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Kondini
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Because Doug would want a cut !!
Doug Higley
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A cut? I haven't got one yet....I feel lucky I haven't gotten billed!
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Rotten
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I have had an ongoing nightmare for many years, where I'm laying in my room when my stage partner calls me and asks why I'm not backstage yet and it's showtime. I frantically realize I had lost track of time and then start searching for my costume, which is nowhere to be found. Other times its my whole dam suitcase but it's always the same scenario. Me not ready for the show waking in the middle of the night terrorfied.

On monday we flew to work as usual. 7:20 am flight from Orlando to Miami, then two hour lay over then fly to Cancun. Then one hour bus ride to Play Del Carmen. Then one hour Ferry to Cozumel. Airlines have cut down on flying into Cozumel. Awe, the glamours of show biz. We finally arrive at the ship around 4 pm.

When we landed in Cancun I set my wrist watch to local time. We caught the bus and ferry using it.

When I got to our ship I set my travel clock in my cabin to the same time as my watch. Some ships always stay on the home port time while others switch to local time. No rhyme or reason , just some do and some don't. The bad thing is I had forgotten that Cancun/Cozumel have yet to spring forward an hour. Regardless I would have thought the ship would be on local time. Come to find out they adjust for one hour and not the two, as you and I will find out.

So that night I'm sitting on my bed, in my cabin, in my underwear, making roses for my whip act when the phone rings. As I answer it I just happen to glance at the clock and it's 9:15. It's my stage partner who says "Hey man, I was just getting worried about you." I says, why?
He says, "It's 10:15 and our show starts in 15 min."
I say, No it's 9:15. He says he's gonna check and call me back but I was already in frantic mode. No time for the three S's, which I always do before going onstage. I gather my costume and shoes when the phone rings again. "Nope, it's 10:15" "DUCK" I yell, or something like that.

Folks, I don't know how I did it but now I know I can. In 15 minutes I was in make up, costume and had all my props set and the show started on time. I smelled like cigs and the road and felt uncomfortable but they were a great crowd. Canadian spring break. Young enthusiastic college kids ready to have a great time.

Will
The Curator of the Unusual
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1984 Franzen Bros. Circus....Red Johnson (future founder of C & M Circus), Carlos(concessions guy), Renaldo (Light in the loafers head balancing trapeze guy) and myself head out looking for vittles after the show in the coal mining town in West Virginia we were showing in... All we could find was a Miners bar open at that time of night...Now you have to understand Red was a Hippie logger from California, Carlos was a short Mexican from Fresno, I was nerdy looking and Renaldo was Geared (not that there's anything wrong with that) so when we strolled in the Bar..Needless to say..ALL EYES were on us....We sit at the Bar and the Bartender a burly type says what'll it be!..I asked "Do you have anything to eat?" He replies "ALL WE HAVE IS CHIPS AND BEER!"..OK, I'll have chips and a beer..Red says I'll have chips and a beer...Carlos..same thing,chips and Beer...Now the Bartender gets to Renaldo who is sitting there with a finger on his lip in deep thought...the Bartender hollered 'WHAT WILL IT BE PAL!...Renaldo glanced up and said "Do you have Papaya Juice??"....The Bar went silent!...A Hey Rube was avoided only because we quietly,drank our beer, ate our chips and disappeared....quickly.......
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Kondini
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Well that was funny,,,,after I finaly drilled down to it !!! One question, is geared >>> Bent, poofy, batting from the other side, shirt lifter ??? Not sure about the UK translation of this.
The Curator of the Unusual
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Yes I quess, like teeterin on the fence post...
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Kondini
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Got ya.
Rod Pringle
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Hello Jim:

Welcome to the Café' The Franzen story was very funny. Wayne was a good friend of mine, I miss talking to him. He sure loved his animals. I remember after tear down, there was Wayne feeding and bedding down the animals, he told me " First the animals eat...then I eat." He gave them the finest care. He had a real bond with them and they loved him. We all miss Wayne and FRANZEN BROS. CIRCUS.




