The Past

The Sequel To "The Future"

 

by Veteran Showman Lee Kolozsy

 

It was quite plain to see that millionaire  confirmed bachelor Bruce Wayne[1] was very fond of young Dick…

 

Young Dick Grayson[2] was a flyer in the circus until the tragic deaths of his parents left him orphaned, and

this destroyed his world, leaving him lost and traumatized. Vulnerable, he was seduced by power and wealth

he slid the pole into Bruce’s bathole after which he put on an eye catching little outfit that earned him the

nickname “ Boy Wonder”.  He adopted the street name “Robin”, while his body- building patron selected a

skin tight Count Dragula complete with mask, cape and boots and cruised under the name “Batman”. They

drove around together in a really fancy car searching for criminal freaks who kept company with rough

looking henchmen, they enjoyed being tied up together and beaten, with many other depraved activities.…

 

Honest, this was a comic book intended for pre-adolescent males, and a TV show. On a respected network.

In prime time! These were some really queer freaks, man… It could be that it represents the actuality of

what goes on in human society. The media played this all off as harmless fun suitable for children. The

media could also, if it were to suit the corporate interest, spin it in the above or any other direction. The truth

can be more misleading than a lie.

 

Why does this arrangement seem so sinister with so many overtones of depravity?  Story lines containing

such undertones of homo-erotisism are truly bizarre and therefore captivate the intellect. Regardless of

whether one is titillated or filled with revulsion, the result is the same, people are fascinated and mesmerized

by the weird and the different.

 

Reputable widely circulated tabloids dissect depravity and illustrate it with telephotos. The public eats it up.

The more bizarre, the better. This accounts for the paparazzi fascination with Royals. Recently a European

Princess daughter of an American film star from the glory days of Hollywood[3] left her husband for an

adventurous affair with a circus owner and animal trainer. It was trumpeted around the world by the yellow

journals. Why?  If it had been your neighbor’s daughter, would it have gotten the attention? No. Not unless

your neighbor’s daughter was a Royal, or had two heads. A two headed human is a freak of nature. A Royal

is a freak of culture.  So is a movie star. People are fascinated  with freaks. The freakier the better.

 

This is why the sideshow is so durable. Why it’s still here. Freaks will always be the center of attention. Get

used to it , that’s how it works.

 

“ I wasn’t born a freak, I became one.”

 

I wasn’t born a freak. I became one. Not a freak of nature, I was a cultured freak. I was born to an odd

culture. A family of world traveling gypsy circus performers. An exhibit. A performance artist. Out on stage

at an early age. My playground was the circus. I distinctly recall my parents practicing difficult and

dangerous free-flying exchanges on a cradle-casting act high aloft in the cupola of the circus big-top, while

an upside down elephant tub served as my playpen. My home was the circus. A performance was a daily

ritual, and practice and rehearsal a regular discipline.

 

The freaks, the strange people, these were my neighbors and friends. Everyone I knew was either from

Gibsonton, Sarasota, Seagoville, Hugo, or someplace in Europe[4]. I lived at amusement parks, fairgrounds,

and theaters. Resort hotels were where we went to entertain the wealthy ruling class, and snag some of

their money. We also amused the less fortunate, my dad never refused an unpaid hospital show for the

Shriners, often pushing it to four a day with three at the arena and one at the children’s burn ward because

the kids couldn’t come to the circus. He was known to tip the gypsy boys in our ten man

teeterboard/tumbling act out of his own pocket to make the special show for the bedridden youngsters.

George A. Hamid, founder of the Hamid-Morton Circus, and our boss, always arranged for a "comped" dinner  (flag’s up![5] )for the kinkers[6] after the hospital show and made it to the feed himself whenever he could. 

Otherwise nobody made a nickel from it and I never heard of anyone who didn’t want to do a hospital show

ever being sanctioned in any way. It was purely voluntary pro bono work. It was a lot of fun, none of us could

do our regular acts due to the many limitations and unpredictable conditions encountered in the wards. We

all had to improvise a lot. I once saw Gus & Ursula, a terrific German juggling team, perform the majority of

their complicated passing routine on their knees due to a low ceiling. The show must go on... When you

eliminate props, music, lighting, atmosphere, and are working to people who are suffering and in a

depressing environment, it’s the front lines of theatre. The most challenging work of my career. We

developed a lot of great material through the fusion of many diverse talents putting their all into a group effort.

We all helped each other. We gave those kids a terrific show every time. We became better showmen. We

got way more than we gave...[7]


[1] A.k.a. “Batman”

[2] A.k.a. “Robin

[3] Grace Kelly

[4] Circus headquarters

[5] “Flag’s up” when the circus cookhouse is serving, a flag is raised.

[6] “Kinkers” Show slang for performers.

[7] Adversity breeds strength, difficulty forces one to overcome, we all became better Showmen.

 

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