An Oldtime Performing Strongman is a rare form of entertainment that was popular during Vaudeville with performers like The Mighty Atom, Warren Lincoln Travis and others that has recently made a resurgence with the exposure of the internet among those who are able to actually perform the feats. It differs from the competitive strongman in that instead of lifting things like Atlas Balls and that sort of thing in a competition setting, the performing strongman would put on a show similar in format to a magician but instead of making things disappear or reappear out of thin air, demonstrations of strength and power would be performed to “wow” the crowd. Instead of illusions like getting a card mysteriously face up in a deck it would be a frying pan rolled up or a steel bar rearranged into a pretzel or decorative shape. (Please note I think magic is extremely cool but it’s not what I do or even know how to do. I do feats of strength which is different but mutually respective of each other.)
I am an up and coming performing strongman. I learned the feats from my teacher the late Greg Matonick (Rest in Peace) who was named NJ’s Superman by ABC news and of his students I was the second fastest to progress in the oldtime feats of strength after Strongman Sonny Barry…despite my relatively small frame. I have the stage name “The Last Son of Krypton” as a tribute to him. The format of the show I use is feats of strength with an inspirational message…something that can be absolutely invaluable for children since they are impressionable. Imagine for a moment them seeing something that absolutely astounds them along with a message that says-
“If you believe in yourself. If you are willing to work hard you can accomplish anything, no matter how seemingly impossible.”
In addition to that, some of the feats leave behind cool souvenirs that they can take home that will last forever to be a symbol of inspiration for years to come. A steel pretzel, a rolled up frying pan, a twisted horseshoe, a steel bar bent with the nose and other things for them to hang up on their wall so they can forever remember the time they met the strongman and he told them they can accomplish anything. Each souvenir can be autographed too.
Here are the individual feats I perform
rolled up frying pan
roll up 2 frying pans within each other.
roll up 3 frying pans within each other.
Long (29 5/8in long 1 inch wide 3/8in thick) bar bend
heavy kettlebell odd lifts
kettlebell juggling (coming soon)
driving a nail through a board with my hand (coming soon)
tearing a deck of cards (coming soon)
steel bar bent with my nose (an extremely rare feat that I am able to do)
In between the feats would be an inspirational speech which I have refined my speaking skills at toastmasters, a group dedicated to perfecting public speaking. The topics would include.
Belief in yourself
Nothing is impossible
There is always hope
The power within
Being different is ok
Strongmen don’t bully
Superheroes are real
Everyone has the potential to be a hero
Events this is good for
Children’s Birthday parties
Store and Business Openings
All things are itemized so you can basically build your own show depending on what you like and what your audience likes.
Do you want to be a strongman? With my teacher passed on it’s left to me to teach what I’ve been taught. I will take on students and the money will go to his family that he left behind. My prerequisite is you have to be able to do a getup with 100lbs…an oldtime rite of passage.