What's the Job of the Talker?


by Mark Frierson


A talker's job is to verbally convey to the tip, what a sideshow banner would visually.  He paints a mental image with his words, so incredibly powerful and embellished with half-truths, that the onlookers are magnetically drawn into the show.


 Their weak human curiosities cannot resist the temptation to see what's "behind the curtain".  The real truth is also altered, without exactly lying, to create the "illusion" of truth.


Taxidermy and pickled specimens will seem to be alive on the inside, when they are actually dead and motionless. 


You will believe that Zambora the Gorilla Girl is standing naked inside of her cage, when in fact she is bikini clad. 


Turning the tip is the easy part - getting them in is where the work comes in.  People automatically want to see what's going on whenever a demonstration, or something that looks like a performance, is about to begin.  The talker must then rapidly spin his verbal web of entrapment, as so the tip doesn't turn and walk away.  It's much like fishing.  You put out the bait and wait for the interest to peak.  Then once they're hooked, that's it - it's all over from there.

The talker's need to create a sense of urgency in the tip, as so they feel that they must go in and see the show "RIGHT NOW!!!". 


It is also very important in the sideshow business to greatly embellish the positive, and downplay the negative as much as possible.


Basically what amounts to truth-stretching, and denial.



Mark Frierson's Gallery of Freak 100 foot bannerline, 

Mark Frierson and Guy Sebastian in the ticket box, on the front of the Gallery of Freaks show, published in the May 28th,1988 Amusement Business.



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