. I think the drastic shift and the heat and humidity was just too much. We were all zapped by the end of our last show.

My hats off to the young hypnotist that we shared the stage with, Chris Jones, from Chicago. He rocked the crowds. Hire him if you can.
In the morning a husband-wife group called "Kids are People too" did their yearly contests and games. Amelia and Midori joined in the hula hoop contest and Amelia won.....OK she's a pro and a wringer. But still....Midori came in second.

They say that today was the best weather WI has had all year. So it was an honor to be part of it. It was a bit tough, I would think, to be an audience member sitting on the hot benches in the sun. But sat they did and clapped they did and a great show we had. In fact, two great shows today. Midori performed a couple of costume quick changes and the Zig Zag.

The Wisconsin Deep Fried cheese curd man gave us a big bag of really great string cheese....sorry Cali they beat

Next stop is Ohio to get CC and get Belle groomed and the vehicles washed.
Next show is Swartz Creek Home Town Days in MI.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chocolatefest WI Day 3!

Midori has arrived. her flight was late by an hour and Orbitz was good at letting me know that every thirty minutes from 6AM onward. Kept resetting my alarm clock. Pumped on coffee I drove the 30 or so minutes to MKE airport in Milwaukee and got her.
She saw the sunset in Cali and the sunrise in Chicago has she hopped around the country all night getting to us.
At the airport I found a cheese-head top hat so I had to get it since I wear top hats in the show and it endeared me to the audience....go Greenbay! Besides their quarterback is from my county back home in Cali.

With her she brought the rain that was falling in Cali and boy did it rain here today. It rained solid for three hours....Midwest rain...not pansy California showers. We ended up not being able to do one show because they closed out stage since it was all metal and there was lightening.

Jim found a giant chocolate chip...or...nah not going there.

Jim and I did some strolling at the kids area for an hour just as it began to rain. I made balloon animals and he acted, well, like Jim....which is always fun.

His Henry the 8th costume is quite fetching.
below are pictures of how we occupied our time. At one point we all stayed in the van going stir crazy, making balloon animals, trying to blow up those balloons, and the Wisconsin Cheese Man, Rob (pictured below with his wife Gladys and their 2 month old daughter Casey) gave us some deep fried cheese curds, and some nice spicy cheese panini sandwiches.

After the rain subsided the crowds were small and our back stage area was flooded. Even after some mulch and rock was brought over it was till too wet to risk getting my nice costumes damaged so I went out in the cheese top hat and Nascar shirt. The show went well.
Our late show had a supper tiny crowd and from the stage we watched the mist of the fog roll in as we performed.
Still we had fun but everyone is tired.

(By the way notice the 2 nails in my nose in the one picture's beginning to look natural.)

Mami and Titus stayed at the hotel today. Titus' wheelchair could not have handled the saturated sod. Mami did the laundry and made a new vest for Belle. It will debut tomorrow. Really pretty.
During the rain some of the kids, Midori and Lukas went and did chocolate pudding painting.

Chocofest Day 2

Sorry this is coming in late.
We introduced Jim balancing a ring of fire on his face today. And Bobbi the cockatoo had a good time on her first show outside on the tour.
It was still cold and the rain threat lasted all day but narly a sprinkle fell.
We shared our stage with a great young hypnotist who calls himself Halfrican American since he is half black and while...calls himself German Chocolate. Really great performer and a nice guy. Loves to jog. Miles would enjoy hanging out with him, as an avid runner himself.
Had Belly dancers on stage and one did a great hula hoop routine which Amelia watched with excitement since she does a similar act.
Victor Debuted his leg irons, hand shackled, metal bar sealed mail bag escape. It went well. Working on it to make it more dramatic. He did the 100' rope time in 25 seconds.
Great crowds in spite of the cold.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chocolatefest 2011 Day 1

Belle performed the fire hoop trick for the first time in front of an audience tonight.

She is quite a ham and I really think she knows how to work an audience. She really played her part well in both shows.

Let's see...this tour we are at thirteen shows down. hundreds to go.

Jim juggled on the tightwire tonight too. I like the blurred look of the spinning clubs.

I think my hat is on fire.....

Though I look hot the day was anything was cold. I mean COLD. And overcast. But the rain held itself in and the 30% chance became 0. Still it was cold...or did I say that already?
Titus performed today. He really seems to dig being on stage. He performed his new trick for the parade is coming soon.

Princess Amelia became our Anti-Monkey Butt Powder free sample giver.

On another note we saw old friends. The best fried cheese curd stand in the USA was back. The owner likes us and we support him by sending people over to buy his goodies. He's added some great sandwiches to his menu....We got to try them. Jim caught up with some other vendors who always give him chocolate dipped ice cream.

Wade Henry, the juggler, was back this year and had his wife with him. We've known Wade a while and it was nice that we finally got to meet his wife and he got to meet mine.

