June 23, 2005

Ya Freak!

I love freaks. I really do - they are some of the most interesting people on this planet, and the majority of them really seem to know how to live life to the fullest. They are fearless, bold, proud and just damned wierd. My kind of people! So, if I ever call you a freak, it's most likely meant as a compliment. :)

My favorite band of freaks, the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, haven't come around for a long time. Based out of New York, they have been staying close to home recently. Can't say that I blame them - going out on the road is a bitch.

This troup presents a blend of old style burlesque, sideshow freaks, strange women, new vaudeville and toe tappin' music. With performers including BFC co-founders, Keith Nelson (Pennygaff, Kinko the Clown & more) and Stephanie Monseu (Philomena Bindlestiff), plus others talented in amazing feats including, but not limited to stilt walking, fire eating, sword-swallowing, juggling, physical comedy, human blockhead, balloon sculpture, rope spinning, bull whips, knife throwing, bed of nails, clowning, singing, broken glass walking and eating, trapeze, gun spinning, knot throwing, balancing, mental flossing, comedy magic, all-around-entertainment, their shows are amazingly amusing.

The first time we saw them, we were lucky enough to catch Danny Boy, the contortionist. They brought this kid out on stage in a tiny box (we're talking like 2' wide) which he unfolded himself out of. He showed off his talents, putting himself through a tennis racket, toilet seat, and finally literally diving into a straight jacket that was all fastened up as if it were already occupied!

Keith (a.k.a. Mr. Pennygaff) does a fabulous sword (and other object) swallowing act. He swallows swords, bayonets, neon light tubes, you name it. He also shoves lots of amazingly long things like nails, screwdrivers and drills up his nose. He not only does sword swallowing, but also clowning, fire-eating, Bed of Nails, Human Blockhead, trick rope spinning, juggling (four balls and four clubs/torches), plate spinning, Diablo, balloon sculpture, a balancing act, Straight Jacket Escape, stilt walking, bullwhips, magic, knife throwing, archery, and gun spinning. He's handsome & funny, too. *grin*

Philomena - the hot, sassy, tattooed ringleader and Mistress of Ceremonies, was my favorite performer. She is just down-right impressive. She dances, sings, eats light bulbs, jumps up and down on broken beer bottles, lays on the bed of nails, can snap a smoke out of your mouth with a 10' bull whip, eat fire... the list just goes on and on. My favorite trick that she did was with razor blades. She took about 6 double edged razor blades (proven razor sharp by a volunteer from the audience), and put them in her mouth. Then, she curled up a long piece of string and put it in her mouth. With her mouth closed, she tied each razor blade to the string and proceeded to pull them out of her mouth one by one like ornaments on the string. yowza.

My very favorite act that they do, however, is the fireplay!

It is a fire eating and breathing act taken to a new level. In a rather sensual manner, Keith and Philomena eat and breathe fire and set their skin on fire, carressing themselves and eachother with the burning rods. It's a very impressive and...um...arousing show. Being a closet pyromaniac myself, I was completely mezmerized by this. Be sure to check it out in the videos you can find here. Check out the other videos, too! There's some good stuff there.

The performers are very friendly with their audiences, and I had a great time visiting with them before and after the show each time I saw them. I honestly wanted to jump in their van and go with them - to run away with the Cirkus! Had they invited me, I think I would have gone.


  1. WOW... and I thought I was weird. This stuff was amazing, especially the Strip Trapeeze. But as usual she left the crowd wanting more. lol

  2. I love this sort of stuff. Last New Year's Eve I watched an 8 hour marathon of Cirque Du Soleil. Amazing people and talents. (Can you tell I don't have a life? 8 hours of circus stuff. hmmph)

  3. What an interesting blog chickadee. Thanks so much for stopping over my blog. I guess you, me, and boo all kinda wander around the same haunts. :)

    I'll be back once Im home from the beach. :)

  4. I love the circus and side shows are cool. It's tough to find them any more. I've seen some TV shows on side show freaks and it is quite interesting. The neatest thing I say was a woman that makes electrical bolts shoot out of her fingertips. It's really wild.

  5. I've always wanted to go to a "freak" show...I always watch those Discovery Channel programs on them. Crazy, crazy stuff.

  6. I'd love to see something like this. I'll have to go look at the schedule and see if they're coming near Detroit.

  7. looks like great fun, haven't been to a circus in ages!!!

    loved the celtic barettes!! nice!!!!

    have you had a chance to play with the celtic Photoshop shapes yet?

    *hugs and poinks*~!!!

  8. I love ya!

    Freaks unite!

    Sounds kind of like one of my family barbecues!

  9. I HATE the circus.. bad memories of a time best forgotten.

    But this looked fun and nothing like the circus I remember. Maybe if they could call themselves the Freak Show I could stomach it.

  10. We've had the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow here a few times and I loved it. This sounds amazing!

    Ever since I escaped the circus I've always yearned to belong. These guys may be the place for me!!

  11. This is all pretty cool stuff - some pretty freaky - but cool none the less.


  12. There is nothing like a circu....the smell of animals...children begging for treats...the sweltering heat that builds up on a summer day "under the big top'.....lol.......nice story

  13. Lump me in with the freaks .. lol

    I am attending a 'fire play' class on the 9th of July ..

    thanks for yer condolences .. come back and visit anytime .. see how I sound on a good day

  14. Come up here and go to the Coney Island Freak Show with me. No one else will. :o(

  15. Denny - how did I know you'd go straight to the stip trapeze? LOL Wierd is fun!

    Boo - Oooh, I love Cirque du Soleil! You didn't tape it, did you? Sweet!

    Muse - thanks! I've been lurking there a bit. It's about time we "met" LOL

    Vince - It is tough to find them. Electric bolts - sweet!

    Pup - Just as big a freak as YOU, Tinky Winky! LOL

    Anon M G - they are so cool - even more amazing in person. Welcome!

    Serra - Don't think they're on tour right now, but Detroit would be a poss. stop. Is that where you are?

    Se7en - they're a ton of fun. Barrettes - Thanks! I can make you a "manly" one if you want. LOL OOh...celtic shapes for PS? You have them??

    Tricia - back atcha! Woo hoo! Remind me to come to your next bbq. LOL

    Aimee - right back at you, girl! xoxo

    Noonie - aw, sorry about the bad exp. These shows are quite different than your usual circus.

    Rainy - I've seen Jim's show - he's got some cool stuff going on, but these guys blow him out of the water. E-mail them and join up! lol

    Seamus - freaky cool. :) *smoink*

    Mike - the smell of animals...ew. lol Nice thing about this show is it's usually in the a/c. :)

    Ron - done. :) Oooh, I want to take that class!!! Where!? I will come back, you hang in there.

    Julie - I would LOVE to! These guys perform at Coney Isl. some times!

    SASF is coming, peeps! It's slow going on dial up - I'm home today!

  16. I'm just a wimp, that would scare the begeebers out of me. I did eat some Texas chili once that made me feel as if I was pooping razor blades, but I doubt anyone would have paid to see that. ; )
    Happy Friday