Saturday, June 30, 2012

Wasp Hunt and Hot Shows

Our day at Beech Bend starts with the kids being dropped off rather early so they can meet and greet customers at the gate in various costumes. Nick, Olivia, and Victor in the mean time set up the show while I drive off grounds to do whatever running around that needs to be done.  My hunt today was for a 7 1/4" clasp.  No luck....Internet order?

During those morning hours the heat index rose to 105 and by showtime everyone was worn out and hot.  But we pulled it together and did wonderful shows. And I am not just bragging.  I am proud of their work.  I miss Cynthia on stage but she is running sound and is with us. She also helps with the kids and meals at the show. Still the showman in me knows she has talent and I am sorry to see it wasted by not being used. Oh well.

First thing I did before the shows was to spray all the know wasp nest areas with poison and kill as many of those red devils as I could.  We still saw many throughout the day they weren't as aggressive or as many as yesterday.

I got an email from my sister today that my niece is suffer pretty bad from her Krohns Disease. So I am asking all my fans and friends to pray for her. I have see His mighty power work when true believers come together in prayer and it is awesome.

Instead of the water escape Victor did an escape where he is leg cuffed, hand cuffed and pad-locked into a canvas bag. (Picture below) Even though all the action happens out of view of the audience inside the bag, the audience reaction was surprisingly BIG when he came out.

 Bobbi between shows.  Her cage is kept close to the stage entrance. If not she will squawk and squawk.
 Amelia on!
 Victor picking Smith and Wesson leg iron and hand cuffs then two pad locks.
 Fire whip
 James' friend, Kelsey came down to help train the kids in acrobatics.
 Checking the financial page....really she read the paper every day.
 Fu-Man Vic

 Mailbox trick nailed....although she is so hot and tired on stage, like the rest of us.

 Tator on!

Friday, June 29, 2012

112 degrees Wasps oh my

At 9 am it was 84 10am it as 10:30 we were in the solid 90s and by noon we were in in the low 100s.  At the start of our 1:30 show the temp was 106. By the end of the show is was 109.  It would top out at 112.

In spite of the the heat and in spite of a not so fabulous attendance (heat advisory kept folks indoors) we pulled good audiences.  We can hold 200-250 in our performance area and we came so close to 100 people per show it was astounding. The shelter has a tin roof and open sides and the higher up you are the hotter it is in there. When Nick and Olivia do the trapeze there are in the center of the Dutch oven.   I was crazy hot.   In stead of my regular costume, at the second show I wore my Anti Monkey Butt t-shirt....everyone understood.

Did an on phone interview with an Iowa Newspaper. Though we were there last year they wanted to know more about us. It was exciting sharing the new things the kids are doing.  I am so proud at how far each of them have developed their skills but even more proud of their showmanship skills.  In reality, who cares what the trick or stunt is. As long as it is entertaining. At one point that showmanship had to come into play  fast.  Victor was presenting his 55 gallon water drum escape and  all of a sudden the curtain he performs within (a curtain tube) started moving and shaking and I heard from with in, "ouch, ew, eee., a wasp, a wasp". We dropped the curtain and Victor dashed out and hobbles fast to the back curtain and exited.   He had been bitten or stung 4 times by one of those red ugly suckers. The audience understood at once. The wasps and bees were quite irritable because of the heat and several colonies exist in the upper levels of our show shelter.   They all will be dead colonies by tomorrow.  There was a nurse in the audience and she went back stage and checked him out as did a ride captain.  They even brought over a sting kit.   The showmanship came in when I had to go and check on Victor Jr so Jim went out and started doing various things to entertain the crowd.  
We went on with the rest of the show and by curtain time Victor Jr got a huge ovation when he came out for his applaud. 

We have been doing his escape behind the curtain tube because we don't want anyone to learn the secret to picking real locks and handcuffs. Next week we will be removing the curtain after we get approval by local law folks that giving such secrets away doesn't constitute teaching people to break the law. 

You all know that the spring skunk has been our show mascot for nearly 20 years.  The gags have changed a little but are pretty much the same as they were for years.  Well, one thing I say, after shooting the skunk into the audience is to ask an audience member to throw it back up.   It's not aerodynamic so it mostly falls short or goes wide. Then I say, "Oh, you must play for (insert local team here)" (For this are it is the Titans.)  I said, "...Titans".  One little boy, obviously a big Titan fan, yelled, "Hey, No way." I then corrected myself and said, "I mean the Raiders". He then said, "or the Patriots, I hate the Patriots..."  Brought down the house.

The heat was so bad we found three dead birds near our shelter.  I think they use the upper section as home and were cooked in there.  Sad.

We hit the Splash Lagoon today between shows.   The little one hit everything in the water park with their friends from the area.  I rode an inner tube around the lazy river then rode the wave back in.   It was pleasant.   They and I had a wonderful time.  See, Beech Bend is a great place to come.

On that note there are two shows here. The Dinky Gowen magic show and the Wild West Show. Both I hear are good shows to see. Though to be honest I have only caught a little bit of each due to time constraints. That and, believe it or not, I don't enjoy watching magic shows.  I'm sure it is a fine show. They have a lot of complimentary and flattering things in their show.  So if you are in the area come out and see it.

I received a new prop table for the show. I had to make a resell order and found the table with my supplier so I ordered one since the kids were upset I kept using a table meant for other purposes. Picture below:

Mami and Titus stay at the hotel on really hot days. We missed them but the heat would have been too rough for Titus.

I praise God for the opportunity to perform here and that with the exception of the wasp stings or bites (Victor is doing fine now) we are all well. I praise God for the kind audiences who have been coming out and that the kids perform so professionally in spite of the heat. I praise God that our show good enough that other acts are willing to copy our ideas, or are inspired by our show. No greater compliment, nor any greater flattery!  I am thankful for Mami who has kept us clean and fed. And I thank God for the older kids who have been setting up, tearing down, and homeschooling the kids. I am thankful the park owners are so kind and have adopted us. the Zentai unitard used for the base of the Robot.

 The new prop table....cutie.

heat + bird=dead

 2nd show costume...Anti Monkey Butt Powder......Yay!



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Beech Bend Day 4......106 degrees Hot Hot Hot!

It was only supposed to hit 101 but the mercury rose well past that and hit 106.  As the bad news that 20 new taxes on the middle class and small business and insurance rates for the very same will be going through the roof with the passage of this dumb health care law it's befitting that the country is suffering a heatwave.  I have already heard from several friends who own businesses that they will have to close their doors because of the law.   MMMMMM scary time.s
in spite of the Amusement park being a water park too the park was very slow today.  We had decent sized crowds hoovering around 100 per show, but compared to the other shows at the park we were packed.

I feel a little sorry for Miles. He has to wear our mascot costumes twice each day and with this heat the poor boy was bathed in sweat when he was done.   But he does it without complaining and I think he is slowly getting totally used to it.

Nick was happy with the arrival of a box of candy and sweets from his gal in Cali. 106 degrees wasn't kind to the chocolate.

The park replaced my favorite Shock Drop ride with an even taller version of it called Gravity Z.  I rode it was awesome.

There was a couple of wasps causing backstage havoc during the second show. No one was hurt.

Today was spider day.  I found a spider waiting for me in my top hat this morning. And Miles found a huge black window living in the sliding door space in the van. Both met with horrible endings.