Venice Beach Freakshow: ‘Just say no to normal’

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This turtle has two heads

Purportedly the world’s tallest man

As I stood and talked with Todd Ray outside his Venice Freak Show on the boardwalk, his teenaged daughter frolicked on the sand nearby, practicing with a bullwhip. “All in the family,” said Ray, a former music industry executive who, five years ago, turned his eye onto this different part of the entertainment business.

Just say no to “normal”

Finding and packaging “freaks” as opposed to musical acts, well, to Ray, it’s all the same: “You know, wonder’s almost out of the world at this point,” he explained. “Everyone thinks they’ve seen it all because of Google.” That inspires him to seek out two-headed turtles and the tallest man and the shortest woman and other curiosities: A passion for celebrating the unique. The odd!

To that end, this Saturday, Ray is inviting people to join his “Say No To Normal” march on Venice Beach. Publicity stunt?  Unquestionably. But the message behind it is pure: We’re all unusual, in our own special way.

Listen to what else Ray had to say, here: