When were you a "freak"?
I was the the freak of 2003. I was conceived on Halloween of 1979 because of a sponge recall so that will tell my age. I moved here in 2000 and finished three years of acting school on Madison Avenue immediately before I ran into the gig.
How did you get the job?
There was a smokin' hot chick that called me acting bored. We both lived in south Brooklyn so I said, "let's go to Coney F'n Island." Note: this was the first slightly warm day in March. We had some drinks in Brighton, walked down the boardwalk to Coney, and directly after the surf shop I run into the man who made the game, making his game. After finding out that there were not real bullets being used I gave him my number. A month later he called me and, in a deep Brooklyn accent, said, "if you want the job, show up tomorrow on time for eleven in the afternoon." After a dramatic pause I said, "I'll see ya's there."
Did you know any other freaks?
I worked alone till the middle of the summer. Basically, if there wasn't a tornado, I worked all day every day. After months of sunny days, I got a bit tired and asked for some help. Then I met two guys named "Loco" and "Manny." These dudes worked as freaks as well. They were super gangsta and awesome except for the fact that they didn't like to work for more than an hour. It's not an easy job. I saw tough dudes act scared.
What was the owner like?
Back then there were two owners, Anthony and Carl. Both in their early forties, Carl was a producer and Anthony was my barker. Anthony was brilliant on the mic. If you saw Shoot the Freak after '05 you saw it in decline, in my opinion. The show tried a second location on Surf Ave years later but that wasn't successful. The boardwalk was the king and it was some pirate shit. They didn't ask for the empty lot, they took it with the approval of no authority and it lasted seven years. That's a successful business!
How'd it pay?
Man, I quit a telemarketing job on Fifth Avenue the day Anthony called me to come in. Basically, I thought anything would be better than what I was doing. I was a terrible phone guy and wasn't making any of the commission I had planned. When I worked the freak I made at least two hundred for doing my job. It was theatrical and controversial during my tenure, so money didn't matter.