Escaping Reality Momentarily

[Originally written 5.22.03]

Did not want to waste the beautiful weather on Tuesday, so I took a trip down to Asbury Park.  Haven’t been there in years, so I had no clue of how to find the boardwalk.  Got a little lost, but then I found my way and I was just stunned; there’s not much else I can say.  Something about those abandoned buildings really call out to me – monuments of a moment in life where people once used the rotting structure for a specific purpose, and then just leave it really intrigues me.  Of course I had to take pictures and mainly focused on the elegant Convention Hall [which is in use and so much brighter than the other buildings] and the stunning turquoise facade of Palace Amusements.  The casino was so dilapidated and overgrown, yet enough of it remained where I got lost in imagination while creating scenes of what it must have been like when it was new. The hotels were deserted and not very friendly-looking, particular with boards covering every possible entrance way.  There was this partially built structure that stood as a steel and concrete eyesore to the failed revival of the area.  Should have stayed to photograph some of the run-down hotels, but I ran out of film.

Wednesday was shitty, but I went out anyway.  Rode the PATH into the City and took a walk to Tompkins Square Park.  Found a nice quite place to just sit and write for awhile, but then it started to rain.  While I certainly wanted to explore the City a little more, it was getting dark, so that will have to wait for another day.

Have been on an e-mail frenzy with Jon lately, and apparently there are plans on making Nickel Empire, as well as Outlaw Cirkus, more well-known to the masses.  Which obviously has me all sorts of excited.  What is Nickel Empire?  An independently owned and operated company from the underground scene, to support all local artists, musicians, performers and whatnot.

If you ever got up in the morning and didn’t want to go to work; if you ever cursed your job and spent every minute loathing it instead of working; if you ever got pissed off because you had to conform to the dress code of your employer, we want you.  We will employ those that ‘regular jobs’ refuse to.  Are you pierced, tattooed or otherwise modified?  Do you enjoy dying or cutting your hair in extreme styles?  Do you enjoy wearing extensions or creative wigs, just because it creates a happier mood?  Do you enjoy dressing comfortably in your own clothes, without being told that expressing yourself is ‘inappropriate’?  Come work for us.

It has been an honor to serve as an active member of both Nickel Empire and Outlaw Cirkus for the past three years.  We were a Family composed of various artistic personalities who worked together for the common goal of having fun.  We came from all walks of life and scenes, which made for interesting parties where ideas are voiced and listened to without prejudice.  There were no elitist attitudes, because that sort of thing can be found in plenty of other scenes and it certainly runs rampant in sideshow.  We had no need for high school mentalities or cliques or whatever.  That kind of defeats the purpose of having a scene where everyone is welcomed, because people should not feel as though they have to prove themselves.  Judging others based on appearance, interests or their level of knowledge on certain subjects is quite shallow and not the qualities we look for in potential troupe members.

Outlaw Cirkus has given me so many wonderful opportunities to perform in front of numerous audiences, and I loved every minute of it.  There is not much else in this world that makes me feel as happy and complete.  So now we would like to extend that opportunity to those who have always wanted their dreams to come true, because we were always a loving, caring and giving Family.  There is no one else that I trusted as much as my Family, and we all looked out for one another.  We were a roving pack of misfits set on continuing the traditions of circus, sideshow, burlesque and vaudeville in a society that has forgotten these crucial forms of Americana entertainment.

Then all of that came to a screeching halt earlier this month and I have kept all of these thoughts and raging emotions to myself because I cannot say anything to anyone.  My brother is hurting as much as I am, yet remains distant and distraught while I try to make sense of everything that happened.  Perhaps that was why I took that drive to Asbury, so I could find comfort somewhere there was not a single other person to bother me.


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