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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Books on Sideshow - Geek Stunts and 'Sideshow Magic' (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DavidEscapes
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Hi all

I was just wondering if anyone knows of or can recommend any book or books devoted to the above topics. I am trying to find out if there is anything out there that covers sideshow skills, stunts and 'tricks' such as fire eating, human blockhead, bed of nails, broken glass, razor blade eating, thread from stomach, needle swallowing etc as its main theme rather than just as a small sideline as in Swami Mantra and others.

And if there is not a manual of sideshow skills, stunts and tricks, why not?

Many thanks all

Duncan
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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Slim Price
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You must not have seen our site! There are truly all the performances shown here, along with endless professional help form people who really do them... Think of it as the book you're looking for. It will take some effort to read it all. Further, unlike a book, you can ask questions....
.http://www.sideshow-freaks.com/sideshow_discussion1/disc1_tocf.htm
Please sign the guestbook.http://www.sideshow-freaks.com/sideshow_discussion1/disc1_tocf.htm
Please sign the guestbook
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"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
DavidEscapes
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Hi

Actually, I have seen the site and visited many times. Its just that, in my own time as I sideshow and circus performer, as well as a bit of a magic 'dabbler' I have never seen a real solid manual on the subject. Something which might give a good firm grounding in the skills, both in the real sideshow stuff and the more 'magical' stuff; I am sure you know what I mean by those two descriptions. There are endless manuals of instruction in magic, books on sideshow history, books which contain some sideshow but mostly magic, books on individual circus skills such as juggling, tightrope, trapeze ect, books on escape arts and just about every other subject I can think of. But I cannot seem to track down even one book which shows how sideshow stunts are performed. I am aware that it would be dangerous to learn these things from a book, but I am still surprised one is not out there as a learning aid at least. Unless someone can point out one I am missing?

Many thanks

Duncan
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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Slim Price
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Here's the why not.... There is not enough interest to support the effort of a book. Much of what you read on our discussion groups are parts of a book I've been writing for a very long time. Now, imagine the liability involved when some kid tries to do almost any of the acts and injures him/her self. In this day of irresponsible people who would rather litigate than breathe, it just isn't practical.

Krista and I teach one on one, as do others such as Todd Robbins. We do not even charge a price, we open our home and treat
"students" as guests. All we ask is that you pay your own expenses. That way we can monitor what you do, and teach the DANGERS inherent in all the acts. Truly, we can teach things you might never have heard of, both in sideshow arts and magic, which often overlap.

Take about 4 days, pay your dues, and enjoy America's Finest City. BTW, <G> During the Superbowl, The temp was 91 degrees!
Slim & Krista/sanscan
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"The people who were dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music"
Dark illusionist
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What about the worse case scenario guide? They teach you how to jump off a building. which is a lot more dangerous than blockhead, or mind flossing. Magic books are available at most book stores and that's perfectly ok, but imagine what would happen to our art if a book came out called "Learn How to Swallow Swords and Eat Fire," etc.; it would kill us all. Unless, of course, it was only available online from Slim directly.

Jonathan
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DavidEscapes
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Hi all

So I guess there isn't the type of book I am looking for. But I guess you are right Slim, it probably has a LOT to do with litigious types and people with no common sense.

Having a good working knowledge of quite a few sideshow skills I was more interested to know about books out of curiousity than anything else. If I can ever make it to Coney or San Diego I would love the oppurtunity of tuition though. I have so much more to learn.

Many thanks

Duncan
David Victor - The artist formally (and still occasionally) known as David Straitjacket.

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Slim Price
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Quote:
On 2003-01-27 12:58, Dark illusionist wrote:
what about the worse case scenario guids. they teach you how to jump off a building. which is alot more dangerous then blockhead, or mind flossing. magic books are available at most book stores and that's perfectly ok byt imagine what would happen to our art if a book came out called leanr how to swallow swords and eat fire etc etc. it would kill us all. unless of course it was only available online of from slim directly.

Jonathan
I would not teach you online, nor would any other responsible teacher. There is stuff out there, I think I've seen most, if not all of it. I just do not want it on my head....No, it won't kill you, but it can poison you, burn you, and can give you cancer. All three have happened to me, as well as needing to have a prosthesis in my throat so I can pretend to have a voice, and living in a wheelchair... These things are less fun than you might think....
Slim Price.

Quote:
On 2003-01-27 14:18, Straitjacket Guy wrote:
Hi all

So I guess there isn't the type of book I am looking for. But I guess you are right Slim, it probably has a LOT to do with litigious types and people with no common sense.

Having a good working knowledge of quite a few sideshow skills I was more interested to know about books out of curiousity than anything else. If I can ever make it to Coney or San Diago I would love the oppurtunity of tuition though. I have so much more to learn.

Many thanks

Duncan



Thank you for understanding... There are many wonderful old acts/arts that have been forgotten or corrupted, and, sincerely, I'd love to share them. Krista (the beautiful Brit) and I put people up, feed them and teach, at no cost.
Our budget is limited and we are very ordinary, we just love the sideshows and do not wish to see it all die. Our door is literally always open.
Slim & Krista
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"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"
DRPEPPER
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The best book out there on sideshow is the "Shock and Amazed" book by Tayler. Some of the first are out of print, but he has writen a few new ones, I understand.
Slim Price
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While I agree that the best book on sideshows is S&A, It is not a collection of How-to, for sideshow arts. My wife and I have all of them, including the new collection.
You can buy them online from Shocked and Amazed. I suggest if you want them, buy them as soon as they come out, James Taylor just makes them available for a relatively short time. More about it?
.http://www.sideshow-freaks.com/sideshow_discussion1/disc1_tocf.htm
Please sign the guestbook
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"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"
Ellen Kotzin
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I would suggest watching Jim Rose's Sideshow (TWISTED TOUR) on the Travel Channel if you have satellite or something...it just began.

Ellen
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kuffs
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I have 3 books that you may be interested in Straitjacket guy, some are rare books to find.

- SideShow and animal tricks
by Hereward Carrington, $25.

- Geek Magic
By Dr. Doom, $25.

- Miraculous Hindu Feats
By Joseph Ovette, $5.

Will sell only in a set of 3, not separetely sorry

ALL PRICE SHIPPING INCLUDED

KUFFS
Kondini
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Hi, Stranger Than Fiction (D Lever) Supreme publication. Thrilling Magic (Still a few copies around). These are books on how to, use some of the methods and end up dead!!
stine
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I learned to swallow a sword from a book "How to Eat Fire and Swallow Swords". There is also a rare book "Geek Magic" by Dr. Doom I got years ago but unfortunately you'll probably never find it. I never have seen another one

Just noticed, kuffs HAS Geek Magic. You'll like it.
rondasue
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Houdini's Miracle Mongers is okay as far as books go.

On slim's site there was a somewhat spirited discussion about brushwood's fire eating book.
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Abbott's Magic Co. in Colon, Michigan used to sell a book called "Thrilling Magic." I think they have repackaged it with a few other novelty magic booklets. You might call them.

Another book I'd recommend, not just for techniques, but for a good read on carnival life in general, is "Memoirs of a Sword Swallower" by Daniel P. Mannix.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
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