The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » I was interviewed...again! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Freak Prodigy
View Profile
Inner circle
NYC & LA
1805 Posts

Profile of Freak Prodigy
This time by my home State Paper.


September 23, 2006
‘Intriguing, but kind of gross’

W.Va. native talks about life as a teenage sideshow performer

By Lauren Oyler




“I like to think of myself as eccentric,” said fire-breathing, sword-swallowing, light bulb-eating Brett Loudermilk, a 17-year-old high school senior at North Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, N.C.

Eccentric may be an understatement. As a prominent figure in the sideshow community, it is Loudermilk’s job to be bizarre, freakish and weird.

After school and on weekends, instead of flipping burgers or bagging groceries, Loudermilk performs as a “sideshow freak.” His acts include breathing and eating fire, hammering 5-inch nails into his nose, walking on broken glass, eating light bulbs, lying on beds of more than 1,000 nails while someone breaks a cinderblock over his chest, swallowing and regurgitating razor blades, escaping from straitjackets and ropes, lifting weights from his pierced ears and smashing animal traps and soup cans on his hands. He is also able to overcome the human body’s three gag reflexes as one of the fewer than 100 known sword swallowers in the world.

The West Virginia native began dabbling in performance art at the tender age of 5 when he took up magic tricks. At age 8, he moved to North Carolina, and by the end of elementary school, he had already nabbed his first paying gig performing magic at a young girl’s birthday party.

“I made $20, but it was awful,” he said.

Then, six years ago, Loudermilk was working at the North Carolina Renaissance festival when he encountered a tightrope walker named Dextre Tripp. Tripp, who had experience in sideshow performing, proceeded to teach Loudermilk the art of fire breathing and became his mentor.

“In the beginning [of learning fire tricks], they tell you to not be afraid of the fire,” he said. “After you become proficient at it, they tell you to be very afraid of the fire. That’s so you don’t get too sure of yourself.”

Besides Tripp, Loudermilk counts voiceover artist Doug Higley, human blockhead originator Melvin Burkhart and Johnny Eck, “the amazing half-boy,” as his inspirations.

Loudermilk trains three to four times a week in order to stay in top physical condition to perform his acts. Though the risks involved in his job are enormous, he has suffered no major injuries while working, except for burning all of his nose hair once.

Despite the nose hair incident, he never regrets his decision to pursue the life of a sideshow performer. Granted, uncertain thoughts about his future as a performer have crossed his mind, but Loudermilk’s love for sideshow performing is apparent.

Plus, he says, “if I ever become homeless, I’ll never have to beg.”

Almost equally as miraculous as his lack of injuries is his parents’ approval of his unconventional job. He says they must have simply gotten used to his breathing fire in the back yard while riding a unicycle.

Over the summer, Loudermilk visited his grandparents in Kanawha City for a week. He had a grind show, a museum-type exhibit where a performer does stunts while customers observe, scheduled during his stay here, but that show was cancelled.

On Sept. 9, he was featured at Little John’s Tattoo Convention 2006 in Greensboro, N.C., where he awed tattooed onlookers with his acts. He was also featured breathing fire and modeling fall fashion in a two-page photography spread in the September issue of Charlotte Magazine

In the near future, the public may see Loudermilk as a part of the “Greatest Show on Earth.” He is currently negotiating a two-year contract with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

I like it.

Brett.
Blog:
http://www.bloudermilk.blogspot.com
_________________________________________
E-mail:
BrettELoudermilk@gmail.com
gsidhe
View Profile
Inner circle
Michigan
1726 Posts

Profile of gsidhe
This is so cool Brett...Great article.
Looking forward to working with you someday soon!
Gwyd
Bill Hallahan
View Profile
Inner circle
New Hampshire
3222 Posts

Profile of Bill Hallahan
Very cool. If you do end up in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, please let us know. I'll try to see you when the Circus comes to Boston.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
Doug Higley
View Profile
V.I.P.
Here and There
7173 Posts

Profile of Doug Higley
Since my other post magically disappeared...congratz young trooper.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
fbnc
View Profile
Loyal user
Memphis
227 Posts

Profile of fbnc
Very cool young Brett
Daniel Santos
View Profile
Special user
562 Posts

Profile of Daniel Santos
Congrats.! Seems to me as if you're on your way to becoming something big.
If it is to be, it is up to me.
Freak Prodigy
View Profile
Inner circle
NYC & LA
1805 Posts

Profile of Freak Prodigy
Thank you all.

I'm actually about to head down to a local coffee shop to be interviewed for a magazine, so I hope that goes well.


Brett.
Blog:
http://www.bloudermilk.blogspot.com
_________________________________________
E-mail:
BrettELoudermilk@gmail.com
balducci
View Profile
Loyal user
Canada
230 Posts

Profile of balducci
Quote:
On 2006-09-23 20:35, Freak Prodigy wrote:
He is also able to overcome the human body’s three gag reflexes as one of the fewer than 100 known sword swallowers in the world.

Is that just hype, or is sword swallowing really that rare?
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
Freak Prodigy
View Profile
Inner circle
NYC & LA
1805 Posts

Profile of Freak Prodigy
Yes...it is that rare.



Brett.
Blog:
http://www.bloudermilk.blogspot.com
_________________________________________
E-mail:
BrettELoudermilk@gmail.com
Destiny
View Profile
Inner circle
1429 Posts

Profile of Destiny
I gag when the doctor puts a depressor on my tongue so I am in awe of anyone who swallows.

As a kid I read a bio of a sword swallower in Readers Digest. The article talked about old carnies using neon swords that glowed and showed through their body.

According to the article sometimes the neon would break or explode and they were injured or killed. I don't have a perfect memory of the article as it's about 35 years since I read it. It's remained in the back of my head as an intriguing question ever since.

Does anyone know if they really used neon? I just love history.
Destiny
View Profile
Inner circle
1429 Posts

Profile of Destiny
Sorry - and I meant to add my congratulations.
ChristianR
View Profile
Veteran user
356 Posts

Profile of ChristianR
Congratulations! I hope you have a safe (as in not getting hurt, not, not taking risks) and successful future!

Christian
Tarbell!
Freak Prodigy
View Profile
Inner circle
NYC & LA
1805 Posts

Profile of Freak Prodigy
Yes, there are sword swallowers that use real neon swords, lots of them actually.


Brett.
Blog:
http://www.bloudermilk.blogspot.com
_________________________________________
E-mail:
BrettELoudermilk@gmail.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » I was interviewed...again! (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.18 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL