I INVENTED SIDESHOW TOUR: Tales from the Road 1

FreakShow Deluxe sponsored by Lucky 13 Apparel

photo by Kristin Santel

So your FreakShow Deluxe has been on the road with the 2010 “I INVENTED SIDESHOW” Tour, sponsored by Lucky 13 Apparel, since April now — the first leg of back-to-back 10-day long fairs/carnivals — gearing up for the next 6 months or so of biker events, tattoo shows, night clubs, amusement parks and more.

So far, there’s been good times and bad – and lots of fun to be had! Everyone has their own observations:

Miss Malice Aforethought marvels at how hot & humid it is everywhere down in the South. She prefers to stay in the air conditioning of the hotels, and takes every opportunity to do so.

The Amazing Chris has taken this opportunity to work on his skills. He is constantly researching and working his mind in unexpected ways. The cast watching him bend a fork with his mind so hard it broke at The Flying Saucer restaurant in Little Rock, AR.

Hannah Bel has started her own tour blog with pictures and her observations of life on the road – which you can check out at http://freakinhannahbel.blogspot.com

Reverend Tommy Gunn wonders why every coffee pot in every hotel leaks when he tries to pour a cup of coffee.

At the Down On the Bayou Fair in Gonzales, LA, the fair set attendance records – and FreakShow Deluxe definitely wowed the audiences there. The show, and Malice’s swallowing of a 3-foot long balloon, was the favorite of the parish’s Sheriff’s Department. Cowboy Mouth was the big-name band that made the place rock. Sadly, some bad weather kept folks away some days. The FSD cast was put up in a very nice hotel just down the road – and the Reverend introduced everyone to the joys of the Daiquiri Shack (where one can drive through and get a frozen liquor-filled drink to go).

During the 5-day break before the next fair, the FSD cast enjoyed some time in New Orleans hanging out with FSD member, Grimm, who lives there at the moment. We toured the damage from Hurricane Katrina that still exists 5 years later. We visited the cemeteries, Garden District and, of course, the French Quarter. Hannah Bel found some great vegetarian fare – and the entire cast considered moving there permanently. The Reverend and Malice met a local judge (while the Reverend got a shave at Aiden Gill for Men – a true barber shop), who definitely seemed to think we could add something to the city. The FSD cast also met Stinch, who used to perform with Circus Contraption, and sideshow maven Chelsea NoPants, who definitely knows how to show us a good time. We hope to be working with her soon. Needless to say, we were sad to leave…

Then it was time to head to the Bossier City Fair in, you guessed it, Bossier City, LA. This fair was on the grounds of the Harrah’s Louisiana Downs racetrack and casino. A rough blow down the first day made for tough times. The tent FSD was in (owned and run by Dan Mink – the Rhinestone Roper) almost blew away with the wind – but they it was saved (along with everything else). In the down time, the Reverend and Malice introduce Hannah Bel & Chris to slot machines (at which they were very successful), and the Reverend enjoyed boiled crawfish as often as possible. As the fair ended, Miss Malice bid good-bye to the remaining three to take a scheduled visit to San Francisco (to attend the wedding of long-time FreakShow Deluxe cast member, Amy Amnesia), and the to lead another FSD cast to some other events. Without Miss Malice to keep them in mind – things started going awry.

Despite needing to postpone its scheduled show at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA, FSD stopped in on its way through to visit and site-see (and reschedule the show for September – mark your calendars now). Traveling through the area included a visit to the “Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum” in Gibsland, LA. The museum is run by the son of Ted Hinton, one of the lawmen who participated in the ambush that left the notorious outlaws dead. Lots of interesting things were to be found, and Chris and Hannah Bel have begun considering themselves a new Bonnie & Clyde. The cast has since toyed with the idea of calling Hannah Bel a “cigar-chomping hellcat of the modern age,” based on a poster for the Bonnie Parker Story. Thus far is hasn’t stuck.

During the stopover in Ruston, the cast picked up items and clothing provided to them by the tour’s sponsor, Lucky 13 Apparel. Look for the cast to be wearing Lucky 13 clothing on, and off the stage!! Also, the Reverend got a shipment of more copies of his novel, See You On the Backlot, so he has those for sale, too.

After a visit with some friends in Little Rock, AR, where the remaining three cast members were photographed and interviewed at the Flying Saucer Restaurant and bar – while Chris and the Reverend bent forks with their minds to entertain patrons and reporters alike), the cast continued on Fayetteville, AR, stopping only to wait out a torrential downpour in a roadside truck stop. Once in Fayetteville, however, there was a problem.

On the original site for the Razorback Fair (also called the Ozark Mountain Fair), soaked by the rain, became a giant sinkhole for the rides from Wade Shows, Inc! So there was a delay while the rides were dug out (several had sunk so low it took several days to pull them all out), so the fair was unable to open the Friday night it was scheduled for. Instead, it opened at noon the next day – just in time for the Memorial Day weekend!

So far this week the weather’s been good, the crowds enthusiastic, AND Chris and Hannah Bel were introduced to the Banana Derby. In case you don’t know, that is Capuchin monkeys riding dogs in a race. Oh! It is good times!! The cast is looking forward to a big weekend —

Without Miss Malice to oversee them, however, they have been up to no good.

At the end of most shows, FSD offers a chance for audience members to be a part of the show by bringing a dollar bill up and stapling it to the bare flesh of one of the performers (on the torso). For $5, patrons can staple the Amazing Chris’s nipples. For $20, patrons can staple the Reverend – either his forehead or tongue. Inevitably, some patron always wants to know what they get to staple for $100. The Reverend usually replies, “Get a $100, and we’ll discuss it!” – but no one ever does.

However one night a group of the carnies actually came up with $100 and so the Reverend had to let them staple him in the junk. It was out of sight of regular patrons – and word of the stunt quickly spread around the lot. The Reverend passed into legend. Then, with his ill-gotten gain, the Reverend joined some of the joint owners in a little trip to the local Fayetteville strip club, the Silver Dollar Cabaret. Needless to say, he helped make the group very popular. So much so that a couple of days later he brought the whole troupe (who are no strangers to adult clubs – having performed in several with FreakShow Deluxe) and a few other people back to the club to pass the time. Good times were had by all (even though Hannah Bel refused a ‘High Heel’ dance in the ‘Champagne Room’). Thanks to Angel and Harley for the laughs —

The troupe is preparing for the show June 8 at the Lakewood Theater in Dallas, TX. It’s a full-length show – with special, more dangerous and daring stunts – with the band Exit 380 AND a magician (who has just been added to the bill). Hope you can make it! Check for details on the http://www.FreakShowDeluxe.com

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One Response to “I INVENTED SIDESHOW TOUR: Tales from the Road 1”

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