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Charlie Chaplin interactive
Tableaux Al Fresco:
Walking Paintings
Airbrush Facepainting
Facepainting, illustrative style
Western skills and shows
Renaissance : the new vaudeville
Corporate event offerings
Interactive / Roving performances
Variety Stage
Fire-eating artistry  
Handwriting analysis for special events: for entertainment purposes only  (currently under preparation)


Magic & sleight of hand
Flea Circus


"WhipFlash!": fire and whip
--The Bullet Catch
--The Wheel of Death
WhipFlash in the media


Airbrushed creations
Design and innovation
Signs and Banners
Custom Props 

Historical Style Wood Pocketwatches



Production Management

(c) 1997-2004
Snake Oil Productions, professional variety entertainment and other modern conveniences.

Lauren Muney, proprietress, designer, performer, producer, makeup artist, stitcher, props-fabricator, illustrator

Updated 10/30/2006 .


The Wheel of Death is the largest addition to the "WhipFlash!" family of death-defying and entertaining feats, this 91-inch (almost 7 ft) spinning wheel is the inspirational grandchild of the old vaudeville knife-throwing Wheels of Death.

IMPORTANT NOTE: 2007: The Wheel of Death is officially retired and gone.
It will be missed.

The Wheel of DeathMaking every effort to heighten the audience's enjoyment, excitement, comic value, and faith in vaudeville values, Lauren Muney and Jim Frank of WhipFlash! and Snake Oil Productions created this huge monstrosity. "Wheels of Death" were traditionally used in vaudeville and Old West shows, to place a small woman on the disk and spin her, with the man taking targets from around her lithe body without harming his delicate assistant. The difficulty arises when the audience realizes that when the 'expert' takes aim, it's done in different timing to when the disk actually spins - and therefore her body might be in the way at almost all times.

Originally conceived by Lauren, it took her 6 months to work up the courage to show her drawings to Jim; the courage needed was to tell him that it was HE would should be mounting a huge spinning disk.

Side view - Renaissance The first problems arose when Lauren tried to phone every old knife-throwing act she knew - most of whom were in their 80's and 90's. None of these acts had any problems with devising a Wheel of Death, after all, their lady assistants (who where the ones strapped to the Wheel) were only 80 lbs!! The Wheel needed by WhipFlash! needed to be 91 inches across and hold the weight of a  6' 3", 200-lb man. Since WhipFlash!'s twist on the old routine was so unusual, Lauren and Jim had to work very hard to create the huge monstrosity that no one had seen before.

Jim built the disk in the largest flat space available - a deck of a house. A challenge every step, not only did the disk require an engineer to get it off of the 15- ft high deck, but the Wheel itself required some physics ingenuity. Harkening back to Renaissance-style creative techniques, Jim devised a special way of working with mass and forces so that the Wheel's axle would spin freely. With a little help from some armorers (craftsmen who create full suits of armor), the axle was finished and the Wheel could be put to use. Lauren's painting skills, using a famous design by Leonardo da Vinci, called "Vitruvius", finished everything off.

Breaking the unspoken rule about having the lovely female assistant on the receiving end of any trick, "WhipFlash!" turns the tables as massive Jim is forced to strap onto the huge spinning Wheel. Adding to the craziness are the flowers Lauren tries to cut while trying not to touch Jim's body with her whip, which is reaching velocities exceeding the speed of sound.

Adding to the excitement, Jim frequently does this routine in a kilt. A kilt? You mean, a DRESS? Jim is placed UPSIDE DOWN on a spinning wheel in nothing but a skirt? Surely, the audience gets to see what's up HIS sleeve, and a little bit more.

Front View - RenaissanceLauren is the lucky one who removes targets from around Jim's body. Audience members provide the "motor" -- hand-turning the Wheel. A genuine crowd-pleaser, every second.