We have some interesting experiences out and performing and on the road. We also get to meet a lot of interesting people! That is probably the more fun part…
The audiences who “get” what we do the least seem to be medical professionals. The very idea that we willingly swallow swords, stick skewers through our skin, put gasoline in our mouths to eat and breathe fire is such a foreign thing for them to understand. They, more than anyone, are the first to say “that is impossible!”
So a few years ago – a cast member at one of our shows (note: this was NOT a regular company member of FreakShow Deluxe – this was a person who was hired in just for this gig to see how they did) got injured during a show trying a stunt that she had never done before. This is something we do not recommend for this reason:
While initially she appeared to be fine – as the evening went on, she was in more and more pain. Like, seriously, real pain. Initially, she tried to suck it up and tough it out – but it became obvious that something was really wrong and it had to be taken care of. SO —
Off to the hospital we went!
Seeing as how we were not in a huge city – the time in the waiting room went by very quickly. Once she was being seen (and an FSD person was on deck with her, of course, to look out for her), we explained to the staff how she received the injury she did: she had scratched the inside of her throat while sword swallowing.
Of course, they did not believe us. There was some arguing back and forth a bit while they disbelieved everything that we told them.
But, finally, the doctor arrived.
Once he did, he took a look before hearing the story of what happened. And when his staff said, “how is this possible?” And then the big reveal…
The doctor revealed to us that he knew all about sword swallowing!!
See – it appears that the doctor liked to do a little stunt during dinner parties: first, he would pick up the spoon and stick the handle in one nostril. Second, he would pick up the fork and stick the handle in the other nostril. THEN he would pick up the knife, tilt his head back, and swallow it all the way down his throat. Then, with a smile, he would remove all the items and continue with the party!
We let him know that if he ever wanted to give up on this “doctor” thing, we had a job for him.
Thanks to his candor, the staff took great care of our injured sword swallower. After a few days in the hospital, she was released back to the show (though we did not let her sword swallow for the rest of the run, per the doctor’s orders). She recovered – and we understand she still sword swallows on occasion.
And we are still waiting for a call from the doctor to come and work for us!