About Shocked and Amazed!

The Journal

It’s the end of the century and weirdness is everywhere. Carnival images are used by fast food joints, soft drink companies, basketball players, rock stars–everyone wants to be a freak. Everyone wants everyday to be a SIDESHOW!

James Taylor has been predicting this for a decade! James Taylor is the premier writer on the cutting edge of sideshow, the new vaudeville, the “other  entertainment”! James Taylor is the man behind James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! On & Off the Midway–the world’s only journal devoted solely to the entertainment explosion in the weird, bizarre and unusual!

James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed! On & Off the Midway is the world’s only publication devoted to the history and current status of sideshow, novelty and variety exhibition. He has been covering “the other entertainment” for over two decades and has been featured in assorted media worldwide for his work in that field. He is also the co-founder of Baltimore’s American Dime Museum and Washington, DC’s Palace of Wonders.

James Taylor is the planet’s foremost authority on sideshow. You saw James Taylorand SHOCKED AND AMAZED! on The Learning Channel’s “Sideshow: Alive on the Inside,” “The Jerry Springer Show,” “Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel,” and Fox Television’s “Fox Files.”

You read about James Taylor on the front page of the “Wall Street Journal,” in “Publisher’s Weekly,” “New York Press,” and “Johns Hopkins Magazine.”

You heard James Taylor on Mancow Muller’s “Morning Madhouse” and NPR’s “The Derek McGinty Show.”

James Taylor knows sideshow and its stunning new wave of entertainers. Sword swallowers, fire eaters, regurgitators, human pin cushions, torture kings, contortionists and motordrome riders look to James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! as the definitive source for all things strange and bizarre: All things sideshow.

James Taylor’s SHOCKED AND AMAZED! views the sideshow tradition through a modern lens. SHOCKED AND AMAZED! features tell-all interviews with performers and showmen who have never been interviewed on the record. SHOCKED AND AMAZED! reports on weirdness as entertainment, features exclusive reprints on sideshow history, and reveals behind-the-scenes photos of sideshow attractions.

James Taylor

James Taylor Stereo Vision Photography

James Taylor has been called “the world’s foremost authority on sideshow” c/o his Shocked and Amazed! On & Off the Midway, the world’s only periodical on contemporary and historical sideshow, novelty and variety exhibition. He has been covering “the other entertainment” for over two decades and has been featured in all major broadcast and print media worldwide for his work in that field. He is also the co-founder of Baltimore’s American Dime Museum and Washington, DC’s Palace of Wonders. And, as the sideshow spirit moves him, he writes for the Huffington Post. He is also renowned for his performance of “the act,” a sideshow exhibition too daring for a man his age to perform.

James Taylor is the co-founder of Dolphin-Moon Press, one of Baltimore’s oldest literary publishing houses. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University’s Writing Seminars, he has been at the forefront of Baltimore’s literary scene since the early 1970s, organizing literary events and chairing the Mayor’s Advisory Council’s Literary Panel for Artscape, the country’s largest free outdoor art’s festival. For nearly a decade, he served on the Governor’s panel to select Maryland’s Poet Laureate. His journal, James Taylor’s Shocked and Amazed! On & Off the Midway, is the world’s only publication devoted to the history and current status of sideshow, novelty and variety exhibition. He has been covering “the other entertainment” for over two decades and has been featured in assorted media worldwide for his work in that field. He is also the co-founder of Baltimore’s American Dime Museum and Washington, DC’s Palace of Wonders. And, as the sideshow spirit moves him, he writes for the Huffington Post.

