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Topic: Post your stories as they happen, here !!
Message: Posted by: Kondini (May 27, 2008 03:24PM)
Thought it would enlighten if those of us who are working this meat could post their factual stories here !!!

OK I shall open with,,,6 weekends down the road with multiple shows at Moredon Hall for the aristocrats and commoners mixed (Not a good idea !!) Then onto smaller venues where Polish people thought I had steel inserts grafted into my feet,,,then last weekend to Clapham Common London and the Borough of Lambeth >>> Health and saftey closed down the Dodgem Track and evicted them from the site!!! Reason,,such rides attract the wrong type of people !!! Woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of a Firework Display !!! Saw nothing,,,other than twenty plus armed Police Units scurrying around like ferrets,,,,next morning we were told that there was a gang, gun battle taking place,,,two shot (Fireworks haha) So we opened to around 36 general public who had the bottle to come (40,000 attended last year)Closed the show at 1.30pm,,,had 3 kids watching my first show of the day !!!Opposite me an act from the USA http://www.dockdogs.com who worked to themselves !! We lost over £1000 in take,,,,Showbiz. The Zibb made £2 that day,,,gotta be a record in tere somewhere.

Still there is always next week !

Message: Posted by: Gemeanii (May 27, 2008 06:56PM)

Sounds like a bad break - gotta "take the good with the bad" I suppose is the lesson.

Most important, one must be enjoying the trip.

I had loads of fun working a haunt last October... Maybe I should post a link to the YouTube Clip...

Message: Posted by: ReggieB (May 27, 2008 07:01PM)
On 2008-05-27 16:24, Kondini wrote:
twenty plus armed Police Units scurrying around like ferrets

great visual:)

I have a couple good shows in the short time ive been around that should be good for laughs....word to wise- don't drill air holes in the plastic tub youre carried on stage in....
Message: Posted by: The Village Idiots (May 27, 2008 08:48PM)
I told a big old story then clicked submit. Realizing your looking for Hot Press, I then came back to delete it but couldn't.

Message: Posted by: Kondini (May 28, 2008 11:09AM)
Come on 77 visits and no up to the minet stories !!!
Am I the only idiot out there working ? Every show venue has its happening so with 40 venues a season should get plenty of info.

OK heres another >>> Couple gigs back Stoke Goldington Steam Rally,,, There was Dr Death of Freak Show fame,,,getting a ticket for loseing his lucky dip Wishing well in the middle lane of the M6,,,, It dropped off his truck >>> He traveled to the next intersection (12 miles) Did a U turn,,, traveled back 16 miles >>> did another U turn back onto the M6,,,got back to where the Dip was (By now placed on the hard shoulder) Re loaded it and off again to the show.

The old bill caught up with him at Goldington,,,presented him with an on the spot fine,,,he paid it from his Dip take of the day >>>> As the Police departed,,his very large pet parrot told them to ***K off,,, I thought my knickers would never dry !!!


Message: Posted by: Josh Peters (May 28, 2008 11:23AM)
Did my first ren faire last weekend with a fellow performer. One of the bits is a rope escape. The audience members tying me up got a little carried away and tied us both together. We made it work with humor and got an excellent crowd reaction but I have some bruises to show for it. Have to have a talk with my partner about safety…

Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (May 28, 2008 11:41AM)
WOWO Dr Death - how is he Ken - You seen him since the steam fair I came to see you at?

Has he got his new motor home yet? Courtesy of the police?
Message: Posted by: Gemeanii (May 28, 2008 10:28PM)

So it was for a good cause, and not for the money (sometimes you do it for the art, the practice, or the karma), but I had a great time on Monday evening.

My girlfriend’s niece was on the national championship winning team of the Academic Decathlon (Google it). The team was invited to Washington DC to visit the White House and Capitol. They rolled it into a whole 4 day excursion and we invited then to visit us on the farm and have some good old fashioned Southern Maryland fun and hospitality with about 30 – 40 family and friends.

As the afternoon wound into evening, the team did a few of their speeches, the sun was getting low and I decided to “challenge their brains” a bit in my own special way. Very bright kids, accepted to major Ivy League schools, their whole lives ahead of them and I’m talking about “limiting beliefs” and how the brain believes something is impossible (because that’s how we’ve been taught) so the brain prevents the body from giving 100% and failure results simply because we believe we can’t.

Anyway, I went on to challenge these kids to question anything they think they cannot do and as example did quite a few things they REALLY did think were impossible. I had the pre med girl pull the nail out of my nose – She was cringing all the way… I had the former Eagle Scout do the tying for the Knot Escape Challenge…(I need to talk to his scout master). The shy germ phobic girl who couldn’t watch the balloon going into my nose was carried up and forced to pull it out – A souvenir she didn’t want… The physics student was called upon to examine the integrity of the bed of nails, and the glass – “It appears to be quite normal and as one would expect” … No one wanted to mess with my traps, but one uncle did come up to extricate me to everyone’s’ relief. They really seemed to enjoy fire. They were quite stumped with sword walking, the blades were sharp, and my feet were ugly but unprepared… even worse, unharmed.

In the end, they all had a lot of questions and I was left with the very real sense that I had affected each one of them in a disturbing but significantly positive way. Even the chaperone (the superintendent of the county school system) had several questions and indicated her approval of the message I was trying to send. Don’t limit yourself by believing you can’t… “If you thought any of the things you just saw were impossible, what other things in your life do you not attempt because you also believe they cannot be done? – Go and DO!” – In the words of the Jedi master (more or less) “Do, or don’t do – there is no try”.


Message: Posted by: drwilson (May 29, 2008 06:34AM)
So, summer comes late here, but one of the local halls has an annual rummage sale to help keep the place from falling down. Mainers are a cheap bunch, you can't count on them to toss anything in the hat for a street show, especially if they are there to save a quarter on a wooden spoon. So, it was the Feejee Mermaid Show for me. The forecast was showers, but what the heck. I set my 10' x 10' tent up with The Wonder of 1842 on the inside. Not a bad day, I think some popped in just to get out of the rain. People love the mermaid. No beefs, certainly no shootings, smiles and hugs all around at the end.

The next day (May 18) I ran the Flea Circus as the warm-up act for a magic contest. The magicians weren't counting on a pitch at the end, but people should know by now that when Dr. Wilson shows up, you can expect to have a big smile on your face as you open your wallet. I am the only guy there who made any money. It just never occurred to any of these guys to trim the sheep. Again, no complaints, smiles and happy kids all around. Photos here:


Do, or do not, there is no try, indeed.


Message: Posted by: Kondini (May 29, 2008 07:37AM)
Nice one,,,,love the Flea Circus,,,,have used mine as a come on for the Zibb, try it, it works a treat.
Is that a Noon ?

Message: Posted by: drwilson (May 29, 2008 08:26AM)
Dear Ken,

I got the Walt Noon DVD, CD, and book set, which served as an inspiration, but this one is completely home-built. More here:


I love the fleas, but the fans are even better. Please see:



Message: Posted by: Kondini (May 29, 2008 05:41PM)
Got ya,,,,third from the left gets my vote!!!

Nice set up Doc,,,just took delivery of a Martin Duffy Circus,,,fantastic if a little costly!!!

Message: Posted by: Gemeanii (May 29, 2008 09:00PM)
Very nice Doc,

I remember digging around your site several months ago when I was thinking aobut getting my own circus. I also got Walts' package. It is nice in a lot of ways, but when (if) I get around to construction there are some things I'll be wanting to do differently as well. Your work looks really first rate and having seens Walts stuff I can see bits of his ideas were part of the genisis for what you've done. I think the tats are totally inspired! Great marketing move!

Message: Posted by: abigkahuna/1 (May 30, 2008 12:14AM)
Stories, yeah we got stories....

How about at Yuma County Fair last year. This happened right out the door past Jimbo, who was pitching magic. I was in my grind show with the chupy along the midway and heard the story a bit later...

Anyway, there was a calf tied up at the wash rack and a family was picnicing nearby. Billy decided to go over and pet the calf. Nuzzling it behind the ear. The calf was licking him. Mom told him to lay -off and come back and eat. But no, little Billy wanted more of the calf. THe nuzzling and licking continued and before you knew it, Billy dropped his trousers and let the calk have at it...

Grandma was reported so say, "Billy, knock it off, you aren't at home."

A gasp was released by all eyewitnesses.

A true story of the fair...
Message: Posted by: heartbreakheathermarie (May 30, 2008 10:20AM)
On 2008-05-30 01:14, abigkahuna/1 wrote:
THe nuzzling and licking continued and before you knew it, Billy dropped his trousers and let the calk have at it...

You mean to say the calf Ate his Trousers?!! Whoa! That IS a wild story! I hope he wasn't too cold without pants on :)

(blinks with wide-eyed innocence)
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jun 8, 2008 04:00PM)
OK still nobody working !!

Just had three days at West Park in the centre of Wolverhampton.

Day one >>> A little Asian boy around 9 years old was handling the goods while sat on his cycle !!! Bing bango,,,he lifted £65 worth, shuved it down his T shirt and peddaled like the clappers out of hell with me trying to catch him on foot !!!

Police reported >>>> Nothing done (Kid too young to prosecute!!!) But as far as Im concerned he was the right age for a thick ear >>>> They know the law better than the grownups and get away with it.

Asleep in the van on day 2 >>> 11pm,,,all hell let loose with security running around like blue assed flies,,,,, at the end of the Park a large Gang of Asians were at odds with an equaly large gang of Russians !!!

What next!

It seems the way things are going over here,,,,showbiz !!!

Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 10, 2008 11:29AM)
Ok...This was a rough weekend.
We were doing a festival in Wisconsin, we had three shows a day scheduled plus was doing a little walkaround stuff.
First day of the festival, we did our first two shows, the crowds were on the way up and things were looking good.
Then the word started to spread- Tornados were spotted about 10 miles away, time to flee the grounds. Everything for the rest of the day was cancelled.
Sylver and I threw all of our gear into the trailer, hooked it up and drove back to the hotel where we were staying, figuring that we would be better off away from the waterfront. We parked the stuff outside our hotel window and sat watching the storm come in.
Walls of water, high winds and lightning that arced from horizon to horizon.
It was an amazing storm...I love this sort of thing.
At least I did until our SUV was struck by lightning.
Yep. We were watching out the window when lightning came down, forked out and danced over the wet outside of the SUV. It was so loud and so close that Sylver literally fell over from the sound.
The same bolt of lightning also hit the hotel and set off all of the fire alarms and damaged some of the rooms on the second floor.
I looked out at the truck in disbelief. No way it could have hit the truck...Sylver was insistant. It had struck her vehicle.
The storm let up for a bit, so I went out to check things out and hopefully get some food. I looked at the truck...it seemed fine. Not a mark on it.
I got in and started it up.
EVERY single warning light that the thing had was lit. All of them. I tried to drive it to see what was going on. It would not move more than 2 miles per hour.
I got out and looked at the pavement underneath the frame. There were huge black spots in the grey cement where it had been melted into something that resembled volcanic rock. The lightning had traveled around the wet car like a fariday cage and blew itself out into the pavement.
My first thought was "Dang. We should have left the trailer at the fairgrounds. We have shows to do tomorrow...Oh yeah...and we need to figure out how to get home."
We managed to get a friend to tow the trailer back to the fairgrounds to finish up the weekend. The rest of the shows went really well, we made a lot of people happy and we made it out safe and fairly intact...But the truck...
The cars computer is totally fried and they are still trying to figure out what other damage occured. I am back in Michigan with a rental, the truck and half of my show is 330 miles away in Wisconsin.
Hopefully they will have it fixed up by next weekend so we can go pick it up for the gigs coming up.

All I can think now is "What are the odds?"
Gwyd the annoyed but still amused
Message: Posted by: crisgal (Jun 10, 2008 03:27PM)
Hey Gwyd sorry about the truck. It was a crazy weekend up here. The tornado passed very close to my building, it was scary. I thought I lived in the city?
Please let me know when you come to Wisconsin. I would've loved to have seen youguys! Also PM me if there is anything I can do to help, since I'm close to your stuff.
much love and better luck,
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 10, 2008 03:39PM)
Thanks Cris!
Where in Wisconsin are you? We were in Port Washington and the tornados that touched down nearest to us were in Beaver Dam. Funny though...My final show last year at this same festival was canceled for the same reason- Tornados.
You would think I would get a clue.
My trailer is fairly safe for the week, all locked up and tarped. We'll be back up there to pick it up Saturday.
Lessee...the next time I will be performing anywhere in the area will be Elgin Il in August. I'll send you details if that is in your traveling range.
I wasn't alone at this festival though...There was a Higley Mer there as well. Hairysmoo(Real name Josh-scroll up a few posts) had the perfect Hig set up and we got to chat a little bit.
Always nice to meet someone from the Café!
Message: Posted by: Josh Peters (Jun 10, 2008 08:49PM)
Gwyd! One of my good friends and co-workers who was at the festival with her two kids asked me if I had heard about the car that had been struck by lightning. I never dreamed it would have been your vehicle.
We ended up in flooded Columbus where we stayed the night, on our way back to the flooded kickapoo valley. What a weekend!
Message: Posted by: crisgal (Jun 11, 2008 01:16PM)
Hey Gwyd,
I met you at the SSG, maybe you remember - the Brasssilian? I lurk here while I struggle with the simplest magic tricks you can imagine - not where my talents lay, to say the least :)
I'm in Milwaukee, I never thought I'd hide from a tornado in the city. Again let me know if you need anything, mi casa é su casa! I will definitely drive to see you and Sylver - do keep me posted.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 11, 2008 01:30PM)
That Cris?
Oh my gosh!! Of course I remember you!
You should put up an avitar! I would have spotted you right away.
We'd love to have you come see a show!
I'll PM you in a sec!
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Jun 11, 2008 07:26PM)
So is that kind of thing covered by your insurance, or is it an "act of God?"

