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Topic: Side show resources!
Message: Posted by: kaos (Feb 27, 2004 05:11AM)
Hi I am looking for the best way to learn side show stunts. best resources stuff like that.
any help would be very much appreciated!
thanks in advance!
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Feb 27, 2004 09:29AM)
As you may know, we run a Sideshow School here in New York. The Sideshow School has been scheduled to start the first week in April 2004. We will have two sets of classes covering the same material. We will do a once a week session that will be from 6 to 10pm every Wednesday evening for six week starting April 7th. The other session will run five days, April 5-9 during the day. The time will probably be 12 noon to 4pm. This week long session is geared towards people that are coming from out of town and can't spend six weeks in NY.

In the course you will learn Fire Eating, Snake Charming, The Human Blockhead, Sword Swallowing, the Bed of Nails, the Electric Chair Act, the Blade Box, how to stick your hand into an animal trap, the Strait Jacket escape, basic whip cracking, the art of the Outside Talker and much more.

Please call Dick Zigun at 718-372-5159 to register. If you have any other questions, just let me know.

Todd Robbins
Chairman of the Board, Coney Island USA
Dean of the Coney Island Sideshow School
Message: Posted by: kaos (Feb 27, 2004 10:21AM)
That sounds great but unfortunatly I am in the UK and have nowhere near enough money to fly to New York for a week!
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Feb 27, 2004 11:39AM)
Charlie Holland is part of a circus school in London. They might have some instruction in sideshow skills. There is a lot of material in print and online about sideshow skills, but most of it is inadequate or just plain wrong. You need personal instruction from someone that knows what they are talking about. Post a question on Slim's board. The link was posted just a few days ago. Someone in the UK might be able to help you.
Message: Posted by: kaos (Feb 27, 2004 04:01PM)
Will do!
Thanks for your help.
Message: Posted by: Kondini (Feb 28, 2004 02:48PM)
Make friends with Barry Walls (I think he is in the Grantham area) This guy is the UK daddy of the sideshow.
Message: Posted by: nimrod (Mar 25, 2004 06:35AM)
Hey Todd,

isn't there a good side show instructions book ? why don't you put one out, or even better: a set of dvds?
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Mar 25, 2004 01:07PM)
In regard to sideshow skills, nothing can come close to personal instruction. If you don't have the right alignment, learning sword swallowing will be difficult, if not impossible. I've had people working on it on their own for months and after one session of personal instruction they are able to down a coat hanger. You just can't get that from a book or even DVD. And this holds true for a bunch of skills, not just sword swallowing. There's a difference between information and knowledge.
Message: Posted by: oscarquella (Sep 27, 2004 08:01AM)
I got an old Brill's, but decided to not use it when it said I should eat fire with an asbestos rope torch.
Message: Posted by: Slim Price (Sep 27, 2004 12:49PM)
I second Todd's statements. I also teach, and even those who think they know what they are doing can use someone to point out errors, and usually add presentation skills. As far as books, I decided not to produce mine because of problems with a contentious society, who is just lurking, waiting for any chance to sue. There are too many kids out there with no brains who think "It won't happen to me!" regarding the dangers.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Sep 27, 2004 04:45PM)
Smart not to go with Brill's!!!!

He once told me he did the blueprints for his ferris wheel plans by measuring ONE strut when they werent looking and then extrapolating for the entire ride. hahaha.

AK was a gem but his stuff was a bit rough around the facets.

Also Slim...good call on that one! I can see the lawyers lined up at your door.

Message: Posted by: darkp0is3n (Sep 28, 2004 09:28PM)
Me and my dad have made a mutual agreement, no more performing any dangerous sideshow acts until I am older, and with a pro. I just went a long with it, he is looking for the best of me. People have been trying to copy me in a few ways, no dangerous stuff, just mental floss, etc. I had them taken to the principles office and they made me talk to them about the dangers of it, etc. So no more at school...it was okayed by a teacher for me to show her to...so I didn't get into trouble or anything.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Sep 29, 2004 04:46AM)
Brill's stuff does raise questions.

While some of his details on the Water Torture Cell seem practical, the method of initially escaping the ankle stocks looks hazardous. A twist the wrong way during the hoisting and you could suddenly drop onto your head.