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Circus Magic Music Performing Arts Photography Sideshow Variety Arts Video

Scott Baker – A Video Interview and more…

I first met Scott Baker at BB Kings’ music club in Times Square. We were attending the Coney Island Sideshow by the Seashore performance.

The show was ‘on tour’ and I wanted to do some photography of the show. Scott Baker sat across from me at the table and we talked  ‘sideshow‘ and variety arts. Lots in common regarding our favorite performers and genres.

Not long after that evening I heard Scott was in ‘chemo therapy’ for cancer. I  hoped for the best!

Once I heard he was better I wanted to interview him about his work as a  ‘Human blockhead, fire eater, glass eater, escape artist, master magician, ventriloquist, eats live crickets and lit cigarettes, swallows and regurgitates razor blades, performs levitations, outside talker.’.

We met a music rehearsal space near Times Square and the room was perfect for the interview. I ask Scott about his illness and he wrote this:

“To some, hearing that you have “The Big C” is a death sentence. It only made me furious, and I was determined to not let it get the better of me. Going for chemo and getting a radiation per day for seven weeks, I worked until I simply couldn’t move. It was extremely rough going, but through the miracle of modern science, medicine, and the faith of many friends, we kicked the thing! I had to learn to do many things all over again, and now hopefully do them much better. For the record, I had cancer of the squamous cells on upper left soft palate. To this day, nobody knows how I got it!”

Scott is Back and better than ever! I am posting a several videos for your enjoyment.

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Sideshow banner painter Marie Roberts paints Scott Baker

Scott Baker Banner by Marie Roberts

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One of Scott’s achievements has been to be the star in a film! BALLY MASTER.

Scott Baker is the BALLY TALKER
Title of film about Scott Baker on Coney Island Sideshow

BALLY MASTER Directed by: Gary Beeber

5 Awards for Best Documentary

Get it here!

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Here are some other links to sites that contain information on Scott Baker.

http://www.staythirstymedia.com/200706c/html/0507coneyisland_scottbaker.html

http://www.coneyisland.com/per.scott.shtml

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Last but not least is Scott talking about Passion and Vision.

Categories
Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts

Coney Island Side Show USA – BB Kings Dec. 30, 2010

Coney Island USA

When I walked into the show Coney Island Sideshow USA at BB Kings the other day I had a feeling I was walking back in time. Or taking a step into a past that was vibrant and alive with performers who loved presenting for the ‘people’.

My love of Coney Island and it’s history is probably why I made this blog entry look like photographic postcards I found in a dusty steam trunk in my aunt’s attic. Discovering the ‘sideshow’ was something that happened to me as a young man walking into Al Flosso’s Magic shop on West 34th St. He had a picture on the wall of Dreamland Circus Sideshow with all the performers standing in front of the entrance posing for the photograph I was looking at. It was dated 1931. I wanted to think that Dreamland Circus Sideshow and Luna Park were still open for attendance. I would have loved to have had that experience.

Dick D. Zigun (the founder of  Coney Island Sideshow and Coney Island Museum.) presents this delightful show at different venues around town during the winter months.(Warm weather at their home on Coney Island-one of the few buildings still standing)  A great lineup for a wonderful show of talent and skills that aren’t to be found in our media/television heavy 21st century.

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The Great Fredini

The Great Fredini hosted the show and performed his sword swallowing. (to start with)

Audience volunteer helps The Great Fredini pull a sword from his throat.

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Princesss Pat

The cast of the afternoon’s show was all a public could want in variety.

Princess Pat dances sultry with her large ‘live’  snake.

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The Amazing Amy

‘The Amazing Amy’ twisted herself into many impossible yoga positions set to techno music.

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Adam Rinn

A ‘postcard’ pic if I ever saw one

Here is ‘wildman’ Adam Rinn with two young women standing on his chest thru a bed of nails which he also seems to be laying on.

Adam Rinn doing a magical cigarette trick. Swallowing?

A multi-skilled performer Adam Rinn eats fire.

Here Adam Rinn is blowing fire.

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The Great Fredini puts Princess Pat in a box which he then stuck 30 blades into.

He then invited audience members up on stage to see her in the box.

The Great Fredini explains to audience members the story behind the box while they look in at Princess Pat.

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Jennifer Miller – Zenobia

One of the ‘Original’ members of the Coney Island Sideshow and a wonderful performer in many disciplines.

She is juggling machetes!

A ghost like shot of Jennifer Miller juggling her machetes.

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The Great Fredini and The Electric Chair.

With audience members The Great Fredini is able to electrify them and get a florescent bulb to illuminate in one of their hands.

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The show was completed with Princess Pat dancing for the audience.

A great afternoon of entertainment and a lot of exotic surprises that weren’t expected.

See them next at THE HIGHLINE BALLROOM on January 2, 2010.

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May you have an exotic, amazing, delightful, serene, exciting and peaceful NEW YEAR!