And if so, what did Sylver do to **** off God so much?
Message: Posted by: Sylver Fyre (Jun 12, 2008 05:27PM)
Hey! Just because I dance like the devil and do other things as such, does not mean he's go it out for me. My insurance company is saying it's covered under my comprehensive... I haven't asked them if they will send the bill for my deductable to God, since it was his act. =)
I just think my car is cursed from the previous owner (I have owned this car for about 7 months and this is my second insurance claim, the first being an accident that was found the other drivers fault). Bad mojo. Nothing a few witch doctors can't fix (if it isn't totaled) Hmmm... maybe I can get a few bizarists to cleanse my car. . .
So my claim adjuster is not being helpful and currently the preliminary estimate is in the $5000 range, that's just to get a lot of the modules fixed (For you car geeks: Engine control mod, 4 wheel drive mod, idle air control mod, altnator is burned up, ABS mod, and trans mod) Then we will see what else needs replacing... They may end up totaling it out if it gets too high so I'm starting to panic on getting our show stuff back in time for next weekend. I got a rental I was going to return to WI thinking that my car would be ready no longer then two weeks. Maybe someone in Milwaukee with a hitch is up for a road trip to MI? I'll meet you in Milwaukee =)

Sylver Fyre, the girl who attracts lightning
Message: Posted by: crisgal (Jun 12, 2008 05:58PM)
Hey Sylver, I'm in Milwaukee and will start asking around about a hitch. If I can get the car/truck I'll definitely do the driving, it would be the perfect excuse to see you :)
Message: Posted by: Sylver Fyre (Jun 13, 2008 08:18PM)
Awww thank you Cris, you are so sweet but I have found a solution. My father (who lives in the Detroit area) wants to play hero so he is driving out there to pick up my trailer, after all I am his youngest and only daughter. So Gwyd and I are going to meet him in Milwaukee and drop off the rental and we will all drive back singing show tunes along the way... Okay maybe no show tunes but I am excited about being able to stop at the Mars Cheese Castle again! They have some yummy cheese!!

Cris, Gwyd and I would both love see you again. We will have to meet up when I go back to pick up my car when it's fixed. I will keep you posted on when that will be!

The Cheesy, The Electric,

Sylver Fyre
Message: Posted by: crisgal (Jun 15, 2008 10:10AM)
Sylver your dad is awesome :) Check your PMs, let's meet!
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jun 16, 2008 06:49AM)
I guess the stories here are supposed to be about hardship, but Bohemian Cirko in St. Paul was just plain fun. I roomed with Harley at the Embassy Suites, kind of a stretch from sleeping in a possum belly. Harley and I had a time to catch up and kick around ideas. We had fun watching each other perform. The show was easy! We were inside at high ticket prices, and everybody was happy. We raised a lot of money for a good cause, and got to meet some great people.

Check out our new friends Mango and Dango:


Crisgal made a long trip to catch the show, now that is what you call a fan of the art!

OK, so here is a story, not really a hardship story. I had some very unusual baggage on the flight out, and let the TSA folks know that the checked bags would look funny on the screener. I offered to show them a contract and all that, but they just waved me on. I had to wear my top hat because it is too big to pack. I also told them that one of the TSA staff at the airport, who everyone knows is a magician, knows me. In fact, he is the current President of our I.B.M. Ring.

So, if a guy wearing a top hat says that he is on his way to a show, has odd baggage, is wearing a top hat, and drops the name of one of the TSA staff, common sense would say that by calling attention to himself, it is unlikely that his motives are nefarious. However, the TSA has its own way of looking at things, and I was selected for the high-level search.

So, I assume the position and get the full search. The handheld metal detector is very touchy and even goes off for the little rivets on my jeans. When we are all finished, I let the guy know that my friend in the TSA once did the full metal detector search on me before I did the Chrysalis escape. The screener had heard the story, and in the telling it has become quite a bit better. He and the other screeners had a nervous laugh, convinced that I could still walk through walls after their top-level search. But really, I just wanted to get to Minnesota!


Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jun 16, 2008 04:47PM)
I can testify that Paul has no clue of the dangers of a possum belly. I'd rather visit with the former than the latter.

Perhaps the least that can be said of possum bellies, is that they can keep off the rain. One time, I was taking some signs from one, and scraped my knuckle. The area was often damp, as urine leaked down, from the gorilla who inhabited the trailer. I got blood poisoning. It was scary. The red streaks climbed my arm as I watched. Fortunately, I was able to get to a doctor in plenty of time, and some massive antibiotics brought it under control.
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Jun 16, 2008 11:24PM)
Had the same experience from scraping my foot in a summer camp pool were I was a lifeguard. Gorilla pee, child pee, 99% genetically identical.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jun 23, 2008 05:05PM)
OK so from the posts so far it`s all doom and gloom,,,, two weeks down the line >> Cambridge the home of learning,,,,plus home to junkies, dossers and drunks. Its 4;30 am,,,me fast asleep,,,the van starts to move and shake!!! Out I shoot to find a young "Lady" !!! Naked from waist to ankle,,,,out of her cobbs on drugs haveing a pee against the side of my home!!!! Wrong sex to clout,,,so verbals followed (There were sentry toilets not 20 feet away),,,she obliviouse to my rants,,along comes the boyfriend also stoned with mouth a slurr and fists going like a windmill. Security beat me to him,,,end of a good nights kipp.

Now to Berkley Castle Estate,,,a week has passed,,,damn me if 4;30 am comes around again >>>> Bang at the back of the van >>>> Two drunk Traction Engine drivers had nicked a sweet trailer and hitched it onto my vehical for a laugh >>> Ha ***** ha,,,, 4;30 am ,,, got my own back the next day, a box of 50 smoke bombs found their way into their engine boiler vat,,,,haha Showbiz !!!

Roll on 4;30 am next Saturday at Alfreton Notts show,,,,Im staying awake all B***dy night !!
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jun 25, 2008 10:39AM)
To mention >>> Glad I cleaned up over here with the Zibbs when I did,,,,this next weekend will see 3 of Dougs babies within 100 miles of each other and the UK is only a little Island.

What next Polish or Zibb take over !!! Immigration complaints on there way.

Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jun 25, 2008 12:33PM)
Ken that is SO OBVIOUS everyone in the USA knows that the UK is so smll you can walk up and down it in an afternoon - its only 30 miles across - its tiny (sorry quaint!). Also we know eveyong in london - its like "oh your from England - so you know john in London" .... of course it don't help that the likes of me reply "yes John hes a great laugh - eveyone knowns John!) :)
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jun 25, 2008 12:33PM)
PS wish you had got a video of the smokle bombs in teh traction engine - I would love to have seen their faces! :)
Message: Posted by: ReggieB (Jun 25, 2008 12:45PM)
On 2008-06-25 13:33, dave_matkin wrote:
Ken that is SO OBVIOUS everyone in the USA knows that the UK is so smll you can walk up and down it in an afternoon - its only 30 miles across - its tiny (sorry quaint!). Also we know eveyong in london - its like "oh your from England - so you know john in London" .... of course it don't help that the likes of me reply "yes John hes a great laugh - eveyone knowns John!) :)

do you know rene? dark hair, big smile?

Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jun 25, 2008 01:01PM)
Big jugs as well?

If yes - I think she works in the pub down the road - they are always serving 4 pint jugs there.

Sorry I am being very crude tonight! I would give myself a slap on the wrist but it may excite me too much.......

I'm off to take a cold shower
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jun 25, 2008 03:36PM)
Yeh I know Rene,,,,,wears mini skirts and boob tops,,,,,nice bloke,,,shame about his ginger beard though !!!
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jun 25, 2008 05:15PM)
OH that rene - I thought you meant the othe one (damn I wish tehse americans would get with it - there are more the two renes over here! - same with John there is a second and a third one up un manchester as well!). Luckily we don't have too many names duplicated (we can make up our selves not nick em like the yanks).
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jun 30, 2008 08:50AM)
Another weeks shows done and dusted,,,with the Bouncer being to the fore!!

Ok the bouncer is a guy who has a very small (6`x4`) Sweet trailer,,,known for bouncing into and out of shows getting trade rental free.

So bouncer fails to book in advance at the Swadlincote Festival of Leisure,, just turns up very early in the morning and gets a pitch,,,,right in dead mans corner. Kicks up a fuss so bounces out of there and travels 60 miles north to our show in Nottinghamshire. Bounces in as a late cummer,,,trades for the day and promises to pay his rent at the end of the weekend.

Next morning after only one days tradeing,,,we arise at 9am,,,bouncer has vanished,,,again and has bounced himself into the Pickering show 30 miles on from us,,,trades for the day,,,then ,,,guess what !!! that's the bouncer,,,as yet no one knows his real name or where he comes from.

They seek him here, they seek him there,,,they seek the bouncer everywhere.

On a more miserable note,,, the Notts Fest of Steam held at Alperton was a complete waste of time,,, loads of attractions,,,vast press but no punters through the gate,,,,followed by torrential rain at 2.30pm on the Sunday this killed it completely.

Out of twelve performances booked and paid for we only did two. The Zibb took £30 on the Saturday so we struck it in the evening and the swag stall only cleared £200,,,what with our costs at £120 we made a living as fee only at this event. Roll on Thursday to Bromyard Gala (16th year) Better weather please and thousands of punters.

Found out Cadell has bought the rights to Sooty !!! £500,000 Where do these Showmen find that sort of money!!! Maybe the HSBC or Halifax !! His number 2 unit of Zibb display (German make and the finest multi unit I have ever seen) Is to be on the market but I am sure he would have sold it private within a week. This unit is the bees knees and Mother of all show units 14`x10` and goes down to 4`x3` in seconds,,,Lambert of Germany make,,,yes expensive but last a lifetime and multi function. Only one I have seen here in the UK.

Showbiz !
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jul 7, 2008 03:04AM)
OK another week under the belt,not a lot to report on Bromyard Gala other than weather was real bad and the Donkey Derby was poor in attendance.

Highlight of the weekend being,,,,, Teenager beat the crap out of his Donkey,,,Donkey bit him on the ass,,,teenager ended up in A & E,,,Justice!

Off we go again.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jul 7, 2008 05:45AM)
Still inside work and no real hardships here. We marched in the Independence Day parade in Bar Harbor. Professor Miller and I worked the sides of the crowd, and handed out 1500 pitch cards with our show schedule. To create interest we had a shimmy of bellydancers march with us (I think "shimmy" is the right collective noun for bellydancers; maybe you are thinking "giggle," but you'd be way wrong, "smolder" would be a better word along those lines).

So I get to talk to the crowd while handing out the cards. They are all looking over my shoulder at the bellydancers, so I say, "They swing and they sway. They shimmy and they shake. They jingle and they jangle, and everything moves this way and that way. It's a show that you'd enjoy very much, sir."

For the last bit I always make eye contact with a gentleman. They get a poke in the ribs or a laugh from the wife, and sometimes a friend says, "Well, he's got you figured out."

You know, it's not exactly mentalism in this instance.

So now the various bellydancers are fighting about who gets to be in the show and on what dates. The pay is really lousy, but they want to shake it in front of regular people instead of just each other.

Saturday, July 5, we had people show up at our performance holding their pitch cards and asking for more for their friends. We are collecting video testimonials after the show for a promo reel.


Message: Posted by: ReggieB (Jul 7, 2008 01:22PM)
On 2008-07-07 04:04, Kondini wrote:
Highlight of the weekend being,,,,, Teenager beat the crap out of his Donkey,,,Donkey bit him on the ass,,,teenager ended up in A & E,,,Justice!

Off we go again.

I wonder how one feels after beating up a donkey...
did people break it up? its a shame donkeys don't have sharper teeth :(
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jul 13, 2008 04:40PM)
Back from 3 days at Rempstone Rally on the A6006 (This is where 6 kids got killed in a head on smash with a lorry) So the turn out of sick people wishing to view the remains of a death smash,,,,,brought the punters into our show!!!

Day 1,,heavy rain but punters came just the same.

Day 2 lovely jubbly weather with record crowds and speckies a hundred deep at the shows,,,,,talking with NTEC members it seems that live entertainers for showgrounds are in short supply,,,nope they cant get self contained acts willing to travel for love nor money,,,,so when I hear magicians winging about low fees and no interest, then I scratch me bum in wonder!
Truth is, they don`t want to work for their cash.

They wanna stay clean ! Sleep in their own beds ! Not use sweat ! Not travel more than a couple of miles ! So the UK is right now,,,,up for grabs show wise,,,wish I could split meself into 4 and do 4 gigs a week at the same time,,,= 4 wages=Eldorado!

Strange Thing grossed 2000 plus in three days (Now aint that strange!!).

Down the road.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jul 13, 2008 06:41PM)
And remember kids, 2,000 gross for Ken means about $3,750 for us the the US
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Jul 13, 2008 09:49PM)
Whoa, whoa, whoa--you mean every time Ken makes 2000 quid, we each get $3750?

Well, what are you waitin' for K-man? Get your ahrse out there and earn me some money!
Message: Posted by: ReggieB (Jul 14, 2008 09:45AM)
On 2008-07-13 22:49, Stephon wrote:
Whoa, whoa, whoa--you mean every time Ken makes 2000 quid, we each get $3750?

Well, what are you waitin' for K-man? Get your ahrse out there and earn me some money!

seriously, I'm hoping to retire soon!
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jul 14, 2008 10:27AM)
I retired last year but still have to work!!!
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jul 20, 2008 06:29AM)
We had a crummy turnout on July 12, so it was time to get cranking. Our bellydancer posed for photos in full costume with a million-dollar smile. On Monday, I sent off the [url=http://www.theaterofmarvels.com/gallery/gallery038.html]photo[/url] with a story.

Wednesday night, the weekly papers came out. One of the papers knocked out the background and ran the photo in full color on the front page of the arts section, above the fold, half a page in size. On page two there was a little article about a production of Carmen at the big theater in town, with a head shot of the director. There is huge money behind this thing, but we kicked them back to page two with our dancer!

