Category Archives: Fire Performance

Carnival of Dreams in the Press

Article for Carnival of Dreams

Buy your ticket here. Please support this group of artists with your ticket purchase. It funds Public Art projects in your community.



Cirque Delights

Artist fund-raiser promises fire, stilts, live painting and more!


Carnival of Dreams Friday, March 15th, 8 p.m. • $7 Juggling Gypsy • 1612 Castle St.

STILT DANCER: Mezzanine Kowalski (with Jess James and Shannon Dunne) with stilt-dance at the Carnival of Dreams this Friday night at the Juggling Gypsy. Courtesy photo, Mezzanine Kowalski

STILT DANCER: Mezzanine Kowalski (with Jess James and Shannon Dunne) with stilt-dance at the Carnival of Dreams this Friday night at the Juggling Gypsy.  Photo credit: Leigh Moose for Side Yard Studios Photography.

The Juggling Gypsy’s reputation tends to fluctuate in this town. Labels like “hippie hookah place” or “burner dive bar” are pretty familiar to its staff. The old motto of the establishment was proudly known as “where the strange go to be normal,” and indeed the place has always drawn in a diverse crowd. But what remains is a love for creativity, and the “weird” need not be excluded.

“I love this place for a lot of reasons,” Angelo Lambiase, patron and founder of nonprofit organization Wheels That Heal, says. Lambiase has hosted numerous benefits in Wilmington through Wheels, an organization which raises money for cancer patients and the American Cancer Society through car shows and entertainment events. Among others, one of the venues Lambiase always feels he can turn to is the Gypsy.

“The culture it attracts is great,” he says, “but the people I’ve met here have been exceptional. This place has always shown immense support for our cause, and now I really want to give something back to this particular community.”

Teaming with Juggling Gypsy owner Sebastian Gomez, Lambiase and other local performers are collaborating on the Carnival of Dreams, a fund-raiser event for Cape Fear artists, or as active local painter Mezzanine Kowalski describes it: “Wilmington’s chance to be a part of the circus and to support what is innovative in the art world: the odd, the beautiful, the grand scale, and what’s on fire in our own backyards!”

With this fund-raiser, Gomez himself will participates in a fire performance on The Flaming Trampoline. He assures, while the name is somewhat self-explanatory, it is advisable to leave much open to imagination. “What we’re doing is kind of like a live Kickstarter,” Gomez continues. “There’s a community of artists that have great ideas for unique, interactive projects, and we want to see them come to life. The Carnival of Dreams will help these artists raise funds for their creative endeavors and also share with the public eye a culture that has influenced a lot of our work.”

State fairs and traveling circus shows will be the inspiration behind Carnival of Dreams—from nostalgia to brilliant, blinking lights, the pungent smell of funnel cake to the ecstatic screaming after winning a prize, the illuminated colors and dark pastel hues… Whether it’s a 4-year-old or a 40-year-old, there is wondrous appeal for all. Readily available will be a 30-foot inflatable slide and a moon bounce. There will be games, too, like Mr. Imagine’s Amazing Bizarrium Balloon Boom, a dart-throwing, balloon-popping game with a pyrotechnic touch, created by local fire cirque collective Bizarre Entertainment.

“I personally see it as Tim Burton’s Disneyland without the morbidity,” Lambiase laughs. “I think this event will not only help a lot of talented artists, but it’s going to be the best way to introduce the influential culture that has shaped them.The ultimate goal is to encourage creativity from our Wilmington community.”

Performers will abound: sideshow, magic, fire, musicians, DJs, jugglers, comics and all around “freaks.” Artist and performer Mezzanine Kowalski will be appearing as a stilt-walker and will be raffling off one of her live paintings to raise funds for all the participating artists.

“The Carnival of Dreams contains so many elements that I’m attracted to and that show up a lot in my artwork,” Kowalski says. “It appeals to my artistic sensibilities and I love that it’s carnival-based, involves interactive projects and brings the community together.”

Kowalski hopes the Carnival of Dreams will assist artists and also her steam-punk and R. Buckminster Fuller-inspired project: the Beehive Disco Ball, which will “bring an element of [her] paintings into three dimensions in a glowing, spinning interactive lighting to dance under.”

“Through my art, I wish to gather people together and ignite a sense of wonder of the natural world,” she says. “The Carnival of Dreams will promote participation from everyone, and I hope it will bring out people’s inner child.”

The Carnival of Dreams will begin at 8 p.m. this Friday and is open to all ages. Admission costs $7, which will go directly to support local artists in their upcoming interactive cirque-style projects. Tickets can be purchased the day of or at

When Lambiase and Gomez first started planning the initial concept for Carnival of Dreams, they wanted it to be a cancer benefit for the American Cancer Society, and to act as a memorial to Lambiase’s late sister, Anita, who lost her life during an arduous cancer battle. They have continued pursuing this avenue by doing a reprisal of the bohemian Carnival of Dreams on March 30th.

“For those who happen to miss the Carnival of Dreams this Friday, have no fear!” Lambiase states. “There will be another chance to experience the same atmosphere and fun at Anita’s tribute and cancer benefit [at the end of the month.] People will still be supporting the art scene here and at the same time, donating their time and funds to the American Cancer Society.”


Carnival of Dreams, Mar 15 at The Juggling Gypsy Cafe


Pre-sale Tickets available now



Carnival of Dreams 2013
All ages, public event
Friday, March 15, 2013
8 pm – 2 am
Admission: $7
The Juggling Gypsy Café
1620 Castle Street
Wilmington, NC, 28401

Carnival of Dreams is Wilmington’s chance to be a part of the circus and to support what is innovative in the art world: the odd, the beautiful, the grand scale, and what’s on Fire! in our own backyards.

Be a part of the carnival and throw flaming darts, have your Fortune told, jump on the Trampoline of Terror and enjoy the fire dancers and more at this fundraiser to assist participating artists in generating additional funding for the creation and execution of new and interactive public art.

Just added! Sideshows!!


Carnival of Dreams is Wilmington’s chance to be a part of the circus and to support what is innovative in the art world: the odd, the beautiful, the grand scale, and what’s on Fire! in our own backyards.

Carnival of Dreams 2013 is a fundraising event for artists of the Cape Fear area and beyond, to assist participating artists in generating additional funding for the creation and execution of new and interactive public art.

Artist Mezza9, describes Carnival of Dreams as “community building through art and an opportunity for individual expression where no idea is too wild!”

This one-day interactive event, open to the public, is held for the purpose of generating physical and financial resources for juried art projects. A flaming dart throw “Mr. Imagine’s Amazing Bizarrium Balloon Boom” and the Fortune Telling Confessional Booth are de rigueur. There is also rumored to be a trampoline of fire, a spinning wheel of death, sledgehammer and more in the works. The offerings at this event will be of similar ilk: carnival games with rewards by the community of artists, bohemians, fire spinners, sideshow performers, jugglers, singers, and belly dancers who frequent the Juggling Gypsy; making the entire event a colorful spectacle of the splendor of Wilmington’s Fringe. Translation: superb people watching!

This eclectic and energetic tribe invites the public not only to attend and view what‘s up-and-coming but also to participate: jump on the flaming trampoline, ride the enormous see-saw, throw the flaming darts to pop the balloons; and take your chances!

Although the primary placements of this art will be at two unique grassroots festivals in North Carolina, most of them are intended as public art and will have many innovative showings in the area over a lifespan. The value of public art to our community can not be underestimated. This event is a vehicle for generating the additional funding and manpower to generate the completion of projects that have been selected for their interactivity, innovation and general wow! factor by a jury of the artists’ peers.

This event is unique for its artists’ collaboration and community support. These artists support and encourage each other. As public art projects, there’s not likely a monetary or consumer goal for the creators. Instead the art is fueled by passions and convictions that the world can be our design. The grand scale of the projects lend them ultimately to the possibility of travel to Burning Man.

Art and Artists:

These enigmatic and talented artists have conjured and are spearheading this event. They have diverse backgrounds but share common values of decommodification, sustainability, regeneration and practice the 10 principles set forth by Burning Man.

Each artist is available for interview. To give a taste of what will be offered, we offer you some highlights:

Balloon Boom
Balloon Boom, Mr. Imagine’s Amazing Bizarrium, and Sebastian Gomez of Creative Flame

Armed with a blow horn and fiery darts, Bizarre Entertainment will showcase their pyrotechnics with the crowd pleasing game “Balloon Boom”, an elemental inspired carnival game part of Mr. Imagines Amazing Bizarrium. Spectators will be dazzled by the lady of the house Lacey Blaze, to take a try at popping the balloons with darts of fire. Every balloon popped will help with the creation of new games and rides for Mr. Imagines Amazing Bizarrium.
Donations to construct Mr. Imagines Amazing Bizarrium can be paid directly through PayPal at

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Jessica Foote ( Lacey Blaze) teamed with Jason Barbour, are professional fire manipulation performers and founders of Bizarre Entertainment, an eccentric collection and assortment of captivating entertainers specializing in sideshow and fire performance arts since 2005. Based Wilmington and performing all over North Carolina for various venues and festivals, they began their idea if an interactive performance sideshow that

“allowed us to tamper with the very thread that binds your wildest imagination and your greatest fears” – Lacey Blaze

Wilmington’s fringe pioneer, extraordinary-world reknown juggling and fire performer and head gypsy at the Juggling Gypsy, Sebastian Gomez ignites his prospective donors with the flaming Trampoline of Terror – its premier public trial.

bash balance
Sebastian Gomez

Sebastian (Bash) Gomez has attached fire to over 30 separate juggling apparatus, including some more nonconventional items…Some of which include the Maori Fire Chains, A 6′ Fire Staff, a Flaming balancing chair, Fire eating torches, and fire diabolo. He created his own performance troupe, Creative Flame Company, which has attracted attention from international clients & festivals.
In 2004, having performed feats of fire throughout 20 countries including the Middle East, most of North America, Europe, Mexico and the Carribbean, and always in search of a new challenge, Sebastian partnered with friend and coperformer, Marcy Whipkins to create A second Base near The east Coast Film Studios in Wilmington, NC. They created a Circus arts and musical entertainment venue called the Juggling Gypsy, which is still in operation to this day, attracting music, cirque, and fringe entertainment acts from across the world.


His passion for the combustible arts has recently led him into Creating flammable propane-based stationary art, music-reactive fire apparatus, firewalking, and Pyrotechnic / Fireworks displays and manipulation.

Artist Mezza9
Artist Mezza9

Studio Nebulon presents fine art visionist painter, Mezza9’s “Pollen Path: Beehive Discoballs” fundraiser: a Fortune Telling Confessional Booth. Unload your baggage and misdoings in the confessional or have your fortune revealed by a madman, um, shaman.

Mezza9 will be painting live. Chance to win an original work with $20 raffle tickets for the finished art.

Mezza9 on stilts at Cameron Art Museum
Mezza9 on stilts at Cameron Art Museum

Stilt dancer, too, Mezza9 will be on hand to talk about the Beehive Discoball project that has been a two year journey so far.

The Beehive Disco Balls
bring an element of her paintings into 3-dimensions in a glowing, spinning interactive lighting to dance under. Her fundraising benefits the lighting mechanisms and transportation of six foot tall, space-age and steam-punk, Buckminster Fuller inspired disco balls made of aluminum and repurposed metals. These have received Creativity Grants and a successful Kickstarter.

This grand scale public art brings environmental awareness of the importance of bees and the glitz of the disco together with the strongest building block in nature: the hexagon. Buckminster Fuller himself would have supported this strange marriage of things. and on Kickstarter:

Sideshow Joe LoRusso
Sideshow Joe LoRusso

Sideshow Joe LoRusso, inventor of the UFO flying, spinning, fire machines, which are currently under patent consideration and pending kickstarter funding will be onsite demonstrating his firespinning and metallic drums.

Live project on Kickstarter:

“This fire toy is in a category of its own. Part rope dart, part Frisbee, part yo-yo. This flow toy works upon the principles of gyroscopic motion.”

More artists & their projects TBA.


special guest


Watch this post for updates.

CARNIVAL OF DREAMS 2013. Deadline for application is March 3rd. The concept is simple. A carnival style event where the general public comes to participate in carnival style games for a small fee per play. They support your project by playing your game. At your area, you do not have to have your finished project ready. Think scale model, artistic rendition, skeleton frame, etc, that you can show the people who may wish to support your project.

Link to application: Carnival Of Dreams: Application Guideline


There will be fire dance performances throughout the evening. Music. Mayhem.

Donate Now

Can’t attend or want to donate to these projects collectively? Donations accepted by Pay Pal to

Corporate sponsors write to

For information and interviews of the artists, contact:

Jessica Foote ( Lacey Blaze) and Jason Barbour, Bizarre Entertainment,

Sebastian Gomez 310-720-7201,
Mezza9 910 515 1328,

Images: Mezzanine Stiltdancing; Hooping; Firehooping; Hoop Dance; Hooping on Stilts

sharks vs kings
NHL – pre-game fun! 8 stilt walkers with hockey sticks “Sharks vs Kings”

NHL Pregame fun! 8 stilt walkers
Sharks vs Kings

San Jose, California

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fire hoop

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hooping convenience
… always hooping….

Photography of the Care Project Fundraiser at the Cameron Art Museum, Fall 2012, Wilmington, North Carolina — by Side Yard Studios image hooping convenience ed3f2d785fe6742df133e5ec936ca8b915eb3aea duke gardens Circus-122-Edit 396593_160933307348365_100002950915579_232437_1832371458_n 754698164_2686909185_740481817_1352519487925 386678_2549743700651_1165598663_33052011_1630005625_n 313295_2549749460795_1165598663_33052031_1856064252_n 307533_180821778661726_100002017158206_381493_277452264_n (1) 247793_439018246139813_1567477021_n 211 208 014 (2) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Circus-122-Edit 754698164_2686909185_740481817_1352519487925 396593_160933307348365_100002950915579_232437_1832371458_n 386678_2549743700651_1165598663_33052011_1630005625_n 313295_2549749460795_1165598663_33052031_1856064252_n 307533_180821778661726_100002017158206_381493_277452264_n (1) 305195_10150286807414716_396296295_n 247793_439018246139813_1567477021_n 211 208 014 (2) 01312922_10152696155362304_4608640543573775625_n 1395454_10151733982937304_1996764288_n 11069641_958805290799403_7635907620665604699_n

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Alex and Alyson Grey, and Stilt Dancing at Area 51 visionary art event in Atlanta

~~~~ MEZZA9 on STILTS ~~~~

Hey dear ones!   I am eKstatic to be performing on stilts with my hoops at this event!
I went last year and danced among the jellyfish and the aerial performers. Just amazing. Indoor/outdoor setting in Atlanta was super fun. Got to hang with the lovely Jaime Chandra and met some great folk, including the beautiful Ste-fuh-nee. And danced the night away to one of my fave DJ’s, “Medisin”.  I could go on… great fire spinning by InSpiral… wonder-full… oh yeah, and there’s these amazing artists there… ALEX & ALLYSON GREY

Have a blessed day and hope to see you inn Atlanta!

Alex Poster August 2011 Front
  • SATURDAY @ The QUAD 7pm to 6am
  • Buy your advance tickets here:
    Alex & Allyson Grey visit Atlanta to celebrate their 2nd Annual Visionary Arts Fair of Atlanta. Come join Area 51 Presents for a night of visionary art, live paintings and performances, live music bands, food and fun.

    Alex and Allyson Grey are internationally known visionary artists. Their paintings are powerful, complex and evoke a deep, positive resonance in viewers. Don’t miss this opportunity to share in a truly inspiring visionary event.
    Jonathan Talat Phillips: author of “The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnostic,” cofounder of The Evolver Network and Reality Sandwich. He will present “Aliens, Ayahuasca, & The Ancient Mysteries.”

Full Day & Night Indoor/Outdoor event.
Location: Friday Oct 19 / 8pm to 2am
King Plow Arts Center
887 West Marietta Street Northwest Atlanta, GA 30318
QUAD: Sat Oct 20 / 7pm to 6am
714 Spring Street NW, Atlanta GA 30308

ART BAZAAR, food, fun and performances. Plan to stay all day and all night, it will be worth it!!
TICKETS GOING ON SALE NOW!!__home/events/tickets
Friday Sept 19 King Plow
Sat Sept 20 Quad
2 Day Passes
Alex and Allyson Grey

Keith Prossick
Cynthia Rose Young
Graham Thomas
Aesthetic Cataclysm
World Body Painting Champions – Scott Fray & Foxy Moxy
Neon Armour
Jonathan Singer – Live Visual Artist –
Aesthetic Cataclysm – VJ –
Eli Reiman
Nicole Tierra
Melissa Coffey
Sky Gym’s McKinley
Imperial OPA
Elemental Expressions – fire troop from Miami
Howie the Great – magician

Sensua Players – Atlanta

Chronicles Of LandSquid
Woven Tounges
Dixon’s Violin
Shroeder Von Litchka!home/mainPage
Astarius Miraculii
Mithra (w/members of Isness)
Bouncy House
Swami Gone Bananas
DJ So Fly
The Expand Band
Copius Jones
Twisted Enigma
Groove Stain
Justin Majors
Dharma Bombs
Tem Noon
Cristal Arcade

Partners: Evolver Atlanta, Evolver Asheville, & Reality Sandwich
Many more to be announced!
Costumes and participation is Requested
Get your tickets here:

Area 51 Website Header 2011


About Area 51 Presents

        Dave & Sugar with Space weapons
Dave & Sugar’s AREA 51 has been THE place to be at festivals all over America for over 10 years. Now they bring their magic directly to you!


Mezza9 Stilt Dancing Contact


Fresh music for ya! From Andreilien (formerly Heyoka) and a casual Mezza9 update…

Andreilien Summer 2012 Mix

So I went to Gnarnia and Transformus for an earful of delightfuly inspiration. After thinking about it… the perfection of Heyoka, who is now Andreilien just captured me. Sure Tipper and the light show blew me up and I raged with the crowd at the outside stage, but I loved the glitchiness and ambient nature of this new set of work from Heyoka the best. Listen to the link, see whatcha think. What I hear is “this is why we’re here”  – those words lightly inbetween the bumps and drags of sounds. Really diggin this track.

The folks at Tribal Council also brought a line up of ambient DJs who had it going on. I commend them too for making such a beautiful, domed sanctuary set deep in the woods. The guys Clayton and Edwin have a great vision of opening consciousness through music. I participated in a mantra chant at the top of Beech Mountain. Just sending out the love. We all hoped it would reach someone in need. Such a beautiful locale – and my first journey up a ski lift. Seeing all of the dready heads riding the lift made me happy. Also atop the mountain were yoga, hoops with ali and workshops by Evolver-Asheville chapter and space provided by the wonderful Area 51. Hopefully I haven’t lost the handmade boot contact that I got from the man who is building domes. Amazing domes using repurposed lava. Volcanic lava is lighter and lasts forever, unlike steel.  Anyway, he had nice boots too.

I’m enjoying some R & R at The Pirate Cove in Asheville, NC. Thanks so much for my friends here for hosting Yum Yum and me. This is a great time for thinking ahead to shows and resting because I got a chemical burn on my cornea that has kept me from working this week. I’m also hoping to get my art into another gallery in Asheville. It is time. Any leads in this department would be greatly appreciated. I really want to find a gallery curator who will develop and work with me. I did have the good fortune of meeting Seraphim Arkis, a musician, who is game to put together an art/music show with me and a hooper and perhaps other performers. I’m ready to do what I do in Wilmington, here in the mountains of NC. …but I digress…

Tribal Council

I got a sneak peak at a Castle Carnivale performance to come by the circus-lish-us-ness of Daniel Crabtree (Sneaky McFly) and Unifire. They are sooo talented! Their fire show at the Castle is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Watch for Daniel’s top hat of death. I bet he won’t mind if I show it here.

This weekend I hope to catch my other host, Kate, performing her brand of Belly Dance as part of a burlesque show with a dreamy theme.

This is Kate.

Kate by Hannah Combs Photography


Blue Skies Burlesque presents… The Dreaming

August 17, 18, 24 & 25 @ 10:30pm

Blue Skies Burlesque presents their debut of The Dreaming at the Magnetic Field in Asheville before taking it on the road. All original acts will be performed in neo and classical burlesque styles. There will be drag, puppetry, pole dancing and striptease. Original costuming by LyonHart Designs. There will be extravagant dance numbers in the style of the Ziegfeld Follies. Most importantly, there will be beautiful ladies presenting carefully crafted routines, each one inspired by a dream. Tickets $15.