Buskers by the Creek has upped the ante for its second year along the banks of Currumbin Creek. In fact this year, there’ll be a reptile show like no other.
Lizardman began as conceptual body-based performance art but has developed into an onstage persona which you’ll get to witness at the Award-winning festival that takes place 17 – 18 October.
Erik “Lizardman” Sprague became intrigued with the bizarre and his interest in art developed as he got older – so much so that he left his doctoral program in philosophy to follow his dream.
“I discovered Dadaism and performance art and was influenced by people like Beuys & Burden,” he told Blank. “While in graduate school in the 1990s… an opportunity to do a national tour with a sideshow came up and I never looked back.”
Even though he’s travelled the world “nearly everywhere but Antarctica,” he’s only been to the Gold Coast once but he says he was “awe struck by the natural beauty.” And when I ask about some of his audiences, he says he’s been collecting stories from the road for some 20 years.
“I’ve played soccer with Indonesian fakirs using a flaming soccer ball. I’ve done shows on stages made from two empty beer kegs and a sheet of plywood. I’ve been carried onto stage by a troop of little people in fantasy garb. The great thing about what I get to do is that it is a constant adventure,” he said.
I ask him how people respond when he’s just doing normal day-to-day things. Like buying toilet paper or boarding a plane, and he says everyone reacts differently.
“It comes down to the individual and how they react is often very revealing in terms of who they are. There’s an old saying that goes, ‘I can tell more about you from how you react to my tattoos than you can tell about me from my tattoos.’ My general strategy is to try and put people at ease. I know I can be scary or intimidating if you don’t know me and are just suddenly confronted with my image. As much as I like provoking discussion I don’t want to unnecessarily distress anyone.”
The man who’s been described as ‘one of the most unusual people alive today’ by Ripley’s is reluctant to predict what his Buskers’ show will be like.
“If I was predictable enough to provide expectations I wouldn’t be living up to my reputation. I ask that audiences simply come with an open mind to new experiences and we’ll find our way together – with some of the wildest sideshow stunts you’ll ever see along the way.”
The Lizardman is joined on the Buskers by the Creek bill by a diverse group of performers – fire twirlers, hula dancers, comedians, magicians and more. But his friend the Space Cowboy shares the headlining slot with him.
Space Cowboy is currently Australia’s most prolific World Record Breaker. He literally holds a record for holding the most world records – some 38 Guinness World Records to be precise. Some of those records include most swords swallowed underwater, fastest knife throwing, fastest whip cracking, most weight dragged with the eye sockets and the most chainsaw juggling catches on a unicycle.
When I asked Space Cowboy about his friend the Lizardman he said he’s a one-of-a-kind oddity, a truly magnificent and unforgettable freak.
“He has spent over 700 hours tattooing his entire body with green reptilian scales (face included), he had his teeth filed down to sharp points, implants in his face and his tongue split in to like that of a lizard,” he said. “Not only does he look like a freak he is an amazing performer!”
If you’d like to catch these two unforgettable performers, along with an incredible array of local talent, Buskers by the Creek is the spot to do it. There’s also a heap of local and visiting musical talent with Karl S Williams and Hussy Hicks headlining and emerging artists such as Zed Butel and Grizzlee Train also on the bill.
_ _ _ _
Buskers by the Creek | 17 – 18 October, Winders Park, Currumbin.