New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sideshow

The Coney Island Sideshow is one of the last vestiges of the old fashioned circus sideshows left anywhere. A number of performance artists have assumed characters of "freaks" and devoted themselves to developing their personas into such characters as Insectavora, the beautiful girl who eats insects, and blockheads like The Great Fredini and Scott Baker (The Twisted Shockmeister) who use their heads as a prop to perform acts such hammering nails up their noses and brain flossing. Some men are covered with numerous and elaborate tattoos and could vie for the Illustrated Man title. The whole operation is reminiscent of a book by Ray Bradbury called Something Wicked This Way Comes which shows what happens when a dark carnival comes to town and changes the people who come to see it in ways that they did not consciously seek or expect, some in possibly dangerous or undermining ways. It pays to be reminded of the dark side, laced with humor and intelligence, and the outdoor barker who gets you to open your wallet and come inside for the show is one more and possibly the last in a long tradition of folk performance artists.

11 comments:

luggi said...

Another great post, full of stuff!

Jazzy said...

Your posts are so interesting. Very nice colourful photo.

Heather said...

I loved the movie "something wicked this way comes" when i was a kid, if i ever make it out that way, ill have to check out the show :)

Brian said...

I am in the middle of reading the book "something wicked"again after not seeing it for decades...really is an old world that has passed away...
L

dutchie said...

I'd love to see one of those shows!

Brian said...

Dutchie;
You better have the stomach for it. I know many of these people - all extremely nice. But I never went to see these shows . Too extreme for me - these guys are the real thing - eating bugs, eating glass, blockhead stunts etc.
Brian

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