So last night, we had a great crowd on a hot and humid day. There was a weekend gathering of a gay and lesbian group that knows each other mostly through a group email list, and a lot of them showed up, besides the locals, including a couple of kids from the local magic class. I have built a display for all the gear. It hangs there on a pegboard painted brothel red with flat black trim. During the rest of the show, we keep it covered with a red velvet drape. I introduce the escape, then whip away the drape. Well, you could hear the crowd swoon. Most of them do so out of fear, but in this bunch, for some of them it was love at first sight. When it is time to apply the restraints, I always pick the biggest guy in the room. Turns out he was one of the gay guys heavily into bondage. He was really into it, and unfortunately knew exactly what he was doing!

Getting out was a real *****, and when it was over I felt like I'd just been in a car accident. The crowd went wild, of course, and my wife just about fainted. I knew that there would be bruises, and this morning, one of my shoulders has a developing bruise the exact shape of the iron slave collar. You could just lay it in place for a perfect match.

The people love it, why deny them? It isn't just the money...OK, the money is a fairly important part of it now that I think about it...


Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 20, 2008 12:51PM)
What a bunch of gullywumpers...you guys got nuttin on me, wait till you hear this harrowing tale!

I got a new EZ-up to get out there and do some shows with a new Zibit idea of mine...and because the Wife wanted to get out and make some dough...so we get the NEW ez-up and drag it out to the parking lot in front of the apartment. Must be about 50 whole feet!!!

Initially set it up...struggle with the side walls...attach the banners...and by now it must have been all of 75 degrees (f) so I set up a chair and had a cola...then we took down the ez-up and dragged it back to the apartment...and collapsed in front of the TV.

And the Wife says..."There's no way we are going to do THIS every weekend!"

Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Jul 20, 2008 04:41PM)
hahahaha Great story!
And the set up gets harder as it gets hotter..BEEN THERE..... DONE THAT HAHAHA
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jul 20, 2008 05:09PM)
Now look at that Higley, that's the way you do it
You put out the chair and the E-Z Up
That ain't workin', that's the way you do it
Money for nothin' and your gaffs for free
Now that ain't workin', that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya that guy ain't dumb
Maybe get a blister on your little finger
Maybe get a blister on your thumb


Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jul 21, 2008 09:06AM)
Dire Straits' lawyer will be contacting you.
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Jul 21, 2008 01:40PM)
Looking at all the stories here, it appears that I am making more money with my Zibit than anybody else in the whole world.
And I think I know why.
Take a look at my avatar(left.) I am by far. the best looking zibiter in the lot. (crisgal is the exception. Her picture with her baby is wonderful)
I would like to make a suggestion to the rest of you... PLASTIC SURGERY.
Look like me and make a mint.
Good luck to all and good zibiting.

BTW, I never have bad days. Even when I don't make as much money, I am often complemented on the way I look.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jul 21, 2008 02:12PM)
Nice to hear you are getting plenty of work, at the Blind Association!!!
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jul 21, 2008 02:51PM)
Are you discussing your zibit, or your hat?

Never heard of plastic surgery on a hat, before. I'd love to pitch THAT!
Message: Posted by: crisgal (Jul 22, 2008 01:08PM)
On 2008-07-21 14:40, Parson Smith wrote:
crisgal is the exception. Her picture with her baby is wonderful.

aww thanks :) but never trust internet pictures, especially not the ones taken from above. The babies are considerably chubbier in real life.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 22, 2008 02:24PM)
Well DANG if they are cuter in real life then you must be too!
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 22, 2008 06:49PM)
Parson..glad your out there and doing the deed and doing it well...but no one will ever beat Ken (Kondini) for the record 4/06-12/06...never ever...can't happen...unless somebody comes along with the stones to charge $200 (93 pounds) a head to see the Thing. Ken is the all time for all time champeen Zibiteer of da woild!
Message: Posted by: Parson Smith (Jul 23, 2008 04:09PM)
I have never charged more than a dollar. But I know, without a doubt, that as long as I have a Zibit, I will never go broke.
I really can't think of a more fun way to make money.
My wife and I do it together and it is the most fun we have out of bed.
I am sure that Ken charged more and made more, but he does not count.
He is an ENGLISHER. We kicked their butts in the Revolutionary War and I could kick his butt with one hand tied behind me (if I had two hands.)
Not to say that he is not cute...
For the rest of you who would like to look as good as Ken and I, I suggested PLASTIC SURGERY. I am sure that Doug would cut you a good deal.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 23, 2008 06:34PM)
Yeah...Ken is cute ain't he...kinda 'impy'
Message: Posted by: abigkahuna/1 (Jul 24, 2008 02:07AM)
Hrummph! I won't reveal what I did in 2006 with my zibit--wasn't quite as much as Ken-Baby, but then I had to slog it out in the wind, rain, dust and snow, uphill mind you, without a prince or royal, or, fancy hat! :)

The Professor
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 24, 2008 06:16AM)
Truely the Professor Big Kahuna holds the USA record.
Message: Posted by: dough (Jul 24, 2008 08:39AM)
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jul 25, 2008 05:45AM)
I was in a Vaudeville show last night in Bucksport, Maine, to launch a four-day festival there. We had a nice crowd in a small theater. The first act was singers and musicians; the director let us have the second act. Professor Miller, the other magician that I work with, was out of town, but I had the good fortune of getting one of our belly dancers. I guess they don't see a lot of that out there, they weren't quite sure what to do. For her second dance, she did a sword dance, balancing the sword on her head while dancing. That's when she really had them.

We had papered the town with flyers promoting a Rope Challenge Escape. We had three big guys up on stage and let the crowd pick its champion by applause after they stated their qualifications. They gave the fireman and the schoolteacher polite applause, then they went nuts for the guy from the Merchant Marine. We started with a wrist tie with eleven feet of rope, then topped that with 100 feet of rope. The guy was a real artist, and my hands were purple when he was done. Let's say that it wasn't necessary to fake the tension as the clock ticked. It wasn't really the thought of public failure that drove me, it was the prospect of going home without my hundred-dollar bill!

I gave the guy a big handshake when it was all over. He was a good sport about it, I guess that he didn't think that the chances were very good of going home with $100.


Message: Posted by: Stephon (Jul 25, 2008 10:30PM)
I know it may be contrary to the overall theme of the thread, but I'd like to post a story about when things went surprisingly well. A moment of deus ex commedia:

I'm doing my final show of the evening, have a nice-sized crowd, and it's gotten to the point in the show where I do the blockhead, and I bring up a pretty, young lady to help me.

"Hi. What's your name?" I ask.

"Gina" she replies.

"Thanks for coming up, Gina. Everybody say, 'Hi, Gina'."


"Wow, sounds like some kind of feminine product:

'Mom, I've got that not-quite-fresh feeling.'

'Well, dear, have you tried HYGIENA?'"

Big laugh from the audience. Terrific reaction from Gina.

Happy little moment.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 27, 2008 04:40AM)
And you should always practice good hygina when you do blockehead!
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jul 27, 2008 11:58AM)
Va Va Va

Message: Posted by: drwilson (Jul 28, 2008 09:52AM)
Maine State Police Detective Gerry Coleman defeated escape artist Dr. Wilson in a challenge rope escape at the Riverbend Players Vaudeville Revue at the Alamo Theatre in Bucksport on Sunday, July 27. Dr. Wilson had papered Bucksport with flyers offering $100 cash to any person who could tie him with 100 feet of rope in such a way as to prevent his escape. The challenge rope escape was a promotion for the Vaudeville Revue, which also featured magician Professor Miller, the barbershop quartet A Little Off The Top, and a host of singers and musicians.

In the first performance on Thursday, July 24, Dr. Wilson selected three men from the audience who were given a chance to state their qualifications. The audience chose a champion by applause, and selected a Merchant Marine. Dr. Wilson increased the difficulty of the challenge by having his hands tied with ten feet of cord before being secured with 100 feet of rope. He also improved the challenger's chances by offering to get out in less time than it took to tie him. The challenger took just over five minutes to secure Dr. Wilson, who escaped in under four minutes before a packed house.

Dr. Wilson's fate took another turn on Sunday, July 27, before a crowd of over 100 people. Once again, he picked three men to join him on stage, including Detective Gerry Coleman, whose wife had been gesturing enthusiastically during the selection process. When the audience heard the qualifications of the three men, they went wild for Detective Coleman, who at over six feet tall towered over the Houdini-sized (5'4") escape artist. Once the clock started, Coleman worked swiftly and efficiently, securing Dr. Wilson with professional detachment. Coleman took his seat as Dr. Wilson writhed, fell prone to the stage, kicked off his boots, and tumbled to escape the bonds. Free of most of the rope, he was still struggling to free his hands when time was called. Detective Coleman once again took the stage to receive the prize money, a crisp $100 bill. Dr. Wilson offered Coleman the bill from his own hands, still bound and discolored.

It is the first time that Dr. Wilson has been defeated in the challenge rope escape, which he has performed regularly for over three years. He congratulated Detective Coleman on a job well done after the show, and smiled as Coleman's son proudly held up the $100 bill. Dr. Wilson will perform the challenge rope escape at the Acadia Music Festival in Southwest Harbor on September 6.

Dr. Wilson and Blue Hill magician Professor Miller present [url=http://www.theaterofmarvels.com]Miller & Wilson's Theater of Marvels[/url] every Saturday night at 7:00 pm at Otter Creek Hall in Bar Harbor. This year, they have been joined by one of three different bellydancers for each performance. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for persons 12 and under, and benefits the Otter Creek Aid Society, which maintains the historic hall.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jul 28, 2008 10:49AM)
Well done Paul!
That should certainly pull them into the next show!
Failure makes for great PR!
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jul 28, 2008 11:01AM)
Hey Doc, you gottem on a roll now,,,,increase the stake, make everyone in the US know you failed,,,kick ass = Publicity = Entertainment and more work for you. Great going,,,all power to you.

Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jul 28, 2008 11:23AM)

Of course in my situation my failure led me to permanent nipple disfigurement.... but it was definite proof!
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 28, 2008 12:44PM)
HOW MANY people going to turn up for te repeates - at chance of winning 100 a show I should immagine lots!
Message: Posted by: Fitz (Jul 28, 2008 01:14PM)
I was doing a straight jacket escape with 100 feet of rope on top and I would escape faster then it took them to tie me up. However I did not challenge them with money, that is a great idea.

My point is I would get stuck about once every 3 years. I knew it would happen eventually. My first time was during a street show in front of my largest crowd ever. The man that tied me up was in charge of restraining hospital patience to their beds when needed. (I didn't know this until after the show) I thought it was going to be a piece of cake because he was done in about a minute and a half. Ten minutes later my crowd was gone and the guy loosened one not for me and I was able to get out. I made a dollar on that show... and wanted to burn my straight jacket.

Three years later its Ring55's Houdini night and I was asked to perform. I decided to perform the straight jacket rope challenge. I had Kevin Ridgeway (He is a Café member and an illusionist married to an escape artist) and Craig Davis (A local illusionist and eagle scout) tie me up, in front of a group of magicians. The crowd watched me struggle for about ten minutes and needless to to say no one there will be stealing that act anytime soon.

Its been about three years now and I'm thinking about cutting it from my show...

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jul 28, 2008 01:26PM)
I used the Deval method for challenge acts and got five years out of it,,,culminating in Annapolis with exposure on NY1 and many other leading press spots.

The angle is similar to Docs, but not mine to give away. It started in the year 2000 with the challenge at £2000 and rose by a £1000 each year. The Press loved it and the mileage from it far outweighed the work behind it. It sets the imagination on fire in the minds of laypeople and is an easy way into the press via a public info story.

The challenge escape has taken me to a lot of places in the world that a normal!! Escape act wouldnt,,,in fact I still eat out on the stories from it even now.

Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jul 28, 2008 02:32PM)
2000 is that teh year Deval died or was it 2001? I bet he was chuffed to bits that you were using it! :) He was such a nice guy - I wish I had known him better - not like that foul mouthed n0b Ken Dean ;) WHo ever he is!

its ok I know him really after the verbal whilst on teh phonet o his other half earlier I think he deserves a bit of abuse......... well I get enough from him. :) but I take it cus of hte good stuff I get as well!
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Aug 2, 2008 11:20AM)
So, I'm doing my final show of the evening, and it's gotten to the point in the show where I do the blockhead, so I go into the audience to find a pretty, young lady to help me. (Hmmm, sounds familiar.)

The woman I choose is a little hesitant to volunteer, but with encouragement from the audience, she comes up on stage. Her name is Michelle, she chooses the nail for me, we josh a bit, and I send her back to the audience.

I do my routine, the nail is in, and I go back to get Michelle (who is standing with her large, frat-boy-looking boyfriend) so she can come up and pull the nail out. She's not too thrilled with that idea and says no. I playfully try to encourage her. Michelle is smiling. Boyfriend is *very* serious looking and never stops giving me the stink eye.

Me: "Oh, sure, c'mon--it'll be ok."

Michelle: "No, I don't want to."

Me: "But if you don't come up, you'll be like one of those actors that does the first movie, but doesn't come back for the sequel."

Boyfriend: "She's done."

Me: "What?"

Boyfriend: "She's done."

Me: "She's done?" (At this point I'm surprised, but amused by Boyfriend's very aggressive attitude)

Boyfriend: "Yeah."

Michelle (to Boyfriend): "Stop."

Me (to Boyfriend): "Wow. You're really angry. Don't be angry; everything's ok. I'm not trying to shove her in the trunk of my car. It's just a show. We're all friends here."

Boyfriend: "She's not gonna do it."

Michelle (to Boyfriend): "Just stop."

Me (to Boyfriend): "Relax. She doesn't have to come up if she doesn't want to. We're just having fun. Take a breath. Calm down. Breathe."

The absurdity of the situation--me standing there, dressed like a fool, with a nail sticking out of my nose, and likely about to get hit--is so bizarre that I don't even feel any danger (probably not the best defensive reaction). But I can't help poking a bee hive with a stick. . .

