Nickel Empire Variety Arts
President, American Circus and Sideshow Historian
May 2000 – Present | Pinelands, NJ
Founded as a parent company to Outlaw Cirkus, NEVA has stood as a sponsor, promoter and supporter of the freedom expression and the many ways people choose to filter their feelings through various forms of art. Today it continues to seek individuals to collaborate on creative projects with in order to safeguard these arts for posterity. The main focus is preservation and education of circus, sideshow, burlesque, vaudeville and related arts through live performance, lectures, workshops, printed magazines, blogs, photography, film and other forms of media.
Owner, Superior Sword Swallower
May 2000 – Present | Pinelands, NJ
Organizer of events in South Jersey, which ranged from basements and backyards to the Pine Barrens. Promotional advertising via word-of-mouth, print fliers, private invitations and now e-fliers. The troupe is constantly evolving and aims to bring the tradition back to live performance by utilizing the aesthetics commonly associated with classic circus and sideshow acts blended with contemporary themes for a unique experience.
June 2006 – October 2007
Theatrical presentation of circus, sideshow and burlesque acts as vignettes between sets of live music provided by the Hydrogen Jukebox. Various skills were displayed for audiences as part of the Clowncentric Sideshow. Though hosted at the Ellen Powell Tiberino Museum in Philadelphia, PA, the troupe also performed at events in Brooklyn where thousands of people packed warehouses. Also put up posters, handed out fliers and did guerilla street performances as promotion for the events.
Great American Circus Sideshow
July 2005 – December 2005
Set up and tore down two tents and banner lines. Tended ticket box duties, showcased on the bally stage with various large snakes and performed several working acts on the inside stage. Collected tips for the Blow-Off and assisted with general duties.
January 2005 – May 2008
Created following Reverend Saint Jon’s retirement from all aspects of show business. Showcased 10-in-1 style acts throughout NJ and NY, with a brief hiatus during the time spent traveling with the carnival. Though partners had been taken on, there was no replacement for the late, great showman and so the name was dropped in favor of solo performances.
Curiosities From the Wilds Of Weird New Jersey
August 2003 – October 2004
Organized invite-only events, which included animal oddities, medical anomalies, a gallery of photographs depicting historical human curiosities, the Atlantic City Mermaid and live performances of selected sideshow acts with occasional guest appearances. Other artifacts collected from various regions of the Garden state were also displayed, and monthly lectures focused on local urban legends.
CHARITY AND VOLUNTEERING
Magic Garden Annual Gala
Benefit For Uriah & Quentin
Bindlestiff Family Cirkus
January 2004 – February 2004
Operated museum front four days a week, talking to patrons about the contents and promoting nightly shows. Answered phone, scheduled reservations and attended general ticket box duties. Served beverages and snacks in rear theater for select shows. Exhibited pickled punks and tended general maintenance duties.
Guinness Book of World Records
Swallowed sword hand forged by Thomas Blackthorne on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum; #35.
Coney Island Sideshow School
Attended two week course headed by Todd Robbins at Sideshows by the Seashore, where the mechanics of several sideshow acts were taught to the small class. Guest lecturers included the Great Fredini, Tyler Fyre, Ses Carny, Marie Roberts and Dick Zigun.