Freak Show 101 at Coney Island

| September 24, 2012 2:53 PM

Coney Island has seen many changes since it opened its first sideshow in 1880. Theme parks have been developed, bulldozed and redeveloped; newer vendors have replaced old businesses; real estate has been bought and sold—the list goes on. But there are some places, and people, in Coney Island that are determined to keep the old traditions alive. The Coney Island Sideshow School, and Adam Rinn, are among them.

Watch Video:

Adam Rinn shows students the ropes — and glass,fire and nails — at The Coney Island Sideshow Schoo. Video by Anika Anand and Ken Christensen, courtesy of narrative.ly.

Rinn, who grew up in Coney Island, teaches eager—and brave—students how to eat fire, walk on broken glass and carry a charge in an electric chair. The school usually teaches two four-day sessions per year. Students pay an $800 tuition—a cost that, Rinn explains, will deter curiosity seekers, but not discourage those who are truly hungry to perform sideshow acts—after “graduating,” they’ll make up the tuition costs in a gig or two, he says.

Continue reading at narrative.ly

↑ Back to top

About Us    Contact Us    The MetroFocus Team   Mobile   WNET Pressroom   Privacy Policy    Terms of Service

Mutual of America

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Rosalind P. Walter, Charlotte and David Ackert, Jody and John Arnhold and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America.
© 2014 WNET    All Rights Reserved.    825 Eighth Avenue    New York, NY 10019