|Professor Grifter's Medicine Show|
|Magic, Rope Spinning, Ventriloquism with Puppets,
and a Comedy Phony Remedy Pitch.
|It's more than an ACT, it's an ATTRACTION!|
|All you need to provide is a stage or staging area and crowds of happy people. Professor Grifter's show has the backdrop, sound system, prop medicine wagon and a full day's entertainment. He does multiple shows a day with walk-around entertainment in between. A power supply is appreciated if available, but he also has his own generator. Hay bale seating is recommended as it fits the period, is inexpensive and can be used for ground cover in the event of muddy conditions.|
|For those of you not familiar with what a Medicine Show is; I offer a brief history lesson...
In the late 1800's and early 1900's, American physicians were scarce and poorly educated.
Often the only medicines available for common ailments were ordered through the mail or sometimes found in general stores.
Traveling salesmen figured out the best way to tell people about their products was to put on a show. The Traveling Medicine Show was the birth of modern commercial advertising. They offered short demonstrational pitches filled with overblown rhetoric and testimonials about the miracle cure-alls between acts.
These shows would include magic, comedy, juggling, western skill demonstrations, puppets and music. The Medicine Shows were often the only form of professional theater that many small towns and villages would see. In many cases the arrival of the show was a major event. Shops closed, schools let out and everyone got dressed up to go see the show. In many cases the admission to the shows were free, with the performers making a living from the sales of the products.
The more popular these shows became, the more shysters hawking potions of their own creations became prevalent. The outrageous claimes seemed reasonable to the uneducated masses. Smooth wrinkles, grow hair, remove stains, prolong life or curing any number of common ailments and diseases were just some of the claims.
Though they were nothing short of wondrous to the locals who would flock to the pitch in excitement, the products were not always as good as promised. Some often did more harm than good. Though usually not before the show had already left town.
Medicine Shows are commonly associated with the old west; however they were prevalent over every part of the United States. During the 1890's there were several thousand Traveling Medicine Shows doing business around the country.
Professor Grifter's Wild West Traveling Medicine Show captures that historic feel in his tongue in cheek parody of this legendary performance type. The show incorporates Magic, Ventriloquism with Puppets, Western Style Rope Spinning and of course a comedy sales pitch of his wondrous non-existent potions. This family friendly show is a great addition to fairs, festivals and period themed events.