Skip to main content

The Geek Showman's Pitch

During my 11 years of exhibiting geeks, I used many of the techniques favored by showmen throughout the ages. As with any sales endeavor, the pitch and a few tricks were woven together to whet the appetite of the audience. A cardinal rule was to exaggerate some of the more colorful aspects of the side show attraction and to never rely on one word when four would do. This gave a certain balance or rhythm to the pitch. For example, when explaining the moral quality of the show, it would be unthinkable to simply state, "It's a clean show." Rather this: "There will be nothing seen, heard, said, or done that would mar the impunity or injure the ...

Read Full Article

Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.