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Jameson and I stayed a night at a hotel in Youngstown, and after brunch drove another four hours to Auburn Hills. As it turns out, the hotel Jameson booked is also the company hotel this week! (i.e. advance and overland employees stay here and anyone from Ringling gets a discount at this hotel)

We found dinner at a nearby mall, and Jameson got himself some treats. His birthday is on Friday :)

We then hit the hotel (the train wasn't in yet) and enjoyed some QT. We watched most of Fully Charged and had a nostalgic moment hearing the music again and seeing the acts. And now we're in that same place with Built to Amaze. Wow....

This week went both quickly and slowly. I was excited for the end of the tour and so took care of packing and whatnot during the one-show days, before we even hit the weekend. Got my hair trimmed, got the last of my groceries, made sure I'd have a hotel near the airport, packed a bag. Not having internet sure made me productive this week :P

On Friday those performers and crew who will not be joining us in 2015 were moved to a hotel near the arena.
The train was strangely silent and lonely. Or maybe the weather just made it seem that way.

Andrew (our trumpet player) will be leaving as well. It was great to meet him and play alongside him.
He gave me one of his potted plants.

Next year we will have someone new. It's been interesting and fun meeting so many trumpet players this past year and a half while Slick was out getting treatment. We have had SIXTEEN trumpet subs. That's almost one every month! But to be honest, It'll be great if we can get someone who is able to stay on long-term. That's asking a lot on this gig. We'll see!

Friday was Jameson's birthday! He's 33. I had this grandiose surprise planned for him, but as with most of my plans it didn't work out :P Instead I settled for getting him some games he'd been looking forward to, and treating him to a late lunch at Kruse & Muer after the Friday morning show. It's a small local chain serving pasta, fish and chicken. BOY was it delicious! And the company was pretty sweet too ;)

After a great meal and a few hours back at the train, we did the night show.
Oscar the clown made sure to pie Jameson for his birfday!

Saturday was typical. Excitement was in the air, and a lot of determination to get though the three show day. People are starting to do funny stuff during the show...nothing terribly obvious to the audience mind you, just little things here and there. Like one of the dancers coming out for her number with a pom pom woven into her hair. Or a large clutch of chickens suddenly appearing on the bandstand...

People are also trying to sell items that couldn't be thrown out or donated. Programs and Sharpies are appearing on just about every flat surface, marked with the owner's name and waiting for signatures from cast and crew.

The first show on Sunday was normal, except it seemed to fly by. There is a short break between shows to allow people to rest and eat. I decided to use the time to be a little agressive in Ingress, deploying an ADA Refactor on a Level 8 portal near the entrance to the arena. The ADA Refactor basically "converts" a portal from one team to another, and there is no defense against it.

That was fun :)

During the second show performers, cast and crew snuck some candid shots where they could get away with it. I'm guilty too ;) Here are some photos from our last Band Gag.

Circus kids cheering on the acts.

During the Menage (elephant act) Baby the elephant comes right up to my side of the bandstand.
Today she was with Bernadette (handler) and Gemma (cannon)!

During intermission a few of us had a little toast in the dressing room. Cheers!

At the end of the show Rye said a few words, thanking the cast and crew for their hard work and dedication. He even read a message to us from Andre, who of course wished he could be there (For footage of Rye's speech, CLICK HERE. Thanks to Artem for the video). As the audience departed, everyone met on the floor to say their final farewells.

Approximately 791 shows, 80 cities and 4 million viewers. This is the end of Built to Amaze.

This last week has been extremely similar to the last week of Fully Charged two years ago. We have to say goodbye to some awesome people. I'm really going to miss The Negrey Troupe, and Flabson (Footlooping), and the dancers. Some people are going to the Gold Unit to continue with the "Gold Edition" of our show...Ashley (preshow host) and the KCT act will be there, so we'll see them down the road. It's always tough to say goodbye!

Just like last time, I'm in a hotel in Detroit typing this. My battery is about to die because I forgot to bring a computer charger. More updates as people post pics :)

It's been a great two years. And now...time for a break!!!

Other stuff:

Built to Amaze princesses!

(photo courtesy Gemma)

(photo courtesy Ashley)

My boss took this one.

(photo courtesy Brett)


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 17th, 2014 08:23 pm (UTC)
I adore reading your journal and seeing your pics. Circus life has always been interesting to me.

Funnily enough, I live about 45 minutes from The Palace and have been there more times than I care to count. I'll be back in March, actually. A friend and I are taking her four year old to see Disney on Ice: Frozen. I won't even lie, I'm stupidly excited and thanked her for having a little girl obsessed w/ Frozen so that I'd have an excuse to go as an almost 30 year old by then.
Nov. 19th, 2014 01:36 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoy it! It makes me happy to know that my little journey is fun for others too :)

Oh cool! You know that the "Disney on Ice" shows are owned by Feld Entertainment (also owns the circus)?

Have fun and sing "Let it Go" at the top of your lungs!!
Nov. 19th, 2014 01:45 am (UTC)
Yes, I do! I went on their website not too long ago looking for ticket info and found that out.

And I will, don't even worry about that! Her daughter has no idea that we're even going. We're keeping it a surprise until the day of.
Nov. 19th, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
I went to one of the shows last week with my sister in law and my nieces and nephews. My niece wants to get shot of a cannon now. lol

Enjoy Michigan!! Kruse & Muer is sooooo yummy! Great choice for a b-day meal!
As always, I love reading your blog!
Nov. 19th, 2014 02:30 pm (UTC)
Отличная статья
Отличная статья! Спасибо автору! Продолжайте в том же духе!
Nov. 20th, 2014 04:08 am (UTC)
Re: Отличная статья
Большое спасибо ! Рад , что вам понравилось!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )