Remember, it's not the thrower that counts — it's the target. It has been asserted by several sources, including well-known knife throwers, that the power and appeal of this type of act lies as much in audience appreciation of the target as in admiration of the skill of the thrower or archer. While some point to overtones of sadomasochistic eroticism , others cite dramaturgical works and point to parallels with the story arc of the hero in classic drama. In particular the assistant's performance is said to mirror the plot device of the hero's ordeal , in which the hero proves his or her heroic qualities through self-sacrifice or by facing extreme peril. While a few contemporary acts feature a male in the target role, and some play upon role reversal, the traditional figure of a female target still prevails.
Luella and her daughters were known to tour sideshows, and, at least for a time, they managed their own line-up of acts. In addition to young Colleena Sue appearing in the impalement act, there was to be a magician, a human pin-cushion, illusionists, and a showcase for big snakes. While they are increasingly rare, several of the remaining practitioners of the impalement arts continue to excel in their dangerous feats of knife throwing. One man, in particular, has been breaking world records and entertaining fans with his nail-biting prowess with the blade. He is known as the Great Throwdini. David Adamovich was an exercise physiology professor who answered the calling of knife throwing at the age of
Watch a 1950s Knife Thrower Use Her Daughters as 'Target Girls'
I had no idea how right I would be. If I forgot anyone, see them all for yourself. So, what does my uncle do? The question is what does he not do.
Introduction[ edit ] Although some assistants are male there is no common equivalent term for a male assistant. This reflects the fact that, historically at least, female assistants have predominated in the acts in question. Without assistants placing themselves in danger these acts would be simple demonstrations of accuracy, but with the potential for injury or death the show is much more dramatic. Target girls often wear revealing costumes, thus adding an element of overt sexuality to an act. In this respect there is some similarity to magicians' assistants , although there is a distinct difference in that any apparent danger to an assistant in a magic act is mostly an illusion, whereas impalement acts are demonstrations of accuracy, nerve and calculated risk and the danger is real.
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