Seismic Sideshow Rocks Essex

A Benefit of Earth-Shaking Proportions

by Tom Warner (Baltimore or Less)

October 15, 2011 @ Sinix
525 Eastern Blvd
Essex, MD 21221

ESSEX, MD – On Saturday, October 15, Shocked and Amazed! magazine presented “Seismic Sideshow – a benefit of earth-shaking proportions” at the Sinix nightclub in East Baltimore. The Sinex show was one of three performances at two venues (the Red Palace in Washington D.C. hosted two completely different shows featuring sideshow, variety, and burlesque acts on Friday, October 14) organized to raise funds in support of the upcoming 10th Annual Sideshow Gathering in Wilkes-Barre, PA from November 4-6, 2011.

The Sinix show featured headliners Lucky Daredevil Thrillshow (voted “Outstanding Sideshow Duo” by the Washington Post), Philly’s Olde City Sideshow, and Swami YoMahmi, the Original Sideshow Geek from DC’s Cheeky Monkey Sideshow.

Lucky Daredevil's Thrill Kill Jill toys with Evel (photo by Dave Wright)

"You will be shocked, amazed - and seismically shaken!" promises James Taylor (photo by Dave Wright)

As James Taylor – Red Palace museum director and founder and publisher of Shocked and Amazed! On & Off the Midway magazine – blogged on his Shocked & Amazed web site in vintage carnival barker style, “You’ve seen their acts everywhere from Ripley’s Believe It to Not to the Guinness Book of World’s Recordsto Coney Island’s Sideshows by the Seashore to your annual carnival. It’s more talent in one spot for one night than the law should ever allow. It’s a million bucks worth of talent on one stage and you don’t have to be a millionaire to buy in.”

According to Mundie Art‘s James and Kate Mundie, the Philadephia artists who designed the “Seismic Sideshow” poster, the event’s title came from Taylor, who (presciently) proposed this title just a few days before both a minor earthquake and then a hurricane rocked the northeastern United States. As James Mundie explained, “Having been tasked with the visuals for this, it then occurred to me that a volcanic eruption was an apt metaphor” for the shows celebrating an artform that remains truly “underground.”

Franco Kossa, sideshow maestro

The Sideshow Gathering was the brainchild of Franco Kossa(aka Franco Zoob), co-owner of Marc’s Tattooing and the driving force behind both the annual Sideshow Gathering and the Inkin’ the Valley Tattoo Convention, who died earlier this year.

According to Mundie Art, “The Gathering brings together sideshow and variety performers for a weekend of spectacle and fellowship, and has grown to become a much anticipated calendar event for both the performers and fans of this style of entertainment. Franco himself would take on the expense of putting on the event (booking the venue, etc.), but with his death the financial security of the Sideshow Gathering was in limbo. A group of volunteers decided they would do whatever could be done to make this 10th incarnation of the Sideshow Gathering a success and a fitting tribute to Franco, and so the idea of these benefit performances came about.”

Some Pics of Earth-Shaking Proportions

Our friend Dave Wright was at the Sinix show and took some great pictures of the performances. Be sure to check out his Seismic Sideshow pics to see what you missed:

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All photos © David Wright (

Related Links:
Shocked & Amazed! On and Off the Midway
Red Palace
Lucky Daredevil Thrillshow
Olde City Sideshow
Swami YoMahmi
Inkin’ the Valley Tattoo/Sideshow Gathering Convention

This entry was posted in 2010s, Baltimore Babylon, Baltimorons, Entertainment, Essex / Middle River, Events, Kitsch, Museums, Neighborhoods, Roadside Attractions and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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