Me: "Besides, isn't Michelle an independent, self-actualized woman? Can't she decide for herself what she wants to do?"

Boyfriend: "You want that nail in your eye?"

Michelle: "Stop!"

Me: "Really? You seriously want to do this? In front of all these people? We're just doing a show and having some fun. Seriously?"

I shake my head and walk back to the stage area. "Someone is feeling a little insecure tonight."

Michelle takes Laughing Boy and leaves.

It all worked to my favor tho. Later in the show, as I'm setting up the bed of nails:

"Folks, I'm going to finish up with the most dangerous act I'll be performing tonight--That's right, I'm gonna find Michelle and ask her to come back on stage."
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Aug 4, 2008 08:52PM)
So, following Stephon's lead, here are some bright moments from my weekend of Beltek 08 (my first rave) on Friday, Theater of Marvels on Saturday, and running the Feejee Mermaid show at the Farmer's Market on Sunday in Bar Harbor.

So, I was doing the cups and balls as a come-on for the Feejee Mermaid show at the rave. I already have a big advantage because the tent is brightly illuminated inside. Everything else is dark so that lighting special effects (rather dim), glow-sticks, and fire performers will stand out. At the end of the routine there is a small crowd cheering and applauding. One person, convinced that he has figured it out, demands to see "that table." I remove the cloth drape over the busker's table, revealing a wooden plank that is the table top. I pick it up off the folding waiter's-stand legs and hold it up. "See," I say, "It's just a piece of wood."

He's completely gobsmacked. That's my favorite part of the routine, when it happens.

At our show on Saturday night, we have two bellydancers who have never met. Within minutes, they are trading sparkly makeup and helping each other to get ready to go on. We have a setlist for the show taped to the wall backstage. We have all studied this to make sure that music cues and prop cues are solid. The intro music is playing, curtain is in about three minutes. I turn to the other magician and the two bellydancers and ask, "OK, who wants to open?"

The blood drains out of all of their faces for a second before they realize that I am kidding. "OK," I say, "I'll open."

It turns out to be a great crowd, obviously there to have a good time. Later in the show, Professor Miller is doing the Chinese Rings. I am backstage with the two bellydancers. One of them has done both of her dances and is done except for curtain call. The other is set to go on after the Rings. She is really, really nervous. I tell her, "OK Natalie, we got them where we want them. Now put the hammer down!"

The other bellydancer says, "Yeah, Natalie, take it home!"

Natalie smiles her million-dollar smile, goes out and completely smokes them.

The next morning, at the Farmer's Market, I am showing the mermaid once again. A girl, maybe eight or ten, comes into the exhibit with her dad. She stares hard at the mermaid, then announces sternly, "It's fake. Mermaids aren't real."

"Not real?" I ask. "Then why do we have a word for them?"

Her dad smiles, but she is really stuck. "Mermaids aren't real. Selkies are real."

We talk about selkies for a while. Her dad is really enjoying the mermaid.

Later, a noted scientist walks by while I am doing my pitch for the mermaid show. I announce, while looking straight at her, that the specimen inside the tent has been examined by noted scientists. She gaffaws and keeps walking. I am known locally as a threat to your wallet if you stop to listen to the talk.

The weather was off, showers here and there. I made more than some of the farmers. We all like each other. Some of them accept my offer to see the mermaid for free (professional courtesy). They want me back every week. The rent is zero. Life is good.


Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 5, 2008 02:37AM)
Me and my 'showman/women have lots of 'academics' into the shows. They usually fall harder (don't know of any that didn't).

Selkies ARE real...that's why a 'blind pitch' can work in your favor.

We don't itdentify the Mer as a Mermaid and let the customer make up their mind as to what it might be...the other day I got an eMail from one of the showfolk who said that a Biologist had come in and looked for a LONG time...really studying it...at the end of the vist the conclusive identification was that IT was a Mermaid. haha. I love this biz!
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Aug 8, 2008 06:03AM)
I could tell the story, or you could just watch the video:

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncM-1cedTng]Dr. Wilson's Feejee Mermaid[/url] at Beltek 08.


Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 14, 2008 05:02AM)
So I'm on my way back form a gig in the isle of man (United Kingdom) have flown over and back. The flight was rather cloes to the end of the gig so it was a bit of a rush. I packed quickly.

I didn't think! And had my block head stuff in my pockets! She asked if I had any sharp objects etc in my carry on. So I start to empty my pockets! The look I got! I explained about being a performer..... tehy looked quizical .... so I demonstratted :)

We eventually (after a BIG line has built up with some people starting to look angry as to why its taking so long. ....... but then amuzed as I perform!) but the check in girl start to proceess my detials..... only to find my ticket had been cancelled for some reason. SO I had to see ustomer services - of course the check in girl calls over to them get him to do teh nail trick.,.....

SO I did.... the woman started to sort the ticket and couldn't so needed to call a supervisor. She comes over and sorts it juast as we finishe the manager is told you shoudl see him do this nail trick......... so I do! She looked comepltly grossed out and said "if you do that agin I wont let you stay in the airport let alone board the plane........" not amuzed. :) Then she cracks a smile and says she really was impressed. Bless the staff of Flybe! Great fun!
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Aug 16, 2008 11:12AM)
Just posted another story from teh isleof man on this link
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=255433&forum=23&40&start=30#9 its related to blockhead tools hence the posting there........
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Aug 18, 2008 02:10PM)
I did my third stint at the Farmer's Market this weekend. As I was setting up, the farmer who runs the market, a great, jolly guy who likes my show a lot, told me to slip a ten spot to "Wool Lady." I glance over his shoulder, and there's Wool Lady, setting up her tent with lots of naturally-dyed yarn hanging all over.

So far, the rent has been zero. I am working for tips and selling tickets to an attraction in the tent if I bring one. Even if I slip Wool Lady a ten spot to calm her grumbling, it's still cheap. I remember that the Town Council had to amend one of their many local ordinances to allow a Farmer's Market. The ordinances probably still prohibit exhibiting mummified cryptids for profit, performing the cups and balls, or wearing a top hat in public. I think about it until it is almost time to pack up.

I am a real virgin at this. There is no use trying to appear world-wise and sophisticated. I don't have a ten, so I take a five and five grungy ones from out of the hat, fold them into a packet slightly larger than my business card, and top it off with my business card. I saunter over to Wool Lady's tent in full regalia, complementing her on her fine selection of yarns and telling her how fondly I remember a dear departed friend of mine from the area, now no longer among us, who was a great knitter. I turn to meet her gaze, and her face is like a walnut, most of the lines indicating disapproval.

"I'm Dr. Wilson," I say, handing her my card. She quickly registers what's under it. "Have a great day!" I say as I wander off.

A few minutes later, as I am packing out, she walks by and waves. It looks like she is trying to smile, but she has forgotten how over the years.

Whatever it takes...


Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Aug 18, 2008 02:20PM)
Ah yes!

"If you think I'm trying to pull the wool over your eyes, you need to see the Wool Lady! She had a great assortment of..., and you can make your own choice in wool!"

PR at its best! If anyone can make her smile, it's you, Doc!
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 19, 2008 04:12PM)
Just got a letter from a confused woman,,,her press proved that I was working in two places at the same time. Without tipping her the wink,,,she is now convinced I am super human,,,,so I enquired if she would like to have my child!!! As yet no reply.

This arose >>>> As I was pre booked to do a gig>>>>They put out a lot of publicity on my attending >>>> Something cropped up so I could not appear, so I engaged someone else to take my place >>>> Will not disclose who,,,but he cant spell, tells crap jokes, posts on here and called Dave!!! So this person who I will not say who he is worked as Kondini with all the frills that the Great Kondini demands,,,,of course he was not as good as me,,,but the result is positive in as much as I have once more done the impossible !!!!

I understand the second best Kondini went on to do another gig on the Isle of Man, of course this was supplied by the Great but modest real Kondini,,,yet again.

Two headed Turtles suck,,,,two bodied Kondini`s rock !!!
Message: Posted by: Gemeanii (Sep 1, 2008 08:14PM)
This story will be from an entirely different perspective…

For the faint of heart who won’t read it all, here is the point:
“You never know how your act will reach out and touch the life of someone in your audience.”

For the past many months I’ve been embroiled in a large complicated family drama, one that centers on by Fiancé, or rather, my family’s perception of her. Now, anyone who knows her recognizes her as a sweet, caring genuine woman with no trace of a hidden agenda. My family has banished her none the less. Fortunately I don’t believe it’s my family’s place to make that decision for me so I politely acknowledged their right to be rid of her – and WE LEFT - Waked away from the past 48 weekends of planting trimming and managing 1300 grape vines in what was to be a family vineyard and winery.

So, with loads of newly found free time on our hands we decided to visit the Maryland Renaissance Festival on Sunday to help lighten our spirits. I had hoped to see some performance artists in a familiar genera, Magic and Side Show, but just walking around and being in a festive atmosphere was lightening our emotional load. You see, my fiancé has been blaming herself for doing something to upset the family. I had tried to explain that it wasn’t her, that it would have been anyone who I brought into the family (you’d have to know them to fully understand, professionals have tried to help…), still the tendency for self recrimination is difficult for her to shake.

Jonny Fox was wonderful and professionally inspiring for me but it was the mystic with the rainbow turban that provided the life changing words of wisdom for my fiancé.

Yes, that geeky little Swami with his bed of nails right at the end of the best show I’ve ever seen him do provided a wonderful FLASH of inspiration …

“In the grand scheme of the world’s wrongs, there’s Darfor (reaching over his head), and then there’s a whole bunch of other stuff - and then way down around here (pointing to his ankles) is this stuff.”

Thank You Swami, you have helped both of us get this whole drama into perspective. Now, we move on with our lives. Do you do weddings?

Steve & Ardon
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 1, 2008 10:48PM)
That's a great story Gemeanii.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Sep 2, 2008 04:50AM)
Hey Steve, best to you and yours.
Reminds me of times past when I was considered to have married out of my class.

Follow your heart and time will restore the rest left behind and remember its their loss, not yours!!


PS This must be Mr Fox`s 100th year with the Annapolis show! And still looks young grrrrr.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Sep 2, 2008 02:00PM)
OK,,been a while (8 shows done)Since posting here cos all were pretty uneventfull.

One laugh though >>> Recent divorced mum and kid (Must have been rough break up)In the Zibb tent,,, "Mummy, where did you say daddy went to ?" (Dont know what story she told the kid prior to this discussion,,but I guess it went along the lines that daddy had been turned into a horror of a daddy) "Is that what happened to daddy ?" (Kids looking at the Mer) >>>> Ends up kids crying,,,mummy can`t explain where daddy is,,,,kids put two and two together and come up with five,,and firmly believes daddy has vanished cos he`s turned into a Mer!!!

Mummy makes matter worse by saying, that's what happens to men when they treat their wives badly,,,,kid starts to get real screamy,,punters watching wonder what the hell is going on,, (Me Im starting to turn a good tip ... keep it up kid) Mummy cuffs kid, kid screams even more,,,,,they are off home now!!! Haha,,I love this job!!

Except for the weather !!! 6 gigs rained on.

Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 2, 2008 06:14PM)
OK, this is an old story but I was just reminded of it.
I was doing a show with 3 other guys, whom I shall refer to as Moe, Curly, and Shemp.
Shemp was an expert martial artist. He has 3 black belts, including a 4th degree in ninpo, or ninja-ing, or whatever you call it. Dudes a ninja. That's what I'm saying.
Shemp wanted me to hold a styrofoam target while he threw a shuriken (ninja star.) Now, Shemp is one of the best knife/axe/shuriken throwers I know.
I had seen him hit the target square hundreds of times. I wasn't worried.
I wasn't worried at all until I got a ninja star in my freakin' hand!
It got a big laugh from the crowd though so I'd call it a good experience.

So that is the infamous shuriken incident.
Message: Posted by: critter (Sep 2, 2008 06:14PM)
Oh, I forgot to refer to Curly and Moe like I promised. They're prats.
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Sep 3, 2008 10:18AM)

Wow, I'm very glad that you were able to take something personally valuable away from what was, essentially, a lighthearted but self-indulgant rant in response to a letter of complaint I got after my very first show of the season.

You picked a perfect day to come out to the festival and I'm happy you left feeling better than when you arrived.

Message: Posted by: drwilson (Sep 7, 2008 06:16PM)
I did a show for the Acadia Music Festival, an event with a bunch of country-rock music acts ("Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy") at a spacious campground. They wanted some kid-friendly events to draw families in early. I followed a puppet show by some really fun folks.

We were getting the remnants of a hurricane here later in the day, so they had a big tent set up with a bunch of picnic tables. I set up my tent at one edge. Looking out at this bunch, they had just plopped down at the picnic tables and weren't going to move. So it was start low, start slow with my Roller Organ. No one would get up to walk over and have a look. OK, let's give away some Two Card Monte sets. Now they are waking up. We play Fast & Loose with a couple of fun folks, then follow that with a Poker demonstration. Now the mature gentleman are starting to show interest. On to the Cups and Balls. Some teenagers think that they can follow the simple ball moves at the start, then it gets fancy. When the six oranges come out, they are numb.

So it's time to give them what they came for, the Challenge Rope Escape. I show 100 feet of rope, a timer, and a $100 bill. The audience picks a big German newspaper reporter on vacation as their champion. He takes six minutes to tie me. I am out in 90 seconds.

Now they are really worked up. I offer them another escape, straitjacket and chains. Because I am not going to get hoisted up on a crane, I stand on a picnic table for the chaining. "Is that safe?" the guy doing the chaining asks.

"It's perfectly safe for you," I say.

I work the chains down to one ankle and send them flying with a kick in a stripper move for a cheer. Then I do the jacket. When I am done, they ask me if I have dislocated both shoulders.

Back in the saddle again. Life is good!


Message: Posted by: Cindi (Sep 7, 2008 07:22PM)
Did you ever get the Magazine?

Message: Posted by: drwilson (Sep 7, 2008 08:43PM)
Dear Cindi,

Sure did, thanks!


