Sideshow School

March 26, 2012 by Tim Samson in


Last week, I was given the unique opportunity to attend Sideshow School in the one and only Coney Island, USA! With an excellent and experienced staff of professional carnies, I learned the basics of some of the craziest sideshow acts through a series of riveting lectures and, of course, hands-on (or feet-on as you’ll see!) practice.

From snapping a mousetrap on my tongue and becoming a human blockhead to eating fire and walking on glass, I learned how to perform all these stunts and then some! What shocked me most about the experience is that all these acts are REAL. That’s right. There is NO trick! No secret. Just a 6 inch steel nail and the task to get it into your nose. Here I am eating fire. I still can’t believe I can do this now. When you grow up with a head of giant curls maintained by flammable hair products, you sort of develop a healthy fear of fire…

Coney Island possesses an infectious culture all its own with a rich and colorful history in boardwalk culture. It’s prompted me to look at the Wildwood Boardwalk culture in a new way. What if our boardwalk incorporated the arts the way Coney Island does? How can we bring a little sideshow to the Jersey Shore? While I’m not necessarily ready to adopt a giant python and start charming her on the Wildwood boards, I am definitely a huge advocate of bringing performance arts like sideshow to our beloved Boardwalk and putting a uniquely Wildwood twist on the culture.

Check out some of my new stunts while I update my resume!


Amy says:

March 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Hey Alison!  I’m a former Morey’s employee (Raging Waters Mariner’s Landing Lifeguard and Lifeguard Supervisor) 2000-2003 who also attended Sideshow School…back in ‘06.  I’ve been performing as a professional sideshow performer ever since with the FreakShow Deluxe (website included).  I think we submitted a proposal to you last year for Morey’s Fears, but I’ve been trying to get the group to pitch to Morey’s for years now…if you guys are interested in incorporating some real classic American fun (for ALL ages- our shows can be family friendly, too!), please contact us!  I hope you had a blast at Coney Island!!!

Alison says:

March 27, 2012 at 9:29 am

That’s awesome! Wasn’t it an amazing experience? I’m so glad you’ve been able to perform professionally for so long. I will pass your info to our Events Dept. Do you ever perform in the area (NYC/Philly)? I’d love to come see a show sometime.

Amy says:

March 27, 2012 at 2:09 pm

We’ve actually performed at Coney Island a few times!  Not as much Philly, though I grew up there so I’d love to have a homecoming show…we’ve done a bunch of amusement parks’ Halloween Haunts and tons of county fairs, nightclubs, and concerts…it’s been amazing!  And we have very similar hair…so I totally understand the fire eating fear! 
I’m so glad you got to go to Coney…it’s really a special place, and now you’re among the proud and the few that know and love these classic arts!  Welcome!

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