“You want to go to the circus? Good news, you live in the circus!” says Tyler Fleet aka Tyler Fyre at the beginning of this sweet documentary short “The Down Home Daredevils.” Tyler and his wife Jill, whose stage name is Thrill Kill Jill, are the doting parents of two adorable little boys–Hank Lightning and Duke Dynamite. They’re also sword swallowers and fire eaters, and in Jill’s case a snake charmer, with the Lucky Daredevil Thrill Show.
The film by Corcoran College of Art new media photojournalism students Ben Dorger, Jenny Harnish and Emma Scott follows the family from their home in West Virginia to the Hell City Tattoo Convention in Columbus, Ohio. Hank, who is a toddler, joins dad onstage to do a make-believe straitjacket escape and Duke gets his first taste of applause as a babe in mom’s arms. “What the kids do in the show is up to the kids,” says Jill. “We’ll nurture them right into the show. It’s the family business.”
The film premiered at this year’s Coney Island Film Festival and was among “ATZ’s Top 10 Coney Island Film Festival Picks.”
February 2, 2013: A Coney Island Classic: 60th Anniversary of “Little Fugitive”
December 8, 2012: Sunday Matinee: Princess Rajah’s Chair Dance (1904)
March 3, 2012: Saturday Matinee: Bluto & Popeye, Kings of Coney’s Mardi Gras
January 15, 2011: ATZ Saturday Matinee: Shorty at Coney Island
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Detail of Girl to Gorilla Showfront by Lew Stamm for 4C Productions Coming to State Fair Meadowlands
“Beauty or Beast? SEE the only LIVING woman with this Mysterious and Unknown Ability…Alive…The Ape Girl.” Jack Constantine’s Girl to Gorilla Show is coming to New Jersey’s State Fair Meadowlands, which opens on June 21 for a 17-day run. It’s the first time since 1996 that his Four C Productions is bringing it out. Just a couple of months ago, we wrote in a post about this classic midway illusion: Sadly, there are few if any working today. If you know of one, let us know.
This awesome set of Girl to Gorilla banners was painted by the late great Lew Stamm, whose showfronts are highly regarded in the business. “They were done for my father in 1991. My dad traded his car for them,” said Lindsey Constantine, who is co-owner of the sideshow company. The rest of the set including the ticketbooth is currently being painted prior to its appearance at the fair. It’s the front of the show that gets the dough!
The Constantines are also bringing their popular World’s Smallest Woman, World’s Smallest Horse, Snake Illusion and Oddity Museum to the New Jersey fair.
Related posts on ATZ…
February 4, 2013: Rare & Vintage: Girl to Gorilla Sideshow Banner
August 6, 2012: Art of the Day: Madame Twisto by Marie Roberts
April 18, 2012: Rare & Vintage: A Neon Sword Swallower’s Sideshow Banner
November 4, 2011: Up for Auction: Ringling Bros Circus Side Show Poster
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