Tuesday, February 10, 2009

crazy Carolinas

Hello friends and family,

I am now in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is a nice place for us travelers, because there is lots to do in walking distance, and you can even walk to the arena from the train! The weather is nice too.

Previous to this, we were in Greenville, South Carolina. It would have been a fairly normal site was it not for the cold I caught, one which has been pretty popular among the performers. Everyone is coughing and sniffling! It gave me such a bad cough that for three days I couldn't get more than about 3 hours of sleep a night. Needless to say, the lack of sleep did not help my immune system (downward spiral), and also needless to say, I was somewhat of a zombie for most of Greenville.

It was an interesting site though, despite it all being a sleepy blur to me. For one thing, it was freezing cold! I walked out one morning very early (much earlier than I needed to be up, and that is a whole different tragedy of a story), and realized that my hair had frozen and become crunchy. The cold caught everyone off guard, and surely contributed to the coughs and sniffles. It affected the show in an interesting way too. Usually, for the first several minutes of preshow, the clowns mill around the floor until the more dedicated audience members begin to trickle in. But since nobody wanted to be waiting outside in that cold, they had all crowded onto the concourse. The music started, the doors opened, and suddenly there were people descending the arena, three-abreast in every aisle! It was a surprise to say the least.

Luckily I only had one PR this site, and though I was cranky about having to do it, it ended up being a nice one. Eric, Julio, Larry, and I went to a children's hospital and put on a mini show, mostly improvised. Afterwards we taught everyone how to balance peacock feathers, and went around saying hi. Because of my cold I couldn't go visit kids in their rooms, so I stayed in the performance area and took pictures. I've included my favorite one. Cutie pie!

On one of the first days in Greenville, us clowns were invited to a freerole by the Greenville Clown Alley. They held it in a lovely little bed and breakfast, which apparently they borrow every year to hold this event. How nice! There were some impressive balloon artists (not a phrase I have ever used before), who decorated the dining room. We had a nice meal and met some interesting people, and I believe our entire alley attended the event, which was great. After we ate, a few of the Greenville clowns showed their acts to us. I was taken aback when I realized that these performances were not clowning at all, but were really a few jokes tying together some very blunt religious preaching. As a non-religious person I was a little bothered by this being forced on me, but as the senior clowns reminded, it's something to expect in the 'bible belt'. To each his own; it was a nice event regardless.

Our three-show Saturday was CRAZY, although that is hardly a surprising detail about a day in which you perform three shows. I had only slept about 3 hours the night before, as I mentioned, and so became nearly hyperactively crazed with exhaustion. It makes for some interesting clowning I suppose. I broke my second to last pair of deelybobber antennae (or diddlyboppers, as Tweedy says). My Russian friend, Stas, landed a flip wrong and got himself a big black eye in the first show, which is now an incredibly impressive eggplant color. And Randy was sweating his makeup off so fast that he gave up and resorted to using a Sharpie on his face! It was Bibi's birthday too, so he was pied a good number of times, and after that long day I still felt obligated to join everyone at his birthday party. That was the first latino dance club (or club period) I've ever been to, and if they're all like that, it just might be the last. I went home as early as I could, and would have fallen asleep like a rock if it weren't for my coughing. What a day!

Now that I've had time to catch up on my sleep, I am feeling a lot healthier. It is very nice outside, and we are parked with a road on one side of us instead of the usual expanse of trainyard. Yesterday when I woke up (rather late), I went outside to have a look at where we were. To my left were a few of the younger Chinese kids practicing their handstands, and to the right were some Russians (a little tipsy perhaps) having a ball with Julio's bicycle. The sun had just set, and it was lovely, despite the factory buildings and rusty trains.

Book and I had the whole day off today because we don't have load-in jobs, and because Brandon does animal walk (which happens right after the train is spotted), he did too. The three of us got a cab to the movie theater, and saw 'He's Just Not That Into You'. Book won't like me telling you this, but it was his idea. No shame in that though, because it was surprisingly good, and we talked about it all the way to the mall. Then we walked around and made a few purchases, my most exciting one being an SD card reader. That means I can now get the things from my camera onto the computer, and actually show them to you! Hooray! Then we went back to the movie theater and watched 'Taken', Brandon's choice. We decided to walk back to the train, and immediately encountered poor Eric, who had just walked all the way over there to find us. We hadn't been home for 20 minutes before Book and Eric hatched a plan to go BACK to the movie theater and see 'Slumdog Millionaire'. Though I've heard that is a great movie, I decided to sit that one out in favor of couscous, cocoa, and thou.
Love and miss you all.


  1. This was a good one! Glad you're feeling better now. I love you, mom

  2. PS Do go and see Slumdog Millionaire sometime - it's an excellent movie!

  3. Naturally I'm wondering about the tragic story as to why you were up earlier than you needed to be... this is not a side of you I think I've ever seen before ;-)

  4. Well, you see, whenever you have a PR there is a pickup time from the train. A van comes at that time and gives everyone participating in the PR a ride to the building, where they have about an hour to get into costume and makeup before being driven to where ever the PR may be. So often this time is very early, especially for morning events (like the one I mentioned), and REALLY early for TV PRs (often 2, 3, or 4 in the morning). Anyway, I was entirely organized about the time, I knew when it was, and I was up all ready, showered, and breakfasted... I was just a day early. Tragic.