May 24, 2019 Today's person: Luz Gaxiola!

Since far too often we only publicly say nice things about people when they are dead I’ve decided to randomly pick a Facebook friend every day and say something nice about them.


May 24, 2019

Today's person: Luz Gaxiola!


- “Who wants to play...?” The Ringmaster asks...


Several years ago, and despite everything you know, have learned, have heard of, or personally experienced about yourself or anyone you know, I was the most fortunate, Gods-smiled-upon person in the world because not only was a professional actor with a beautiful, talented, brilliant wife and a little son who seemed like a pleasant person, I also got to direct an amazing, knife-juggling, samba-dancing, Hulu-hooping, uke and accordion-playing, cow-impersonating, dedicatedly hilarious all-woman clown circus! Each clown brought their own quirky personality, drive, determination, and inventive insanity to the creation and semi-controlled pie explosion that was Circus Finelli, and I got to work with them for several years. It was wonderful.


- The stern yet dazzlingly dressed circus ringmaster, Frau Backpfeifengesicht, surveys the audience. Next to her is a wheel of choices. Actually, only two choices: 1/8thof the wheel says “FREE BEER,” and the remaining 7/8th says “A SLAP IN THE FACE...”


And among these clowns was Luz Gaxiola. She had the accordion. And the hula hoops. And was part of the cow. She was willing to be dangerous, and goffy, ruthless and hilarious.


- A hand goes up, and a young man brogiggles to his friends as he makes his way to the stage...


Her skills as a clown and as a promoter were breathtaking. I felt like such a slacker around her.


- “ Spin the wheel!” Frau Backpfeifengesicht barks at the already tipsy, grinning fellow...

Always with a big smile, always ready for fun, Luz was a dream to direct. I really did ask her to do some outrageous things.


- He spins the wheel...


She was fearless onstage and off, endlessly engaging and interested, always ready to go the extra mile, however ridiculous that mile was.


- The wheel stops...


Luz was always willing to do both. Especially as her sadistically professional Frau Backpfeifengesicht...


- “SLAP IN THE FACE!” Backpfeifengesicht announces. Carefully and efficiently she positions the audience member, draws her arm back...


Good comedy hurts. Sometimes it hurts the clown or comedian, and sometimes -


- She slaps him across the face. Hard. The audience member, the entire audience is stunned. They thought it would be a fake slap, or somehow gentle. This is a circus after all, and these are clowns. She slaps him hard. Face stinging the audience member returns confusedly to his seat as everyone realizes that you spin the wheel of your own free will, and that in Circus Finelli anything is possible. These clowns are not here for you, you are here for them. This will be an evening like no other. And you entered it of your own free will...


Luz was and is a great clown, and I was privileged to work with her.


- “Who wants to play...” Backpfeifengesicht says, standing next to the wheel, surveying the audience...

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