Bizzaro of The Bizzaro Future Circus - 4/1/04

 

Q. With the help of your partner John Chaos you founded the Bizzaro Future Circus in January of 2003. What was it that brought the two of you together?

A. John was a radio DJ and met me with a band I used to work with called Alex Can't Sleep. (I did their pyro stuff.) He had some of my magic crew and I on his radio show and hounded me for almost a year (just kidding John) to put together a sideshow and we finally did it.

 

Q. How long did it actually take to put the show together?

 

A. The idea was always there but the reason took about a year to get it started. He put together a show called "Night of Chaos" and we needed another act on the bill and I was like "Hell let's do it!"

 

Q. What was it that inspired you to do it?

 

A. Boredom... ok well thaz half of it. I like to perform and have been doing so for almost 20 years. Doing demented magic was not much of a stretch to sideshow. I like to entertain people and screw with their heads.

 

Q. There are a lot of sideshows out there and for the most part each has its own style of doing things. How would you describe the style of your show?

 

A. A lot of other sideshows use sex and really gross things to get a rise from the audience. (Drill bit in the urethra comes to mind.) People will remember that but they will never forget you if you are also entertaining and make them laugh. We like to presents things in a fun, yet demented style. I knew that no matter what we would be getting compared to Jim Rose because I am the barker and I talk about the other performers and that's kinda their style.  That's just the way it goes. He was the first to bring it into the modern era and that is the norm. Like David Copperfield for Magicians. You will always be getting compared to a household name.

 

Q. Was there anyone or anything that helped you decide to go with the fun, demented style?

 

A. Evil is the purest form of entertainment. What's funnier: A nun, or a nun falling down stairs? We wanted to be different but still keep an edge. I can do the bloody, gory, trippy stuff in the circus that can't be done in a magic show. We are always trying to make the show more interesting with an odd angle.

 

Q. Does that style help or hurt your ability to get bookings?

 

A. Actually it tends to help. People who look for a sideshow are not booking for church functions or blue and gold banquets. They know it's gonna be out there and off the wall. Sideshows always have a draw. They always have. You can have a crappy sideshow and get booked. It's the repeat bookings yer going for. Look at the Bindlestiff Circus. They are one of the best and they keep it going. Why? Because they are GOOD!

 

Q. At this point the Bizzaro Future Circus consists of four members. What role do you play in all of this?

 

A. Like I said earlier, I am the ringmaster. Like the old 10 in 1, I present each performer's set and tell the audience what is going on and where to look. This lets the other performers not have to worry about lines or how to get the people to look where. With me behind them barking the chorus as it were, they can concentrate and have a better performance.

 

Q. You're the ringmaster but there are some acts that you perform right?

 

A. Yes.  Chewing razor blades onto thread (I have been doing that effect for well over 10 years. Always a fave. I didn't know it tends to be a staple of the head guys in other sideshows.). I also do a few off beat comedy bits such as reading a person’s future by looking at the bottom of their shoe (Sole Reading - like palm reading, but not), and a randomly selected light bulb that I stare at until it shatters. (To which I feed the glass to our glass eater.) I am also working on a few larger illusions for the show such as a half man bit for the intro.

 

Q. Where did you learn these acts?

 

A. Mostly self-taught over all my years as a magician and entertainer. I researched and observed a great deal of what I know today.

 

Q. Is there one act that you would say is your specialty?

 

A. I'll have to say it's the razor blades. I have been doing it so long that it's one of my personal faves. (For those who don't know it: I have 5 razor blades placed in my mouth one at a time by members of the audience, chew on them, toss in some thread, pull them out threaded on the thread. Blood dripping from my lips and then chug some lemon juice.)

 

Q. Since we're on the topic of magic, many of the modern day performers keep everything they do 100% real. What are your thoughts on that?

 

A. There is a fine line between magic and geek/sideshow. It all depends how you present it. If you say, "This is something that only I can do because I trained myself to!" then it can be a sideshow effect. If you present it as a magic trick/puzzle with less realism then it is a magic illusion. Like with any art form who has it's purists, it is entirely up to the individual. There is no right or wrong answer to this as it all goes under one goal: Entertaining the audience.

