• Karen Seiger

So You Want To Join The Circus? Start At Coney Island Sideshow School

Note: You may know by now that I love Coney Island. My friend Professa Adam Realman will soon be revealing some great circus tricks at the Coney Island Sideshow School! “Back to School” never sounded more fun, amiright?! ~Karen 

Learn to eat fire at Coney Island Sideshow School (photo by Eliza Rinn)


AUGUST 22, 23, 24, 2016 Sideshows by the Seashore-Coney Island USA


Coney Island, NY – Coney Island USA and Professa Adam Rinn Present: Sideshow School.

Sideshow School Professa Adam Rinn teaches students to swallow a sword. (Photo by Eliza Rinn)

Coney Island USA’s Sideshow School is the only school of its kind where students can learn the ancient and sometimes deadly secrets of the sideshow. A new crop of thrill seekers will be attending the next session, scheduled for August 22-24 at Sideshows by the Seashore.

Now in its 16th year, Sideshow School has taught dozens of potential circus, sideshow and carnival workers how to walk on glass, eat and breathe fire, swallow swords, and hammer nails into their faces, along with a handful of other of the sideshow’s ‘working acts’.

Students take the class at their own risk and must sign a hold harmless agreement absolving the school and its instructors from any possible injuries the students might incur. “In all the years that I’ve taught sideshow school,” Dean and Professa Adam Rinn declares, “nobody has ever gotten hurt.” Rinn himself was a graduate of the Sideshow School and went on to become a prolific performer who has entertained audiences throughout North America.

Sessions are capped at 10 students so that each student can learn in a safe and controlled atmosphere. “Safety is key when learning these feats,” says Rinn. “We don’t force anything upon the students, they attend the school because they want to learn these unique acts. It’s important to be patient and work with the students at their level.”

Those attending the three day, hands-on seminar have ranged from doctors, authors and teachers who have a general interest in sideshow and circus arts, to magicians, jugglers and bartenders who have used some of the skills they have learned in their own line of work, to sideshow performers looking to expand their repertoire.

Lying on a bed of nails at Coney Island Sideshow School (Photo by Eliza Rinn)

But it is not all about the ‘working acts’. The three day session also offers a history of the legendary amusement district and its role in olde time and contemporary freak shows.

“It’s very rewarding when the students conquer their fears and hit the ground running,” The Professa states. “After each session, I get a slew of emails thanking me and telling me what a life changing experience sideshow school was. It certainly was for me!”

Coney Island Sideshow School: The Details

  1. Cost: $1000. Advance registration required.

  2. Dates: Monday, August 22 through Wednesday, August 24, 2016

  3. Time: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

  4. Address: Sideshows by the Seashore, 1208 Surf Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11224

  5. Transportation: D, N, F or Q to Stillwell Ave. – Coney Island

For additional information and tickets please visit: www.coneyisland.com

ABOUT: Coney Island USA is a 501 ©3 not-for-profit arts organization located in Coney Island’s historic amusement park. In existence since 1980, Coney Island USA has developed and produces New York City’s best-loved summer programming including the Mermaid Parade, and Coney Island Circus Sideshow. Coney Island USA also operates the Coney Island Museum, and produces Ask the Experts, Burlesque at the Beach, Congress of Curious People, Coney Island Film Society, Coney Island Film Festival, Coney Island Tattoo and Hot Rod Festival, Funhouse Philosophers, Creepshow at the Freakshow, Magic at Coney!!! and the Coney Island Sideshow School.

#ElizaRinn #AdamRealman #learntobreathfire #bedofnails #AdanRinn #Circussideshow #ConeyIsland #Learntoswallowasword #ConeyIslandSideshowSchool #sideshowtricks #eatfire

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