circuses, medicine shows, etc (1 Viewer)


Mar 13, 2011
the desert
a few friends of mine and i have been talking about starting a "circus", or more accurately some kind of multi-faceted d.i.y. performance troupe. i've known or seen people that traveled and combined busking and/or house shows with fire dancing, acrobatics, dance, puppetry, selling moonshine and tinctures, storytelling, etc. i'm sure there are people on the board who've done stuff like this.

so what stories or ideas can you share with me for inspiration?
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Jun 21, 2010
Have been a sideshow performer for about 11 1/2 years - there are a lot of positive and negative aspects of being a DIY performer. Got my start in New Jersey doing shows in basements, backyards and out in the woods. At one point I was part of an underground troupe, which may have been the only one of it's kind in the area, but things came to an end when the majority of my Family was murdered. [That's a whole other story tho.]

Over the years, I have performed in many venues in several states, was a part of a 10-in-1 sideshow that traveled the carnival ciruit and met some amazing people. However, since the economy went to shit, it's a lot harder to stick to DIY and be successful at it. Will you have fun? Yes. Will you make money? Not always. There's tons of competition from people who have been doing this for decades and established names for themselves. There's a lot of people who will use you for their benefit and then turn their backs on you. There's bullshit and politics that come up even if you try not to be a part of it.

Having said all that, I do what I do because I fucking love it and have dedicated so much of my time to this lifestyle. No, I don't make a lot of money and I literally put my life at risk every time I perform, but I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had for anything in the world. There's a lot of hard work involved - coming up with routines, practicing, making costumes and fliers, promoting and booking shows [depending on where you intend to perform of course], and personally, if you're not willing to dedicate yourself fully, you probly shouldn't do it. That's just my opinion and I might sound like an asshole for it, but I have been thru a lot to get where I am today, and people still don't know who the fuck I am, but that's not why I do it.

Okay, now that I'm done writing a novel, I am always looking for people to perform with, so if you'd like to learn some things and have a whole lot of fun entertaining people [and yea, maybe even make money], hit me up.


Mar 13, 2011
the desert
wow carnytrash, thanks for that! i'm sorry for not being clearer: i'm not really thinking about this in terms of livelihood; it would be nice to make a little extra income, but since i have already hit upon a rent-free stable lifestyle, i'm thinking of it more in terms of a fulfilling creative communal project that would be, at most, 'regional' in scope, i think.

i have been talking about it with a few people but it's developing slowly, people don't want to commit because they 'might be going somewhere' etc etc... anyway, thanks again and i will hit you up for sure.

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