Gathering a Review
by Walt Hudson
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
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.
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
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
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.!
1 Aye Jaye -
2 Zamora the
Torture King - Paul Szauter
Stitches - The Carny Girl of Disgracedland Family Sideshow -