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Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Harry,

How do you arrange your display to avoid "over-the-shoulder or crowd-thru peekers?" I'm having a little trouble visualizing the setup.

I am getting more and more interested in doing one of these 'grind shows' myself. I've always loved this sort of thing and it sounds like a great opportunity for those who have the mindset.

And Doug, I love your site and exhibits.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Doug Higley
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Thanks Doc!

There are numerous ways to sheild the 'zibit...not a challange really but I'm still waiting for Harry to tell me how he does it from his trunk! Smile

The key is in HOW it's presented and what is said...Harry did well it seems...but there are special words to use and ways to go that probably could have overwhelmed him in the crowd crush if he had used them. Maybe he did and he's just keeping my 'secrets'.

The exhibit itself is important in that there must be 'something' to see that they won't turn around and smack you on the head for charging them to see it...but the real secrets are in the words or the text and signage used to get them to spring for the admission. It's all very psychological and well thought out over the years with decided sucesses measured and reported and way off the well beaten path of the old time sideshow methods. It's the understanding of WHY this works (and the old methods don't) that'll get your juices flowing.

Doug
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Harry Murphy
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The setup I used was fairly simple. My trunk was propped open and a PVC pipe frame popped into place. Simple drapes (heavy unbleached muslin) were hung cover the sides (openings between the trunk lid and car body) and across the back bumper of the car.

A simple frame reached above the trunk lid and I had a small banner (width of the car by about 2. 5 ish feet tall) with a big “?” mark and arrow pointing into the display hung on it. I used a couple of lengths of rope from the top of the banner frame to the back windows of the car (a knot in the rope and the window rolled up acted as an anchor) held everything in place.

Yes I know that my descriptive skills suck here!

It is a modification of an idea that Doug gives in his instruction booklet. You actually have to step on a small platform to see over the rear drape. Two or three people can stand side by side to view the ‘Zibit (that depending on the size of the people. I had a milk crate with a board wired to the bottom for kids to stand on.

Ms. Murphy herself was towards the back of the trunk area. I had a battery operated florescence camp lamp to light up the area. You are looking at ‘Zibit side on and kind of downward. You get maybe a three-quarter view of the sweet thang! You see full front and top. You pretty much had to be up on the platform and straight on to see the little beauty. I am sure that some people could sneak a peek but the line kept moving and I didn’t worry about it.

I got a number of people who went to get their friends in the spirit of “I’ve been had now you get had too!” Lots of mild curses of confusion and “what the **** is it?!” exclamations.

It is not the best of displays but I used what I had on hand and it seemed to work OK.

Honestly Doug gives all the details for a couple of types of displays in his booklet “The Last Museum” that accompanies his critters (or did mine). I simply modified the “pick-up truck display” he gives by simplifying it (making it way smaller and not using banners on either side of the viewing area). Another big plus is that Doug simply gave me the idea in one of my discussions with him! He told me that he had used his car trunk for a display once. The man is totally giving and free with his advice and ideas for using his creations.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Doug Higley
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Harry...I no longer have the booklet available at this time. I've been trying to get one done online for customers but just haven't had the time or energy to complete it yet...but I do have a Toll Free number! What I DO offer is personal telephone consulting, no charge of course...(or not of course) and can better get an idea of what the 'showman/woman' wants to accomplish or their particular situation and aim them.

As always..it is up to the person whether they do well or not as it is almost 99% in need of friendliness and and a good spirit of fun. Even the reactions you get will depend on your demeanor and how you interact with the 'folks'. Put a big PERIOD on that.

Interesting that you had potentially 'tough' crowd...proud of you Harry!
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drwilson
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Harry and Doug,

This is all pure gold! Thanks for sharing.

Harry, have you thought of pitching anything besides a peek? You know, postcards, greeting cards, plastic sea critters, that sort of thing? Now that you've seen the marvel, buy the souvenir...

Yours,

Paul
Harry Murphy
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Paul,

I haven’t pitched anything with the ‘Zibit yet. I like the idea of pitching plastic sea creatures. I don’t know if I will ever do a post card unless I can make/fake one to look like a reproduction from a Tintype. You know show a Burnside sporting, pith helmet wearing, turn of the last century, explorer/adventurer holding something that sort of vaguely resembles the Mermaid. You know, from the time she was captured/found. I would not want to have it too clear as I don’t want to give her likeness away (why pay when your buddy can show you a photo?!).

When I do the ‘Zibit under the E-Z UP top I may just do an additional pitch.

This past Memorial Day weekend, I had actually gone to do a little magic busking and passing the hat. I haven’t done that in almost two years since my little forced hiatus from performing. The ‘Zibit was just going to be and extra. I didn’t expect the volume of people looking for something to do! Frankly, I spent my day keeping a line moving (and taking money).

It’s a good idea!

Doug, I had a built in “IN” with the crowd. That is "Rolling Thunder" is a tribute to the military, it’s veterans, it’s Missing In Action, and it’s fallen. I simply wore my ribbons and part of my old uniform (I’m one of the guys they are supposed to be honoring!). I told a ton of war stories with the motorcycle riding vets (more lawyers, accountants, and Doctors than “real” bikers! Who else can afford Harley’s these days?).

