Does performing ever feel like a chore? Do you have the same dread of going to work that most people have?
I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had some days when I was tired or sore and just wasn’t as into it as usual. However, I know the ‘work dread’ from my previous more typical jobs and I have never felt like that about performing. In fact, it is usually thinking about how cool it is to get to perform for a living that gets me over being tired, sore, and cranky.
Where’s the best place you’ve performed (in terms of money, crowd reaction, or any other factor)?
Money: (tie) German & Japanese Television
Crowd Reaction: (tie) The 2nd Annual Sideshow Gathering / Jagermeister Music Tour
Personal Satisfaction: Coney Island
Would you ever give up your freak career for more financial security? If so, how much money would it take?
It would take the proverbial butt load and even then it would depend on the conditions. Do I have to work a new job? Am I somehow banned from performing? There are other jobs I could see doing, but not many, and if I was amply compensated I suppose I could go without publicly performing but I would still be doing the acts on my own in private – these activities are part of who I am.
Why haven’t I seen any Lizardman action figures in toy stores?
Ask the toy manufacturers. I want it to happen (and yes, I have tried and will continue to).
[Editor’s note: BME actually made Lizardman action figures, but we were never happy with the final product and did not release them publicly... but there are about 50 Lizardman action figures in existence!]
Do you ever hear audience members explaining the “tricks” behind your act to others in the audience, and does it bother you when people don’t believe that what you do is real?
Well, I don’t do tricks so there is very little if anything to explain – in fact, I often explain it as I do it. Explaining my acts would be a lot like explaining tightrope walking i.e. ‘He is just putting one foot in front of the other and not falling.’ Sure, I get the occasional wannabe expert who thinks he can explain the bed of nails or some other act via physics but the fact is that I push the physics (like using sixteen nails or less) to a point where most people can’t or won’t ever want to go. Knowing the science behind pole vaulting doesn’t mean you can go break the record and knowing the science behind fire eating doesn’t mean you will pull it off without getting horribly burned. Such people are basically sorrowful killjoys who don’t know how to enjoy a show — I pity them.
As for people thinking my acts aren’t real, I go through a lot in the show to prove the veracity of what I do. In the end though, if you don’t believe it then that’s your thing – try and enjoy the presentation at least. I have heard incredible theories as to how I do some of the acts because people won’t accept what they see… it amuses me that the simple obvious truth is not acceptable to them.
One guy claimed that the gavage wasn’t real because he claimed all the fluids stayed in the hose – he didn’t deny that it was in my stomach via my nose; instead he claimed that all the fluid in the pump (more than a quarter gallon) stayed in the tube when the handle was depressed and then was sucked back out of just the tubing when the handle was pulled and thus he claimed I wasn’t really pumping my stomach. How crazy is it to think I would stick a tube up my nose and down into my stomach for an illusion? It seems that it is just about as crazy as believing six feet of quarter inch diameter tubing can hold over a quart of liquid volume. Not to mention the extra stuff that comes up with it or when I make blue fluid from the pump mix with yellow fluid I drink and turn green when extracted. The gavage is one of the most obvious ‘what-you-see-is-what-you-get’ acts but still people question it – I can’t let it keep me up at night.
Does it creep you out at all that someone has a tattoo of your face?
Not at all – I think it is incredibly cool. I just hope that down the road they still think it is as cool as I do.