Suspension and Carnival show at Pegasus Niteclub

A body suspension and Carnival show took place at the Pegasus Nightclub sponsored by Protage, Inc . On Saturday, September 22, 2018.

Suspension and Carnival show at Pegasus Niteclub

 A first timer gives body suspension a try at the Pegasus Nightclub for the Suspension and Carnival show

A first timer gives body suspension a try at the Pegasus Nightclub for the Suspension and Carnival show

A window into the body mod world.

I like shooting the edge. Rainbows and sunsets are nice, but everyone does that. It's not shooting for shock value, it’s shooting for something different. Participating in a recent challenge to shoot the Tampa Bay area happenings in 24 hours, I got permission to photograph the Suspension and Carnival show at Pegasus Niteclub  on Florida Avenue. Henry Paniccia with Protage, Inc. was the promoter and cool enough to let me in. What a great night. 

I’ve shot body suspension before, like at the Tampa Tattoo Convention, but still don’t really understand it. In case you don't know, according to Wikipedia, Body suspension is the act of suspending a human body from hooks that have been put through the skin. The piercings are temporary and are performed just prior to the actual suspension. It is just one part of the entire body modification scene. To an outsider it might look sort of gory but there’s something about the community that is inviting and accepting. They are friendly and welcoming even to this shorthaired non-tattooed reporter.

 A suspension newcomerhas hooks placed in her back before participating for the first time. The procedure is done with surgical skill.

A suspension newcomerhas hooks placed in her back before participating for the first time. The procedure is done with surgical skill.

I am invited back to watch the piercings as they happen. It’s a pretty cool scene. There is great caution taken in being precise and sterile. The room where the piercings took place was packed with medical supplies. Folks doing the piercing wear gloves, masks, and proceed with the precision of a surgeon.

According to a couple of participants, the piercing is the most painful part. Indeed, one newcomer winced a little bit as the hooks are inserted. Once they are in she is glad that process is over and is ready to be suspended for the first time. That's her flying in the top photograph.

 More experienced like piercing and suspension artist    Penny West     are similar to trapeze flyers, dangling and swinging across the area to the delight of the crowd.

More experienced like piercing and suspension artist Penny West are similar to trapeze flyers, dangling and swinging across the area to the delight of the crowd.

 Anyone could participate. During the suspension personnel stood by for any medical concerns and to watch over the process. Wow!

Anyone could participate. During the suspension personnel stood by for any medical concerns and to watch over the process. Wow!

Anyone can try it. It cost $100 to have the hooks implanted. For $150 you get the piercing and can keep the hooks. There were four newbies that participated this night. Me? Nope. But what an outstanding experience to photograph!

 There were two stilt walkers during the show. Here Holly Havok performs at the Pegasus Niteclub Suspension show

There were two stilt walkers during the show. Here Holly Havok performs at the Pegasus Niteclub Suspension show

“Carnival” performers include two stilt walkers, a sword swallower/juggler, and a fire breather. The show also includes a couple of burlesque performers who, uniquely enough, lay on a bed of nails. Sexy but ouch!

burlesque on a bed of nails
 Bill Berry performs as the Misunderstood Devil. The sword swallower offers to lets audience members remove the long shank. One woman squeamishly refuses, while the next one does so with delight. The devil also performed juggling tricks as well.

Bill Berry performs as the Misunderstood Devil. The sword swallower offers to lets audience members remove the long shank. One woman squeamishly refuses, while the next one does so with delight. The devil also performed juggling tricks as well.

 The Pegasus Niteclub needed to be a large venue in order to house the suspension apparatus.

The Pegasus Niteclub needed to be a large venue in order to house the suspension apparatus.

 A fire breather was part of the Carnival show. Much of the audience videoed his performance with their phones as the entire nightclub glowed orange from the fire.

A fire breather was part of the Carnival show. Much of the audience videoed his performance with their phones as the entire nightclub glowed orange from the fire.