Meet Sideshow Performer (And Sword Swallower!) The Lady Aye

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By day, she is Elise S. Carter. Onstage, she is The Lady Aye, a professional sideshow performer. She can eat and breath fire, lay on a bed of nails, escape from a straightjacket, and is one of the few female sword swallowers in the world (and the only Jewish female sword swallower in America). In this mini documentary by Martyna Sarosta for The Jewish Daily Forward, you can watch The Lady Aye doing part of her act. But just as compelling is the story about how the self-discipline of her highly-skilled act has helped her cope with an eating disorder. Her thoughts on what it means to be “pain-proof” — a sideshow term that means smiling through the pain — carries a certain poetic justice. [Forward]

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