2007 Sideshow Gathering a Review

by Walt Hudson

 

James Taylor, Kathleen Kotchner, editors of Shocked & Amazed and I attended the Sixth
Annual Sideshow Gathering in Wilkes-Barre PA Nov l - 4. This year the convention held
concurrently with Inkin' the Valley Tattoo Convention was housed at a new and larger
location, the Woodland Inn & Resort.


Franco Kossa and Marc Fairchild hosted the three-day affair, which attracted about 3000 people who watched 100 tattoo artists and 21 sideshow acts at work.


The shows ran continuously once they started.


Friday's performance began at 5P.M. and ran to midnight.


The program opened with Aye Jaye, the popular MC who kept the show moving along smoothly.


The first group of entertainers from Brooklyn NY the Disgracedland Family Sideshow lived up to their name. The six attractive high energy young people worked hard as they did the pin cushion, mouse trap, insect eating, human dart board and ball spinning attached to various body parts. They had a very pleasant gal announce the acts. Unfortunately the sound system was not working properly and we could not hear what was being said and missed the names of the performers. Music blasted out the introductions and too much action occurring on stage at one time failed to give the acts their proper recognition. The talent was there but the act needs routining and a director.


The next act was novelty magic presented by Texas magician, Bizarro and was a real
crowd pleaser.


The Crispy Family Carnival presented snakes, blade box, pincushion, darts, sword ladder
and stapling money to body parts. The Denver based group featured a gal called
Boobzilla who added a comedy touch.


Natasha Verushka from NY proved she was Queen of Swords [Guinness Book of
Records] and a superb belly dancer.


Zamora the Torture King from Las Vegas continues to amaze as he controls body pain with his demonstrations. His new book Weird Las Vegas is great reading and he is the
feature cover story on Vol. 9 of Shocked & Amazed.


Paul Szauter from Conn. Wowed the crowd with his memory acts. He must be taking too much of his Dr. Wilson's Memory Elixir. His cups and balls routine was a real fooler.


Swami Yomami [Stephen Walker] is fairly new to the sideshow business and he is an original and terrific performer with wonderful comic timing. Once you see his nail board
presentation you will never forget it. He also heads up the Cheeky Monkey Sideshow.


This group from Wash. DC closed the Friday activities. Every act had a unique
presentation beautifully routined. Show feature Mysterstion comic magician, Cinch the
gal with two navels and a 14" waist. Mab just Mab was a gal escape artist and glass
dancer. Damien Blade did swords and Trinket was a cute contortionist.


Most of the acts made two appearances during the convention.


The Sat. performances ran from 3P.M. until midnight.


Joining the Sat. gala was the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.


Stephanie was beautiful Mistress of Ceremonies and featured her whip act. Keith as a
clown did comedy burlesque, Diablo, and swords. His candy pitch was fun.


Harley Newman demonstrated his show stopping lying on a single spike!


Brett Loudermilk ate a glass light bulb and blew up a hot water bottle until it exploded.

John Bradshaw demonstrated the Mouse Pitch and a Jam Auction. Steve Pittella exhibited his Spidora Girl illusion and Walt Hudson made the opening for it.


John Strong, Bob Blackmar, Cris Fellner, Col. Hunsley, Al Stencil, Rob Houstion shared sideshow history experiences.


Coney Island Chris performed a sideshow parody that left everyone breathless and gasping with laughter.


Sat. night concluded with a sideshow memorabilia auction. Sunday A.M. was the awards breakfast.


It was a great adventure for all who attended and the most amazing thing was the registration fee for the entire three days of events was only $13.!

Photographs Courtesy of,

1 Aye Jaye - Jonathan Kundsen Copyright 2007

2 Zamora the Torture King - Paul Szauter Copyright 2007

3 Leg Stitches - The Carny Girl of Disgracedland Family Sideshow - Shannon Mitchell Copyright 2007

 


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