 

Q. Do you think that performing magic tricks alongside real acts cheapens the show or the real acts?

 

A. If you perform a magic effect that accomplishes the same effect as a real stunt and THEN reveal it as a fake, then yes. That cheapens it for everyone else. As long as people believe it to be real, who cares? As the performers, we know what is real and fake. The people we perform for get to make their own minds up. They think it's a trick (Even if all possibility against it is stripped away), then they do. Some people are just like that. In this business there is a lot of psychology that goes into making a show not only good, but believable. Someone in the business is always gonna bitch.

 

Q. Switching gears, how would you define success as it pertains to the sideshow industry and do you feel you have been successful?

 

A. We are still fairly young but I have noticed in this business there are so few groups performing that it is tight knit to a degree and word travels fast. We have been successful thus far. Enough to continue doing it, but what is success? Being on TV? Having a tour show? Being recognized on the street? (And not being pointed at but being asked for an autograph) Success to me is being able to work constantly and make a living doing what you enjoy. Fame and the things that may come with it, whether it happens or not, are just perks. Nothing else. I also think not dying at the age of 30 or 40 of some stupid stunt accident is a pretty big success as well.

 

Q. Who or what would you say has had the biggest impact on the success of the Bizzaro Future Circus?

A. Probably getting our last member Wicked Jello. She was the element of spice we needed to break up the monotony of the onstage sausage fest. Seriously though, she has been a big help and support in our show and fills out the troupe nicely.

 

Q. How did you find her and work her into the show?

 

A. She is an old friend and kinda lost contact for a while but we started hanging out again. We told her that we were seeking a female member for the show and she was willing.

 

Q. Did she want to work in the show or did you have to do some convincing?

 

A. No more than usual. Just had to engage in a bit of training. With already being a singer and being onstage before, it wasn't too difficult.

 

Q. What is it that she does to fill out the troupe nicely?

 

A. Well in a group of all males it's good to have something to break up the monotony of that XY chromosome factor. She also adds a touch of class and definitely gives the audience someone better to look at than the rest of us ugly bastahds.

 

Q. Does she actually perform in the show?

 

A. Yes, she is our professional Masticator. In other words she eats stuff. Candles, goldfish, glass, and we are working on her eating a handful of carpet tacks. She also does a bit called "The Breasts of Versitility." Don't ask, just come to the show.

 

Q. In this modern age of sideshow there are a lot of up and comers who just turn out to be a “flash in the pan.” Do you consider the Bizzaro Future Circus to be a “flash in the pan” troupe or do you feel you have what it takes to make it last?

 

A. Anything is possible. What causes other groups to fizzle is lack of determination, dissention in the ranks, and absence of professionalism. This is Show and Business. If you want anything so bad you can taste it you have to work at it. Some people just think it will be fun and games. For a while it is but when the time comes to deliver, some cannot do it. We are all very determined to make this something worthwhile and a show we can all be proud of. I am a stubborn bastard and won't let anything go without a fight. Of course the future is unwritten. We are not so special we will become a flash fad, but we are all pulling together for something different from everyone else in look and performance style. If you can convince people they need to see you, then they will.

 

Q. Some folks think that jumping into the world of sideshow is easy and takes little talent or ability. What was your mindset going into all of this?

 

A. Well having almost 20 years of performing behind me, it was a tad easy for me because it was a natural extension of what I already do. I knew it was something that I wanted to do and anything I can do to bring a little bit of laughter and joy into the world I am all about doing. I always say performing doesn't have to be hard, but it does have to be good. I know nothing is ever easy or handed to you, but giving up is not an option.

 

Q. What roadblocks have you faced along the way?

A. John and I started with 5 members in total and it ended up being just me and him. It was tough to write a two man show, but we had enough material to do at least a half hour and adding in music from popular local bands helped as well. As we got Mr. N. Visible and Wicked Jello things became easier. Now it's just adding more stunts and keeping it fresh.

