Sideshow School

Hey blind guys, hammerhead guy.Have you ever dreamed of running away with the circus but lacked that secret knowledge? Did anyone ever call you a freak? Well, now’s your chance to become one! Coney Island USA is proud to announce Sideshow School! Learn Ancient Skills from the Very Best in the Business!  At Coney Island USA's Sideshow School, you can learn how to hammer a 20-penny nail right into your skull, how to swallow a sword, eat fire, charm a deadly snake and so much more! Sideshow Skills sessions are held in the fall, spring and summer.

Sideshow Skills-you'll work with Adam Rinn to learn the ins and outs of the working acts of the sideshow. Special guest lecturers will be on hand throughout the course to offer their expertise with various acts. For more information, please contact, and be sure to look at Coney Island USA's website,, for more details about some of the other programs they offer.

Other learning opportunities include: 

Banner Painting with Marie Roberts

Intro to Magic with Gary Dreifus

Documentary Photography with Kevin C. Downs

Burlesque Master Class with Jo Weldon

***New for 2012***

The Sideshow School Lecture Series

Offered in conjunction with the Sideshow School's Sideshow Skills session, we are pleased to announce a series of three lectures given by top-name working professionals.

Cardone, master of magic and ventriloquism, will be giving two lectures:

Ventriloquism 101

Ventriloquism is an ancient art that is very hard to learn from a book. In this lecture, Cardone will teach everything you need to know about this obscure and surreal art form. Things to be covered in the course: Proper breath work, vocal warm-ups, the history of ventriloquism, voice placement, choosing a figure, easy alphabet, difficult alphabet, building a routine, and the hard to master "distant voice.  Bring a notebook. No puppets or dummies needed unless you have one you want to bring as a guest.

Cardone works as a full-time professional magician, ventriloquist and escape artist and has been performing for more than 23 years. He holds a BFA in theatre arts from Carnegie Mellon University and has received grants for puppetry and magic.

Working Class Entertainer 101

In this course, Cardone will give you a behind-the-scene look at how he went from a theatre student working at a bagel factory to a full-time entertainer.
He will cover everything from voice and diction to the business of show.

Come and learn the stuff to make your new skills move to the next level: Speech and diction,developing and act,booking shows,creating a resume, character development,stage movement,dealing with agents,auditioning, and managing your own career. 


Dick Zigun, Artistic Director and founder of Coney Island USA, will be offering one lecture:

A lecture by Dick Zigun, founder of the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, will reveal secret information gathered during 30 years of producing circus sideshows.

Cautionary information for those foolish enough to try and produce a freak show and humorous tales of triumph and horror learned from his three decades of attempting the same for those in the general public who have no intention of trying.




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