Thanks Jim, and I wish you all the best on your 2009 tour.

Rod Pringle
The Curator of the Unusual
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Rod The first show I ever worked for was Franzen Bros(1979.....Wayne was a incredible man...Many referred to him as the Al.G. Barnes of his time....Best JZ
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Rod Pringle
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Hello Jim:

Yes, he always reminded me of Ernest "shootshaw" Haag . I would always meet the show , wshen it was playing close by,with my calliope and my son was on drums,Once I brought a big cake for the tent crew for supper. It was a real honor to have Wayne invite you to eat with the show crew. I have a lot of photos of the early days, and I have a picture of Wayne holding a cake I brought.

One time( in the mid 80's) Wayne suffered a blowdown and the Hammond organ, got soaked with rain and mud. . Wayne called me and said he needed an organ pronto. I had a Hammond Portable I was using at the time and I said I will bring mine down. So I drove down from Michigan and met the show in Westville, Indiana, Jim Neibour was announcing the show and playing trumpet..BOY that guy could play, one of the best trumpet players I ever heard. I remember that Wayne had these little tiger cubs in his trailer, they were all over the place hanging on the curtains etc haha but real cute. He had two baby elephants too along with OKHA . I was standing out side Waynes trailer at one point and I felt something in my pants pocket..It was a tiny elephant trunk trying to get the lifesavers in my pocket haha.

Later... ROD
The Curator of the Unusual
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What a GREAT story Rod...I think you are referring to Paul Niebaur tho, He's the Guy that taught me how to eat Fire and was a longtime and original FBC Alumni...
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
The Curator of the Unusual
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Hey Rod...Remember Waynes C.B. Handle?...it was Blue Bull...Cause the Bull/animal truck was Blue.which he drove.....But there was a long debate to call him Shootin Bull cause after the work was done...He liked to stand around and shoot the Bull......at least that's what he told everyone....
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Rod Pringle
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Hello Jim:

YES! It was Paul Niebaur, its been a long time . Paul was CIRCUS for sure, he always made me feel at home on the lot. He had a GREAT voice for announcing, and his trumpet playing was SUPER! I would always look for that silver Airstream trailer of his. Also Kurt and Heidi Cassidy were super to talk to. I would have a list made up of where to get propane , where the laundry mat was, the feed elevator, things like that, to make life a little easier while the show was in town. ( I never walked into the backyard until invited, just a common courtesy Ive always done.)

No, Jim I never knew Wayne's CB handle, thanks for that bit of history, VERY FUNNY STORY hahaha

I remember in 1964 Bob Coul's show THE FAMOUS COLE CIRCUS, was set up on the outskirts of Saginaw, Michigan. Halfway through the show a cloud burst hit, The tent had a zillion little pin holes in it and the rain came down on the audience in the seats.( It was like a shower in there hahaha)

The last act in the show were the elephants, they came in soaked from the rain , and they shook off the rain like a dog does. and the first two rows in the blues got sprayed with rain hahahaha By the time the act was over there were about 10 drenched die hard circus fans including myself, left in the tent watching the performance, but we left the show happy but soaked to the bone hahaha

Outside, the midway was operating dispite the small crowd, and there in the pouring rain was organist Floyd Bradbury pitching swiss warblers ( voice Throwers) he was completly soaked but right out there pitching. A real trouper and a great guy. I still have the water damaged program from that day. haha

Later.........ROD
The Curator of the Unusual
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Great Stuff Rod, 'Warblers" hadnt heard that word in a while,,,H
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Kondini
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Well we got it all ready now,,painted and scrubbed with the Jam pot lid Tax discs in the windows.

No way could we have done this without help in the form of an overdraft so the first two shows are already spent.

