Erik ''The Lizardman'' Sprague displays his body
modifications in Mosgiel yesterday. Photo by Peter
Erik ''The Lizardman'' Sprague is a colourful character.
Green, to be precise.
The 41-year-old American entertainer is fully tattooed with
lizard scales, has a split tongue and horns implanted in his
And, in case you still do not get it, he also has ''Freak''
tattooed across his chest.
Sprague began his transformation in 1994 as an art project
called ''The Freak Manifesto''.
''I started it as a body-based conceptual performance artist.
A freak is a fully self-realised individual,'' he said in
''I liked the look of the reptilian theme and it made a good
fit with other ideas I had. I've since had five Teflon horns
subdermally implanted above each of my eyes to form horned
ridges, four of my teeth have been filed into sharp fangs and
my tongue has been bifurcated.''
His party tricks include fire-eating, sword-swallowing, being
a human dart board and pulling cars with his earlobes. He has
also performed around the world with acts including the Jim
Rose Circus and bands such as Godsmack, Staind, Slipknot and
''My tradition is American sideshow tattooing. The freak
culture goes back thousands of years and sideshow is now
recognised as an American folk art,'' he said.
The Lizardman performs in Freak `n' Gash at the Hotel Taieri
The Freak Manifesto
• More than 700 hours of tattooing, including green scales
over his body and green lips.
• Five Teflon horns implanted above each eye.
• Tongue bifurcated (split by laser).
• Four teeth sharpened into fangs.
• Cost (estimated): $US250,000.