Coney Island's Snake Charmer
She goes by the name of Princess Pat. And her occupation is anything but typical. She's a snake charmer, walks on broken glass, hangs upside down with a straight jacket on.
“Ah, what else?, said Princess Pat. "Laying down on a bed of nails, fire, and so on."
Princess Pat is a performer in the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. In her bright orange wig, jean shorts, orange tights and high heels, she takes the stage for a dance number with her partner, a 9-foot long albino python named Dionysis.
Princess Pat dances on stage holding the snake above her head.
She then lies down and kicks one leg up, extending the snake alongside it.
The crowd loves it.
Princess Pat’s no stranger to snakes. She grew up in Nigeria, but she’s aware of the inherent dangers of working with the slithering creatures.
“It could squeeze the hell out of me and kill me if I’m not careful, and sometimes it hisses,” Princess Pat said.
Princess Pat’s been working with the Sideshow since 1996. She stumbled on it during a visit to Coney Island to hear a Nigerian band. She went to Sideshow School, learned the ropes, that is the snakes, and as Princess Pat puts it, she "found her crowd."