The grounds are a bit moist and muddy in spots because of rains last week and Titus was a challenge because he like to drag his feet when in his wheel chair. He totally destroyed 2 pairs of socks!!

Other news, we officially have a lawyer to go after the Southern Cal promoter. Woohoo.

I think that is it. I will fill you in as things happen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Day Who Knows! New Booking! We are in WI!

Well as I mentioned in either a past blog on Facebook report we made it into IA easy as pie running one hour behind storms and and hour or two before storms.
Once in IA we stayed at the Ver Steegt Household. One of the nicest families around, the exemplify what it means to be Christian. They even let Jim and Lucas play with their very old very expensive cool guitars.

We left IA this morning at 10am and did a relaxing 6 hour drive to a Burlington, IA (actually we are staying a town over but close enough). Last night the weather reprots said we would be suffering rain and storms along our entire route. But, the sun shone and the wind blew....that's been the weather theme for us directly this tour. We had a hard head wind the entire drive and our gas mileage was in the toilet. Still we made it here in good shape. We stopped off at the hotel first then took the main show trailer over to the grounds in Burlington.
Burlington is one pretty little town and I will snap some pictures over the next few days.
I am excited because I will get to see my old buddy Wade Henry, juggler, and maybe some other fan-stalkers from last year.
The ground around the stage was pretty mushy when we got there. The hard rain from the last few days made for some muddy areas. The picture to the left shows the stage and our trailer and van to the left of the stage.
WI meant one more thing for us. Our first mail and package drop on the road. The event director let us forward our mail and packages to his house. There were like ten boxes and stuff. One box was full of bills and stuff from home. The rest was things for the show's sales or tricks and equipment for the show. Titus has a new trick for the parade part of our show. I will video tape it....don't want to let the cat out of the bag. Victor also got his smith and wesson leg irons today for a new BIG escape for him.
The banner they made for us doesn't quite look like us but it gets the point across.

Once back at the hotel we had dinner made by Mami in the RV then most of th kids went swimming. Jim went to the computer...needs his social networking. Olivia had left her swim suit (really Mami claimed blame for it) in OK so we had to run down to Wal-mart for a new one. Got a couple of squirt toys and a noodle too. She was thrilled, as any kid is, to get a new swim suit.

Back to Iowa quickly. Vaughn, our host, took me around to meet people for some one night stand gigs for next time we pass through Iowa and want to perform We are thinking of four-walling a performance at the theater pictured below.

Oh, Miles doesn't know this yet but here is a shirt we found for him for our night fair shows.

And before I forget we just booked the Eastern New Mexico State Fair in Roswell, NM for October 3-8!!!! Aliens baby!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some performers at last month's L.A. Spring Fair claim they haven't been paid by promoter -

Some performers at last month's L.A. Spring Fair claim they haven't been paid by promoter -
read this article...the promoter David jackson lies in it.

Day 17! 12 hour drive dodging weather

We drove from Shawnee, OK where we were hosted by Bill and Kathy Buchanan of Kid's Celebration, a show we met at the ill fated Los Angeles Spring Fair. They were fantastic hosts and treated us so kindly and generously. We have been blessed by such people our entire trip. Thank you Bill, Kathy and Fam.
As you have seen in the news the tornadoes are nuts this year. Joplin,MO, where we came close to staying near this past week, was devastated. I also heard from our friends and hosts in Watonga, Ok that the town we did a show in last week, Canton, OK was also hit my a tornado today. That cell moved on past before we drove northward.
In fact, we were behind each big cell that past through the mid west and plains. We missed major storms by a s little as an hour. We would watch the radar on my smart phone and realize if we had left an hour earlier we would've been caught in those storms. Thank you all fro your prayers...they worked.
Now we are in Janesville, IA and will spend all day tomorrow. The weather looks clear so we are happy about that. I was told by our hosts here that a tornado that did not touch down was in line with their home according to the news when they got the warning this week. WOW.
Our Hosts here, like in the other places, are performers. Eric V is a magician and his father has helped us at conventions promoting our show in the past. I thank them for opening their home to us.
With that I must sign off now. I am was a 12.5 hour drive.
Peace out.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Day 16.

Monday. Monday.
Humid and hot today. Heard news that a town 3 hours from hear was beat up pretty b ad by a tornado, Joplin, MO . Right now, as I write this, the area we were at last week (Watonga-Kingfisher) area is under a super cell. It is Northwest of us and we should be fine. But there is an air of caution. The TV reports on it every few minutes. If we hear the sirens it's into the cellar for us.

The kids went over to OBU (OK Baptist Univ.) where Bill works and hit their pool and rock climbing wall.

They played Wii and chess, pool, and foos ball too.

Mami made Belle her first official show cape. Pink sparkles and gold trim.