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Performances of body modification
Topic Rating: +4 (4 votes) 
July 28, 2012
4:32 am
Oakbear
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Hi folks!

 

Tonight i'm taking part in a sideshow type show with my suspension team for charity. We're not suspending, but will be doing pulls etc for the public to see.

This will be the first time i've done something like this publically, as i prefer private personal settings for my modifications and rituals.

The rest of my team are more performance minded though, we need everyone on board to make it work safely, and it's for a good cause, so i agreed.

I have mixed feelings about doing this as a show, but do love watching similar performances.

 

So what do you think? Would you do it? Have you done it?

How do you feel about taking modification and making it a spectacle?

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
July 28, 2012
12:29 pm
vampyremage
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I greatly enjoy body modification shows.  Not only do I find them personally entertaining, but its a great way to open the eyes of the public to some of the stuff that's out there and the fact that this stuff can be done safely.  I have personally witnessed a few such shows.

 

With that said, I'm not sure that I would be comfortable performing in one of them, although that has nothing to do with the nature of body modification and everything to do with the fact that I'm a naturally quiet and introverted individual.  I have had observers for all of my suspensions and my last one I had what can only be described as a small crowd of people, most of which I didn't personally know.  My next suspension is also planned to be an outdoor guerrilla style suspension and thus I expect a crowd for that one too. 

 

For me, the difference between public suspension and performance suspension has to do with mindset.  Public or private, I am suspending for myself because I love to suspend.  I enjoy the fact that I sometimes suspend with a crowd watching because having supporting observers can really help to build the energy up and create an amazing atmosphere.  If I were to suspend as a part of a performance, however, I feel as if that would be suspending for my audience rather than for myself and while I don't see anything wrong with that, necessarily, it just isn't something that I would be personally comfortable with.

July 28, 2012
4:33 pm
KristenAtkinson0
South Korea
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Sideshows are my favorite ever. I love watching them. I agree that it really opens up the "normal" folk to all the cool things that the human body can do/be. It's a great form of entertainment.

Speaking of sideshows, I have performed in several shows myself. I really prefer doing suspension just with my team in a small setting, but doing some shows can be really fun. Usually for shows I do a simple suspension like a suicide, or a pull. My team here did a show on Halloween in which we did a 7-man tug-o-war with people gathered surrounding us, cheering us on. It really brought a lot of energy to all of us, and gave me the extra push to win!

I also agree with vampyremage, I suspend because I love to, and nothing's going to change that. Public or private, it's my love, passion, and strength going into it. When in a performance setting, I'm able to share that with others and it's awesome. With my team, I grow closer to them and we excel together. Either way, I'm happy.

July 28, 2012
9:28 pm
Oakbear
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Well i really enjoyed that!

 

Like others who have posted i do it for me, because i enjoy the activity. I didn't do it for anyone but myself, although i allowed the setting to be chosen for me.

As much as i don't seek approval or a reaction, it was rather gratifying for people to acknowledge the difficulty in some of what i do, and to show admiration for attributes i have developed in overcoming fear or pain. I'm proud of myself, but it's nice to have that validated by others, even though i don't need it.

It started loads of interesting conversations about what i believe and how modification can be a positive for for spiritual growth.

I also must have found a dozen new people seriously interested in suspending.

 

It challenged some of my preconceptions. I didn't feel like a show off or a freak. It felt nice. I think i'll do that again!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
July 29, 2012
12:46 am
KristenAtkinson0
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I'm glad you enjoyed it! 

 

I know we always get a lot of people interested in suspending after the shows. Most of those people never show up, but it's always great to get a conversation going with someone about modification and suspension. I love talking to people about it. 

July 29, 2012
8:37 am
Sommersett
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Oakbear is clearly a sissy!!Yell

I like doing performances on a stage because the combination of people drinking and body mods happening makes me nervous.  I am usually in charge of bloody people and sharp things.  Being a part of any production is a gift and test of teamwork for sure.  I'm happy to hear it went smooth.

Was there a theme to the show?  Colors?  music you remember?

Any person in the crowd stick out for any reason?

I remember one show in Dallas, TX when I was hanging with the TSD group (Traumatic Stress Discipline) we had a show at some industrial club.  The Satan's Cheerleaders were also there passing out their "baseball card" style cards with their pictures.  The show was amazing because Xeon and Alan Faulkner (the 2 main guys) are pretty small and they were running and swinging while hooked up.  Looked like fun!!  I think it made a lot of air get under their skin though.   Everyone there was dressed in their best black outfit with the occasional bits of red and purple.  I wore a long white and clear latex gown (by Melissa Coffee) which I couldn't get into or out of by myself. 

I personally tend to remember the people wearing hats in a crowd.

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
July 29, 2012
9:16 am
Oakbear
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I have my cissy moments!Wink

TSD put some great shows on. I've not seen you guys in person, but have caught videos.

For our show there was no theme, it was pretty random as we had no running order (only ideas of what to do), no stage, had to break the set up for bands to play (we kept stealing their audience so the staff asked us to wait), and moved from area to area for each part. Had a nice chaotic feel though, although we kept it safe.

As for the audience i remember a lot of really bad tattoos!

We had money stapled to us for the charities afterwards, and made around £150 for children with terminal illness and disabled bikers.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
July 29, 2012
12:51 pm
Sommersett
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Xeon was my roommate when we worked together at Piercing Experience.  I have plenty of other stories…. a collection of moments.  They will come out as time goes on.  We did several shows together, but Alan Faulkner and Steve Joyner are visionaries, in my opinion, for that type of performance art in America.  TSD was well organized.  I'm pretty sure I still have a TSD crew shirt… one of the gang made them.

What a great idea about charity money!!  That's wonderful.

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
July 29, 2012
9:07 pm
KristenAtkinson0
South Korea
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We do the staples for tips to our crew. We don't really get paid extremely well to do shows yet, since we don't really have a good venue/scene for it. Too many hillbilly rednecks.

All the money we make goes to our equipment, though. 

March 9, 2013
5:47 pm
Androgyny_Gone
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I rather enjoy participating in body modification "shows". I run a suspension team as well as do some freakshow type acts along with it. So while i suspend for me and modify myself for me the energy that is created from doing it in front of a live audience can be astounding. I have personally done several events where me and my team have turned a room of 200+ people absolutely silent.

While some may view having an audience for these things unnerving or feels that it may take away from the ritual aspect of it i feel that having an audience can actually enhance the performance taking place. In some way every single person watching is touched by what we do and it changes thier perspective on something they may or may not have had a chance to experience before. They each lend thier energy to our show and become more than just bystanders, they become a part of us and we become a part of them.

Like Oakbear i always have several people that get seriously interested in suspension or ritual modification afterward and to me that can do nothing but good things.

March 11, 2013
3:12 am
Oakbear
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What team do you run Androgyny_Gone?

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 24, 2013
4:20 pm
SasQuatch9585
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Haven't done my first suspension yet. Life has been crazy expensive lately. However, I don't think I'd have a problem with doing public suspension once I had done a few in private. Making it public would add a certain rush to it in a way.

Playing music always feels good for me, and it something else I've always done purely for the pleasure and peace of it, but doing it in front of a crowd of hundreds is definitely better when you connect to the crowd. Of course, I've only performed for a large crowd a few times in school, but it was awesome.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
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