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Winter Quarters: Final Days & Preview Show

Day 30

A long day, but not as long as we thought it would be!

There were photo shoots all day today.
We weren't involved in that, but we did get fitted for our costumes!



Yes, you're seeing that right: sparkly orange construction vest. And a caution tape tie!
Wardrobe has been working hard. It's so FABULOUS!~<3

On one hand, it's similar to what we had last year, and that's nice :)
We'll be wearing white shirts/black pants with the vests again.
And I can make that tie sexy ;D

On the other hand...the first thing that popped into my head was a construction-themed wing bar or something.
"Our lunch specials today are the CARP-enter's cedar plank,
and the Construction Burger with our signature 2 x 4 Fries.
Have a seat, we'll be with you in a moment!"  LOL!!

Brett's vest is different than ours. It's yellow with black stripes.
He's the Queen Bee!!
(he insists he's a very manly King Bee, but we all know there's no King Bee :P)

There will be pictures.

There was a PR for the band, and although I think only the Music Director got to speak,
the rest of us played a bit in the background for the cameras.

We did a run through of the whole show.


Russian acrobat leaping over an elephant's back:

(photo courtesy Nicole Feld's Twitter)

Most things went well.
One person was injured by a show vehicle, but fortunately not badly.
Additional safety precautions were added immediately after her injury.
The performers did very well, as did floor crew.

We (the band) have been getting more music over the past two days than we've gotten throughout all of winter quarters. Some parts are revisions of pieces we already have, and some are new.
We may have to play the preview show without some parts.
The band members who have been here for 5+ years say that we've never gotten music this late before.
This is my first winter quarters, so all I can do is speculate.
All I can really say is that hopefully we will be awesome. By tomorrow.


Day 30

Preview show!
We had a BIG ol' rehearsal today!
I made the mistake of not eating enough for breakfast at 7am, and around 2pm started feeling really awful in a passy-outty sorta way. Luckily we got a lunch break shortly after that, and I got my blood sugar right back up.
Another contributing factor: I was awfully nervous!
It's nice when you can feel prepared for a performance. This was not one of those times.

We covered as much of the new music as possible in the rehearsal room,
then the three of us involved in the Band Gag went out to set up our instruments before Preshow.
(Preshow = an hour-long opportunity for circus guests to join performers on the arena floor!)

I won't go into detail about what Band Gag entails because I don't want to spoil the surprise.
But I will say that the three of us get 'secondary' costumes and instruments for it ;)

There was a good crowd for the preview show.
The Felds were there to see the results, as were many circus folk, past and present.
It was a small audience by Ringling standards, but an important one.
These are the people who know what to look for...
people who can see past the 'razzle-dazzle', and the layers of clown makeup.
I have no doubt that generations of circus performers and workers were present.
As a total First of May here on the 143rd Edition, I was terrified and awestruck and thrilled.

The Band Gag went pretty well in my opinion...a good start to the evening.
Next we had the Ringmaster Intro and Anthem, followed by the Opening.
After that, all of the acts performed to the best of their ability.
Again, I won't describe the acts so as not to ruin the magic.
But the lighting throughout was awesome...those new LEDs are pretty bangin!

A baby elephant named Mable (after Mable Ringling) also made an appearance.
I don't know if she'll be traveling with us once we get moving, but it was a treat to see here here in Tampa.

Alex and Irina, the star entertainers, did a fantastic job.
They appear throughout the show in various acts, where they display their many, MANY talents.
At one point Alex has to handle a rather large python that does NOT like him.
It has tried to bite him at least twice during run throughs.
Tonight it behaved a little better, but still, major props to Alex for handling that snake like a pro!!!

As always, the cannon was a big hit.

The pyro for the cannon is SUPER loud. I can feel the shock wave hit me in the chest and forehead every time.

Long story short, the whole show was great.
Personally wish I could have played better this evening. Hopefully that will improve with future shows.
Pictures of the baby elephant to come!


Last Day

Today was our last day of winter quarters.
I don't think anyone's terribly upset :P


We had a run through fairly early in the morning. Photo shoots took place before and after.
The band's shoot was about an hour after the run.
We stood in front of a white background while Sports Illustrated photographer 'Hinze' took our pictures.

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Then he took one with us! Cool!!!
He's a really cool guy :)

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(photos courtesy Claudia, Entertainer Extraordinaire!)

After that was the big group photo.
Several shots were taken with and without the animals.
A camera crew came around and asked us all to yell 'Happy New Year!'
while they took our picture or filmed us, couldn't tell which was happening haha.

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Mr. Kenneth Feld himself also came around to each group and had his photo taken with them!
Including the band!!! Can't WAIT to see that pic!!!

The finished group photo will look something like this:



Awesome sauce.

Tonight we 'load out'. The train doesn't move, but we remove everything from the FL State Fairgrounds and bring it to the Tampa Bay Times Forum. Built to Amaze goes public on Jan. 2nd!!!!!!

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