James Taylor is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars and co-founded Dolphin-Moon Press in 1973, making it one of Baltimore’s oldest small press publishing houses. For nearly a decade, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Taylor was literary chairman to the Baltimore Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Art and Culture and was a member of the Maryland governor’s panel choosing the state’s poet laureate. In 1999 he co-founded with Dick Horne the American Dime Museum in Baltimore, a museum that was part Victorian recreation and part homage to circus, carnival and dime museum culture; Taylor dissolved his partnership with Horne in 2003. Almost immediately, he began work on reestablishing his own museum attractions in Washington, DC, in the Palace of Wonders, which opened in 2006. He has given countless readings of his work both here and abroad and has been featured internationally on numerous occasions on TV, radio and in print in connection with his own writing, his museums and Dolphin-Moon Press. He has also served as historical consultant to numerous television productions in his capacity as variety arts historian. He has three books of poetry and fiction to date: Tigerwolves, Tricks of Vision, and Artifacture (featuring illustrations by half a dozen artists). His Shocked and Amazed! – On & Off the Midway, published through Dolphin-Moon since 1995, is the world’s only journal devoted to novelty and variety exhibition and life in the sideshow; in 2002, Lyons/Globe Pequot Press published a“Best Of” Shocked and Amazed! In his private life, he has worked for the state government of Maryland since 1975, and for 25 years, beginning in 1984, he was an Associate Professor of English at the Dundalk Campus of the Community College of Baltimore County.

Media Download

The Gang

Alex Doll

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Alex Doll with S&A founder, James Taylor

Meet the deviously dainty carnival darling, Alexandra (Alex) Doll; Hailing from DC, this dynamic damsel serves as a textual maven behind the scenes at James Taylor’s “Shocked and Amazed, On and Off the Midway”. Journalist turned producer/ performer, she has brought sideshow to life at Artisphere in Arlington VA and has personally graced the stages of the Black Cat, the Red Palace, the Bier Baron, Big Hunt, and many more.

Miss Alex Doll has been writing about the sideshow scene since 2003, joining forces to support the mission of Shocked and Amazed, circa, 2009. After the Red Palace (formerly the Palace of Wonders) closed its doors in January of 2013, she reached out to venues across the DC area, searching for a new home for performance and the displaced museum of oddities. As a result of her search, Miss Doll struck up a relationship with Artisphere, curating and producing events on behalf of Shocked and Amazed, resulting in a straw house every night of the show series.

With plans to continue to utilize her influence to reinvigorate interest for the scene in the DC metro area, she operates as a freelance writer for various media outlets, spreading awareness about the struggles of the modern sideshow in the staggeringly apathetic “YouTube” generation. As her background includes a hodgepodge of surprisingly diverse experience in an even more surprising number of arenas, she is uniquely qualified to speak to an array of audiences, communicating through production, written articles and spoken word.

Please contact Alexandra Doll via:
vie.panenka@gmail.com
or visit her blog: le-petits-andouillers.blogspot.com

D.B. Denholtz

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D.B. Denholtz

D.B. Denholtz is an archivist and writer on the subject of sideshow, human oddities, novelty/variety entertainment, and outsider/visionary artists. He has been a contributor to Shocked & Amazed! since 2004 and a co-publisher since 2007, and is the co-founder of the online encyclopedia www.showhistory.com. D.B. has also contributed images from his archive to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, various documentaries and books, as well as to ad campaigns for Diesel Jeans and Silicon Graphics. He has lectured at The Coney Island Museum, written for Raw Vision magazine, and is the author of a forth-coming illustrated compendium covering the business of exhibiting human and animal oddities from 1580-1980. A version for the Kindle is not planned. Also in the works is the first true account of Hubert’s Museum in NYC, the last true dime museum in America.

James Mundie

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James Mundie

For nigh on twenty years, James Mundie has been creating artwork related to sideshow and medical oddities.  Mundie’s critically acclaimed drawings, prints, and photographs have been exhibited internationally and in the pages of many prominent publications, including Shocked and Amazed! Through his artwork, Mundie met many performers and showmen which led him to become an occasional presenter and promoter of live variety entertainment and an illustrator/editor for Shocked and Amazed! – for such is the siren call of showbiz.

Prodigies: James G. Mundie’s Congress of Oddities
Cabinet of Curiosities

huffines-pow

Can’t get enough of that wonderful Huff.

Scott Huffines

Scott Huffines and James Taylor formed a freak alliance in 1992, when Huffines opened Atomic Books in  Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon neighborhood. Their shared love of sideshow oddities resulted in Huffines’ Atomic Books and Taylor’s Dolphin-Moon Press co-publishing the first volumes of Shocked and Amazed! beginning in in 1995. In addition to Shocked and Amazed! Huffines also co-produces the award-winning public access program Atomic TV and archives oddball minutiae about “Charm City” on Baltimoreorless.com.

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