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Circus Xtreme Greensboro NC - A Nice Week

First thing on Monday morning, Jameson had a follow-up interview with a company looking to hire music teachers. It was a Skype interview taking place in our hotel room, so I got to be there and listen to almost the whole thing. It went really well. I think he will soon have a job for after the circus.

To celebrate, we went to Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Greenville (Jameson said it was still to celebrate my birthday, but I think otherwise!). I had this really awesome sweet potato pancake with a piece of fried chicken and pecans. Yum! Jameson had the fried chicken alone with creamy gravy, and a side of roasted brussels sprouts that were REALLY good! I didn't take pictures...was not in the mood.

While I am genuinely happy and excited for Jameson, I am also reminded that I still do not have anything lined up. It's not for lack of trying, but that doesn't keep me from feeling a desperate sort of urgency on a daily basis. What can I do today? Where should I apply today? What haven't I done, that I should be doing? Many people here are asking these questions and feeling this sort of pressure. The one thing that I really need to figure out is where I can start practicing my large bore trombone while on tour. Arenas provide a great deal of space, but not a great deal of privacy or soundproofing.

While all of these thoughts were bouncing around in my head, I got to see Jameson finally RELAX a little bit! He's been so tense and worried, just like me. But he is a good person, a hard worker, and a very determined and positive person. Things will work out all right, and I think his hard work is paying off, and he's finally getting closer to some job/life security, just a month after we all got canned. It's a wonderful thing.

We visited a 2nd & Charles just for fun. I found the next installment of the Saga series and bought it, excited to read it. We then drove to Greensboro to meet the train. It was a little late, so we killed time with dinner and a trip to the grocery store. We found out that on this particular trip, the Blue and Red trains had passed each other! Many people took videos and photos of this event, which was rare to begin with and now will never happen again.

I heard that some people in their excitement tried to high five each other as the trains passed. "It hurt but it was worth it," haha. Every vestibule was full of people trying to capture the moment. These photos were taken by Richard Stringer (very impressive as the Blue train was moving at high speed!) Looks like a cool moment :)

The next day while Jameson was at the gym, I got right to work. Applying for more jobs, and making more audition materials. Several places that I'd like to audition for have different video requirements, so I'll have to make even more in the future.

Wednesday was opening day. Spider-Man showed up for rehearsal again...

Rehearsal went well, and afterward we all went to Stamey's BBQ for some good eats. It's right across the street from the arena. Best peach cobbler ever. And a pretty amazing chopped pork sandwich too!

After that I was surprised to get a sort-of interview with a company I'm interested in touring with. They asked for some additional footage, and I happily agreed to make it. I was terribly excited about the whole thing until I realized that there would be PR events all day at the arena, so my options for filming locations were very limited. I spent the rest of the day worrying about this, and all through the show (which went great).

The next day we had a split. After the morning show I stayed at the arena to make my audition video. I basically ended up having to do it in a storage hallway, which was a real bummer as the audition was supposed to involve lots of movement. Between the lack of space and a constant stream of interruptions, it took about three hours to get the footage that I needed. It then took another three hours to edit the video, mostly because the GoPro software kept crashing during rendering. Argh. I was happy to have a video to send, but was also frustrated and disappointed that it didn't turn out better. Auditions are like that. If there's time next week I'll try to make a better video, but at least I got one made, even if it's less-than-ideal.

The evening show went well.

On Friday we only had one show. My former roommates Jeremy and Charlie live in nearby Winston-Salem, and we made plans to meet for lunch. They took me to a Vietnamese place...Jeremy said it's the only Vietnamese restaurant around that makes authentic Bánh xèo. The crepes were huge! They are made with a rice batter containing turmeric and coconut milk, and filled with vegetables and either chicken or shrimp and pork. You're supposed to chop up the crepe and wrap it in a large lettuce leaf with some fresh mint and parsley. I've never had food like this before. It was delicious!

We finished our meal with some Vietnamese coffee...it's pretty much iced coffee with condensed milk (I have this annoying lactose problem so had to leave much of the milk out. Booo. But it was still delicious!). We took our time and got all caught up. It was great to spend time with these guys, I'm very glad to have them as my friends.

After that we did a little antiquing. We were just casually looking and didn't find much, but I did find some pieces of crystal to make prisms with. My mom used to have prisms, and I was happy to find some that looked just like hers, and for only a few bucks. Maybe when I have my own place...somewhere...I can hang them up.

The show on Friday went well. My friend Tanner and his wife came to the show and made time to say hello. It was great to see them! I should also mention that Jeremy and Charlie's parents came to the show on Thursday and it was great to see them too :) I love it when friends come to the show!

Saturday was a normal three show day. Rebecca (wardrobe) made a bunch of king cakes, so that was a nice treat. Jameson found the baby!
The shows were absolutely packed.

On Sunday we had two shows. Between shows we got to sign a portion of the arena wall set aside for a circus mural. The mural was painted by Lindsey (clown). Here she is working on it. You can see the framed signatures to her left, those are from others who have performed at the arena and were also allowed to leave their mark.

And here's the finished product! Thank you Lindsey! I'm glad that the arena allowed us to do this.

(photo courtesy Jose A.)

A close-up of the mural with more signatures.

(photo couresy Judah LW)

This was a nice last visit to Greensboro. I'll miss coming through here. Thank you to everyone who made our last visit so special!

After the last show I'll be driving to Raleigh to visit my aunt and uncle. Jameson will take his last train run ever (wow). Next we play Atlanta, where we have a pretty full schedule of shows. See you there!

Other stuff:

A banner made by the arena for us. Thank you! See you down the road Greensboro.

The annual circus Valentine's Day box! Send your sweetheart (or arch-nemesis) a nice note!

A letter written by a young person and given to us, in the hopes that a petition would save the circus.