Wednesday, June 7, 2017

#CircusLife

Okay, technically I'm in a sideshow, not a circus. But referring to "circus life" makes me think of Journey, and anything that makes me think of Journey is welcome.

I've been traveling with World of Wonders for a month now, and it's been super fun. I started with them in Bensalem, PA, at a mall carnival. So we were in a lot across from the Neshaminy Mall, which was nice, because Barnes & Noble was close by, and I used their cafe and their bathroom pretty obsessively. I also saw things at that mall that I will never unsee, including a child having explosive diarrhea on a changing table in one of the bathrooms while the mother yelled, "Oh Christ. Oh, Jesus CHRIST!"


Then we moved on to Levittown, NY. Another shopping center lot. Decent crowds and weather, and a Petco full of adorable ferrets.

We perform the show 3-4 times a day. It's 10 acts, about 40 minutes long, family friendly. I get my head cut off in the guillotine illusion, and light up lightbulbs with my body in the electric chair. Including this maybe-not-so-family-friendly lightbulb.



Little kids watching the guillotine are my favorite. A lot of them walk past my disembodied head and yell, "Are you okay?" and "HOW ARE YOU STILL ALIVE?" It's really hard to keep a straight face.

I'm the only performer who doesn't have an actual sideshow skill, so I just get killed in various ways and admire the talents of the hula hooper, knife thrower, sword swallower/fire-eater, and strongwoman. I am determined to learn whip cracking, though. My stage name is Bitsy Manhattan.

I have an extensive array of sparkly costumes, including the single greatest garment ever made: a sequined, ruffled biketard perfect for when I'm not sure if I'll be swimming, jogging, or performing in a side show, so I need to dress for all three.



Right now, we're camped out at a warehouse in NJ for a break. We've spent it washing the tent walls, repairing the rivets on straightjackets, and feeding the wildlife. Fun fact: groundhogs love pizza fries.





We took a field trip to Coney Island last Saturday and saw the Coney Island Sideshow, which was amazeballs. Betty Bloomerz, swallower of swords and saw blades, is my new hero. And we rode the Cyclone, which briefly satisfied my roller coaster addiction. Next week, we head to Suffolk, NY to start performing again. Fair season is getting underway, so we'll start performing at fairs & festivals as opposed to malls.

We sleep in the bunkhouse, which is half a semi-truck divided into little rooms. My bunk looks like a Barbie Dream Coffin.



We have a microwave and mini fridge. When we're performing, we set up a shower tent and take hose showers, but so far, it's been so cold that hose-bathing has been kind of terrible. In Levittown, someone got the brilliant idea to sign up for 1-day passes to the nearby Planet Fitness and use their showers. It may have been the best shower of my life, including the one I took after my 11-day hike in the mountains of New Zealand. Here at the warehouse, we have a utility sink, which I crouch in every few days, Gollum-style, and try to slap water all over myself. The Gollum effect is heightened by the fact that I currently have a horrible hacking cough. Super sexy.

I spend my free hours writing and audiobook editing. And trying to get the Professor to talk to me on the phone. According to my grandma, the Prof just stares coldly at the receiver and judges me.



So that's all for now! More to come...


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