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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, PA
1356 Posts

Profile of handa
While trying to reach the demographic that either enjoys it or gets it, what do you do when that larger crowd of people who do not remember carnivals and sideshows as nostalgia are in the mix?

What do you do when that demographic/generation of people who worked actively to drive side shows into extinction is in the mix? You know, the people who use terms like "exploitation and rip-off" when describing your zibit/act.

Slim Price
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Inner circle
1935 - 2006
1326 Posts

Profile of Slim Price
Entertain them!

"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"
Doug Higley
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1942 - 2022
7165 Posts

Profile of Doug Higley
Good question Chris.

I found that they are in such small numbers that you can usually punt through it, even though they are loud and obnoxious...unless you are at a PBS convention or where ultra lefties gather to practice being over sensitive and easily offended and to fluff each other up with their false power trips and tales of when they were practicing Hall Monitors ie: self important snotty busy bodies...the one or two you might run into in the wild will be that way with just about anything not approved in the "Guide Book For Humorless Morons"

I NEVER ran into one when doing my Zibit shows. Not one...but I did when I was painting on skins and had my artwork at Flea markets etc and I've seen them at work around Circus lots etc.

Slim is try and bring up the entertainment aspects...if that doesn't work, treat them as any heckler or LIAR and trouble maker. They do not have a leg to stand on....and can be deflated with staunch reserve and the facts to back you up.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
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Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson

For a 'zibit, no one is making them go in. If they do, you have their money! If they are alone, or with their own kind, the worst that can happen is that you give them their money back if they ask. But if you take them along with a wink and a nudge, or by showing them you were taken in by the guy who sold you the 'zibit and YOU think it's real, they get to laugh at what a yokel you are, but you get to buy dinner with their money!

If they are wrecking the show for other folks, remember that it's your show. 'Zibits are performances too! Look at the street performer section for tips on hecklers.

The same goes for your act. I have never had this problem with my act. For some reason, artsy liberals love my act.

The folks who drove sideshows off, for the most part, have done us a favor. So few people have seen them that the public now lacks immunity and your show or 'zibit can sweep through the crowd like smallpox. Slim is right, as always: entertain them! It could be with the poetical words and cadence of your bally, the splendor of your banners, or the way your 'zibit resonates with their sensibilities: the Feejee Mermaid lets you preach about endangered species, the Atomic Death Worm plays on their nuclear guilt, and so on.

I like seeing older folks explaining to the young that they remember shows like this when they were kids. So maybe the kids with the tats and the piercings get to find out that Gramps is a little cooler than they thought.

See, the shows are a public service!

Open your heart, dazzle them, everything will be fine.


Todd Robbins
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New York
2920 Posts

Profile of Todd Robbins
I have never had that problem. Even when working with a dwarf or other human oddities, I haven't had a hard time. I might be that I am framing what I do and the people working with me as something special, something extraordinary. This makes the audience feel that they are experiences something good. There is no pity factor in any of this.
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Inner circle
3485 Posts

Profile of Mystician
Question -
Does this thread really belong here in the bizarre section ?
There is a sideshow forum here on the Café ..
Just hanging out with the rest of my fellow dregs.
http:// www . phrets . com
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Inner circle
1539 Posts

Profile of T-RAY
If you've been bizarre enough, just give them the evil-eye.....look right through their soul......then write something on a piece of small paper while looking back at them......and then burn it with a smirk on your face.....
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Inner circle
Pittsburgh, PA
1356 Posts

Profile of handa
Sorry, more side show than bizarre. I was toggling between both when I posted this.

If the topic can be moved to "Believe it or Not" I'd appreciate it.


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