 

Q. Working as a troupe has it’s own set of problems. With 3 other members besides yourself what types of problems do you run into?

 

A. Well, since I am not the sole decision maker, what I deem a good idea, they may not. We have all been friends for a while before getting into this so we know each other pretty well. I think the biggest problem is scheduling around everyone else's life and work. Thus far we have not had any problems or disagreements. I don't foresee too much conflict in the future or the future circus. We're all adult enough to work it out I think.

 

Q. Right now your performances are restricted to Texas and most notably Dallas. What is that has kept you so close to home?

 

A. Money, or lack thereof. Also many of us have jobs and school. We are also still building a fan base and honing our craft. Dallas is a good stomping ground to practice and perform. We haven't had a sideshow here in some time if ever. People are open to seeing it and telling us what they did and did not like. It's never good to get too big too fast, especially in your own mind.

 

Q. Do you have any plans on expanding upon your performance area?

 

A. We are gonna attempt tours over the summer. Spread the word of the future. Right now we are looking into merchandise and promo materials to send out and help build a bigger fan base. The website was the first step. We have shows planned all over later this year. You guys will be the first to know…well after us of course.

 

Q. To a lot of people a sideshow is a sideshow no matter who is performing it. What will separate the Bizzaro Future Circus from any other sideshows once you start touring?

 

A. Well that is a subjective question. In Dallas there is nothing like us so that sets us apart. It's like KISS, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, and all of the old gimmick acts. If your characters are strong, your look is unique, and your style is, above all else in demand, then people will know who you are. We are here to have fun and show people things they may not have seen before. Word gets around. If you build it…they will come…and come again. (That sounded dirty didn't it?)

 

Q. Most entertainers have certain goals they would like to achieve at some point in their career. What goals have you set for yourself as well as the troupe itself?

 

A. I would just like to make a living doing something I enjoy. Be it magic, circus, art, whatever. We all want the show to do well and bring joy to many. We all have our own vested interests other than this as well. Radio, singing, etc. The circus may very well open doors for us to help our other interests but we will always have our hearts here.

 

Q. Have you met any of these goals?

 

A. We're on our way…it's an uphill climb...but it's totally worth it in the end. I think the biggest goal we have achieved is that we don't suck and people keep coming back and getting repeat bookings. Step one achieved. Onto the others...

 

Q. Where do you see the show in five years?

 

A. Performing. We'll probably have a few new members, special guests, and possibly our own theater for a while. Sure it's 5 years and that's a small number... but it's 1,825 days. A lot can happen in a day.

 

Q. To wrap things up is there anything else you would like to say or anyone you would like to thank for putting you where you are today?

 

A. I would like to say that I have seen a lot of bickering and posturing in the wings between performers. I want to see you people acting less like social outcasts and more like professionals. By making yourself look bad you are making all of us look bad. I want to thank everyone who supports us, comes to the shows, gives us a chance, or just plain thinks we can make it. Also to Kenny our photographer who does some killer work and without him we would not have as many photos (Read: Evidence) as we do to show our kids... god forbid we have any of course. (If they have a tail they go right in the show.) Of course a big thanks to places like Sideshow Central for keeping this shit going. Someone has to do it. Kudos to you and everyone of your caliber. Come see a show, and visit the website: www.bizzarofuturecircus.com

 

All Photos Courtesy Of Kenneth Monroe Wirth Photography

 

Interview by Derek Rose

 

For more information on Bizzaro visit: www.bizzarofuturecircus.com

 

Each month we will try and interview a new performer for the site.  Because of the logistics of it face to face interviews are tough to come by.  A good percentage of the interviews we will be doing will be via e-mail or telephone.  If you are interested in being interviewed for the site drop us a line.

 

Featured Interviews

 

All photos are the property of their respective owners whether titled or marked anonymous.

"Sideshow WorldTM" is the sole property of John Robinson © All rights reserved.

 sideshowworld.com   sideshowworld.org   sideshowworld.net  sideshowworld.biz   sideshowworld.info

is the sole property of John Robinson © All rights reserved.

E-Mail Sideshow World     E-Mail The Webmaster