A truly odd interview with Eric Odditorium
We are going to start off our questioning with the one question that’s on everyone’s mind !!
Tuna or Swordfish ? Swordfish
Are you just not a fan of Tuna ? I ( Wayne ) have never had Swordfish so I couldn’t tell you which is better .. lol
I actually really like tuna. Swordfish is just better and it's funny when I order it.
Now that we got that one out of the way.
What drew you to the sideshow and how did you get started ?
I don't know what drew me to sideshow. I have loved it since I can remember. I have always been interested in the grand history of it. I also closely followed several perfomers. Many of which I've gotten to meet and/or work with. One of my early heros is Captain Don Leslie. I actually originally got started teaching myself sideshow. I used to put on shows in my backyard. Then opening for local bands, then national tours. TV, videos and giant gigs like Funny or Die's Oddball Comedy Fest and Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare after that. I guess that's question #2 and #3 really.
As a child when your interest in sword swallowing grew,did you find any interest in the history of this art or just a fascination with a individual performer?
See the answer for #2 it covers it all.
Have you ever thought about doing something to get in the Guinness book of world records?
I have thought about it. The problem with that is, they expect me to pay to set or break records. At this point in my career, I can just do it for video or for a live audience. I don't really need that piece of paper. Shit, I've set world records unofficially at a Ripley's and they control Guinness now. Good enough for me.
Have you seen any changes in the world of sideshow artistry?
I have absolutely seen changes in the artistry of sideshow. People still do a lot of the classic performance, also a bunch of new school stuff. Definitely way less tent shows. Happens in bars more these days. I think it needs to change to stay fresh and alive. That's why I do acts like King Cake Baby Abortion.
Please explain this act if possible ?
That's where I eat king cake including the plastic baby. I then retrieve it with a rusty coat hanger down my throat. I actually invited that act in a dream.
WOW !! I ( Wayne ) need to see this . That sounds disturbing, incredible and super inventive.
What is the most memorable moment you have had on stage?
Most memorable moment on stage? I've had a bunch. One would be being on the main stage with the rest of Cut Throat Freak Show at Oddball Fest. Hannibal Buress had us up there for his nonsense rap bit. Also when I was on AHS Freakshow. That was fun.
Ok so were you guys actually part of his rap ? So you were on AhS , we weren’t 100% sure .. If you can go into some detail on that experience..
We were part of his rap. Super fun. AHS was great I'm in the scene from the first episode where Jessica Lang sings Life on Mars. Great lady!
Is it difficult to find work with traveling groups?
Yes it is very difficult to find work with a traveling group. Especially if you want it to be profitable. I've gotten pretty good at it. I roll with Cut Throat Freak Show and claim it like I was jumped in. Always make money and ALWAYS have lots of fun.
What is your favorite city to travel too?
I don't really have a favorite city. I like the south. Birmingham is cool. Had good times in Wilmington. Every city has something going for it.
You mentioned Wilmington. We're you traveling yourself or were you with a company at that time? It is a cool town ?
I've traveled to Wilmington with CTFS. It's an old city like NOLA and full of fun people.
Is there a "Holy Grail" item for performers such as yourself? As a sword swallower, I really need at least one prize sword. Mine was made for me by master prop maker Ian Brown.
Us not being familiar with Mr Brown can you tell us more about him and what he has made ?
Ian is a sword swallower and a prop maker from England. He mostly makes swords. Cool guy.
We all know that what you do is real and is very dangerous. Have you ever injured yourself or have witnessed another performer have an accident while doing an act ? I have yet to injure myself. I have witnessed some injuries though. I've sword swallowers rupture their esophagus. I've seen a guy open up his face with an angle grinder. Seen plenty of cut up feet from broken glass. Most of ot minor, some really freak'n serious.
Well glad to hear you’ve never hurt yourself but have you had some close calls or near misses ?
I had a near miss at the Georgia State Fair a few years back. This 10 year old kid that was my volunteer kinda tried to kill me. He attemped to really jam the sword down my throat. I was able to counter his move and everything was fine. Scared a bunch of people though. After, his mom told us he kills cats. Freak'n psycho.
Wow .. no shit psycho .. I think that’s how old Jeffery Dahmer started !!
What is your favorite circus or fair food ?
Are you serious?? Well, I love hot dogs, also corn dogs, and also footlong hot dogs. Man, find me on Instagram. I'm a die hard hot dog enthusiast. I thought everyone knew that. Hahaha...(eodditorium on Instagram)
Lol no sorry had no idea you were such a hot dog connoisseur.. So who has the best hot dog around?
Just about every city has good hot dogs. Around here it's Dat Dog.
What style of music do you listen most and who is your favorite artist or band ?
Music. I like a lot of music. Most people are surprised by my favorite though. I love hip hop. Wu Tang, Beastie Boys, Prof. I also really like a local new orleans rapper called Cash Epics. Great rapper and one hell of a nice guy.
Is there one specific sideshow performer you’d consider your idle or influence ?
My influences? I don't really pattern my performance style after anyone but I've always looked up to Todd Robbins. Also ol Red Stewart. And of course Captain Don.
Also is there one specific performer you’d love to work with or loved working with ?
I love working with Jeremy Cut Throat Kinison. We perform well together and travel well. You can't jump into a van with just anyone. I also miss working with Black Scorpion. Super sweet and super weird guy.
( the RumGuy ) I remember seeing the Black scorpion awhile back in Georgia. Very captivating show.
Do you find that the popularity of sideshow and or the Circus have been growing since the release of such TV shows like American Horror Story: Freak Show ? Also has sideshow performances open you up to other opportunities.. such as acting or any other performance art ?
The popularity of sideshow has always ebbed and flowed. Definitely follows what's on TV. I tend to work more when it's on an upswing, but the market also gets saturated with newbies. I have done a little acting and extra work. At least some of it is due to sword swallowing.
How long have you been a performer in the French Quarter? Also what’s the most unusual sight you’ve seen down there ?
I've been performing in th FQ off and on for at least 10 years. I'm doing it a little less right now. I've seen some crazy stuff. Naked people, fights, Santa Clause drinking his ass off. The strangest? Def watching a street kid eating dog shit with chop sticks...
Holy shit !!! That’s insane !! I’ve heard some stories but nothing that epic !! Lol
Do you have any words of advise or suggestions to anyone looking to get into this line of entertainment? Words of advice? Just keep at it. Find your nich. Find an act you like and make it your own. Also, don't plan on being rich.
Ok so we appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day and answering our questions. So last but not least ...
Do you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life, if so where do you see yourself in the next 20 years and Is there any personal goals you have for the future?
I do see myself doing this in some way the rest of my life. I would like to eventually open a venue/hot dog joint and perform there. That's my dream.
That sounds amazing. We’d be some of your most frequent customers. Without giving any secrets away .. what would be your signature hot dog ?
That would be the Worlds Most Daring Hot Dog. It'll be alligator hot dog with spicy bbq sauce ghost peppers, sport peppers and bluecheese crumbles. Maybe also bacon.
MHOG: Wow that sounds incredible.. We would definitely be long term customers of yours !!
Thank you once again and you are always welcome to come back on the show.
-The MHOG podcast