sand angels

Winter in Sarasota is action packed . Winter in Sarasota is joyful and sad . Honoring those we have lost in the circus and Sarasota community . Visiting with friends from near and far .

Yoga on the beach ; the best beach in the world , fire pit , cooking with friends , practicing with friends , playing house and generally being thankful for all the good and sucking it up for the not so good .

in the wings

Sarasota , Florida is a great town . My husband's eloquent father in law Johnny Herriott once said
70 % of all circus people in the USA lived in a 75 mile radius of the Sarasota area .
Well actually he is not my husband's father in law because my husband is married to a different person ( ME ) but in the circus everyone is related in a blood , or married or ex married or living with someone or part of a troupe or dilllusionally related .
Maybe demographics have changed . I am talking traditional circus . I am talking about the  REAL circus . The circus that has lions , tigers , bears , elephants , horses . The circus that is worth fighting for .

I am really trying to write about one of the many civic/circus events that happens in Sarasota and that is the  " Show Folks Circus " . This is a show that raises money for the  " Show Folks Club " .

It is a very fun show to perform in because you have the most intense audience . I love going to the show as an audience member because you get to catch up with everyone !

This year I performed my trapeze act . WOW !! What fun ..I made new friends and did one of my favorite things , trapeze and teeth spinning and ta da ing etc etc .

The other most favorite thing after the big show is going to the " Show Folks Club " and playing with friends , catching up with friends and finding out who did what and when and with who .

There is something about being backstage and  in the wings . I don't know if it the smells of rosin , dust , curtains , sweat , animals or what but it is something so comforting . I guess that is why in the old vaudeville days old performers worked the back door curtains . You just like those showbiz smells .

                                    In the wings

                                comparing sizes

                               Elena and Sasha

                                Phil ,Vincent , Natalia and Louie

                                            Me and Dale !
                                          at the club
                                         Grumpy and Sluggo

                                          aerialists who work together are kind of like sisters for life

that's a wrap for the 2014 kelly miller circus tour

What an amazing ,enlightening , challenging ,ever changing year .

We started with a skeleton crew thanks to the ridiculous visa shenanigans .

Some people thought we could do it without the mighty crew .

I could not . I only pitched in a little but I am / was extremely spoiled by the rigging , prop , tent , water department , electrical department and I personally could not imagine a season without them .

Some people left the show .

I think someone got fired , some folks quit , there was some bullshit . Stuff happened that so angered me , but I suppose that is life at any work place . I hope I am not a hypocrite .

I think I was a little sad when I floated down to the ground after trapeze was done for the last time at Kelly Miller Circus 2014 . I did the longest iron jaw spin ever....

The last days are always full of reflection and thankfulness for friends , family , adventures , health and work .
                                                    Marshall and John Frazier !

Jason the Scarecrow , 1st place in the mighty KMC Halloween Party costume contest

Arwen and Jacob  , animae or cosplay award winning and adorable

                                          selfie with johnny law

                                         Still life with airstream , elephants and child

thank you Obert for starting a circus

Hub Hubbell Day

Yesterday November 15 was Hub Hubbell Day at the Showfolks Club in Sarasota , Florida . The day began with a circus flea market , amazing breakfast , bbq , an amazing band ( kind of cowboy and I think they even played some Grateful Dead ! My hair hero sang a song ). Johnny Herriott did a wonderful tribute about Hub . A very sweet time .
In honor of Hub Hubbell here is a photo from 2009 when Sladek , Dick K and myself were trouping with the mighty Loomis Brothers Circus . We had some celebrity guests that day .
from left to right - Ian Sr. , Jerry K , Sladek , Dick K , and Hub

my 9am gig

Thank goodness I have a 1/2 a brain for facts , figures , countries and species . Usually almost every set up day ,198 set up days this year , I meet the public ( my new friends ) and tell them all about the show , about us , sometimes I answer questions , especially when I am dragging in the brain department , sometimes I threaten them with a $2 per question charge . Anyway it is fun and talking is exhausting , I am out of talking for now .

These are almost all the guys and Lisa that I spent 198 (almost) mornings with .
Always nice to think , I did this cool thing . Marshall is the tall fuzzy headed dude second to right .

spa day

This is what the tent crew does on a multi day stand when we play on asphalt .  The guys are all tied on to the tent with long ropes . They are washing the tent , the beautiful new tent . Made by Mendoza of Mexico City , fabric by Ferrari of France and designed by David Rawls around 1995 . They all said his design wouldn't work . It is a 4 pole , push pole 1 ring , 140 by 140 or a 120 by 120 (depending on who is talking ) with a 40 foot middle , weighing about 10,000 lbs. , seating 1,110 . Set up is under 3 hours , tear down is under 1 hour .