Message: Posted by: Kondini (Sep 8, 2008 07:00AM)
Just done the Mother of all wet shows,,,centre of Salisbury Plain,,set up Thursday 1.5 inches of rain, opened Friday 2 inches of rain, Friday night gales plus of course rain, Saturday 2.5 inches of rain (By now the traders and few public which turned up were being towed both on and off) Forecast for Sunday was better !! It rained again all Saturday night, Sunday morning 8am out came the sun,,,,ground was so water logged the show got canceled at 10am as more rain was forecast for the afternoon!!!

Back home by 4pm on a Sunday,,,,no wages,,,still trying to dry out (Today Monday) Phone call,,,next weekends show at Worcester has been canceled due to water logged site....

UK Summer ^**@88 ollocks !

Since April we have had 24 shows ditched, all due to the UK sunshine.

Ken (Splodge).
Message: Posted by: ReggieB (Sep 8, 2008 08:53PM)
Oh dear!
(i suggest a lot of soup!...and whiskey)
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Sep 9, 2008 03:03PM)
Yep,,,then I can be wet inside as well as out !!!!

Stop taking the wee wee.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Sep 14, 2008 05:18PM)
So I was out with a Strange Thing today. It is a Strange Thing indeed! I have my tent tricked out with the Full Higley, and a box of magic.

I barely opened the magic box. I could have left the whole thing home. I made just as much with the Strange Thing as I make doing rope escapes face down on the pavement, or doing the cups and balls, on which I have worked for many years.

Naturally, I had my lines ready. I only went all the way to the end with one person. Most people are ready to accept that anything might come from far-off New Mexico. When pressed about the Strange Thing, it would go like this:

Q. Is it real?

A. Of course it's real!

Q. What is it?

A. I got it from a collector out West.

Q. Do you know what it is?

A. It's from New Mexico. The Trinity site.

Q. I don't know what that is.

A. The site of the first atmospheric nuclear test.

Q. Oh! So this is...

A. I'm not supposed to have this.

Q. So that explains (gesturing to the cryptic banners)...

A. Yes.

The look on their faces is priceless. Same dialog if they ask about DNA testing. I'm not supposed to have this.


Message: Posted by: Josh Peters (Sep 15, 2008 10:15AM)
[url=http://www.myspace.com/the_brothers_strange]The Brothers Strange[/url] performed at a local ren faire this weekend. For the finale of our show we do a 100' rope tie. The two gentlemen we chose to tie me manhandled me so much, pulling me this way and that as they cinched the rope tightly around me, that my partner had to hold tight to keep me from falling to the ground. He ended up included in the rope tie. As we struggled to escape, one of the audience members, a very kind mentally challenged woman, walked up to us.

"Hold still and I'll untie you," she said.

I looked at her and told her that I was pretty sure we could get out.

"Now listen to me," she demanded, "hold still and I'll let you out."

At that moment her handler came and brought her back to the audience. The rest of her group, both the handlers and the other challenged people, had tears of laughter rolling down their faces.

After much effort and struggling we were finally able to escape the ropes as well as book another show.


Message: Posted by: Josh Peters (Sep 17, 2008 09:18PM)
[url=http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewImage&friendID=40217359&albumID=2269740&imageID=43296075]I've heard a picture is worth a thousand words...[/url]
Message: Posted by: Josh Peters (Sep 18, 2008 09:11AM)
Yeah, that worked well. Let's try that again...
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 18, 2008 02:14PM)
Doc...for my Death Worm presentatrion I have actual Trinitite...actual Pieces of Ground Zero...a Gieger Counter and a vial of real Duterium (heavy water) also the signature on some papers of the discoveror of Heavy Water. (authentic)

This way I can WITHOUT LIEING make the claim that this 'STUFF' is absolutely authentic! A broad gesture to cover the Zibit as well of couse allowing them to dance the mind dance. :)

Glad to see you used the idea finally! I told you it works!@ :)
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Sep 28, 2008 03:10PM)
Been hard at it for the past 5 days Bridgwater Street Fair, this one is yonks old and always a burster.

Going to post off topic now,,,with interesting finds for those of you who Zibbit in a Popup.
Yes this has been gone over before but think this will interest >>> Useing a commercial standard Popup with a heavy duty Marquee canvas as sidewalls.
1) the sidewalls standard with hooks at the top and eyes along the bottom edge,,enable the wall top to be hung on the popup criss cross members (May have to open the hooks a bit to work,,but they do).
2) the eyes at the bottom of the walls are at 18inch centres and can be stacked down with hefty pegs.

Result >>> a popup which will stand up to very high gusts >>> Quicker to erect etc.

Its not my idea,,but have used another unit now for some time which is as described above,,,another plus is sheeting 3 sides only, then at night when the idiots are about,,you just take your table and zibb out, leaving the whole thing open so they can see there is nothing in it to rob. The fact that the 3 sides are made up of just one heavy sheet also saves wear on velcro and zipps and of course easy to replace / repair should need arise. Stakes at 18inches will deter anyone from getting under the tilt when open,,,so that`s one problem sorted.Downside of course is the initial costs of an extra £300 plus for the heavy grade, but I truly think it`s worth it.

Also found out a way to display in a 6 feet frontage with no popup at all. This happened when a forty foot market stall booked into a thirty foot paid for pitch. We had to show in a 6 feet frontage,,,so neccessity became once again the mother of invention!!! May pass this on someday...

Down the road,,,Ken.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Dec 3, 2008 10:11AM)
So everyone is having a stress free season then ? No stories to tell ! Here is one to make your toes curl.
Not posted for a while, due to high pressure of end of summer run and Xmas follow through work.
Of note the Portsmouth Historical Dockyard Extravaganza was a great sucess, with our performing Fleas scoreing very highly at each of the 15 performances given.With the audiences of well over a hundred crowding around, it was hard to understand the volume of response received as goodness knows how those at the back saw anything at all.

While their, an escape was planned to take place on the HMS Victory. A spread eagled escape from the ships wheel which should have gained good press.In order to be authentic we carried out research into this,,,only to find out that the ships wheel on board was in fact a fake! The real mc`coy was moved to the Victory Museum and presented under security conditions for display.Photos and useage were banned.We did it anyway and don`t ask how!!!

From Portsmouth we were booked right through to January with the Lapland Leisure Themed Park near Ringwood.
Doing street work and fire / stunts to draw the crowds with a 20ft selling pitch thrown in for good measure.
With the selling period being so long we had to invest in huge stocks just over £8700 prepaid stock was loaded before we even left for Portsmouth.The idea was for an overnight switch from performance vans to trailer units then straight down to Ringwood for an early opening.

What followed was a nightmare.

Too long and detailed to outline here, so Google Lapland at Ringwood and see the local and national press coverage for this event. The whole thing has turned into a battle ground with Santas little helpers under attack, Santa got a punch on the nose, the Police,County Councils,Health & Safety,RSPCA,Animal Rights,Inland Revenue and Fraud departments all into the fray!!! So we made a calculated withdrawal.

We have lost over £10,000 in expected revenue, been unable to refill the months gap which meens fees of another £5000 have been lost.So we will be unemployed until the end of February!!!
No, being self employed we are entitled to no benefit,,,,but we are the proud owners of huge stocks which include 1000 boxes of Goshman 2" sponge balls!! Haha gotta laugh or I cry.

So please send me the samaritans help line number or buy these %^**** Sponges.

On with the Show.
To be continued!!

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Dec 4, 2008 11:58AM)
1:50 pm GMT saw the Lapland show closed down.

None of the Elves,Entertainers and gaff lads will get any payement.

The 50,000 odd pre sold tickets will not be cash refundable.

I bet Bankrupt claims are already in and the directors been paid off in five figure sums before disclosure.

The Fun Fair is coming down with their Xmas wages now nil.

We are not the only ones hit hard there are many more than us who have lost out through this scam.

If I ever get to catch up with the gaffer,,,,he will take the place of the Fairy on my Xmas Tree.

See National, International and local TV / Press coverage for hourly updates.

Yep If been side swiped>> The Kon of Kondini has been returned and bitten me on the ASS!!

Message: Posted by: Michael K (Dec 4, 2008 11:00PM)
Take care in knowing that you are safe and able to perform. And you showed the royal family your strange thing, something that most could only dream of doing then retiring the next day, knowing they couldn't do any better. But you push on and inspire other performers to keep at it no matter how bad the jerks (the Café won't let me put a litany of nasty words instead of jerk) sideswiped you. And those jerks better pray that the police get them before anyone they swindled.

And as much as this sucks, you do have to laugh when you read this in the newspaper, then shudder thinking about how Mum and Dad are going to explain that to their little children.

Today families were arriving to find the entrance coned off. A woman from the park shouted through the fence: “Santa's gone home, Santa's f-----g dead.” -- The Times 12/5/2008

Message: Posted by: Stephon (Dec 5, 2008 12:22PM)
Interestingly, I found nothing searching on "Lapland at Ringwood", but “Santa's gone home, Santa's f-----g dead.” took me right to the story.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Dec 6, 2008 08:21AM)
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Dec 6, 2008 09:40AM)
The Staffordshire Lapland is the second one to fail. If you Google Lapland Ringwood then at the last count there were 10 pages of moans!!!

As Santa is dead we are having Xmas at Easter !!!

Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Dec 6, 2008 09:49AM)
Ken, aren't those round red spongy thing actually Tibetan Wishing Spheres, personally blessed by the Dalai Lama himself and mentioned in the book "The Secret"? You merely have to squeeze them in your hand while meditating about your desires and within a fortnight what you desire comes to you. These sacred wonders were introduced to the West by that noted Tibetan scholar Albert Goshman.

If you hit up all the psychic fairs in the UK between now and the end of February you will be able to move all those sponge balls AND get far more for them than what the punters would have paid for them as magic tricks.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Dec 6, 2008 11:33AM)
Good thinking Todd,,,trouble is rentals for these are around $700 a day,,,so that`s a lotta balls to sell haha.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Dec 6, 2008 03:30PM)
Those balls should sell for at least a hundred bucks each, two for $150. And if you grease some of the readers at the fair to "advise" their clients to buy the balls, I think you will have a little bit of Christmas this year.
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Dec 8, 2008 03:00PM)
Santa's not dead! He was in Rumford, Maine's Capital of Magic, for the [url=http://www.ibmring362.org/christmas/lettertoSanta2008.html]World's Largest Letter to Santa[/url]. This made the Today Show (national news in the USA, to our friends elsewhere).

It's true, no hard luck stories lately, but perhaps next weekend will bring some. Why does Ellsworth, Maine, schedule a street fair the first week of December? I'll be there with the Strange Thing show, maybe breathing fire to keep warm. I hope we don't have freezing rain, anyway.

See you down the road!


Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Dec 11, 2008 10:38AM)
On 2008-12-06 10:40, Kondini wrote:
The Staffordshire Lapland is the second one to fail. If you Google Lapland Ringwood then at the last count there were 10 pages of moans!!!

As Santa is dead we are having Xmas at Easter !!!


But not connected in any way - other than it "looked like some tents in a field".

For the record - the first one hit the comedy TV program "have I got news for you" - so it must have been big news last week.

Ken I need some sponge balls (well not really but I ll take a few packets of fyou - also need to send you some money for the "other thing" you texted me about - erm lost my phone :( (im a donkey I know!).
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Dec 15, 2008 02:08PM)
Well to update >>> We got space at the Podium Shopping centre in Bath,,,seemed a good venue but turned out to be very light passing foot fall.With the parking @ £30 a day it soon dawned that this was no good.

Couple of calls on, we picked up another Centre (Shires in Trowbridge) After another trial this was another no no. So as they say,,,,As one door closes, another slams in your face!!!

Trying Todds (He wants a razor for Xmas!!)Idea,,,it seems most of the psy shows are fully booked and don't start until February. We have managed to crash into 2, so will heads up on this later.

We have submitted a claim against the Lapland mess up (This was not cheap!)But this will also take time to come through and with no definate result either way, which could still meen we will lose big time.Meanwhile the accounts set up through our business to cover the lost 6 week run and stocking costs have been frozen until the receivers have completed their paperwork (Proberly by the New Year) This action alone restricts most of our tradeing.

So important lesson learnt >>>> don't put all your eggs (Or balls) In one basket !!! Also,,,,dont trust,,,anyone!!

Xmas >>>>>> Humbug.

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 13, 2009 01:22PM)
Well the Lapland saga is far from dead, with us joining a very long Q trying to get our cash back.

Assets are frozen (Not theirs, they claim to have none) Ours, until the powers that be are convinced that each claim is genuine. This prevents many entertainers investing in this years season as no cash flow is available. Our generators require a service and ticket, Equity insurance dues should have been paid on the 31st December, all the backdrops and props which are re painted and updated before the out are as they were on the last pull down, the 20ft box lorry is still in storage @ £80 a month, no ticket on it as yet and the van is due for its Tax and MOT second week in February.

Not being able to use the float from the bussiness account has put a stop to all preparations, and if we were to source the finance from other accounts the Revenue would queiry it and investigate !!!! So right now were in limbo.

Got a call today from the recievers, warning all of us not to take things into our own hands !!!!

It seems that £500,000 worth of prepaid ticket money has vanished (What a F*****G great trick that was!!!).

On a better note, all should be sorted by the end of March,,,,,ha ha ha,,,,,that gives us 10 days to catch up with all the chores and be on the road.

Showbiz !!!
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Feb 24, 2009 08:03AM)
Heads up on Lapland are,,,we all lost the dosh !! No come back, no justice just F ALL.
On a `lighter note >>> Saw Madame Electra doing her bit for electricity,,,the barker said any one who can remove the keys from this metal plate held by Electra would get to spend the night with her.......a little kid picked up two keys no problem,,,,the barker said >> Nothing << But moved quickly on.What a bummer!

