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drwilson
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Bar Harbor, ME
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This talk of lightning sculpture reminded me of something popular at the fairs of my youth:

Silhouette Artist

These guys would take a piece of black construction paper and some fine scissors and do your portrait in a couple of minutes. They would then sell you an oval frame with a white background, looked great. The late Brain Flora was quite good at this.

Yours,

Paul
Doug Higley
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Silhouette Artist

Still VERY popular on 'Main Street' at Disneyland. My Wife is bugging me to sit for one every time we go.

D
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Todd Robbins
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That's how Dai Vernon made his money. He worked as a silhouette cutter out in Coney Island. He met his wife out there. She was the feet in Jean Hugard's Sawing a Woman in Half grind show at Luna Park.
Cadabra
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What about: Gorilla Boxing?
I heard it was done with audience members. These big tough muscle men would get in the cage to kick some monkey butt to impress all the ladies and EVERY guy would end up running out of the cage screaming like a girl and naked because the monkey would just end up ripping all their clothes off. Hilarious! I would love to see film of that.
"It has always amazed and baffled me that audiences will wait patiently in line and pay good money to have the wits scared out of them." - William Castle

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Harley Newman
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That would've been Bob and Mae Noell's show. They were delightful folks.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Doug Higley
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He owned a Gorilla but it was not set against the human morons that got in the ring...that was left to the Chimps who would proceed to grab onto the hair of the human dork... bring their feet up into the jaw, smashing out teeth and other things and generally kicking the crap out of any dimwit who thought he would get in the ring and impress somebody. This display of incredible strength on the part of the Chimps was usually after the dingleberry from the audience was goaded into hitting the Ape. Big mistake. These same homo sapien jerk offs can be seen on the Jerry Springer Show daily ever since their oportunity to beat up monkeys was taken a way.
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Harley Newman
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I think Mae wrote a book about it. They used chimps for the wrestling show, but later got into keeping gorillas and orangs, also.

When I was with the big Hoxie show, one of the Noell gorillas was on tour with them. The gorilla's stage name was Mongo, and I remember the pitch well.

Mongo had an incredible throwing arm. And if he didn't like somebody, he'd throw s**t at them. I saw a number of photographers get it, one in the face.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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drwilson
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Bar Harbor, ME
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Here's another:

Human Salamander (Fire resistance)

It is possible to dip your fingers into molten lead (for real) without injury. There are also those great human salamanders in Jay's "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women," who climb into giant ovens with raw steaks and emerge later, looking composed, with the steaks well done. Sort of a combination sideshow act and grab joint.

Yours,

Paul
Todd Robbins
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There are also those great human salamanders in Jay's "Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women," who climb into giant ovens with raw steaks and emerge later, looking composed, with the steaks well done.

That doesn't exactly pack small/play big. Harley was working on reviving that act for the Ren Faire market.
drwilson
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Does he need a license as a food vendor?

Yours,

Paul
MattTheKnife
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Hehe, don't knock it... it'd make for great BOR sales ;-)

-Matt (TK)
Harley Newman
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Yeah, it's too bad it didn't work out for that particular faire. They cancelled at the last minute, muttering about being respectful to the memory of some volunteer firefighters who'd died in action.

I changed some things in the stunt, so that I could sit in the middle of a bonfire. I was going to do it as a 'burned at the steak' kind of thing.

I'm still willing to do it, when I hear the sound of a wallet opening.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

www.bladewalker.com
Slim Price
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1935 - 2006
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Here' an act that never made it...
Le Petomaine as a balloon artist!
Slim
sanscan@tds.net



"I will never bitter be, as long as I can laugh at me!"



"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Talk about bursting someone's bubble!

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Todd Robbins
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New York
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Just remember the old saying, "Flatulence will get you no where."
TAIT
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uk
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Hi what is the glass blowing act? is it blowing hot glass from the mouth?
Todd Robbins
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Artists that made and sold glass figures, like small horses and other animals, were once featured in sideshows. Tattooist also worked in sideshows.
rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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The first post mentioned whip cracking / knife throwing.

You'll get plenty of ideas if you express interest in what they call "Western arts" - I emailed for a catalog once and couldn't hardly get off the list, the genre consists of trick roping (as a kid I always thought the ropes were legit and I was just a klutz - did you know they're stiffened and swivelled?) - knife throwing - hatchet throwing - pistol quick-draw and pistol spinning, boomerang throwing and more.

See http://www.wwac.com/videos.html
and http://www.westernstageprops.com (these guys sell a realistic solid-rubber pipe wrench that looks like it would do major damage if it was real - an idea here??? Maybe for the performers that do the hand-in-animal-trap thing???)
Zack
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The lightening sculpture act is very common in Santa Monica. Mostly asian street artists.
TAIT
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uk
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Hi do any of you guys do fire glass walking?.I no of the act but do no of any one that does it.
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