2012 Sideshow Gathering: A Review
By Walt Hudson


Over two dozen live entertainers displayed their talents at this year's eleventh Sideshow  Gathering held in Wilkes Berre P A. Nov 2nd through Nov 4th.  Although attendance was lower this year due to economic conditions and the aftermath of the hurricane, spirits were high among the attendees and performers. Several favorite troupes returned to shock and baffle with their skills and stunts. These included: The Olde City Sideshow featuring the outrageous behavior of Danny Borneo and Martin Ling the Suicide King. The Cheeky Monkey Sideshow with Swami Y omahmi and his bevy of beauties, Sally the Cinch, Mab just Mab and the Amazing Trinket. The Knotty Bits high energy duo of Gwdy and Sylver Fyre, the Crispy Family Carnival, Freak Show Deluxe with Rev. Tommy Gunn and family and the Scarred & Dangerous Thrill Show featuring the bizarre antics of Dangerous D and Chris Scarborough. The Unholy Sideshow was the largest troupe of performers and many of their unbelievable stunts were designed to gross one out. They were clever and diabolical. A real hit with the crowd.


Returning solo acts included the unique stunts and escapes of Harley Newman, variety magic by Prof. Fountain and the juggling of Jim Stilanos.
The one new group was the highly entertaining New York Variety All-Stars. This trio included Adam Realman with sensational feats of strength; Kryssy Kocktail comedy and swords; Cardone with vent, magic and illusions. Fantastic talent! They are all stars! The audience gave them a well deserved standing ovation!


New solo acts included beautiful Danger Jess Miller who presented her exotic dance with a boa constrictor. Rev. Valentine entertained with comic burlesque dance routines.


David London amazed with his mystifying magic and mentalism. All were crowd pleasers.


Todd Robbins the master Master of Ceremonies hosted the entire three days and kept the schedule running on time. He is one of the best in the business. The Sideshow Gathering was fortunate in obtaining his skillful services.


There were three workshops. Harley Newman discussed Scripting and Show Structure. Stephon Walker's topic was Creating Your Sideshow Character. Thomas Nealeigh explained The Business of Sideshow.


Kudos to Thrill Kill Jill and Tyler Fyre for booking the strong line-up of offbeat talent.


James Mundie ran the public relations dept. Artist Toni Lee exhibited her new banners. Tim O'Brien of Ripley Radio recorded all for the Ripley Oddcast.


Al Stencell conducted the auction Pete Genovese, Diane Falk, James "Shocked & Amazed" Taylor, Prof. Sprocket, Kevin Gerrone, Keith Stickley, and Ted Campbell gave us a historic perspective of the business.
Cris Siqueria is working on a new documentary film about the great sideshow illusion "Girl to Gorilla." I saw a brief clip and it is Tops.


The gathering provided a rare opportunity to meet with most of these wonderful ordinary people who do the most extraordinary things! Thanks to all involved.

 

Photo courtesy of Cris Siqueira
 


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