Byrd's Eye View - HellzaPoppin - A Sideshow Revue
I have shot nearly 40,000 photos during the time that I have been blessed with this position but I have never had such a difficult time shooting and editing pictures as I did when I attended the Hellzapoppin Sideshow Revue at Exit/In on Monday night featuring a cast of colorful characters that travel from city to city in a former prison bus. In a single night on a single stage, I saw things that shocked me more than anything else I had ever laid my eyes on.
The show began with a very interesting character named "Zamora The Torture King" who swallowed a long piece of red string which he then dug out of his sternum using extremely sharp needle nose pliers before playfully dangling Christmas ornaments from the still-attached-to-his-body string simply because he was feeling festive. But folks, that was only the beginning. The guests were treated to everything from "Lady Diabla," a sword swallowing contortionist to a 27" inch tall diminutive gal by the name of "Lil Miss Firefly" who stripped down nearly naked and rolled in freshly broken glass to illusionist John Shaw, who snorted popcorn kernels up his nose and shot them out through his tear ducts before swinging heavy buckets of water from fishhooks through his eyelids to the world famous "Penguin Boy," a wee fellow who was born without arms but the ability to hang a cinderblock from the oversized earring holes in his ears.
"It's a sideshow people - not the Hannah Montana Christmas Special. What did you think we were doing up here?" Shaw asked the stunned audience just moments into the show.
But all that was nothing compared to Zamora's finale when he returned to the stage with foot-long, thick, steel needles which he plunged through his forearm, bicep and even his neck, much to the discern of a few audience members who had turned several shades of green by this point in the show.
PICTURED: Zamora the Torture King swallowed a piece of string tied to broken glass, then poked a hole in his sternum to pull the string out of his gullet. Oh, and he hung Christmas ornaments from the string to add a bit of festive flair to the trick during his performance at the Hellzapoppin Sideshow Revue at Exit/In on Monday, January 4, 2010.