A "shock" artist with a sleek Goth look and a taste for the unsettling, Morgue is one of the Venice Beach Freakshow’s most stylized performers. His professional tool kit includes hooks, power tools, needles and billiard balls – all of which enter and exit different areas of his face and body. "I do all kinds of crazy things," he acknowledges, not without a pride. "I like to tell people I’m called Morgue because if they tried what I try, they’d be dead."
Originally from Montana, Morgue was home-schooled and grew up in relatively isolated circumstances. At age 4, his grandmother gave him a book about magic, and he promptly began teaching himself tricks. "Magic got me really excited about performing," he recalls. "I think I was around 11 or 12 when I started experimenting with dangerous stunts, probably involving razors in the mouth. It wasn’t only about danger. I was, and am, drawn to any sort of high-energy, intense situation."
After his parents divorced when he was a teenager, Morgue went to live with his father in Orange County. With more opportunities available to him as a performer, he focused on developing his magic act. For his own edification, he also delved further into the realm of strange and extreme body training, from controlled regurgitation to self-inflicted pain. "I didn’t set out to do sideshow. I learned these acts for myself, because they mean something to me. I’m self-taught, through trial and lots of error. You’ve just gotta make the attempt and if you bleed, you go 'Oops! That's not how you do it.' And you keep trying."
Three years ago, Morgue decided to bring his hair-raising feats to the Venice Beach boardwalk. He had a rough first day, taking home a grand total of five dollars after performing three acts for eight hours straight. But he got his sea legs, and eventually word of his weird, hair-raising act reached Todd Ray. Since making his debut at the Venice Beach Freakshow approximately one year ago, Morgue has become a regular attraction as well as the host of the stage show.
Morgue intends to keep adding new features to his act, among them a spectacular regurgitation trick that he’s keeping secret for now. While his act absolutely falls on the extreme end of the performance spectrum, his operating philosophy is very much in tune with the Freakshow’s ethos of celebrating difference. "My act isn’t shock for shock's sake. There's a purpose. It's to show people that there are different ways of expressing yourself," he stresses. "Whether it's something beautiful or something horrible, it's all valid and it's all about opening minds."