Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hollywood Days - Circus of the Stars, Part 2

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And the winner is ... Jodi Lewis. She guessed that I made $12, 401.76 for my Circus of the Stars gig. She was only $2,401.76 off. I made $10,000. Funny thing is - I would have paid to do it. Jodi has won full bragging rights (retail value equals that of 300 cabbage patch kids in their original packaging). As far as the other prize goes (the leftover money from that $10,000) - it is hidden in my offshore Swiss bank account under a mattress with a secret code that I have forgotten. So sorry.

I filmed "The New Lassie" at Universal Studios in Hollywood. Our set was at Stage 19 and we also filmed quite a bit on the back lot. My Circus Practice times varied depending on my Lassie schedule, but I usually practiced at the end of my Lassie work day. Our Circus Practice was conveniently at Universal Studios as well. However, it was in a completely different section so we drove there from the Lassie set. It was up the hill in the actual park. If you were a tourist going through the park you could catch a glimpse of our practice (from behind the fence). We sometimes practiced simultaneously with the other acts - like the high wire, trapeze and cradle. The animal acts were done somewhere else and required much less practice. They just had to figure out how not to get eaten or trampled and then they were good to go.

One of the things that was so fun and rewarding about Circus of the Stars was the sense of accomplishment. None of us were acrobats. We were all athletic and coordinated, but believe it or not, none of us had been catapulted 35 feet in the air before. We spent a lot of time on the trampoline learning our tricks before we attempted them off the swing. Most of the time we did our tricks off the swing we landed in a big net and had safety harnesses on us. The times we flipped into the canvas without the safety stuff was minimal. It made the actual performance in front of a live audience a bit nerve racking. There were to be no redos. In fact, this clip here shows up launching off the swing into the air to grab a balloon. I don't think we had ever done this before into the canvas. We mostly practiced grabbing a make believe balloon with our safety equipment on. When they released the balloons to the ceiling they were not quite centered above the canvas. Jocelyn went first. She got the one that was the most centered. I was left with... ugh. How was I going to get that balloon and not die land in the canvas?

The other thing that made this experience so memorable was all the support I had. I was allowed to invite as many people as I wanted to the live taping. And if you know me...
As I looked around the stage, and then afterwards at the restaurant at all my friends and family I vividly remember thinking, "This will always be one of the best days of my life."
Here are just a few of my friends that came to the show:

Read Part 3 here.
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Mirinda said...

I cannot believe you did that! My hands are sweating from just watching it. They would have had to pay me A LOT more!

How neat you can show your kiddos that. Bet they will be impressed :)