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The Curator of the Unusual
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WOD are not very profitable on this side of the Pond at fairs as a pay attraction...Most WOD operators are paid as a "Free Attractin"..If they are at a Fair...1 reason is Globe of Deaths are part of a Paid attraction at the Fair as either a Circus or a Stunt Show....as with a Sideshow...Fire and Electrical inspections are basically the Norm...very rarely does a Building inspector get involved....Showmen for Century's have promised acts the "World"...all I can say if one is traveling from 'Jolly Old England" to work in the US...MAKE sure your Employer is Reputable...Also most acts are Hired as Independent Contractors and are responsible for their own Health Insurance,taxes ect...Once again, I believe the attraction should be inspected for Public Safety and carry Liability Insurance...However, I do not believe in Goverment dictating what I should provide for "Contract acts"...If one wants to have a Health plan retirement ect., ect, Go work for General Motors ....because basicly there is not enough $$$ on a Midway to provide these services to "Contract Acts"...and more Goverment Regs will only lead to the extinction of Shows of any type on American Midways...Sorry about your Freind Ken...Yet, if he thought the wall was unsafe, and the Living conditions were unsuitable, all I can suggest is do more research on the Employer before taking the job....
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

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Kondini
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I quite agree and as a self employed person Ken was not looking for anything other than a salary and bunkbed. Pensions etc do not come into this equasion. If I employed people (At one time I had five staff to look after) I would make sure they had at the very least a bed to sleep in and good working conditions. If not, I would have not been able to hire.

What still puzzles me is how could such an abortion ever get Public Liability Insurance ?

Yes, the walls here get paid gigs and globes are nothing to compare to a good show on the wall. I know of a tented Globe which never got a percentage of the return the Wall did,it lasted a season then sold to Aus.

Ken.
Rod Pringle
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Check out this clip from 1964 . The movie was Roustabout starring Elvis Presley. There are some nice shots of the WOD in this movie, plus some footage of the rider too I also recall that Arron Brill had building plans for a WOD Motordrome in his Bible Of Building Plans this was in the late 60's and early 70's. You can still find Brill plans on E bay , and from Good magic .com Wayne Keyser). maybe one of these old Drome plans are for sale somewhere.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRy6UvCZpLc
Doug Higley
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Ken as I remember the old days...the Indian's (un muffled) were used on the Bally ONLY for their big rumble and size and maybe one on the wall with the sidecar for the lion. But on the wall they mostly used smaller unmuffled CZ Jawa's (Ear splitting!) Or was it the other way around? Anyway there were two types of bikes used. I do remember the Lion in the sidecar's tail ws shorter each season. ;-)

Brill's Bible by the way had a 'plan' available. But remember Brill would extrapolate his measurments from a single REACHABLE piece. he told me once of how he did the plan for the Ferris Wheel. He measured ONE strut. Yipe!

These days the hot act is in the globe with 3 or 4 bikes and Ringling knockin' it out of the park with SEVEN high speed motorcycles racing crossovers in in the globe.

As a sideshow though the Wall is King!
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
The Curator of the Unusual
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Public Liability Insurance can be aqquired by finding a Company that will write a policy...Generally they ask what you have..and a fee is set..Although they ussually send out a Rep to inspect, this does not always happen, Fairs ect. ussually want a $1million - $2million policy...that covers Public Liability and for Damages to the grounds...Either way, when one recieves the policy..It is assumed The Insured Party meets or exceeds ALL Regs. So in effect, the WOD in question may only have a piece of paper to operate, but in reality may not meet the conditions of the policy..making it VOID in case of a Claim....Either way this Insurance has nothin to with a "Contracted Act"..as far as your Freind, working For Reputable Showmen is the responsibility of the Act...even if he has a contract I doubt it is worth the Paper it is written on...and even if he recieved a judgement for expenses incurred, I highly doubt he would recieve 1 penny...but would surely end up spending more out of pocket $$ for naught..He should write it off as a bad expierence and move on...As for Globes versus WOD...I feel WOD's are more entertaining...But Globes get the $$ cause they are always part of another Deal...That is why WOD's are most likely seen at Bike Rally's and such...Nobody sells tickets to veiw them as a stand alone attraction anymore, They are almost always "Bought-out as a Free act...The ones I see that try to bally and sell Tickets end-up as a Losing proposition...
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Doug Higley
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Jim...do the WOD's show up at the big rallys? Like Sturges?
I've only been to smaller meets.
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Kondini
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That`s more like it.
The Curator of the Unusual
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Doug
Yes, somtimes 2 in Sturges...Like I said earliar, the WOD Kondini refers to, was at the Showmans Club in Gibtown for "Bike Week"...If I had known Kondini's Freind was there, I would of "Rolled out the Red-carpet" for him and helped in any way...WOD nowadays are almost always a PAID FREE attraction...3 years ago a WOD was in front of me at a fair (They were from Canada)...they Ballyed and sold tickets...I don't believe they made the nut...
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Kondini
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Ken had no intention of any action and from start to finish put it down to experience, he just said it as he found it, no sourer grapes just info for those thinking the grass could be greener.

The act in a globe is very limited compared to a good sized wall, have yet to see go carts raceing around a globe or 2x2 crossovers with 4 bikes or passengers in multiple sidecar rigs.

That is a difference for sure, over here the wall will wipe the floor with any globe.

Indians are used on the wall (Maybe its down to tradition) Also steam bikes attract as well.

If you saw Carradine on the bally and with the noise as well which can be heard all over the showground you would understand why the public Q to see.

