A circus is an incredible place with different lives that you can live during immersion in this special atmosphere for at least a few hours.
I traveled with several Russian circuses since 2012 and a few months ago I had the opportunity to meet exceptional people from the American circus world and to follow «The Coney Island Freak Shows».
The principal character of my project is Eric Broomfield (Jelly Boy The Clown). He guided me to this special world of the American circus where we learn the stories of incredible people who were able to turn their difficulties into a gift and show that their art is stronger than any life circumstances.
Jelly Boy The Clown is a performer with the unstoppable spirit of a modern sword swallower and sideshow entertainer, who defied all barriers and conquered all obstacles in his miraculous recovery as a burn survivor. Eric Broomfield was trapped in an apartment fire in New York City after which he could return to the stage as a circus sideshow performer. He has traveled all over the world over the past 10 years fusing clowning with the dangerous stunts of the circus sideshow and the science of Tesla.
Fat Mandee is the singing fat lady from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She traveled with circus ridiculous in the 1990s.
Insectavora is the current fire-eater and former bug eater at Coney Island.
Wendy blades are a sword swallower and Coney Island local.
Australian performer Sarah Houbolt (Kookoo The Bird Girl) is a sideshow and theater performer who based her stage persona on an older Minnie Woolsley who shares her condition in the film “Freaks”(1932).
This is an art history piece and a female perspective of the sideshow. Minnie lived in a time of compulsory sterilization and anti-marriage laws for disabled women, which not many people know about.
“Sideshow” is the dark side of the circus where natural-born and self-made freaks were traditionally in a smaller tent next to the big top. In a sideshow you can expect to see people who have modified their bodies as well as those who were born very different – on display as entertainment alongside dangerous stunts and novelty acts.
Coney Island is the playground of the world. It is famous for its giant sideshows of the past century.
I love to plunge into another reality, different from everything that we are used to in our ordinary lives.
The most beautiful thing in this «Unreal reality» is that even when it does not exist, it can always be invented and other seekers of unique adventures will be heroes and storytellers.
A truly special moment certainly becomes the infinity captured in the photo.
Sometimes those people, with an appearance that at first may surprise and even push away, eventually immerse us in another wonderful world, where we can get unforgettable experiences and knowledge.
“The stone that the builders refused has become the headstone of the corner and it is marvelous in our eyes.”
More than anything else, I love such marvelous miracles and I love to tell these stories.