19 shows left

There is something about having 19 shows left that is delightful . I personally get a huge burst of energy . I also seem to see a lot more of the magical everyday stuff .
Lisa , Armando and self , a little circus history going down .
Last night some of us grownups went out to eat at Edamame Restaurant in Ardmore ,OK . I give this restaurant a very great , go there and eat ! The space was beautiful . The building is being renovated in a very respectful way .

Tavana and Danny on love seat with art
I love turnbuckles
Baby Anika and Jacob the babysitter enjoying a grassy lot and perfect weather .

Sawdust and spangles and dreams

It has rained , there is sometimes mud . We do what we must , Big top guys and others rolled out round bales of straw for the patrons . The prop guys and ring guys and performance director put down a wood floor in the back door / back stage /performer entrance  with lots of sawdust and made a sawdust walkway so we could enter the ring all clean and pretty . The large walking into the ring animals used the other performer entrance , the tigers were rolled in ( of course) over the kind wood .

Everyone deals with the mud , it is what it is .
It is always nice when we park on the hard dry road . We pull on our muck boots and make our way across the sometimes high ,  muddy grass to the tent .
I have renamed Johnny Moss to " Johnny Awesome "
It is a lot of logistics to park everything and move everything the most functional way .
sawdust and spangles and living the dream


never a dull moment

Tuesday 7 , 2014
We once knew a man named Doc Maxfield from Mason City . He loved the circus , he loved every one of us . When the circus came to town Doc would drive his big fancy Cadillac and follow the show for as long as he could . If someone was sick he would ask questions and doctor us up .Such a crazy luxury to have a real live doctor on the lot !! I told him I liked his white Stetson cowboy hat ( on him ) the next town I had my own Stetson !! He was generous and kind . The other day we were in some town and I asked the cook if lunch was happening , the show was running late because the lot was soft and mushy from days of torrential rain and logistics and layout took a while . The cook tells me  , yes it is and it is catered . Shut the front door I said inside my head ..I hightailed it to this lovely catered affair and there was the dude in chef blacks and he told me the bank  (where Doc's son works ) was the generous host . Thank you Doc , thank you son John . We all thank you for all your kindness .

Wednesday 8 ,2014
Yesterday was even more bogged down .The lot was so soft that the trucks would have sunk to their axels . We showed on a basketball court open air style . No aerial in the show . We had some guest performers .
Jacob , big top crew and front door guy/head usher did his bmx act , he grabbed a picnic table ..Arwen his girlfriend was tada girl and he did a 360 jump thing over her . It was pretty sweet ! dreams really do come true !
Everyone gathered in the tent to watch and cheer Jacob and Arwen on .

 JP Ballyhoo was joined by Cristian Rosales . I got to ride in the elephant act !! The show was a little shorter but with the full moon and clear skies it was magical and sweet .

Earlier in the day I drove 12 miles to a town to do laundry . of the 23 washers , 5 initially worked and only 2 dryers worked !!

I got all my stuff questionably washed but when Daniel ,Bethany and Zefta showed up and tried to wash clothes some crazy started to happen . One of the washing machines started to smoke and one of the machines started to flood .

450 shows later

Today is October 1 and we have  61 shows left ..
 Yesterday I felt bionic but today I was sore and my hands were stinging .
The highlight of my morning was my new log book ! a new month means a new log book , hope springs eternal ..maybe this month my log book will be neat . I started off with 2 different colored pens and I had to scratch something out .. tomorrow is another day , I will do better .

A breath of fresh air

If you go to Clinton , Iowa ..may I make a suggestion ? Check out the 392 CafĂ© and have an amazing cup of Joe !
The thing I like about going to and from Clinton , Iowa from Illinois is crossing the
Mississippi , do I even have to say river ?
Something about rivers I love . I told Marshall our dream house would be by a river . You can swim , go rowing , catch eels and smell the water smell . Salt water reigns supreme but I could settle for fresh water . My dream ...

the show goes on , the show must go on

Many events happen every single day on the big show . On Saturday the 13th there was a big celebration for Mexican Independence day ( September 16 ) . The whole show was invited  we enjoyed food , beverages , dancing and had some fun .

 Marshall and I were driving around  last week looking at cool architecture  and food foraging . I spied an interesting market where they made all kinds of mouth watering sausage and patties . Big happy score . I loved the butcher paper and the china marker .

The other day Mike the drummer and Sue the office person decided they had all the adventures they could . They decided it was high time to move on . They left the show . Sometimes people do that , we call it blowing the show . They had very good reasons to leave and it is always sad when one of the pieces of the puzzle of the daily activity of the circus is gone . Different personalities and all we had become friends .However the show goes on . The show goes on with or without any of us . Once a friend said to me " the circus is like a bucket of water , if you put your finger in it and then take it out you will see it is still a bucket of water and you just had your finger in it for a little water . There will always be another finger to put in that bucket of water ".  Some people have to work  harder to fill those voids but the voids get filled . Lucky Eddy the drummer came back to finish the season .

another day

A bonus part of yesterdays visiting with Carson and Barnes Circus was an incredible barbeque , the treat to be in the audience of another circus and circus reunions .

