After our adventures in the other Portland, we nestled in for a week and a half at Laura’s parent’s house in Epping, New Hampshire- or at least Laura and I did. Moments after we finished loading out of the venue in Portland, ME, Jeff’s family swept him away for a family getaway to Universal Studios. While he was dodging barf bombs on some major roller coasters, Laura and I taught a couple FANTASTIC workshops. Kids are great, especially when they are excited about clowning. My favorite thing to teach kids is how to fall safely. Once they learn the form, I have them all fall when I clap my hands- OH THE POWER!
While in New Hampshire, I also was the day of coordinator for Laura’s cousin’s wedding. The ceremony took place on the Autumn Pride Farm (the Loy family farm). It only rained a little, which I think is good luck for the bride and groom. The food was great and everyone was happy and dancing.
By July 5th, Jeff was back. We had four shows the following week. Two in churches of nearby cities- Exeter and Durham, one on the Autumn Farm, and one at a playhouse in Jeff’s hometown of Charlton, MA. The churches were spectacular places for our show. Setting it in a church was such a nice fit- especially at the end of the ash fight- it was even more mortifying, considering the location! The show at the Autumn Pride Farm was great and a bit different- we booked it as a double feature with Liz and Dan Faiella- a celtic folk duo. While everyone enjoyed some BBQ, they played the first hour and we filled the second. Unfortunately the big top tent from the wedding the weekend before was taken down, but the weather held and it was a beautiful evening. My only regret of that show in a squash field was not putting on enough bug spray. At the very end, when we hold still and watch the ashes drift away, a dratted mosquito was sucking all the blood out of my brain, BUT I COULDN’T BREAK THE STILLNESS! It was torture.
Jeff’s hometown was so much fun. We had a workshop earlier in the day with a bunch of kids and then the show itself was packed. The playhouse did a ton of advertising for us and Jeff’s family made quite a turnout! We even got to see one of our classmates from Dell’arte. Cathy drove all the way up from NYC to see us. I was absolutely thrilled to see her. Also, she’s a photographer, and agreed to take our cross country ash spreading picture for us. The cemetery was right across the street from the playhouse and so we popped over there right before the show. Cathy told us to put on our noses and be funny while she snapped some pictures. Jeff had a brush with death that we later laughed about- you’ll have to ask him the details. The show itself was probably the hottest place we’ve ever performed. Imagine, if you will, a hot summer day heating up a spacious barn without a/c, and then packing over a hundred bodies in there, really tight and sweating late in the evening. I’m surprised we had any greasepaint left on our faces at the end!
We stayed the next couple days with Jeff’s parents, before heading off to Philadelphia, where we stayed with another classmate, Hannah. Then we went to St. Louis, and stayed with Narvel P. Tuffnuts and played in the City Museum. The day after that, we found ourselves on the doorstep of another Dell’arte alum, Hailey, a resident of Kansas City….