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Todd Robbins
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New York
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The sideshow is almost extinct in it's natural habitat. This is a sad situation, because there is no better way to learn about this form of performance than to watch it live. So, I want to start this thread to give folks here a list of venues where you can catch sideshow performance.

First off, starting this weekend (March 26 & 27) Sideshows by the Seashore will start it's 20th season in Coney Island. We are at 12th & Surf Ave. in Coney Island. The schedule is weekends until Memorial Day and then Wed thru Sunday until Labor Day. Then just weekends during September.

I don't get a chance to work out there much, but if you are planning to head out to Coney Island, let me know. If I have the day free, I'll try to head out there with you and give you the grand tour.

Also, If I am MCing Monday Night Magic, I often do a bit of the sideshow.

Where are YOU performing this stuff?
FacadeTheStiltBoy
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Greensboro NC
474 Posts

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Well tonight at Davy's uptown in KC I'm doing a show with The Enigma and Katzen.

Mainly nightclubs, raves, underground parties, haunted houses, just wherever the money goes I guess.

Then again I have also been known to do a few impromptu shows here and there on various job sites to see if I can get a reaction out of a few construciton workers that I run into from time to time. (nothing like grossing out a bunch of bullriding cowboys that lay block and concrete in the off time.
drwilson
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

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Our plans this summer are to hit the flea markets on the Maine coastal tourist road. The road is dotted with small towns with museums, galleries, antique stores, and B&Bs. People just poke along finding amusements. There are a couple of good flea markets, and I am taking a page from Doug Higley in taking a small show there. We will have a magic pitch and Gypsy Fortune Teller, and once we get the feel of the place I will show the Feejee Mermaid. I am building a Flea Circus, and what better place for it than a flea market? I am guessing that for every couple in a flea market, one of them is being dragged along and would gladly part with a buck or two for some fun. The rents for a day are perhaps $20, sometimes free, and if my banners can be seen from the road they will stop traffic.

I'll be back with stories after this gets going (around Memorial Day).

Yours,

Paul
oscarquella
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Let me know how it goes. After I get some banners painted I'll be doing that in MN.
Kondini
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Checkout our listings on the Sideshow World site we cover most of the UK throughout the season.
Caught the last day of last season at the Coney Island Show,, we may have been the only speckies in there but we made up for it in volume (Big mouth Brits) We enjoyed the show and appreciated the fact that the artists played for us (Been there and worn the T shirt) We had a mother with babe in arms for an audience one day and the mother left leaving the babe half way through the act !!!!! The kid just bawled,,,,,now you know why some animals eat their young!!
drwilson
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Bar Harbor, ME
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Time to revive this thread! Dr. Wilson's Flea Circus appeared at Leapin Lizard Gallery for Bar Harbor's Legacy of the Arts Festival, accompanied by our Gypsy Fortune Teller booth. An unusual event like this at an art gallery during a community-wide arts festival generates a lot of press. Well, actually, we generate the press and the photos and the two rival papers that serve this community of 5,000 just print what we send them with minor alterations and enhancements.

But here is the best part. The Flea Circus and Gypsy Fortune Teller were the two components of the event that we had planned for months. An unexpected gap in Ses Carny's performing schedule allowed him to join us. Ses Carny's act (sword swallowing, blockhead, animal traps, eyehooks, strait jacket, etc.) thrilled the art crowd at a really primal level. The turnout was greater than at any event in the gallery's entire five-year history. Many people visited the gallery for the first time, and discovered that there were plenty of items among the jewelry and craft selections that were unique and affordable. They bought plenty of stuff, and told the owner why they had come!

The gallery owner was thrilled, and said we could come back any time. Ses Carny came back for Bar Harbor's Fourth of July, the busiest day of the year in Bar Harbor. The Fourth of July parade is open to anyone, and features giant lobsters parading through the streets, cars driven by puppets, and similar acts of grandiose whimsey. The entry for Leapin Lizard Gallery was an art car with a beach motif, with an aluminum palm tree and monkey bolted to the roof. The car was painted every color imaginable and was completely covered with plastic beach toys glue-gunned in place. Two living mermaids in Coney Island style rode on the hood, together with a woman in a gorilla suit with an inflatable beach ducky around her waist. The car was surrounded by grass-skirted celebrants of both genders with a variety of colorful accessories.

But here is the topper. Riding in the back seat was Ses Carny. He would periodically stand, emerging through a hole cut in the roof to blow fireballs against the bright blue sky of a perfect summer day. Naturally, the crew found it hard to resist stopping to perform this feat whenever one of the many policemen along the route were sighted. Apparently, the constabulary (many rented from out of town) were too stunned and disoriented to interfere.

Following the parade, Ses Carny and I worked a pitch on private property near the gallery for tips. As there is a town ordinance against street performers, we were the only game in town, and although it is a small pitch best suited for high-turnover doorway shows, we did OK.

There were many excellent moments, but here are a few.

This is a small community, and the locals all know each other. I had the very great pleasure of introducing Ses Carny to my eye doctor before one of his sets, so he knew to close with the eye hooks. While the rest of the crowd stared, recoiled in horror, turned back to look again, and squealed, the eye doctor looked on calmly with a look of clinical interest marred only by a grin that stretched from ear to ear.

Ses Carny and I also performed an act together for the first time. Following my performance of the cups and balls, an act that seems to convey the conjuror's great skill with his hands, I held my hand in front of a plank of pine while Ses Carny sank throwing knives into the plank, coming close enough to actually touch my hand with one throw. The only problem with this feat is that the people there were too stunned to tip properly!

The point of this post is not just to put up a valentine to ourselves, although it serves that purpose. Art galleries are a terrific venue for sideshow. This is not a new idea. Several art galleries have had memorable shows of sideshow banner art. This year's Spoleto Festival featured many sideshow artists.

Events at art galleries attract other artists. Fairs and carnivals have many other distractions and inconveniences that many artists don't care for; at the smaller ones, traditional sideshows can't make enough money. In addition, as many sideshow performers have discovered, the primal energy of sideshow feats and the untutored style of sideshow banners appeals to many artists and art patrons who have seen too many impressionistic portraits and landscapes.

This is a great kind of venue! This year, gallery sales are way off at all of the galleries here, so the owners are very receptive to new approaches. If you find the right kind of gallery, this is a terrific opportunity to reach new people and make some cash.

Yours,

Paul
Doug Higley
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Here and There
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Great story Doc...also neat title for your next book..."Too Stunned To Tip".

My story so far is far less personally involving (or exciting) but I kind of pride myself in bringing new 'lambs' into the fold and one of them just called after his first show weekend...a Husband/Wife retaliler at Fairs large and small and around the outdoor selling biz for about 30 years selling Hippy stuff...Tie Dye...Insense etc Some how he (Jeff) stumbled on somebody who directed him to my site and on a whim bought a Mer zibit to try something different as he was getting 'tired'...read my stuff and put together the show I advised as a section of his sales 'tent'. This past weekend he did his first Fair as a 'Showman'...hope to make back the cost of the zibit...did triple that (!)...wound up having the time of his life talking 'them' in and telling tall tales (His wife said he was awesome at it and 'who'ld a thunk?' Well, me! I screen 'em pretty good.)
At a small fair in Washington (State) his tiny Grind Show pulled in $1600 bucks and not a single beef or complaint and 100% good time had by all. He did it RIGHT! I think they are in Salem Oregon area this weekend...working the western fairs all summer.
His report was pretty detailed and the good news is the crowd ain't changed as to acceptance of some old ideas mixed with my new. It still works and the Hum Bug is on as strong as ever...he said they 'bought it' hook line and sinker...and this from a fairly upscale crowd...who thought the buck was well spent. Gotta love it!
It's all so *** silly...but that's the secret me thinks!

There's a bunch of my 'Zibits running amok this year...so the Grind Show Museum segment of the Sideshow biz is alive and well...well maybe not alive...heh heh heh.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Scott Xavier
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Jeff, the crew, and myself will be traveling the "EAST" coast and playing all venues from fairs, circus's, etc.

If you want to see some exciting performers look us up. My cells on my site!
docdazzal
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San Tan Valley, AZ
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Hello All...

Doc Dazzal's Magical & Bizarre Medicine Show has been booked for the next year to appear each weekend at a Flea Market and old west movie prop town on the historic Apache Trail in Mesa, Arizona.

I'll be performing my Magical & Bizarre Medicine Show and pitch acts, my trained flea show, live music via my old fashion melodia organ and I'll be exhibiting my "Strange Thing" oddity...per Doug Higley's ebook!

For more detailed info please visit http://www.docdazzal.com (click on the "Gazzette"). I'll be posting photo's and video as I obtain them. Although the summer season is slow here in Arizona...things deffinately pick up to a fever pitch from Oct through May. My contract however, is from July 05 to July 06. Continued success to us all...


Doc Dazzal
Dr. Dan
Psychic & Paranormal Entertainment
www.drdanandco.com
drwilson
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Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

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Bravo, Doc! I hope you sell a lot of elixir.

Yours,

Paul
docdazzal
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San Tan Valley, AZ
340 Posts

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Thank You Very Much...Doc Wilson!!!

I've made up a few extra tubs full just in case??? Congrats to you and your show for the success of your new Flea Circus showing...I love your banner work. I still have an idea I need to run by you for a banner of my own.

Thanks Again...
Doc Dazzal
Dr. Dan
Psychic & Paranormal Entertainment
www.drdanandco.com
drwilson
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

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Thanks Doc!

Pictures and a story about the Legacy of the Arts festival and Fourth of July are now up at Sideshow World.

Yours,

Paul
Scott Xavier
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Inner circle
3672 Posts

Profile of Scott Xavier
Check out my blog on the http://www.scottxavier.com website for the east coast tour dates!

S
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