The season is soon upon us, feet are itchy and pockets empty.Still no float cash to cover out costs,,,insurance, rentals and kip houses, so the first weekend will cover the whole year ! We hope. Meanwhile if the old bill stop any of our convoy and check out the tax discs closely, they will find that Robinsons Jam pot lables have a duel purpose!!! Haha, yep been here before.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Mar 7, 2009 10:46AM)
Had a few pm`s regarding our 2009 show dates, so John has been kind enough to put the list up on Sideshow World.

That saves me fingers here!!

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Mar 14, 2009 06:50AM)
Red Nose Day was yesterday so what did you do ???

I of course offered my services for this worthy cause but now the morning after,,,wish I had kept my big mouth shut !

The local British Legion had its fun fund raise and at 9pm I was bound in cuffs, chains and padlocks,,,put into a coffin which was nailed down but not until the whole *&$$! casket had been filled with Baked Beans.

Of course the Great One got out,,,looking a bit like giant orange blob and pleased to have added another £550 to the Comic pot.

This morning, the day after, you might say.

I arose to look in the mirror and see that my skin (All over) Had taken on the colour of a peach.

A phone call to the secretary cleared up the query when it was found that in order to save costs on baked beans they had added water and food colouring to stretch the ammount out !!!! Hence my stained look,,,,,shut up!!

So my good deed, ruined a T shirt, tracksuit bottoms and even gave me peach coloured underwear.

Sure we raised a good bit for charity but $£&&^^*** to next years event.

I shall now be spending a great deal of time with scrubbing brush in hand trying to reach places that seldom see the light of day!!!

Just hope its all off by next weekend cos its the UKEA meeting in Maidenhead and no way is Mr Peaches turning up there in full colour ?

Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Mar 14, 2009 07:06AM)
Good one!

And the reason you're not making them into an exhibit is...?
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Mar 20, 2009 11:48AM)
Because Doug would want a cut !!
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 20, 2009 12:25PM)
A cut? I haven't got one yet....I feel lucky I haven't gotten billed!
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Mar 20, 2009 12:50PM)
I have had an ongoing nightmare for many years, where I'm laying in my room when my stage partner calls me and asks why I'm not backstage yet and it's showtime. I frantically realize I had lost track of time and then start searching for my costume, which is nowhere to be found. Other times its my whole dam suitcase but it's always the same scenario. Me not ready for the show waking in the middle of the night terrorfied.

On monday we flew to work as usual. 7:20 am flight from Orlando to Miami, then two hour lay over then fly to Cancun. Then one hour bus ride to Play Del Carmen. Then one hour Ferry to Cozumel. Airlines have cut down on flying into Cozumel. Awe, the glamours of show biz. We finally arrive at the ship around 4 pm.

When we landed in Cancun I set my wrist watch to local time. We caught the bus and ferry using it.

When I got to our ship I set my travel clock in my cabin to the same time as my watch. Some ships always stay on the home port time while others switch to local time. No rhyme or reason , just some do and some don't. The bad thing is I had forgotten that Cancun/Cozumel have yet to spring forward an hour. Regardless I would have thought the ship would be on local time. Come to find out they adjust for one hour and not the two, as you and I will find out.

So that night I'm sitting on my bed, in my cabin, in my underwear, making roses for my whip act when the phone rings. As I answer it I just happen to glance at the clock and it's 9:15. It's my stage partner who says "Hey man, I was just getting worried about you." I says, why?
He says, "It's 10:15 and our show starts in 15 min."
I say, No it's 9:15. He says he's gonna check and call me back but I was already in frantic mode. No time for the three S's, which I always do before going onstage. I gather my costume and shoes when the phone rings again. "Nope, it's 10:15" "DUCK" I yell, or something like that.

Folks, I don't know how I did it but now I know I can. In 15 minutes I was in make up, costume and had all my props set and the show started on time. I smelled like cigs and the road and felt uncomfortable but they were a great crowd. Canadian spring break. Young enthusiastic college kids ready to have a great time.

Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Mar 22, 2009 11:35PM)
1984 Franzen Bros. Circus....Red Johnson (future founder of C & M Circus), Carlos(concessions guy), Renaldo (Light in the loafers head balancing trapeze guy) and myself head out looking for vittles after the show in the coal mining town in West Virginia we were showing in... All we could find was a Miners bar open at that time of night...Now you have to understand Red was a Hippie logger from California, Carlos was a short Mexican from Fresno, I was nerdy looking and Renaldo was Geared (not that there's anything wrong with that) so when we strolled in the Bar..Needless to say..ALL EYES were on us....We sit at the Bar and the Bartender a burly type says what'll it be!..I asked "Do you have anything to eat?" He replies "ALL WE HAVE IS CHIPS AND BEER!"..OK, I'll have chips and a beer..Red says I'll have chips and a beer...Carlos..same thing,chips and Beer...Now the Bartender gets to Renaldo who is sitting there with a finger on his lip in deep thought...the Bartender hollered 'WHAT WILL IT BE PAL!...Renaldo glanced up and said "Do you have Papaya Juice??"....The Bar went silent!...A Hey Rube was avoided only because we quietly,drank our beer, ate our chips and disappeared....quickly.......
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Mar 23, 2009 06:43AM)
Well that was funny,,,,after I finaly drilled down to it !!! One question, is geared >>> Bent, poofy, batting from the other side, shirt lifter ??? Not sure about the UK translation of this.
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Mar 23, 2009 10:18AM)
Yes I quess, like teeterin on the fence post...
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Mar 23, 2009 10:41AM)
Got ya.
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Mar 25, 2009 04:46AM)
Hello Jim:

Welcome to the Café' The Franzen story was very funny. Wayne was a good friend of mine, I miss talking to him. He sure loved his animals. I remember after tear down, there was Wayne feeding and bedding down the animals, he told me " First the animals eat...then I eat." He gave them the finest care. He had a real bond with them and they loved him. We all miss Wayne and FRANZEN BROS. CIRCUS.

Thanks Jim, and I wish you all the best on your 2009 tour.

Rod Pringle
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Mar 25, 2009 10:12AM)
Rod The first show I ever worked for was Franzen Bros(1979.....Wayne was a incredible man...Many referred to him as the Al.G. Barnes of his time....Best JZ
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Mar 25, 2009 10:18PM)
Hello Jim:

Yes, he always reminded me of Ernest "shootshaw" Haag . I would always meet the show , wshen it was playing close by,with my calliope and my son was on drums,Once I brought a big cake for the tent crew for supper. It was a real honor to have Wayne invite you to eat with the show crew. I have a lot of photos of the early days, and I have a picture of Wayne holding a cake I brought.

One time( in the mid 80's) Wayne suffered a blowdown and the Hammond organ, got soaked with rain and mud. . Wayne called me and said he needed an organ pronto. I had a Hammond Portable I was using at the time and I said I will bring mine down. So I drove down from Michigan and met the show in Westville, Indiana, Jim Neibour was announcing the show and playing trumpet..BOY that guy could play, one of the best trumpet players I ever heard. I remember that Wayne had these little tiger cubs in his trailer, they were all over the place hanging on the curtains etc haha but real cute. He had two baby elephants too along with OKHA . I was standing out side Waynes trailer at one point and I felt something in my pants pocket..It was a tiny elephant trunk trying to get the lifesavers in my pocket haha.

Later... ROD
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Mar 25, 2009 10:40PM)
What a GREAT story Rod...I think you are referring to Paul Niebaur tho, He's the Guy that taught me how to eat Fire and was a longtime and original FBC Alumni...
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Mar 25, 2009 10:54PM)
Hey Rod...Remember Waynes C.B. Handle?...it was Blue Bull...Cause the Bull/animal truck was Blue.which he drove.....But there was a long debate to call him Shootin Bull cause after the work was done...He liked to stand around and shoot the Bull......at least that's what he told everyone....
Message: Posted by: Rod Pringle (Mar 26, 2009 07:42AM)
Hello Jim:

YES! It was Paul Niebaur, its been a long time . Paul was CIRCUS for sure, he always made me feel at home on the lot. He had a GREAT voice for announcing, and his trumpet playing was SUPER! I would always look for that silver Airstream trailer of his. Also Kurt and Heidi Cassidy were super to talk to. I would have a list made up of where to get propane , where the laundry mat was, the feed elevator, things like that, to make life a little easier while the show was in town. ( I never walked into the backyard until invited, just a common courtesy Ive always done.)

No, Jim I never knew Wayne's CB handle, thanks for that bit of history, VERY FUNNY STORY hahaha

I remember in 1964 Bob Coul's show THE FAMOUS COLE CIRCUS, was set up on the outskirts of Saginaw, Michigan. Halfway through the show a cloud burst hit, The tent had a zillion little pin holes in it and the rain came down on the audience in the seats.( It was like a shower in there hahaha)

The last act in the show were the elephants, they came in soaked from the rain , and they shook off the rain like a dog does. and the first two rows in the blues got sprayed with rain hahahaha By the time the act was over there were about 10 drenched die hard circus fans including myself, left in the tent watching the performance, but we left the show happy but soaked to the bone hahaha

Outside, the midway was operating dispite the small crowd, and there in the pouring rain was organist Floyd Bradbury pitching swiss warblers ( voice Throwers) he was completly soaked but right out there pitching. A real trouper and a great guy. I still have the water damaged program from that day. haha

Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Mar 26, 2009 09:56AM)
Great Stuff Rod, 'Warblers" hadnt heard that word in a while,,,H
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Apr 4, 2009 01:25PM)
Well we got it all ready now,,painted and scrubbed with the Jam pot lid Tax discs in the windows.

No way could we have done this without help in the form of an overdraft so the first two shows are already spent.

With a full season already booked it will only become clear if the take is going to be down due to the credit flop. Shows in Germany and France seem to be rideing black which makes a nonsense of our worries, but why. Several Showmen spoken with think that people are tired of the doom and gloom so a release from this helps them to dig deeper into their pockets !! Hope it`s going to be the same here for us.

Once on the road, posts here will be far less, so good luck to those of you who are out at last. Fat hats.

See ya down the road.

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Apr 8, 2009 05:30AM)
Another silly day in the biz!!

* * * * * * * * *

As a kid my stepfather was involved in the running of Marlborough Carnival and as such used to book acts from all over.
I remember one act "The African Doctor" who was a white guy who blacked himself from head to toe, wore a grass skirt and adorned himself with fake gold jewelry. He was a member of the Edwards Fairground people based at that time in Ferndale Road Swindon.

To pick him up from his home as a white guy and see him change in the back of the car on the way back to Marlborough always amazed me. By the time we got to the showground he was indeed an African Doctor.

Now to move forward thirty plus years >>>>>

We wanted to put on a fire show as part of the musical South Pacific,,,this involved a lot of make up to darken all of our skins. Rehearsals started then were stopped by the powers that be!!! Why ? Because in their opinion we were being racist !

The musical was cancelled after a few very heated meetings.

Now forward to last year >>>>>> Prince *******( I shall leave his name blank as other people at this time are going through a Court action with his family) Was working with me at a cabaret venue, he was in his 80`s , had taught me a lot in the past about fire work and he still had a good solid eight minet act even at that age. It was a privelage to tread the boards with him.

Forward to now >>>>> A number of folk want to set up a benefit for the prince and it was put forward that I should perform his act as a tribute to him at this tribute event. This ment to be authenic as possible I had to black up !!! Again I have been told in no uncertain way that I am a racist etc etc.

We are still trying to decide what to do about this.

Back track >>>>> Al Jolson started all this >>>>> The Black & White Minstrals were taken off the box and the consensus now is that if you are white and blackup you are committing a crime punishable by the law, yes, you are branded as a racist !!!!

Due to these nanny state problems in the UK right now and our investigation regarding our rights the following has been exposed.

A Nigerian Theatre Company are planning to put on a show with an all Nigerian cast having to, white up !!!!!
This is still in the debate stage but the outcome either way could cause havoc.

What do you think ??

As a kid I had a Teddy Bear and a Gollywog which went to bed with me.
Got up for breakfast and had Marmalade on toast also collected the paper Gollys which were on the pots in order to save them for a Golly band (Made in metal of course).

Whats next,,,,,,,,banned Clowns makeup, no army camoflage !

I give up.
What is the view, law, attitude in the US ?

Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Apr 8, 2009 06:31AM)
A few years ago, a friend and I were in the beginning stages of writing a revue, featuring 150 years of racial comedy. He's black, I'm, well, not. Each of us was going to do the other, so he'd whiteface, and I'd don cork.

We ran it by a number of other folks, and the horror we evoked, made us decide to shelve the project.

I still think it'd be an amazing show. Oh well.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Apr 8, 2009 04:02PM)
Hey harley - as you are white and he is not may be you could have done it the other way round with no one having to wear SHED loads of grease make up?

And where does all this leave Michale Jackson? Or is he still in Kindergarden as regards the skin colour thing .... or just there for another reason?
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Apr 9, 2009 07:23AM)
I tell everyone that I am really black. I have that Michael Jackson disease... you know the one.... it makes me want to !@#$ little boys.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Apr 14, 2009 11:20AM)
Well the Easter bash has been done with a three dayer near Brands Hatch,,,weather was English,,,overcast, cold, showers so it must be summer!!!

One day out of the three a burster, so we have now taxed all the units and restocked for the next one,,,Dingles Fairground Heritage way down south.

This should be fun working on the Normans Stage with Voltini in the back (Well he`s a little better looking than Merrick,,,I think?).

Off to the Bank now hope the Manager is in a good mood!
All things being equal,,,there should be pics of the next one.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Apr 14, 2009 12:00PM)
John Scott and I were DJs at KBYR in Anchorage in the early 70's. We were the best of friends and we'd do the bar circuit on the weekends. John was black (didn't sound it though). He played 'normal' rock music on his show. I had the 'Soul Patrol' show each night at 7pm and played the black groups like Chi-lites etc. :)
Naturally when we went about the town, people thought I was John and he was Doug. It was always fun. Sadly john took himself out in a high speed run at a tree.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Apr 21, 2009 08:22AM)
Can`t remember who passed this on to me,,,but I think,,,nice, very nice.

