Tag Archives: Sideshow

Modern Sideshow: Bebe the Circus Queen

bebe

From our friends at Wikipedia:
Bebe the Circus Queen (Beatrice Aschard) would perform a variety of stunts such as having a watermelon placed on her back and split with a sword, lying on a bed of nails while weights were placed on her chest… or the “Plastic Bag Of Death”, where she gets into a large plastic bag and one of the other performers sucks all of the air out with a vacuum cleaner. She would also employ an electric grinder in her act (for example, she would create a shower of sparks from a metal chastity belt covering her groin area).”

Taking classic acts from sideshow and vaudeville and translating them for modern audiences, the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow found themselves with ‘falling ovations’ daily, as people in the crowd would faint (no doubt aided by standing in the sun for hours, binge drinking and enjoyment of recreational party favors) as The Amazing Mr. Lifto performed his take on Rasmus Neilsen’s ‘pierced weight lifting’, upping the ante by including swinging heavy objects from his pierced penis. They’d cover their eyes as The Torture King skewered his cheeks and torso like B. A. Bryant had done decades before while touring with Barnum himself and laugh with relief when ThEnigma, tattooed from head to toe like a jigsaw puzzle did a tattooed clown act- that is until he started geeking live insects.

This was still when piercing culture trended older- 40s, 50s- and youth culture was just starting to discover expressing themselves with tattoos, body piercings, scarification and other avenues of modifying their bodies. Seeing stretched piercings swinging weights live on stage, with Eddie Vedder (or insert rockstar here) joining the cast to oooh and awww had a profound effect.

But the one member of the original troupe that didn’t get much attention was Rose’s partner, Bebe the Circus Queen. She didn’t have the dynamic motormouth of Jim, the pain proof skin of Tim “Torture King” Cridland, the stretched piercings of Joe Lifto… so she often got overlooked when it came to media write-ups of the show.

This may be an odd photo for a body modification history/culture blog in so much as it features no body modification, but without the Jim Rose show’s promotion of piercing/tattoo/modification culture during the transitional years of the early 1990s, things may have played out differently, and without Bebe, the Circus wouldn’t have been what it was.

That and I really liked the photo.

Late 1990s, 35mm print scan.

Monsters of Schlock- Philadelphia

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Signal boost for Philadelphia area readers-
Burnaby Orbax and Sweet Pepper Klopek- the Monsters of Schlock- will be performing at “Connie’s RicRac” on Sunday 21st June. They put on a hell of a show, so if you’re around- check it out!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1748689922083553/


Join us for a night of entertainment like no other!!

Monsters of Schlock are Canadian entertainers who have sold out shows internationally as ‘The World’s Most Extreme Two Man Circus Sideshow Comedy Magic Extravaganza’.
They have performed in theatres, carnivals, festivals, night clubs and colleges worldwide. In the past year their madcap stunts have been broadcast on Canadian television to over 2 million viewers, to a million in the United States, and to over 8 million viewers in Europe and the United Kingdom. Showcased in the Ripley’s: Believe It or Not compendium and with multiple Guinness World Records, the ‘Canadian Mad Bastards’ continue to entertain worldwide.
The duo is a touring juggernaut performing over two hundred live shows this year alone to crowds ranging from ages 8 to 80! Continue reading

OVxSD: Amsterdam 1995 w/ the Enigma

Crossposted from Occultvibrations.com, this video features sideshow performer The Enigma being tattooed, simultaneously, by 22 tattoo artists at the 1995 Amsterdam Tattoo Convention.

OVAMS953
Original source: 8mm video tape.
Filming location: Amsterdam Holland.
Filming date: May 1995.
Featured: The Enigma, Alex Binnie, Bob Vessells, Horiyoshi 3, Timothy Hoyer, Permanent Mark and more.

I shot this footage in 1995; it’s shaky and has had the audio removed due to copyright concerns.

Community Garden

photo by Atom Moore for Scarwars

The Headmaster- Scarwars3 (2007)

Thanks to some generous donations over the last month we’ve been able to purchase a new-old media player that will help in capturing hundreds of hours of 8mm body modification films shot by Jack Yount from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s, as well as donated hard drive space to preserve the content at full resolution for future archival. It’s been a rough process; buying aging “vintage” tech always comes with problems and frustrations so it’s been a waiting game of returning a defective unit, shopping for a new one, waiting for it to arrive and all of that nonsense, but I’m beyond touched by the support we’ve received- I still want SD to be a Community Garden (where one day I’m not the only gardener) where we all help keep it afloat and the support we’ve had in the last few weeks has really lifted my spirits and made me super geeked to get back to the import/archival grind.

I’m on hiatus until the tech arrives and the eventual and often frustrating learning curve of any new system is worked out, so in the meantime…

In 2008 we hosted the third and final Scarwars event in Philadelphia; our event manager rented a 35mega-pixel medium format digital camera for staff photographer Atom Moore, who was responsible for the portrait photography at the event. He captured this very serious photograph of Wings of Desire/Pain Solution’s Håvve Fjell showing off fresh cuttings by Christiane Pinpoint of Norway. Håvve is in the fundraising phase of WoD’s newest book, TOO BLEED OR NOT TO BLEED, which covers Pain Solution performances from 2003-2015.

We’ve been blessed here at SD with support, but if you’ve got a few extra dollars to spare, head over to the TBONTB Indiegogo and grab yourself an amazing book that’s my by and for our community: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/to-bleed-or-not-to-bleed-by-ps-media#/story

Circus Convergence II: The Squid Shift Solution

tumblr_mjmrgsQrM51qc2oo7o1_500Philadelphia Area body mod fans may be interested in a performance by the Headmaster himself- Haave Fjell from Pain Solution (and friends) will be performing in Philadelphia on Wednesday 2nd April in South Philadelphia.

Press release:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1403997519864920/

Prepare to witness the freakiest group of death defying weirdos!! Join “The Squid Shift Solution” for a night of mind boggling sideshow stunts that will leave you in stitches one minute and your jaw on the floor the next.

Circus Convergence II brings Clowns and Fakirs from around the world together for a tour across the eastern half of the United States enroute to the Dallas Suspension Convention. In each performance these entertainers push the limits of the human body making the impossible possible, challenging their minds and the audience around them, night after night.

Andrew S. (Swing Shift Sideshow Las Vegas, NV) brings classic circus entertainment screaming into the 21st century. Andrew Specializes in ancient and deadly feats of skill, along with jaw dropping original stunts. He is able to control “involuntary” actions of his brain and body and is one of the most deadliest sword swallowers in the world.

The Head Master (Pain Solution Oslo, Norway) combines the art of the fakirs and physical theatre to create a ritual experience, generating a rush of adrenaline and pure energy for both the performers and the spectators. Every show will leave scars on the body and give the public a thrilling sensation never to be forgotten. And yes, there will be blood!

Matterz Squidling (Squidling Bros. Philadelphia, PA) puts a comic and dare-devilish spin on classic American Sideshow stunts of the early 20th century. Combining acts of the fakir, slap stick comedy and burlesque into a unique style of performance.

Jelly Boy The Clown (Squidling Bros. Philadelphia, PA) brings humor and intensity as a host and to his original and death defying acts. A master of “Unusual Sword Swallowing”, Jelly is a pioneer of the modern sideshow arts. Jelly uses science, burlesque and physical acts of the fakir
always creating new stunts that push the limits of the body and mind.