johnny:
Tillie is still resting comfortably. Still trying to get a definitive diagnosis and find out what’s driving her insulin resistance...many thousands later...and nothing conclusive. The surgeon wants to do more surgery (because that’s what surgeons do), regardless of the fact that it could throw her into complete renal failure. She seems quite happy and well, and I’m sure I can keep her that way without further intervention. Good days and wonderful years ahead!
 3
johnny:
The world’s only authentic (and most kickass) Dime Museum and Sideshow Stage opened 12 years ago. I was given a show (and the name) by the proprietors, along with complete freedom to create a variety/Sideshow as I saw fit. The Professor and the Show were site-specific creations - a Talker who had seen the end of the great eras of vaudeville, burlesque and sideshow, and now played this monthly “museum show,” with acts drawn from all three eras and beyond. Presided over by Talker, Lecturer, Ringmaster and Host Sprocket, the show featured whatever it was you weren’t expecting next - sideshow stunts, acrobats, clowns, oddities, belly dance, circus arts, vaudevillians, magic, burlesque, freak and geek acts, jugglers, contortionists, music, fire dance, working acts, trick roping, escape and impalement arts, aerial acts, comedy, and all things incredible, incredulous, incomparable, and incomprehensible, interspersed with Sprocket’s trademark pitches, ballies and lectures on the acts on view, and the greatest pitches, acts and facts of sideshow history (known as “jackpots” in the biz). The first night, we had no idea whether the Show would fly, but by the second show, we were making quite a splash and filling up the joint. We were the first sideshow/circus/burlesque showcase for local performers, and drew the top acts in the industry down from NYC and across the country.  It was a good time to be alive, and offered me a second (or third, or fourth?) career. This was after running my own avant-garde/postmodern theatre company for 20 years, writing snd directing unique stagings of the works of Mr. E. A. Poe for five years, and being a journeyman theatre worker for decades - but we’ll @cut up those jackpots down the road.” Unfortunately, the fabled Palace of Wonders time has come and gone, and the Weirdo Show, under (completely) new management and artistic leadership, still continues to pack the houses 12 years later… Please see my album SPROCKET for actual, genuine documentary ZPhotographic Evidence!
 6
johnny:
And the news is wonderful. The likely cancerous mass in her left kidney does not seem to have spread. Even the lymph nodes and pancreas look clean! So we’re off to the oncologist. And I know two people who live very well with one kidney. NO to  chemo/radiation for me or my girl. “Seems like somethings going to happen this year!“ So grateful for the miracle on 28th Street! All I want for Christmas is good energy for my girl.
5
johnny:
After six months of constant blood tests and insulin adjustments, I have finally gotten my fur-girl’s diabetes under control and fairly stable. In other news, we still must address the mass in her left kidney, and problems with her intestinal tract. But we’re going to make it – that’s what she wants, that’s what I want, and I have it on good authority she has some good years ahead of her!
10

Sometimes I feel sort of hopeless helpless. But my Kitty (Tillie) was diagnosed with feline diabetes several months ago, and my life has revolved around constant blood tests, curves and injections for many months... I don’t dispute that it is an honor to be here for her when she needs me, but I’m not Saint John either. She does not seem to be...
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VIEW 7 of 7 COMMENTS
johnny:
Thanks so much for your kind words, your wisdom, and for reaching out, even in the midst of your own grief, my friend. You are absolutely right on every point, we understand each other well. I do trust you. more implicitly than you may realize. Please know that my heart is with you and your fur-child, and I wish that little soul well on it’s journey. Also know you have comforted me greatly, and I hope some of that comfort reaches you. Thank you, dear woman. Please feel free to reach out should you feel the want/need. And please be very kind with you.
johnny:
P.S. I forgot to mention that I do know who to call. I know, because he offered before I could ask! He is also doing (trained/experienced) energy healing sessions with her, as an adjunct to conventional medicine. He is one of my four people on this planet who truly understands what it means to be a friend. I hope you have someone that wonderful with you now. And I’ve got big, soft shoulders. And I’m always around - I have to bleed the cat, you know...
10

Everyone is naturally excited to seem interesting enough that people want to “follow” them. But today, I opened Twitter to find a man who has won my love and respect, who’s been an immense inspiration, and who I have followed for over 40 years...

VIEW 3 of 3 COMMENTS
abbyshigh:
Holy fuck!!😃
johnny:
That was my first reaction verbatim!
 6
johnny:
In case you missed the memo, Ward Hall, King of the Sideshow, has shuffled off this mortal coil. Not only the end of a wonderful and storied life, but the end of an era. The universe is so much smaller without his glowing presence. A very sad day indeed...RIP Ward Hall, and thank you for all the joy you brought to so many.
4

I have reached the part of the process where directing becomes outrageously fun. Reworking the script, blocking the show like a choreographer, arranging voices like a conductor, and designing a world. I don’t think of myself so much as a director, but as a creator of alternate realities, which we invite/coax people into. The liminal space between audience and spectator melts, and change...
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4

Taking a break from my usual mix of European avant-garde, Sideshow and Mr. E. A. Poe, I am delighted to be directing a show about a meeting between Martin LutherKing Jr. and Malcolm X! I believe audiences need to hear these inspiring words in these dark times, not to mention a good refresher course in Nonviolent Resistance and basic Civil Rights! I’m lucky enough...
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