I am cheating a little by using information I learned from today’s Daily Weird History newsletter. Its theme today had to do with circuses and carnivals, the main setting of my novel Freakshow Summer. In particular, I would like to focus on the sideshow performers of the bygone era. Today, we view such exhibits of placing human beings on a stage for the sole purpose to be gawked at as insensitive and morally reprehensible. Although we can look back now and realize that these people had lives, feelings, and aspirations–many of the performers had little choice when it came to making a decent living. Like most current entertainment careers, it was a matter of luck how popular and/or well-treated a sideshow performer was. Most had talents beyond their physical differences, and sometimes that was the tipping point for success. Nevertheless, a few sideshow acts went on to become a part of history, which leads me to the Weird History article “14 Astonishing Human Marvel throughout History.”
On this page, readers can find other links to other great performances and odd pastimes throughout circus and carnival history. This particular list contains some of the inspirations for characters in my own novel like Beep, Harriet, Yuri, Theodore, and Ben. There are many, many fascinating articles to be found on Weird History, so I hope you enjoy the page and the website as a whole.
For writers, a host of potential topics can be found. It is a treasure trove of the strange, inspiring, and horrifying. I hope you find something compelling on the site.
Image provided by Ranker.com as found in the daily Weird History newsletter