At the Great Dorset Steam Rally (The largest of its kind in the world) Two walls stood side by side, two shows per hour, riding black from 10am till midnight.
The Curator of the Unusual
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On another note...I know a lot of Folks here are acts that generally play venues other than the "Midway"...with that said, One must realise that on a Midway, it is NOT ABOUT THE SHOW...it is ABOUT MAKING MONEY...and "If one Builds it,They will Come"...is a Farce!...Even tho We all LOVE and ENJOY WOD's, Sideshows ect..Simply puttin them on a Midway garuntees NOTHING...Sure, all the shows we adore and shows we would gladly ante up for and buy a Ticket, does not mean the General Fair going public will do the same...In many ways the Modern-Showman has to be more of a Showman today to survive than our predosessors...The "Shows of Old" were more Elaborate and Grander, but could not survive in today's world of Television, internet and Goverment Regulation...WOD's are truly a thing of the Past, and many Sideshows and Grind-shows, may not be far behind....For the "Midway and Public tastes...are a changin....
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
The Curator of the Unusual
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Ken...

I have no Doubt the UK WOD's are profitable....
Perhaps they are more Professionally run and operated over there...
and, The British seem to know what they are, and what they are about...
Yet, over here they have been unseen by most for a long-time and the Public needs to be reeducated...unfortunately that is not feasible for Showman that need to pay Bills today....
I hope someday I can travel to Jolly Ole England to veiw a Truly Sensational WOD, and also I would like to visit "Carters Steam Fair"....
Best to you and ALL UK Showmen....
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Rod Pringle
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Doug:

Brill was from the old school, many of his ride plans suggested using a Model T rear end Axle attached to an electric motor or gas engine, and to use Lamp Black from a kerosene lamp for a pounce to make signs and banners with ha ha

ROD
Kondini
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The Midway is something I know nothing of.
In the UK nostalgia is paramount and even though the checkerplate fast brigade make huge sums there will always be a place for the olduns and the less there are of them the more the demand will rise,,,that`s how I still get booked year after year.

This was not mentioned on a Im better than the states angle, it was judged as it is.

Now in the US you have the finest Ren Fairs I have ever seen (Thats pretty old as well). For 18 + years I was booked for 4 Seasons Events the best Ren Fair in the UK and it wiped the floor with all takers. Guess what, it was run by a Yank. Even this was not to compare to the Annapolis Fair which was the finest example of its kind that I have ever visited. Among the performers were Jonny Fox who I believe had worked it for 25 years +

If the US public taste is not sweet towards WOD then I guess to mothball and re try in ten years or so would be the thing to do.

In this biz everything goes around and comes around again.

Yep the box office is important, we all must make a profit and in the UK you can, with WOD and sideshow, but its getting harder and harder but it will survive one way or another and outlive me, for sure.

Ken.
Rick West
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Even though I know this to be fact...its hard to see it in print.


Quote:
Even tho We all LOVE and ENJOY WOD's, Sideshows ect..Simply puttin them on a Midway garuntees NOTHING...Sure, all the shows we adore and shows we would gladly ante up for and buy a Ticket, does not mean the General Fair going public will do the same...In many ways the Modern-Showman has to be more of a Showman today to survive than our predosessors...The "Shows of Old" were more Elaborate and Grander, but could not survive in today's world of Television, internet and Goverment Regulation...WOD's are truly a thing of the Past, and many Sideshows and Grind-shows, may not be far behind....For the "Midway and Public tastes...are a changin....
"Never let the truth stand in the way of a good jackpot"

"You say things sometimes, you don't know what the hell you mean. But you're sincere when you say it." Bob Dylan
Rick West
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http://www.wallofdeathinc.com/

I have seen this guy work a few times as a free attraction...
he puts on a good show most of the time...
"Never let the truth stand in the way of a good jackpot"

"You say things sometimes, you don't know what the hell you mean. But you're sincere when you say it." Bob Dylan
Kondini
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A singlo,,,wow good on him, that`s a new one on me.

I am certainly learning a bit about your biz here, that`s nice. Should soon be able to get across there and kick some *** for myself!!!

Ken.
The Curator of the Unusual
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Quote:
On 2010-02-05 14:55, Kondini wrote:

I am certainly learning a bit about your biz here, that`s nice. Should soon be able to get across there and kick some ass for myself !!!

Ken.


Sounds Good!!!...can't wait till you swim across the Pond!!!....American Midways are always in need of a "True Showman"....
You come to a point in your life when you really don't care what people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself.
Evel Knievel

contact: curatoroftheunusual@hotmail.com
Stephon
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Quote:
On 2010-02-05 14:44, Kondini wrote:
Even this was not to compare to the Annapolis Fair which was the finest example of its kind that I have ever visited. 
Thanks for saying so. Sorry I missed you when you were here.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Kondini
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Stephon, are you a part of this ?

Yes, the way your Fairs are staged is far superior, with brick built stalls, live acts, animals, acurate dress and a more positive response by the speckies. Of course money plays an importanr part and tickets are not cheap but it is real value for money and you can see large investment has been made.

Also the US acceptance of things like Axe Throwing, Elephant Rides, Bawdy humour and a host of other things which would be just not permitted over here go to make up a great days entertainment.

Plus the chance for spec acts to shine and make a good living,,the standard of live entertainment was high.

Three visits and I will be back for more.

On the funny side, the Americans trying to speak olde English even drafts from Shakespear had me curled up.

So pass on my praise to the gaffers, and let them know I am available for the season after next !

Ken.
Danny Borneo
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I have to agree with Ken, I was thoroughly impressed with the Fair when I was there. Stephon and the various other members of Cheeky Monkey Sideshow that perform are all great at what they do and the people that run the fair know it. The fact that grounds have permanent structures is wonderful it really helps to pull you in and really immerse you in what they're trying to accomplish there.
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