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audience - carnival - circus - performance - spectacle - voyeurism - exhibitionism


To cause or allow to be seen; display, present. --AHD

Show business

Show business is a vernacular term for the business of entertainment. It tends to refer to the agents, managers, production and distribution companies that are in the business of entertainment; it can also include the artists and performers involved. It applies to all aspects of live 'shows', from cinema to television to theater to music. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Show_business [Jun 2004]


In America, a sideshow is an extra, secondary production associated with a circus, carnival, fair or other such attraction. Its proper name is a "Ten in One", referring to the practice of having a revolving show of ten acts under a single tent. When a single person or object is featured, it is known as a single-o.

Today only a few "Ten in One" shows remain active in the United States. The Sideshow by the Seashore sponsored by Coney Island USA in Brooklyn, NY is perhaps the oldest. Hall and Christ's World of Wonders is one of the few shows that still tours the fairground circuit. Former phone salesman Jim Rose runs a modern sideshow called Jim Rose Circus. A number of "Single O" attractions tour carnivals to this day, particularly on the East Coast, including The World's Smallest Woman, World's Smallest Horse, Angel the Snake Girl, Giant Snake, Giant Pig, and Giant Horse shows.

Sideshows of old had a hierarchy of performers in terms of prestige, with "Born Freaks", people with congenital physical peculiarities, at the top, followed by "Made Freaks" such as tattooed men and women, and "Working Acts" such as sword swallowers and fire eaters. Contrary to contemporary perceptions, which holds the term freak show to be pejorative, many of the "Born Freaks" were not looked down upon by their fellow performers, and many were in fact the owners and operators of the shows.

The sideshow world includes a wide array of performers and performance types. The major categories include Human Oddity Acts (Natural acts, such as the fat lady, etc), Working Acts (acts people train to be able to perform, such as Fire breathing), Animal acts (such as a Flea circus, or Snake Charming act), Illusions, and Museum Shows (including pickled punks). --[1]

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