With a full season already booked it will only become clear if the take is going to be down due to the credit flop. Shows in Germany and France seem to be rideing black which makes a nonsense of our worries, but why. Several Showmen spoken with think that people are tired of the doom and gloom so a release from this helps them to dig deeper into their pockets !! Hope it`s going to be the same here for us.

Once on the road, posts here will be far less, so good luck to those of you who are out at last. Fat hats.

See ya down the road.

Ken.
Kondini
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Another silly day in the biz!!

* * * * * * * * *

As a kid my stepfather was involved in the running of Marlborough Carnival and as such used to book acts from all over.
I remember one act "The African Doctor" who was a white guy who blacked himself from head to toe, wore a grass skirt and adorned himself with fake gold jewelry. He was a member of the Edwards Fairground people based at that time in Ferndale Road Swindon.

To pick him up from his home as a white guy and see him change in the back of the car on the way back to Marlborough always amazed me. By the time we got to the showground he was indeed an African Doctor.

Now to move forward thirty plus years >>>>>

We wanted to put on a fire show as part of the musical South Pacific,,,this involved a lot of make up to darken all of our skins. Rehearsals started then were stopped by the powers that be!!! Why ? Because in their opinion we were being racist !

The musical was cancelled after a few very heated meetings.

Now forward to last year >>>>>> Prince *******( I shall leave his name blank as other people at this time are going through a Court action with his family) Was working with me at a cabaret venue, he was in his 80`s , had taught me a lot in the past about fire work and he still had a good solid eight minet act even at that age. It was a privelage to tread the boards with him.

Forward to now >>>>> A number of folk want to set up a benefit for the prince and it was put forward that I should perform his act as a tribute to him at this tribute event. This ment to be authenic as possible I had to black up !!! Again I have been told in no uncertain way that I am a racist etc etc.

We are still trying to decide what to do about this.

Back track >>>>> Al Jolson started all this >>>>> The Black & White Minstrals were taken off the box and the consensus now is that if you are white and blackup you are committing a crime punishable by the law, yes, you are branded as a racist !!!!

Due to these nanny state problems in the UK right now and our investigation regarding our rights the following has been exposed.

A Nigerian Theatre Company are planning to put on a show with an all Nigerian cast having to, white up !!!!!
This is still in the debate stage but the outcome either way could cause havoc.

What do you think ??

As a kid I had a Teddy Bear and a Gollywog which went to bed with me.
Got up for breakfast and had Marmalade on toast also collected the paper Gollys which were on the pots in order to save them for a Golly band (Made in metal of course).

Whats next,,,,,,,,banned Clowns makeup, no army camoflage !

I give up.
What is the view, law, attitude in the US ?

Ken.
Harley Newman
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A few years ago, a friend and I were in the beginning stages of writing a revue, featuring 150 years of racial comedy. He's black, I'm, well, not. Each of us was going to do the other, so he'd whiteface, and I'd don cork.

We ran it by a number of other folks, and the horror we evoked, made us decide to shelve the project.

I still think it'd be an amazing show. Oh well.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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dave_matkin
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Hey harley - as you are white and he is not may be you could have done it the other way round with no one having to wear SHED loads of grease make up?

And where does all this leave Michale Jackson? Or is he still in Kindergarden as regards the skin colour thing .... or just there for another reason?
thegreatnippulini
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I tell everyone that I am really black. I have that Michael Jackson disease... you know the one.... it makes me want to !@#$ little boys.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Kondini
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Well the Easter bash has been done with a three dayer near Brands Hatch,,,weather was English,,,overcast, cold, showers so it must be summer!!!

One day out of the three a burster, so we have now taxed all the units and restocked for the next one,,,Dingles Fairground Heritage way down south.

This should be fun working on the Normans Stage with Voltini in the back (Well he`s a little better looking than Merrick,,,I think?).

Off to the Bank now hope the Manager is in a good mood!
All things being equal,,,there should be pics of the next one.
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