I had a MIA flag and US flag flying from my banner poles. The guy selling T-shirts was a Viet Nam refugee. He and I swapped some good yarns.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Eric Starkey
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Quote:
Harry Murphy wrote:
I had one kid come back maybe five or six times (I only charged him once! He’s the future!).


Harry,
You're the man!

Thanks for remembering that we were all that kid at one point.

Eric
Doug Higley
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You my friend are priceless! Wearing the medals and flying the flags and showing a decrepit creature brought back from the dark swamps 'over there'...how could you lose. Very happy to know you Harry. Smile That made my day.
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drwilson
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Harry,

That's a really great story, and should remind all of us that if they like you, they'll like your show.

It's pretty easy to degrade a photo down to a beat-up tintype in PhotoShop. Another option is to pay an artist to come up with the image. Along the lines of what you suggest, it ought to look like an engraving or wood engraving from 1880. I was thinking of checking Bloomington's Lives of the Explorers of the Golden Age, but then I remembered what happened to it.

Of course, a great option is to pay Doug to create a suitable image!

If you want to know where to get cards, postcards, stickers, or temporary tattoos printed cheap, or where to find good slum, drop me a PM.

Yours,

Paul
Doug Higley
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I'd do Harry's 'image' just for fun (like I have time for fun!)
Nautical and adventurous BUT Harry is correct in not showing the 'Zibit so there would be less impetus for the 'guest' to buy one. However...all harry has to do is bring his Ms. Murphey to one of those Antique photo places (at fairs and touristy towns etc....get in an OLD TIME seaman's outfit and hold the 'critter' in front of him like he was holding a little model ship...it will be small enough not to be noticably detailed. Or and much easier and cheaper...get me that photo taken with any camera and I'll add the Dock side background and antique it etc. Can be done. For Harry, I'll make the time.
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Harry Murphy
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Thanks Doug!

Back when I was a teen there were ads running in a number of magazines for a blowgun. They were very busy ads (and difficult to read) with a lot of copy (small print), several photos and looked way cool to a teenager!

The photos included one taken in the jungles of Brazil. It showed a guy wearing a pith helmet, wore kaki shorts with cargo pockets (50 years before they became popular), a kaki shirt with long sleeves rolled up past the elbows, holding a blowgun in one hand and a huge furry creature (anteater?) in the other. I have often thought I would like to make a photo similar to it but with a mermaid being held by its tail, back out (to obscure features), and arms dangling. The adventurer/scientist/explorer would be holding a large fishing net, or maybe a frog-gig (trident), or fishing pole.

It would give the ‘Zibit a bit of a back-story.

Now if I can get the props and costume together…
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Doug Higley
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You won't need the props...just the outfit...send the photo as IF you are holding a critter and I'll take it from there. Smile

D
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Harry Murphy
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Hey Doug, as soon as I can find the things I need (I’ve moved and almost everything is in an unlabeled box!) I’ve got a couple of ideas. I think I can put an old Bush-pilot costume together; it will be a 1930’s-40’s look. Still for today that’s OLD!!!

I may be able to get a more turn of the last century explorer look thing taken too. It depends on when the borrowed Pith Helmet arrives.

I may even put on the Kilt, Kaki shirt, and Pith helmet and give you a British army look photo too.

It’ll take some time to get this together, but get it together I will! Heck, I even have to find a photographer to take the snapshots. I do know a lady with a digital camera…
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Kondini
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Bob Lunn(Spelling) Had a wonderful act with a performing flea set up. He was dressed in khaki shorts or leotard,pith helmet,monocle,carried a bullwhip and spoke with his false teeth removed.
Remember him at an IBM do,he lived in Leominster and I am sure remembered with great affection by all who saw him.Wish I had more info on the guy,his approach would go down big today.
Also did the lighting a match with a pingpong ball (Dont ask!) So complicated it had to be seen to be believed.
This would go over huge as a come on to a zibbit,,,brains gone rusty.
Doug Higley
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To those who are wondering HOW to show this stuff...I put info on my site...the secret stuff that Todd and Harry and Kondini talk about on occasion.


I need to know all about Ping Pong Balls Ken...please?
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Kondini
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Doug, if anyone has any info on Bob and his acts then please,please share with us here, it would be pots of gold.
I was young then and took too much of what I saw for granted,,, oh for insight.
drwilson
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If you are reading this thread, you need to read Doug's notes, which I have reviewed here.

Yours,

Paul
drwilson
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Another thing that seemed to work OK for a traditional sideshow presentation was to silkscreen a bunch of posters and put them up all over. People walk past slick posters printed using the four-color process all the time, but a handmade original stops them cold. See a scan at:

http://www.sideshowworld.com/PSfeejee.JPG

Yours,

Paul
Doug Higley
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Dead on Paul! That's why those signs you made (Really NICE job too!!!) from my How-To worked for you...not something that say's 'more of the same' and is easily ignored...too bad we can't show them here...hahaha...but that's the big secret of the 'Plan' aint it! Smile

Doug
Higley's Doug's Museum
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