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Apr 29, 2009 10:09AM)
Well the Fairground Heritage Show weekend has been done and dusted and what a weekend it was.

My first propper look around Dingles was a shear delight,,,if I had died on the spot and opened my eyes to behold these sights,,I would have thought that it was heaven.

With three days to peruse the thousands of both large and small exhibits,,from posters going back to the 1800`s to Edwards complete and working Dodgems which I rode back in the 60`s myself, then the Oldest P&J Booth in the UK to the solid tyred Sanger show unit (Under restoration) Etc etc,,, a two week holiday would be well spent inside the hangar sized barns which house these attractions.

On to our reason for the booking, we worked the Tom Norman show front, saved from the junk yard and in remarkable condition for its age.
To the rear of the showfront (On the outside of the barn) Voltini set up his tented show which worked as much as they possible could between the other performers booked for this event.

The Saturday saw an influx of Press, with camera crew from Sky filming our complete show and stills from not only the local press but Worlds Fair, ITV, BBC and BBC 2 all showing huge interest in this first time event.

The Sunday had more general public in but by no means in uncomfortable numbers so everyone had a chance to experience this blast from the past. Dave spent the Sunday with us and filmed, took stills etc of everything which moved !!! Which will be supplied to GD Books who have an ongoing project with their Sideshow History literature. I expect a fuller report as Dave saw it from his side, will be posted by him here,,,so further comment from me is not required.

All in all a very enjoyable and well paid four days contract (But the weather was S**T).

Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Apr 29, 2009 10:22AM)
All hail Kondini, Nostalgia King of the Future!

Wish I could have been there to see!
Message: Posted by: Kondini (May 12, 2009 07:34AM)
Stoke Goldington Steam Rally again proved its worth with monster crowds on all days. Pockets were a bit tight regarding the swag and floss but overall a good show and our 15th year appearance.

Now for a first for us. The 3;30pm performance was well under way when two PC`s complete with yellow jackets and walkie talkies on the shout stormed into the throng. Not a thought for me being in mid stream they questioned a ten year old kid as to her identity right there and then oblivious to the fact that a show was in full flight.

So I stopped dead,,,they really got my goat up,,,heavy heckler rebuffs from me sent them both off with a flea in their ears and the speckies loved every minet of it. Constant reference to the kid,,,still seated,,,regarding her being a crim,,,brought forth much applause and merriment from the four hundred plus audience,,,,,the heavy handed, inconsiderate attitude of the British Police Force has once more turned the public against them. It was rude, not warrented and completly OTT, not one person supported their stupid behavior.

But, did it stop there !!! Hell no. The jumped up twits only got their commanding officer to come and have a quiet word with me after the show,,,,was I quiet !!! You gotta be jesting.......soon a crowd developed and to put this to rest,,,,general public scored 10,,,Old Bill 0....they left somewhat despondant with their lives and jobs in general,,,proberly never to act out such a scenario again !!!

Was I on the look out for the blue plague on the drive from showground to home ? Did I keep well within the speed limit ??? Course I did. I know how they "work" !

Onto Shillingstone....Ken.
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (May 12, 2009 10:04PM)
Kondini..."Where the HELL were YOU during the Bush Era??" Geez, We coulda used ya!....
Message: Posted by: Kondini (May 13, 2009 04:34AM)
The secret was >>>> He who has the mike always wins !!! Haha
Message: Posted by: Rotten (May 27, 2009 11:05PM)
First off I am going to just ignore what is going on in this forum in some places. I miss the old days here. All the sharing and joking and making of friends. (sigh)

Live and Learn
So I produced, directed, wrote and performed our sideshow for the first time. What? you say. First time??? In the past our sideshow was produced and paid for by a theme park. Three seasons. Then we did some private parties and have performed it on a cruise ships. This was the first time we produced and advertised all on our own in a four wall situation. It sucks. I don't know how you guys ever make it past your first first of may?

I know I learned ALOTT about marketing and too many other things to mention. I fully intend on going back to next years Fringe and seeing it grow. But alas Sideshow is officially a hobby for me. But how many of my friends fish, kayak, hunt, and many other hobbies that doesn't earn them one thin cent? So my toys are tax deductions and I make a little money. And when I'm not on a ship perhaps I'll pick up some gigs @ Hard Rock live or other bars around town opening for bands. Not really my favorite crowd but they are the ones that will want to see the stunts. I'll have to cut down the cerebral jokes and just stick to the tricks monkey boy.

Being our first year and no one knows who we are in town we had a GREAT run. Fantastic review. Our audience kept building and just when we were catching steam it was over. Now it did rain almost the entire fest, they raised the button price two dollars, and the economy is tanked so attendance was down.

It was exhausting and rewarding and I highly recommend it to anyone who is brave enough. I hope that in the following year we will see a growth of local appearances. (up till now we have only performed one private event and one public event in Orlando and we have been here almost 7 years) And if things keep growing maybe take the show on the road, in America that is. We will do our sideshow as a midnight on the ship but once again, not really the crowd for this act. We might have some walk outs and I don't like those.

Mostly it's great to create again. Knock the rust of the old and turn the screws on the new. We slaughtered the houses (video of their reaction coming soon) and it was very nice taking a break from the greatest job I can imagine having. Now I'll go back to work with glee and not take her for granted.

Highlights were when my new blockhead routine killed them. Sitting back stage just before the show I was sweating bullets worried it would tank. I had to wait five seconds for every laugh break. I felt like Bob Hope. See I talk for 4 minutes before I even tell them what I'm going to do. I have to admit it is a hilarious monologue that is very hard for me to keep my dead pan look through I just didn't know if it would be funny to other people.

Col. Wally's broken glass routine was another thing of beauty. Another monologue in a spot light as he removes his shoes. A creepy and true story about my father. Sets a weird undertone just before he gets goofy on glass.

We were both frazzled when it was all over but as the dust settles I am very happy with our achievements.

Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 1, 2009 12:15PM)
Fellow Blockheads...Lend me your nose...
Cause mine hurts.
I do something that even I consider stupid in my shows. I let an audience volunteer pull the nail out of my nose.
Up until this weekend, I had only one person ever accidentally push the nail in. 5 years, one time because we were outside in the cold and he was shivering.
The nail I use is 5"...and it completely bottoms out against the front of my skull. There is no room for pushing.
This weekend I had two people push the nail, two separate shows. The first pushed and wiggled it trying to pull it out, basically carving his initials inside my head with the tip of the nail.
The second just pushed- Hard.
The second one was in the last show of the day.
The one where I cut my foot glasswalking worse than I had ever cut my foot before.
There were puddles. Big red glossy puddles. In the exact middle of the show. I wound up wrapping my foot in gauze on stage while still doing my lines for the show.
And this was for "family friendly" audience.
Got great tips but dang...I am beat, tired and sore.
And a little whiny about it.
Thanks for the venting space.
Message: Posted by: Michael K (Jun 1, 2009 09:10PM)
Vent away, especially if it helps ease the pain.

"Not too long ago, a good friend of mine shared with me a story that I'll never forget. They say that dumb people never learn from their mistakes, but smart people do learn from their mistakes, while wise people learn from smart people's mistakes. I try to be wise." http://scottfguinn.blogspot.com/ (Which has some good stories about others' mistakes with magic and business. A very good read)

Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jun 2, 2009 07:51AM)
Hey Gwyd, hope it was a nice softly polished dull headed stainless steel Nippulini nail at least! Audience participation... well, it works for the genre of stage show, but can be flawed.... just ask my left nipple.
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 2, 2009 08:56AM)
Why yes! As a matter of fact it was a world famous Nippulini Nail! None but the best for my nose!!
I'll still use an audience volunteer for the pull but am going to change the patter just slightly.
Over 500 shows with only three pushes...I'll risk it.
Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jun 2, 2009 01:45PM)

We have only had one incident of bloody feet from glass walking in many years but we always carry super glue just in case. A little squirt and the show goes on and the bleeding stops. You are CRAZY for letting them pull it out. I agree with you on that sir. Made me cringe reading it. You got big walls.
Message: Posted by: CJRichard (Jun 2, 2009 06:16PM)
Would there be a problem with having a volunteer tie a string around the head of the nail to begin, then conclude with someone pulling the string to remove the nail?

Impossible to push with the string, and also eliminates the possible ickiness of handling a nail that's been up someone's nose.

The visual image of the volunteer standing a few feet back and tugging the string might have an impact, too.

This would still allow the spec to handle the nail beforehand and prove it's real.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Jun 2, 2009 06:45PM)
That's a brilliant idea!
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jun 2, 2009 06:56PM)
How about a thin silver chain?
Message: Posted by: BostonBlackie (Jun 2, 2009 08:25PM)
I like the chain/string idea.
For years I've had people HOLD the nail, stressing not to move or they will hurt me, and that I will move. I then back up with them holding the nail.
Message: Posted by: Stephon (Jun 2, 2009 09:30PM)
That's a good image; I wouldn't be able to do it, cuz I have a bend in my nasal passage and have to change the angle of withdrawl as I remove the nail.

I have a volunteer remove the nail, also using the same method as a sword swallower does with a volunteer removing a sword. Explaining everything to the volunteer ahead of time, I take ahold of the head of the nail with the pliers, tell them to hold onto the pliers, and I pull my head off the nail. I make sure to keep my hand firmly on her's the whole time. Never had an incident of pushing, yet.
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Jun 3, 2009 02:04AM)
Message: Posted by: gsidhe (Jun 3, 2009 07:41AM)
On 2009-06-02 19:16, CJRichard wrote:
Would there be a problem with having a volunteer tie a string around the head of the nail to begin, then conclude with someone pulling the string to remove the nail?

Impossible to push with the string, and also eliminates the possible ickiness of handling a nail that's been up someone's nose.

The visual image of the volunteer standing a few feet back and tugging the string might have an impact, too.

This would still allow the spec to handle the nail beforehand and prove it's real.
I like the idea, but I see more potential problems with that.
Using a string, there are a lot more variables. More likely for them to pull off center (Slightly down, up, to one side, etc...) which can hurt almost as much as a push. Also a greater chance of a sudden jerk, also off to the same angles as above.

I think I might go towards pulling my face off of the nail as opposed to them pulling it out. I like that route.

And Rotten...Agreed on the superglue. Great stuff. It should be in every first aid kit.
Message: Posted by: thegreatnippulini (Jun 3, 2009 07:47AM)
On 2009-06-03 08:41, gsidhe wrote:
...chance of a sudden jerk...[/quote]

Chance is NOT a sudden jerk! Maybe a slow one, but not sudden.
Message: Posted by: dave_matkin (Jun 6, 2009 01:26PM)
On 2009-06-02 19:56, thegreatnippulini wrote:
How about a thin silver chain?

oh do I "see" a great new nipps product? the BH nail with a small chain fastend to the end?

I have had many problems with getting people to hold the nail to "pull" it out - even with plyers - they just don't want to do it over here (well not for me!) May be its just me?

Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Jun 6, 2009 01:51PM)
Tell them you are Bono's brother.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jun 22, 2009 02:55PM)
Well we are still on the run with last week at Ashby Magna in the Leicester area. The show although weather was good had a poor intake as the Grand Prix (Just down the road) Took all the punters, made travel within a 50 mile radius impossible with even the M1 at a standstill.

With the Flea Circus and six shows under the belt we were talking with a few locals and the following came to light.

It was the anniversary of Daniel Lambert`s death.

Daniel (A local) was born in 1770 a celeb in the area and worked as a Prison Warder.

His claim to fame being that he wieghed in at 52 Stone and had a waist size of 9ft 4inches. He died on the 21st June 1809 aged 39 years.

Now there is a museum of his articals and life as a big fella which is located in the Liecester boundary (Not sure where) With such an attraction it was not long before he found self exhibiting and self promotion to be more profit making than working for the state and it is believed he made a good bundle from this.

A freak who self promoted rather than being presented by,,,,was a new concept for this type of performer and he made the way for many who followed his lead,,,,cutting out the middle man !!!!

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jun 29, 2009 11:45AM)
Returned from Shugborough Hall in the Midlands on Cannock Chase.

What a show !

What a c@ck up.

The arena was huge and put smack bang in front of the Hall (Speckies visiting the house had a free view of all the acts in the arena without paying the entrance fee to the show).

An organ was placed just outside the arena (Faceing towards it) I was placed next to the organ, opposite me was Stoates Giant P&J outfit which also edged with the public Bar !!!!

So the show opens, we all have our show times (Which overlapped) The start of the day with the Hawk and Eagle display over ran by twenty minets so off went this mad event.

We all plied for trade,,,,managed to do my slots on both days but in the process upset the organ and parrot shows,,,with a finaly of Mr Punch packing up early cos he said the kids wouldnt come to him !!!!!

The whole thing was a disaster waiting to happen, hardly anyone turned up (No publicity and what publicity there was, was conviscated by the local Council for fly pitching).

My first ever dismissel of an audience took place when it was obvious that the drunks were out to give me a hard time,,,so I shut them down before they had a chance with a few choice remarks, some huge fire blowouts (Making sure I covered the punks with fuel)Then walked off stage with the request that on the next performance the audience be made up of human beings rather than half baked beanS!!! It worked,,,the next set was a blast.

The manager "vanished" before paying so we hung around till he returned,,,hahaha,,he apologised for it being such a rotten event, then paid us with a pre dated cheque !!!! Will it clear !!! God knows.

Next week Bromyard Gala,,,a proper show and our tenth year.

Message: Posted by: Rotten (Jul 1, 2009 01:14AM)
Last night our sideshow premiered on a CCL ship. We gave everyone a solid warning of the content being not suitable for those of the weak of heart. It was adults only, no one under 18, and we had about 700 people for a midnight show. There were many that loved it and a few that were repulsed by it. We warned them. Our sound tech played the loudest, hardest, heavy metal music in his collection for preshow. I figured that would weed out the weak. A few that couldn't handle it walked out but we got a standing O at the end so the walk outs can shut the front door.