When you work in traditional circus you usual travel around the planet and change shows from time to time . Yesterday was many reunions for many people .

 The aerial divas , well some of the aerial divas had not worked together since September 2009 so we had a mini reunion . Maybe we are out of focus but trust me we are adorable !! This blurry photo is  Amanda and Jairo's little man Liam is on the left , me , Amanda and Lynn .
We got to see  Lesley and Ricky's handsome twins
 I liked the show lights and  I love the motors that pulled up the rigging .
Always great to watch friends and friends I haven't met yet perform .
 The Rosales Family did a great 6 person juggling act , it was fun and skillful and there was dancing !
Jairo was a great ringmaster and Amanda (diva sister ) was lovely in everything she did . The show was wonderful .
After the show there was a  barbeque with tasty food and so much chit chat .
Everything was fun yesterday, for most of us and I think we got rejuvenated .
Today is another day , there are hoses to repair , tires to fix and fishnets to mend . The show goes on .The show goes on with or without any of us . Every person who gets to troop with the real deal doesn't know how lucky they are .

September finally and we have done 401 shows

August is the most challenging month . It is a hot month with lots of 1 day stands , it seemed like every day was humid and smelly . We got cranky and everyone needed a nap .
Kelly Miller football club !

all players !

Today was a great fun day , first of all it was a day off . Show owners and concession people don't like days off but I am neither of those . The Kelly Miller Circus played soccer against the Carson and Barnes Circus , we were about 5 miles away from each other . The highlight of the game was when Armando Loyal become a daddy again with child number 7 . Welcome Luciana Delena !! We saw the princess through iPhone photos because she was actually not at the game .
The game was tied at 3 to 3 and there was overtime .  We were loud and watched the game like true soccer fans , screaming and cheering everyone of our players . It started to downpour and thunder and the teams played on .
Back at the Kelly Miller lot there were some awning casualties
The other night we were in a sweet town with a skate park right next to our trailer . I heard through the grapevine that there was a Mexican Ice cream shop around the corner . In between shows Tavana and I walked over and got some mouth watering refreshments . Frozen fruit popsicles with chile spice. All kinds of yummy frozen fruits . On the way back there were some children talking about the circus . They were talking about this lady and she hung by her teeth and her feet and how great she was . I asked them if that was their favorite part of the show and they said they liked the human volcano . I said he was great but wasn't the lady flying in the air so that made her better ? They liked both things and they loved the show so much they were coming back for seconds ! They didn't know it was me . Tavana and I were giggling about that .


the sad step that got dragged

another day at the circus

Today I decided to go for a walk before tent raising , there was a pretty path and it called out to me . On the path I met my twin , she told me there was a cute town at the end of the path .
Off I went , I thought about running but I didn't want to get carried away .
In town I saw many adorable places , a yarn shop for Tavana , an ice cream parlour for Marshall and a yoga studio for me !!!!

I told a few about the 10.30 class . Carolyn was the only one who could make it so off we went .
It was almost 2 hours but the time flew by . I feel pretty elongated . I feel less toxic . The class was gentle yoga and it was perfect .

Thank you BKS Iyengar  (December 14 , 1918 - August 20  , 2014) for bringing yoga to the USA in 1956 ,
 Thank you lovely yoga studio in Caledonia , Yoga Plus LLC

While we were being yogis the mighty welding department took the ride platform off the old office truck and moved it to the new office truck , it was a very cool event and I wished I had witnessed this marvel ( photo credit Jacob )

getting stuff " down the road "

A day when everything gets to the lot unscathed is a great day  .

 The old shop truck  that has major surgery everyday but must get towed from town to town .

A sad bumper that got hung up on a raised sewer  manhole cover .

The vehicle that was found in Detroit with the keys in it and out of fuel because someone left the keys in the ignition on the lot and a stranger procured it . ( no pictures please ) .  Another week living the dream .

Today was a day off except for the people that welded and retrieved vehicles .
 For my little family today was a great day for a day off , we got an oil change , hair beautified , massage , mall meandering , other lovely activities and for good extra f-ing special measure Marshall let Spartacus loose and he ranged up some kitty cats and Fresia , myself and everyone who could ran or biked and went after him and I grabbed his self for another eventful jog . I must say I still got it !! I can still run like the wind .

Kelleys Island 2014

The thing I like about Kelleys Island is the boat ride .
The whole shows ferries over . It is so nice to be on an island , close to water , feeling the breeze and feeling the love .