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Circus Xtreme Winter Quarters Week 1

Today (Monday) was our first time seeing the new Feld facility! It looks like any other gigantic corporate office from the outside. Inside there are large warehouse-like spaces that can be used for rehearsal. Here's a video clip from YouTube (so I don't get in trouble for posting my own pics haha):

Just like last Winter Quarters, we have been warned not to post photos because the show is still in production (it's a secret!) I won't be posting photos of the building, animals, rehearsals, props, etc. unless the Ringling site posts it first. I'm taking a gamble in this post by sharing some photos of the band's rehearsal space. Readers just be aware that some photos might disappear if I'm asked to remove them.

The Gold and Red bands are rehearsing in trailers parked outside the facility. They have air conditioning, water and wifi.

There is also a "bathroom trailer" nearby (they're pretty nice!).

...and a roach coach for meals on-site.

Those of us with cars were able to get parking passes, which is great as the electronic instruments will need to spend time programming after hours. We were also each given a box of office supplies...white tape for writing in cuts and cues, Sharpies and pencils, etc.

Imo the first day went quite well. We arrived by 9am and had temporary IDs printed to enter the building. From there we had a short meeting-in-seats, then after a quick search found our boxes containing our instruments and other necessities. Those of us who participate in the elephant walks/brunches had to get a new TB shot (Tuberculosis can be transmitted between humans and elephants).

The band and sound crew were also fitted for new in-ears. As we prepared our rehearsal space, we got a few glimpses of some props to be used in the new show. There are ladders and platforms directly above the bandstand...I wonder how that will work?? And the new aerial "wheels" look wild! The BMX guys were practicing some moves, that was fun to watch. Seeing all of this new stuff makes me excited for the show, even if it's "Xtreme" haha.

Outside, the animals were enjoying the balmy Florida weather. I saw some new horses alongside our old ones, and the elephants playing with a generous heap of sand. The camels are HUGE. I can't WAIT to see their act!!!

Once the band was ready, we played through the two pieces of music we had been given. Both are from previous shows (the company has opted not to hire a composer this year) but most of us have been here for less than five years so it was new to us! We read through both pieces multiple times, taking breaks for lunch and just to stretch our legs. We ended the day early, but as more music comes to us we'll have longer and longer work days.

Tuesday was much the same, only we got music for the Wheel and Tiger acts. Yay!
Over the course of the rest of the week, we got music for six acts. We played through everything as much as we could without going nuts :P During breaks I did some Christmas shopping online, practiced learning a valved instrument, or went inside to watch rehearsals. This winter quarters is starting out pretty chill, but I'm sure we'll be turning up the heat as we get closer and closer to the new year!!!

We still have another day of rehearsal on Monday, but I'm trying to stick to my regular pattern so will still be posting on Sundays :)

Other stuff:

Nicole and Alana Feld address cast and crew before a rehearsal.

(photo courtesy Ringling facebook)

As mentioned last week, our train is parked next to a prison (it's actually a "prison farm" so look forward to photos of cows). Here is a training area near my car.

While we are in winter quarters, the Blue Unit is in Chicago for the McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade!

(photo courtesy Reddit)

For those who have asked, here is a short "video tour" of my room.