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jul 31, 2009 06:43AM)
A very busy but wet season so far and not worthy of comment.
Not able to post often due to the lack of internet access but this morning after getting up late the day started real bad.

The press rang with a request as to my views on certain things which were going on regarding sideshow in the USA. They say any press is good but from the questions and attitude of the reporter, this will not be the case.Will not elaborate on this as I may be barking up the wrong tree and my aim is to preserve what we do rather than castigate it.

I do however, feel that this will not be shoved under the carpet and failure to respond add credance to their attitudes and perception of freaks and show life. Also to respond could bring the anti`s out of the woodwork which would blow up in our own faces. Bottom line is, we have given the anti`s amunition which should never have happened in the first place.

Just received another call, from a sideshow performer who has also been quized ?

If this snowballs the whole industry will suffer.

Signing off now as I hope to drill down to it.

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 2, 2009 06:35AM)
Off we go again,,,sods law.
Here I am playing at home, its Sunday and we were due to appear at Matlock Show over the weekend.

We did Dunster Castle last Wednesday, drowned out and water logged we made nothing, returned home to a phone call to find that the ground at Matlock was flooded so no show for the weekend !!!!

To cap it all, I gave Dave Matkin a nice little earner for this weekend on the Isle of Mann cos we were "Double booked" ! So Dave made the dosh while Im crying over me coffee.

Got to get a proper job.

The long range forecast from the Met Office for this season was a BBQ summer, they get high pay for predictions!!! B@st@rds.

Next weekend underwater fire-eating display at Evesham.

Just like Comedy ! Sorry Todd.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Aug 2, 2009 11:00AM)
On 2009-08-02 07:35, Kondini wrote:
Just like Comedy ! Sorry Todd.

Et tu, Brute?

Big Todd Robbins & Son
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 3, 2009 01:09PM)
Carbarium, frute an nuticum, popularis !

Little Ken Dean & Sons & Daughters, whoever & where ever they are.
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Aug 3, 2009 11:55PM)
On 2009-08-03 14:09, Kondini wrote:
Carbarium, frute an nuticum, popularis !

I have no idea what that means. When it comes to latin, it's all greek to me.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Aug 4, 2009 01:08AM)
Like so many other languages, eh?
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 4, 2009 05:33AM)
It means " Im a Cadburys Fruit and Nutcase" (Cadburys as in Chocolate !
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 10, 2009 07:09AM)
Three days at the Evesham Country Show was a blast, in more ways than one !

My set was positioned three hundred yards direct in line with Pam Kelders Organs.

The Kelder Family (Very rich lot) Have a number of show organs. On this occasion the "Victory Concert Organ" was positioned to the right of their "Locomotionn Organ" with a thirty foot screen between the two.
As night time fell, both organs played on their own and in sync with each other. The massive screen showing clips from well known films while the music to these films blasted out from the organs.

All was scripted to perfection, with the clips changing as the music changed, such delights as Dads Army, Grease, 633 Squadron etc etc all had a showing. The whole set lasting around two hours.

These huge Dutch Gavs with the equaly huge Dutch Kelder family were OTT in every way, superb polished presentation and organs worth thousands of pounds kept to perfection.

The only draw back for me was waking up at 8;30am to them and listening constantly with no break till 11pm each and every night. My ears still ringing from the sound we drove off site only to be presented with free CD`s from this Dutch crew,,,,now should I smash them over their heads or what ? No we took them with many thanks all round and silently hoped that it would be a long while before we bump into them again.

On a sadder note >>>> The planned exchange with the US has been put on hold indefinately due to US business men withdrawing their offers.

After finaly drilling down to it, it seems the bad showmen press over your side of the pond has caused this to happen,,,shame cos it could have been a blast (Especialy as the Kelder family were to be invited).

The Euro run is on.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 10, 2009 07:23AM)
It was such a minor story...how could it have derailed such a worthy enterprise? We are so freakin' bankrupt with this PC crap. Gutless bustards.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Aug 17, 2009 01:13PM)
Here is another for the record books.

Booker of three engine rallies books you for all three events.

Booker says his word is his bond and over the last thirty years of rallying has never had to deal with signed contracts.

So event number one is completed,,,off to pick up the cash,,,two hours later booker is located. Explains he never took enough on the gate to cover expenses but would have a cheque in the post on its way to you within forty eight hours.

Three days down the line, no cheque ! a phone call clears this up with the fact that he has been far too busy and it slipt his mind. Still not to worry he will pay when you get to the next event,,,,in cash.

So you ring two days before show number two, just to remind him about the dosh due for show number one.......also you mention that the cost of show two is the same as show one due to the travel expenses being the same (A round trip of eight hours). He then declares that as show two is a new venue he has no intention of paying the full verbaly adreed fee,,,,only expenses costs for this show !!!

So what do you do,,,not go to show two and possible end up with nowt, or go to show two knowing (On his word) That you will get full payment in cash for show number one plus expenses for show two,,,at the very least >>>?

Arrival at show two proves that he has no cash for show one until completion of show two !!!!!

Here is the kicker,,,at the end of show two,,,once more he in no where to be found. Now to add to the fun,,,the parrot show, the two funfare operators plus umpteen others are all out looking for the elusive booker !

Eventualy he is cornered and upon emptying his pockets it is found that the only money he has is thirty pounds short of show number ones payement.

True story,,,happened to us,,,show two was last weekend,,,,beware of Mr DABID HOYLES,,,MIDLAND RALLY AND EVENTS CLUB>>>> 81 Westwick Road,Bilborough, Notts, NG84HB UK Tel: 01159135823 www./davehoyles.co.uk

BEWARE BEWARE there are rip off merchants everywhere.

Sowbiz ! TBC

Message: Posted by: abigkahuna/1 (Aug 17, 2009 09:50PM)
Reminds me of the beginning of the movie Treasure of the Sierra Madre. What a bummer...
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Oct 5, 2009 03:05PM)
Just done the week at Bridgewater Fair,,,been going for 600 years and some of the locals still think its a pain.

What with the drunks, druggies, prossies and Irish Travellers up to their abnormal tricks,,all in all the take was good and we are booked in for next year !

Now getting there on the Monday was a way of pitching before the rush, but the Council decided not to close off the roads till Tuesday morning. We got sent off with a flea in the ear and had to find a park up for the night.

Six miles out on the Quantock Hills we stumbled on a fresh water lagoon (Hawkeridge Lake) Complete with scenic view and hard standing parking.

As per normal the van was full of swag including large body parts for Ghost Trains which had been pre ordered by some of the showmen. Even our bed was piled roof high with Zombie cut off heads and three foot rubber bats. We crammed as much as we could onto the front seats and positioned a half body in the drivers seat with its hands holding the steering wheel.

Couple of hours into darkness and passing traffic must have picked up these odd shapes in there headlights,,,,,you can guess the results,,,mayhem to the extent that odd happenings were going on at the beauty spot. Along comes the old Bill and thank goodness they could see the funny side of things !!! So we covered the offenders in a sheet (Which looked even spookier to me) Then settled down for the night.

Upon reflection, I could have gained press capital from this and should have tipped them the wink as to the oddities on the hills,,,kicked myself for letting this chance pass me by,,,,still,,,next year.

Message: Posted by: Kondini (Oct 13, 2009 12:25PM)
Sherborne Pack Monday was up again despite the crunch,,,set up at 2am breakdown at 3am 25 hours later, then a 2 hour drive,,,not slept for three days now completly knackered.

There is no biz like showbiz ******ks.

Got ta get me a proper job.

Working with HD Fairs at Windsor racecourse we were next to the Guild of Blacksmiths,,,been a long time since hitting the anvil but the soft metal under a ballpane has a special feeling to it, once experienced and never forgotten.

The trailer hitch snapped on the Mendip hills with a £400 repair bill to follow !!!
Being on the backend run with high costs has once more put pressure on the showmen,,now with Government changes and costs a few more will go under. The biz is going out,,,the country is F****D.
Message: Posted by: abigkahuna/1 (Oct 13, 2009 05:41PM)
Well we arrived here at the Arizona State Fair late last night. Our RV space was between two carnival bunk houses with the folks leaning out their doors waiting for whatever. No way I could back into the spot and not rip out their stairs on either side... So moved down a couple of spots with decent electric and water, et al. I burrowed in like a mole and hunkered down for the night.

Woke up early this morning to go to the office and pay the 700 bucks to park the RV and stock vehicle for the duration of the fair. The gal up in the office just simply took white out and removed us from spot "Five" and penciled us in space "9". SO far so good. Now off to find the gentleman we book through. We don't book through the fair on this spot, but through someone that runs "Mexican VIllage" His dad did this for years and now its his turn. Excellent guy and takes care of his vendors.

Well seems as though yesterday the fair told him that he was losing spaces because a sponsor was coming in with a big semi and park it right where we and a few other booths were to be. We booked for a 20 foot spot this year and in past years we went 20 back. This year we were planning to put up both the "museum" and the product booth. But we have been squeezed out of our spot. Some shuflling was done and the end result is we have another spot, slightly better than in years past, but its only 10 foot deep. So we are only going to set up the product booth this year. Its the second time this year we have had spaced squeezed out. Both times the museum had to be sacrificed. Too bad, cause in the week interim between Puyallup fair up in Washington State and Phoenix, we stopped off at our home in Northern California and I built a new ticket box for the museum. Looks great! Oh well.

We shall see if this pans out. Don't like coming here. Fuel was some 800 bucks from our house to Phoenix, but we stopped off at the casinos in Indio and my darling wife hit a jackpot that paid for the fuel. Two more numbers and we could have turned around and went back home!

Maybe next time.

It will be in the upper 90s to 100 degrees this week so we are waiting till tonight to begin set up.
Message: Posted by: Fitz (Oct 13, 2009 06:34PM)
Sorry to hear about your spot, if I remember correctly the museum was bumped in Tucson a few months ago. I was looking forward to seeing the museum in Phoenix, I'll try to come out and say hi anyway.

Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: abigkahuna/1 (Oct 14, 2009 12:51AM)
You are right Fitz, we were squeezed out of our spot there too, not on purpose though. Same thing here. Just one of those last minute fair things. But we will be selling the HIppy stuff, We should be in the same general area of 19th and McDowell entrance. Was hoping to have both booths together to have at least one pay day. Look forward to seeing you, stop on by and we';ll cut some jackpots...
Message: Posted by: The Curator of the Unusual (Oct 14, 2009 12:57AM)
Kahuna...sorry to hear of your mis-fortune....aint Showbiz Grand.....I feel your pain....Hope you hit a Homerun with the Hippy stuff...your Friend The Curator....
Message: Posted by: abigkahuna/1 (Oct 14, 2009 01:52AM)
Hey Curator, Hows things in Waco. I understand up there in Dallas, Fort Worth, its been rain, rain rain. Talked to Kimo who has games here and there and says its beyond bad... Been a sad year for a lot of folks. Hope the grass is green out there...
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 24, 2010 07:02AM)
To update, all in all the 2009 season was a bummer for everyone in the shows working the UK run.

It has taken all of the season to replace the monies lost on the Lapland fiasco the season before.

The planned Organ exchange run which was a definate for the 2010 season has fizzed down to just an exchange of Organs appearing on established rallies both here and on the continent ! The Kelder family will once again be showing with Shakespears Rallies and the Great Dorset.

Why the you turn,,,,,,money or should I say a lack of it.

Although we are fairly lucky with a full season ahead, many of the smaller shows have vanished completly and even the well established are asking us to keep fees as at last season. All very well with our costs going up which will equal a drop in wages for us all.

What with the weather killing off any outside winter gigs it requires dipping into the savings or going on the state,,my opinion regards this would be to sell up (At a loss) Emigrate to warmer climbs and become a dosser, like so many of the imported dossers now bleeding the workers dry in the UK I would do the same cos it sure don`t pay to be honest and work hard all your life over here.

We are planning on going in a different direction but age limits capabilities, however this biz is all I and many others know so we are in a catch twenty two situation.

I have never known it so hard.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jan 24, 2010 01:29PM)
Sorry to hear all that Ken. An observation...Burlesque and 'Vaudville' seems like on a comeback there and over here...I'll put a wager many things, late 1940's 'Nostalgic' will blossoming again in full force in not too long.
Seriously, I sense a very strong trend approaching and I've been right on such things many times. Not just a brief fad either.

My advise to would be to semi Old Timey it up...World War 2 era in style and look and approach. People seems to be going back to who they WERE...who they WANT to be rather than what they are being told they are and definately not who they see they have become...the signs are everywhere...especially with the more middle class strata and in the entertainments they will be choosing. Hang in there my friend...you are about to make a comeback and with the others 'out' you can set the pace. 'Edgy' is about to take a massive hike.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jan 24, 2010 04:04PM)
On 2010-01-24 14:29, Doug Higley wrote:
Burlesque and 'Vaudville' seems like on a comeback there and over here...I'll put a wager many things, late 1940's 'Nostalgic' will blossoming again in full force in not too long.

...Seriously, I sense a very strong trend approaching and I've been right on such things many times. Not just a brief fad either....

...My advise to would be to semi Old Timey it up...World War 2 era in style and look and approach. [/quote]

I'm ready

Mr. Pitts
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Jan 25, 2010 10:32AM)
Thanks for that Doug,,, will look into it.

What ever happens we have plenty of prebooked shows but its not the getting of the work its the return from what you do that`s the problem.

We are lucky compared to many as we have had the best from it over the years and with the house paid for and few outgoings we will survive. The worry is of useing from one pot to suppliment the biz we know and love. I will find it hard to turn my hand in another direction but with a few strings to the bow we will do what we have to.

The vanish of Club and Cabaret work and thinning of proper paid outside shows will restrict where we can play. To think we could make the same £££ from a zibbit or swag unit would be silly as the punters too are finding it hard to get by.

To travel, maybe street work, tuition or even writings come to mind but the general vien will be to slow down,,,which aint gonna be easy !!!