Motley Crew: The Venice Beach Freakshow Says “No to Normal”

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Even on a stretch known for its eccentric artists, the members of the Venice Beach Freakshow stand out. The cabinet of human curiosities includes the three-foot-five “Amazing Ali” Chapman, seven-foot-eight former Harlem Globetrotter George Bell, fire-eater Asia Ray (above), and Morgue, the renowned sword swallower (or “controlled regurgitator,” in industry parlance). You don’t have to wait until Freakshow, the unscripted series about their lives, returns to AMC on May 6. You can find the proudly peculiar troupe performing daily in its small space on the boardwalk. Saying “no to normal” has never been so easy—or so extraordinary.