The old world Freak Show comes alive

The popularity of freak shows in the mid 19th to mid 20th century were often associated with circuses and carnivals.  See top 10 human sideshow freaks here.


Photo by Ken Jacobie

To compliment C. RYDER COOLEY’S XMALIA, which hit Proctor’s main stage this past Friday, was a display of the 1910 era side show/freakshow.  Samson and the Marketplace Gallery along with Meghan Van Alstyne were the orchestrators of this fanciful event.  The show exhibited freaks of nature such as the bearded lady, horned lady, wolf boy and lobster girl.  I was very lucky to be apart of this event.

 So this is how it went: As horns were being placed on my head, my duty was to maintain a semblance of seduction during the performance. To captivate people as they walked by. So, I did my dance among my colleague freaks.  The recreation of physically unusual humans brought delight rather than shock and awe; although this was to be expected, as the mediasphere has done a good job of desensitization. But who knew that a girl with horns would get so many responses such as “that’s hot” from both men and women. I honestly think dancing next to the captivating bearded lady stroking her beard helped.

The art of seduction was exhausting.  After the event I promptly went home with every intention of getting ready to go out again and instead fell asleep with the costume make-up caked on.  

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