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Kondini
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OK so we read of the smell of the sawdust the whiff of candy floss,the smiling faces etc etc, how about the drawbacks. What is life really like working a sideshow on the run,,,,,ever read about emptying the portapotty, packing up wet and setting up wet three hundred miles from the last gig, getting blown down,fighting the local flatties to protect your own property,getting shut down by the Councils and Police,fighting for an extra foot of frontage,bribing the riding master for a better position,,,Lets hear about the real Sideshow,,,then all the pretenders may seek their fortune in another direction. Your experiences should enlighten.
Doug Higley
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1942 - 2022
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You are absolutely correct my friend...this is why I specialized in Flea Markets and the small local Fairs and avoided most all that crap. One needs to do their homework even for the small venues but you are in a lot more control...and the set up is a snap...tearing down is ALWAYS a pain in the ass after a full run.
I've worked the big carny midways and sloughed the big circus tents and for all the reasons you mentioned I didn't care for it all that much. Frankly it sucked. Sleeping on a damp board is not my cuppa tea mate. So I created my own way of doing things on my terms...limited my range so I'd have a nice bed and a shower...stayed off the carny midway and worked the booth areas...shrunk my set up so it was no big job to arrive or leave. Never got shut down or had to fight for space but I did get hammered by the rain. Smile

I guess I'm the wrong one to post huh.

But I hear ya Ken...it's not for everybody and if you do get in to it Do The Homework and do it YOUR WAY! ( or My way Smile )


What got under your skin that you brought this up?
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Kondini
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The zibbit got shut down by the Council then by the Cops working for the Council, neither would pay 50p to see (They thought it was a live exhibit!) So I dug my heels in and shut them out,,,all resulted in good press for us!! See the DVD I have sent you!

Also out of a dozen gigs since May 1st all have had rain!
The take so far has been up this year, so have the rented grounds.
I had to work while on crutches (Or lose big bucks for a breach of contract).
Caught two kids lifting my stink bombs from the stall, so to show my displeasure I tapped the pockets of the offenders and set the bombs off in their pockets,,,got a mouthfull from the Old Bill for doing this but I thought it was Justice.
Took payment (By Cheque) From a show booker,it went rubber and we are all in the Q waiting for titbits.

Do I have to go on.

Still I love what I am doing so I must be mad!
Doug Higley
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1942 - 2022
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The Council are idiots.

Your Stink Bomb story shows the BIG HUGE GIGANTIC differences from wotrking there as opposed to here.

I would be in jail for any number of charged offenses if I did that...hahaha good for you!!!!!!! All this country has become is a batch of politically correct whining pain in the ass busy bodies driven to power by the Lawyers who make a fortune off of every little wormy complaint. That's why our punks are so bad and ARMED and get away with everything under the sun.

You making them STINK (though they probably did already) is justice for us all! Thank YOU!

Can't wait to see that vid you're sending!

Crutches?
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Slim Price
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1935 - 2006
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If all you can smell is the stink, then I reluctantly agree. It's a hard, dirty
life if you only can find the negatives... But... Why do you stay widdit?
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"
Kondini
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The pluses outway the negatives, I have found that like people who have experienced the work hold a special bond for each other.
I have unearthed the stink in order to let people know that it is not all Roses, it also goes with the territory like it or not and I feel that the whole picture should be shown not just the tinsel.

After thirty plus years of this I could proberly do nothing else, it bites you on the ass and you either love or hate it.
The stories that could be told of behind the scenes on tour would fill more books than the few hrs in the limelight would.

The trials and tribulations of being a Showman are a part of what makes a Showman,to do is to understand,to understand is to appreciate.
I have many tales in book form on my shelf at home,,,all have glamourised an unglamourus way of life,I feel this to be detramental to the true showperson but understandable for book sales.
As a forum of like minded people I wondered if any had tales of their problems on the road.

This is a hard but very lucrative biz, I have had many join us who always wanted to show,,,it is only when they experience the hardships that the full picture begins to take shape.
Maybe a few lines here would forwarn those with starry eyes.

Doug the diffs US and UK are disjointed.
At the Ren Fair in Annapolis we saw Axes and Knives being thrown by the punters,such would be jailed on the spot over here and to insure such a game would be impossible.
The live two headed Turtle would have been taken away and destroyed by the RSPCA (This organ actualy stopped us performing in Brighton with Monty our 20ft Python,the reason they gave was "The music around our performing area was detrimental to its health! The Chief Inspector Mr Mead of the RSPCA did not know that snakes are deaf and work on vibration!!!!).When challenged with the facts in writing they ran,I have heard nothing from these idiots since!).

When doing the blowouts with fire,more than one person has complained of fuel on their clothes (With a view to a claim) They have the whip end on my tongue when they do. In Baltimore (Harbour area)Fire blowing was being done on the streets!!

Mind you, we can`t get guns over the counter over here,,,maybe if we could then we would have the meens to protect ourselves from the crims who deal openly in firearms on the streets of Manchester and East London.

The Justice system here is to defend the crim,there are no support groups or justice for the victims,,,at least on the showgrounds a certain ammount of own justice can be exerted, justice many hundreds of years in the making born from the experience of survival.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Read "Memoirs of a Sword Swallower"...wonderful read...and as close as I want to get to actual carny life.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Kondini
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Dan Mannix good entertaining read,wonder what he`s doing now.
Bed of nails and Sanger`s book are also good especialy the bit about moving the dead around at night!!
Doug Higley
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Mannix book is terrific (also see hi book about Ancient Rome "We Who Are About To Die"...a different kind of show biz)

The other one that is my favorite is Jan Gregor's "Circus Of The Scars".

Kondini: Disjointed indeed. Busy Bodies are everywhere I guess in many guises.
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Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Then there's another Mannix book: "The History of Torture."
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
FLIM-FLAM
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Quote:
On 2005-06-09 18:34, Dr_Stephen_Midnight wrote:
Read "Memoirs of a Sword Swallower"...wonderful read...and as close as I want to get to actual carny life.

Steve


A fascinating look into an over looked world. Outstanding book, I couldn't put it down once I started reading it.
Todd Robbins
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Mannix kicked a few years ago.
Doug Higley
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I hop it was a Gold Bucket.
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Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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At the very least, it had to be the strangest bucket he could find...possibly still having the dents of previous kicks in it from the toes of P.T. Barnum and Robert L. Ripley.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Harry Murphy
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Kondini, when were you doing the Annapolis Ren Fair? You and I may have actually met there! There was a Brit performer 5 or more years ago who worked one of the stages for a couple of seasons. Did a nice smoke to glass (shades of Kaps!), some fire eating and a rope escape. Was that you? Of course that fellow had a full head of hair and a full beard? I was in the lanes doing simple magic stuff.

By the way, I may have been that fire breather you saw in Baltimore inner harbor. I did a fairly simple fire-eating act there for a while (in those days I was a short, muscular guy, now short and going to fat!). I also played a different character and did a magic bit. I would alternate the shows.

Other better paying fairs and festival ultimately conflicted with the Baltimore gig.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Todd Robbins
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Now, if you REALLY want to have some fun, buy this:

http://tinyurl.com/ayolc
FLIM-FLAM
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That would be one heck of a playground!!
Harley Newman
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I worked Inner Harbor a bit also. Every time I went there, it rained.
“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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1942 - 2022
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OK Todd...that was cruel...I've been saving up for a new hat when I go bald...now this...will you be my Live Show when I re-open the place?
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Todd Robbins
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Doug,if you buy it...they (and me) will come.
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