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Built to Amaze! in 2013

Without further ado...
...let me finally post these photos from Winter Quarters!

These are photos that I wanted to share but couldn't because the show wasn't public yet!
Most are just photos of props and vehicles used in the show.
Now that we are performing publicly, I think it's ok to share these.
However there is always a chance that I could be asked to take them down.
So enjoy while you can ;)

The dump truck!


My favorite, the 'soap dispenser'!

The cannon. The door behind the cannon leads to several dressing rooms,
including the band's rehearsal space.


Tiny clown bike :)

Giant bag of Campfire Marshmallows!
Each marshmallow is slightly smaller than a basketball.
I haven't seen this used in the show...maybe it's part of preshow activities?
The size indicates that this is probably an elephant prop.


The Russian acrobats, after an exceptionally tough rehearsal:

Over the next 24 hours, the circus was moved into the Tampa Bay Times Forum Arena.

On New Years Eve, many people went to downtown Tampa or to nearby Ybor City to enjoy the festivities.
There was also a large group that stayed at the train to watch fireworks and grill in the yard.
Cindy (teacher) cooked a turkey in a trash can :)

Elliana (cannon) and Rebecca (wardrobe) and I walked around the train and visited
the smaller BBQs too. For some reason, the Russians were wearing mustaches...lol

It was great to ring in the new year with my circus peeps :)

It will be great to get moving again! The train has been sitting in one spot for quite a long time!
Preparations are ongoing for our eventual departure.
Two days ago I woke up to the sound of a sander grinding away directly below my window.
I went outside and found 'Pig Pen' painstakingly scraping the number 39 off of our car!
We are now Car 38.

Does this mean I need to rename my blog? Lol.
The renumbering has caused a little bit of confusion. So far four people have knocked on my
door thinking that they were in the 'old' 38. The most recent was a graveyard shift animal crew
dude...he knocked on my door around 7:30 this morning and was horrified that he'd woken me up,
poor guy!
I didn't mind of course. It's pretty funny :D
Jameson (keys) in room 4 found a brand new hot plate in his room last night...apparently it was
meant for someone in the 'old' car 38 lol.

The train is also being prepared for travel in other ways.

Every year a Catholic priest in full vestments says a ritual and blesses each car,
including stock cars, with holy water.
This is a tradition that has gone on since at least the early 1940s, according to a quick Google search.
Not everyone here is Christian. But I think many people here can appreciate the Feld's desire to
honor circus tradition and history with this timeless ritual.
It made me happy, anyway :)

The train is getting ready. The choreography is set. The band has the music (I think lol).
Time for Opening Night!

It was SOLD OUT!!!
Because I am participating in the Blow-Off portion of the show,
I was able to hang out with the Preshow crowd and snap a few pics.

Here's star elephant Asia and her understudy, baby Mabel!

Mabel can skip, play musical instruments, and perform most of the tricks that the larger elephants do.
She is faster than the grown-ups,
and sometimes snatches bread right out of an unsuspecting trainer's pocket!
Her favorite musical instrument seems to be the bell.
Sometimes she won't let it go :D So cute!

Lots of REAL cameras were on hand to capture the excitement too:


The Felds were present of course, and many members of the Gold Unit came to cheer us on.

Speaking of the Gold Unit, one of their RVs was hit by a drunk driver on New Years.
I'm not sure how bad it was, but please keep the Gold Unit caravan members in your thoughts and prayers.
And drive carefully, please.

Anyway, Blowoff went off without a hitch. It was really fun in front of a large audience!
I still have a hard time changing costumes afterward. Luckily tonight there was an extra
announcement, giving me a little more time to get the tie on properly and make sure I was
ready to go. Only 799 more chances to get it right! ;D

I couldn't watch much of the show because the ink is still drying on our music...I'm not
comfortable enough with the cuts and cues to look up when I'd like to.
Case in point, I made the mistake of glancing at the show during Animal Magic and completely
missed my entrance :/ Personally I would have liked to perform better. I know there will be
lots of time to perfect the music, but first impressions are important and I would have liked to
meet my own standards this evening. Well, what's done is done, and I will work hard to play well
for the recording session on Jan. 9th.

The whole band did a great job. We stuck together and played it down. Kudos!

The show was well received as far as I could tell. Audience reactions were hilarious,
especially during Animal Magic. I won't spoil the surprise yet :P
King Charles Troupe (KCT) got lots of cheers and revved up the audience.
Their act is one of the best imo...it's energizing, funny and engaging.
The Footlooping act has a lot of shock value; I heard many gasps during their performance.
And of course the cannon caused screams of delight and horror and excitement.
Great job Elliana!

Alex and Irina were fantastic as always. Their versatility never ceases to amaze me!

And my personal favorite, the Negrey acrobat act. Cute topless Russians performing
daring feats of flexibility and highly athletic precision. YES PLEASE ;D

After the show, the Felds hosted a New Years/Opening Night party up on the 201st concourse.

Open bar, delicious food. The Felds know how to throw a party!!!
I actually didn't get anywhere near the food; the band was at the bar (insert stereotypes here)
so I started out with them, but when they moved to a table I fell into conversation with
some of the orchestration/composition team, and some Blue and Gold Unit peeps :)
It was so, so nice to finally relax a little bit, and enjoy a good conversation with friends.
Everyone has worked so hard to make the show come together.

Without performers, choreographers, production, lighting, and sound, we wouldn't have a show.
Without floor crew loading the arenas in and out and keeping the show rolling at all times,
we REALLY wouldn't have a show!!
And without train crew, we would never arrive alive, safe, clean, and well-rested.
Everyone who works here is important. The circus is amazing because WE are in it!!!