Examining 10 years of FreakShow Deluxe (part 5)
So the date arrived to move to Los Angeles.
After much discussion, arguing and the like, Reverend Tommy Gunn was ready to head to Los Angeles. Deciding to accompany him were Miss Malice Aforethought, Phil, Dirty Jonny Grinder, and Grinder’s girlfriend. The Wolf decided to remain in Ohio and there was no dissuading him.
Before they headed out, the Rev and Wolf had a heart to heart conversation about the future of FSD. They decided to set things up so that the Wolf could continue to use the FreakShow Deluxe name and logo in Ohio while the rest of the cast did the same in California – effectively setting “East Coast” and “West Coast” versions of the show. The Wolf would take responsibility for all aspects of his show (including insurance, marketing, website and all that stuff) while the Rev. would keep doing what he had been.
Then – all loaded up – everyone hit the road! Phil, Johnny and his girlfriend headed out in the big truck and a car first to do a little sight-seeing on the way. The Rev and Miss Malice headed out a few days later in their two vehicles with the plan to meet up with the rest of the group on the way.
But on the road somewhere between Dayton, Ohio and Los Angeles, California – everything went awry.
It is still not entirely clear exactly what happened. Miscommunications, misunderstanding, rapidly rising fuel prices, vehicle problems, the stress of travel and ego/personality issues all led to an argument. That first argument led to more arguments. So before they even arrived in California, the two groups of traveler were no longer speaking to each other.
Upon arriving in the Riverside, CA area, Phil and Jonny decided that was far enough. They stopped at a storage place and unloaded the truck. The Rev. and Malice arrived just in time to get their things off the truck – and it was the last time any of them spoke for quite a while.
It was a dark time for your FreakShow Deluxe.
The Reverend and Miss Malice got a place in Hollywood and began settling in.
Jonny Grinder and his girlfriend made arrangements to live in Long Beach. Then pursued their own interests.
Phil, not happy with how things were turning out and feeling homesick, returned to Dayton within a week.
Now it was just the Rev. and Malice trying to make things work. This was proving to be difficult as the big-name theater company job the Rev. was supposed to take upon his arrival dried up – leaving him with no employment. Also the Rev’s friend that the entire FSD crew was supposed to stay with was having some personal issues. So long before they were ready to, the Rev. and Malice had to find a place.
Luckily, your Reverend can’t be kept down!
Not to mention, he is pretty resourceful, too. The two found and set up in a little apartment in the Little Armenia area of Hollywood, the Rev. got some temp work which quickly led to a full-time job at a prestigious entertainment law firm in Beverly Hills, and things got to some semblence of “normal.” Now all he had to do was get FreakShow Deluxe up and running.
It took a few weeks – but luckily there is this thing called THE INTERNET! With that, some social networking (it was MySpace, back in the day – along with Tribe), and a few personal connection from when he lived in SoCal before, that got on track too. His online posts offering his services as a “fire-breathing minister” garnered some attention, which led to an offer to host and perform at a show at the Sacred Fools Theater (The F.L.E.A. Show).
The show at Sacred Fools is a key turning point for FreakShow Deluxe for several reasons: Not only did it give Los Angeles and Hollywood a chance to see the Reverend Tommy Gunn in action for the first time (since he was the lead singer of the short-lived band Not Now I’m Naked), but it gave plenty of folks who had only conversed with the Rev online (MySpace, again) a chance to meet him in person.
Miss Malice and the Reverend met Vincent Wolf, the Devil’s Plaything and Mr. Marcus for the very first time that night, among many others. Also Vincent Wolf & the Devil’s Plaything also met for the first time – and would begin dating soon after. Meeting these folks was the genesis for a new beginning for your FreakShow Deluxe – and it led to the creation of the Empire Amusement Hall – which would help catapult FSD into the national spotlight.