Sideshow Musings

[Originally written 10.28.2002]

We should have been doing the horror show this afternoon, but a whole lot of rain came by to cancel those plans.  Jon has been passed out since I arrived and I am kind of afraid to disturb him. Instead, I just helped myself to a bit of weed and have a little too much time to think.  All I can do is mull over the things that I want to do, so figured that maybe write them down would help me form a plan of action.

Trying to generate interest for the remainder of our shows via the Internet is not creating much of a response.  Is the population of this state dead?  Or perhaps it’s just that no one cares?  The more I try, the more I am disappointed.   Then that thought occurs to me: Have I been cast out?

What I mean when I say that, is I have always had a feeling of not belonging ever since I was in grade school.  Yes, it goes that far back, because I had spent a year in public school before being enrolled in Catholic school, so that already made me different.  My parents were also divorced and showed up separately for Back To School Night, and doesn’t really look good when you are being taught about the sanctity of marriage and all that.  Oh, and all the girls came from wealthy families whereas I wore clothes from the thrift shop on Tag Day, which is where everyone wore what they wanted instead of uniforms for one day.  Needless to say that there were a lot of reasons kids had to pick on me, and while I just wanted to be left alone to write or draw, teachers took it upon themselves to tell the others to include me in their games.

Anyway, I had the usual high school experience I suppose.  Some people made fun of me, one girl took it upon herself to make it a mission to harass me for some odd reason and there were a select few I talked to who didn’t care about what I looked like.  The point is, I thought some of those acquaintances were friends but we don’t speak any more and maybe that is my fault, I don’t know to be honest.  It’s just that I was under the impression that doing things for other people would mean I could count on them to be there when I would like some support.  Boy was I wrong.

This is the reason I want to do sideshow more than anything.  Freaks.  Oddities.  Mistakes.  Nature’s cruel jokes.  They had many names and many faces; physical abnormalities that made people stare in horror, wonder and curiosity.  They were given a chance to make money by being exhibited to curious audience who paid to see them.  What others saw as burdens were used to make a living and something about that seems utterly brilliant.  Evidence has shown that they earned the most money and were treated very well.  In fact, I remember reading about how rival outfits were outbidding each other to have the best congress of human oddities.

In a society where people would rather shun them, lock them up in a mental hospital away from the ignorant stares of others, these so-called freaks were taken in and given a home.  Of course advances in medicine and science allow for most birth defects to be corrected and apparently putting people on display is considered exploitation.  Somehow I get confused about that because I see it happening on talk shows and I would honestly show way more compassion than some jerk with a microphone who just wants good ratings.  The sideshow may have changed from what it was, but there are plenty of people who are at least trying to keep this tradition alive.  There are new acts and evolution in body modification create appearances are more bizarre than ever before.  One can do whatever one wants with their body and I hold great admiration for those who chose to make themselves out of the ordinary.

The desire to join those ranks just grows and grows.  To perform for the masses; to entertain; to bring shock and wonder to all who see me.  With great pleasure, I will modify my body all I want, and you will all turn your little heads to stare.  While you are ordinary and blend in with the rest of the useless flesh, I will stand out because I can.

This is something that is in my blood, because I was born with sawdust in my veins.  There is confidence in the fact that I can succeed, because I know all the ins and outs of show business; what to do and what not to do on stage, as presence is very important. It’s all about being seen and heard to draw a crowd; if you entertain just one person, you have accomplished something.  All of these values and more have been instilled in me by one very amazing human being who has shared intimate information about circus and Carny life that does not exist in a book.

Doing these horror shows here in South Jersey have only fueled my desire and remind us of how much fun the Outlaw Cirkus shows once were.  To be quite honest, I would rather work with someone I can fully trust than recruit some rubes or hacks that are just in it for the money.  There are way too many things I want to discuss now, so I think I will take the risk of encountering a very cranky friend and go wake him up so I can do just that.


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