Monday, July 8, 2013

Viva Las Vegas

As you might have noticed, I've fallen a bit behind on stories from each city. It's a combination of being exceptionally busy (oddly, they keep us pretty busy here) and a lack of long train runs. The last big post was on our way into Las Vegas. This might shock some of you, but by the end of the Las Vegas show week, there wasn't a single person I talked to in the show who wasn't happy to leave.

It's hard to tell why people were so eager to leave; it could have been the 115 degree heat every day, perhaps it was the fact that nobody got to bed before 2 AM (I didn't get to bed before 4 am except for one night), maybe they just didn't have any more money to lose at the casinos. The world may never know the actual cause....I'll leave it to you to speculate.

As I mentioned in a prior update, we left beautiful Colorado mountain weather, so the heat was an unfortunate surprise. If you've ever flown from beautiful weather to the desert, you know the feeling. The train was conveniently posted about 5 minutes from Fremont Street, with beautiful views of Main Street Station, the Golden Nugget and the Fremont Street Experience

If this was less than a mile from home, would you ever make it to bed on time?

You'll have to excuse if all the photos from Las Vegas turn out blurry, I like to bring realism to the blog and blurry was pretty accurate for night time in Las Vegas. My only time in Vegas had been for a friend's wedding and never made it to fremont, so who doesn't love a giant indor adult playground with live music and a roof that is playing music videos?

Obviously all play and no work makes...the normal Las Vegas experience so we had plenty of work to do as well. We played the Thomas and Mack Center at UNLV which was a pretty decent venue, my office was parked outside but the view over our compound gave us a great view of the strip while we were working

I've never mentioned it before, but lots of our staff and their families live in RVs and drive from city to city and don't take the train. Some positions are required to live in trailers such as some animal handlers who have to be near the animals 24x7, but others just prefer to live at the venues and who's to argue, 30 second commute to work!

Las Vegas is apparently a hot bed for former circus performers, makes a lot of sense given where else do you go if you're tired of the road and want to perform specialized show skills? One of our troupes (the unicycle basketball team) is actually based in Vegas and so lots of people dug into their bank of comp tickets to show off our current show to their friends. A nice bonus of this is that a lot of the old time cast and crew threw a party at the train which, ironically, was my most responsible night in town. It was a lot of fun to meet people who were in the show 5-50 years ago and hear stories about the circus "back when". I told them I don't understand how they lived this life before the invention of GPS, smart phones and internet that I can access while the train is moving.
There ain't no party like a Circus Train party...

In every city, we have plenty of PR events, letting the morning news come and interview the lead elephant trainer while they wash an elephant, sending the Ringmaster to a radio station to talk about how great life is in the circus (to be fair, he isn't lying) but in Las Vegas I was proud to be a part of an event where the show partnered with a local food bank and fed hungry kids in our Pie Car while circus performers and staff packed bags of food for the kids. Below is a picture taken from the event by the Las Vegas Sun. It was a pleasure to do some good while we rolled through Sin City

All in all, Las Vegas is a great city to visit and a great city to leave. That was our first of three weeks in the desert and another great week in the circus.

Because what I do for fun on my nights off is only so interesting, here's some pics from the show/things that I thought were cool:

The Media Control Room at the T&M.

The view during the train run.  Yay sand

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