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Indianapolis, IN and Final Shows of 2013

Our last train run of the year was less than spectacular...no jaw-dropping scenery or crowds of admirers to see us off. But it sure was nice :) After a late start, the train got up to speed quickly and we arrived in Indianapolis several hours ahead of schedule. Great job, Brett!

We're conveniently parked only 3 miles from the arena, and there's a mall and grocery within a mile. I did a little Christmas shopping on Tuesday, then got minimal groceries and returned to the train for online shopping.

For the past three Christmases in a row, I've gotten Christmas cards from Etsy because they're unique and handmade, and usually the same price as a storebought card. This year I found some elephant-themed cards that I liked. The seller lives in Indianapolis, so I sent her a message asking if we could arrange a pickup somewhere near the arena. During the course of our conversation I mentioned that I was in town with the circus, and found out the she and her husband are friends with our new trainmaster! Small world!

She and her husband met Brett (trainmaster) and I at a nearby fast food place. We had a really great conversation; Brett got to catch up with his friends, and I got to hear about all kinds of awesome goings-on, such as brass band trips to China, high speed magnetic trains, and what it's like to learn to fire a handgun for the first time. They're really interesting people! And the cards that the seller made for me are absolutely beautiful. CLICK HERE to see her Etsy shop. I won't tell you which ones I bought ;) She also graciously included two extras that I hadn't ordered. I'm so excited to send them out!!

Opening day went well as usual, nothing to report :)
Well, we do have a sub on the Key 2 part for Tom, who is out with a family emergency.
Not gonna lie, it can be pretty difficult to play with a new person, especially this late in the year. And it would have been nice to end the year with Tom. But Jeff (our sub) did a great job, and we can look forward to seeing Tom again in 2014 :)

We got several inches of snow throughout the evening!
It looks pretty but I hope it will stop in time for everyone to get home safely.

On Friday we only had one show at night.
I packed a little bit for the trip home, and cooked, then we had a meeting at the arena about bedbugs.
Bedbugs are a problem on the train. Blue Unit had it worse than us this year, but I've heard stories about how bad it can get. So in an attempt to eradicate the problem once and for all, the company has decided to fumigate the entire train over the winter break. We'll have to throw away any open food and run a lot of clothes through the dryer (bedbugs hate heat), but other than that it should be a pretty easy extermination if everyone does what they're told. Afterward we'll all get a bedbug kit so we can maintain pest-free rooms.
Aah, circus life.

On Saturday morning, the sun had melted some of the snow and our train was resembling the Polar Express.

(photo courtesy Ryan)

It was our last three show day of the year.
I brought my suitcase to the arena, since I figure everyone will be bringing theirs on Sunday.
As the day went on, everyone seemed more and more excited to finish up these last shows!

Sunday was also a day charged with anticipation :)
You could see the excitement on everyone's faces as they went through the motions.
We had some extra excitement during Ski Tap Dance. Just as Irena was coming through the curtain with Alex, her ski broke! Alex went ahead alone, but that act needs both of them to work. So Irena improvised, running out there without skis and doing her part as best she could without them. She did a GREAT job. If you were seeing the show for the first time, you'd never know something was different.

Those last shows flew by. No more Built To Amaze until 2014!!
It's been a great year. We performed 423 shows total in 43 cities.

We got through it with few injuries and without killing each other. There is already a lot of speculation about next year...which cities will be cut or reduced, which ones will be added, when our breaks will be...I can't wait! I'm really looking forward to the break, but also excited to see what the new year will bring.

I'm going to be flying home tomorrow, and won't return to the circus until around January 7th. So for the next several weeks, I'll be writing from, and about, home :)

Photos from this week:

An article about the CEC in which Mr. Feld himself is interviewed. CLICK HERE to read.
Mr. Feld also recently spoke to the Herald Tribune about his company's move to Ellenton, FL.
CLICK HERE to read.

The final characters are revealed for the Marvel Live show. CLICK HERE to read/watch.
A photo from the special effects test for that show.

Rehearsals for Blue Unit's 'Legends' show! Way cool!!!

(photo courtesy RinglingBros Instagram)

Showside performers and crew enjoying breakfast at Pie Car before load in.

(photo couresy Zheng)

Speaking of Pie Car, here's Colleen appearing on an Indiana cooking show! CLICK HERE to watch!

Mabel helps Habitat for Humanity with some painting!

Christmas elephant :)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 19th, 2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
I realize it's rude, or at least confusing, to add someone and not mention why.

I saw your post in ditl and too you up on the invite to watch your blog. Fascinating stuff! I had no idea circus people now slept (essentially) on trains, yes?

So much work! And so many different kinds of talent. And your days seem to be so long too!
Dec. 20th, 2013 04:05 am (UTC)
Hi theidolhands! Nice to meet you :)

Thank you for adding me! And thank you for taking time to send a message. Not many people take the time, indeed.
I'm glad that you enjoyed the ditl post. It was fun for me but more difficult than I expected because I need both hands to play the trombone, haha.

Circus people...or Ringling people...have always lived on the train. The circus train used to be divided into sections and bunks (can't believe I'm referencing this: see Water for Elephants) so I feel fortunate to live in a time where running water and climate control are commonplace on the train :P

Our days may be long, and we do use a lot of energy performing iin the shows, but overall it's a wonderful job compared to many other jobs out there! I feel very fortunate to work here, where I can make a living wage while seeing and experiencing so much.

Thanks again for the read. I'll be sure to check out your page, too!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )