Trying to learn the Human Blockhead stunt

Nov 21, 2018
18
1
I live in the Bay Area, specifically San Francisco. I have grown quite fascinated with the Human Blockhead stunt and I really want to learn how to perform it.

I've watched video tutorials on the it, but people have told me that trying to learn the stunt by myself can be very dangerous and that learning it under the guidance of a trained professional is a much safer and more effective way to go about it. Does anyone know of any teachers or any schools in my area that teach the stunt?

I've tried looking into this place called The Circus Center, in San Francisco, but classes for it aren't available there.

I'm really hoping that someone on here can help point me in the right direction and recommend a teacher or a class that can teach me how to master the human blockhead act. Thanks
 
Nov 21, 2018
1
0
I mean yeah it can be very dangerous. I personally learned it on my own actually about a year ago today. That is to say, if you would like to learn it and can not find anyone my recommendation would be to start with something not so sharp, a lot of people recommend Q-tips, I personally used a plastic chopstick to learn the path that I needed to start and then worked my way up to nail. There is a YouTuber named Brian Brushwood who gives a fantastic example of what to do but he says the same thing.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,772
2,879
Learning yourself without a proper teacher can result in damage to your sinuses, infection, etc etc.

I know Brett Loudermilk has taught people who are in California, but I don't honestly know where he's located. Todd Robbins is generally the guy I recommend, but he's in New York. Harley Newman is out this way as well - his Oddity U is considered to be one of the best ways to get instruction in the sideshow arts.

Unfortunately it's also difficult to search for it because apparently "sideshow" is used for some kind of illegal car show in the Bay Area, which is overwhelming the search results.
 
Nov 21, 2018
18
1
I mean yeah it can be very dangerous. I personally learned it on my own actually about a year ago today. That is to say, if you would like to learn it and can not find anyone my recommendation would be to start with something not so sharp, a lot of people recommend Q-tips, I personally used a plastic chopstick to learn the path that I needed to start and then worked my way up to nail. There is a YouTuber named Brian Brushwood who gives a fantastic example of what to do but he says the same thing.
I've watched Brian Brushwood's video and tried imitating it with a Q tip. It only resulted in a lot of pain and discomfort.
 
Jun 9, 2008
32
2
Yes it can be dangerous. But not too dangerous once you understand the biology. Obviously the nail goes straight back and not up. The hardest thing is getting used to having something in your nose without your eyes watering up. Start with something small. I was told to try women’s bobby pins and that’s how I learned. Just straighten them out and use the side that’s flat to go in the nose 1st. The first couple times your eyes will water (mine still does a little if I haven’t done it in awhile) but you get used to it being there. After you are completely comfortable you can start trying other larger diameter objects. FYI the inside of a bic pen or the like makes a great impromptu nail. Good luck and be safe. Here’s a pic of the Bobby pins I’m talking about.
 

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WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
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Note - the metal coating on bobby pins often flakes off if they are straightened or otherwise bent, which can leave those flakes inside your nose if you follow that advice.
 
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Jul 22, 2016
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None of this seems like a great idea.
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Aug 19, 2008
46
0
I learned how to do it off of Scam School. I started using Q-tips and found that as long as you don't rush it, you should be able to get it fairly quickly. I actually use it in my act now when I perform at haunted houses around Halloween. It is a little more nerve racking to do it with a nail, but once you get it, it's not that bad. One thing that might help you get a better idea of how your nose works is to try the spaghetti nasal cavity floss stunt. I'm sure everyone has that one uncle that did it at some point, but if you haven't, all you do is take a cooked spaghetti noodle and slide one end down your nose. At some point you should feel it drop down the back of your throat, which is when you can reach back and pull it out of your mouth. I've never actually tried that stunt, but I believe it works on the same principle as the blockhead. At the very least, it'll get you used to sticking things in your nose.
 
Nov 21, 2018
18
1
I learned how to do it off of Scam School. I started using Q-tips and found that as long as you don't rush it, you should be able to get it fairly quickly. I actually use it in my act now when I perform at haunted houses around Halloween. It is a little more nerve racking to do it with a nail, but once you get it, it's not that bad. One thing that might help you get a better idea of how your nose works is to try the spaghetti nasal cavity floss stunt. I'm sure everyone has that one uncle that did it at some point, but if you haven't, all you do is take a cooked spaghetti noodle and slide one end down your nose. At some point you should feel it drop down the back of your throat, which is when you can reach back and pull it out of your mouth. I've never actually tried that stunt, but I believe it works on the same principle as the blockhead. At the very least, it'll get you used to sticking things in your nose.
Thanks for the tip. That advice sounds like it would be more useful for training for Matt "The Tube" Crowley's Tube Act in Jim Rose circus show. Another stunt that I plan to learn.
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,772
2,879
Note - using spaghetti to learn mental floss can result in bits of pasta being left in the nasal cavity resulting in infection.
 
Jul 22, 2016
660
862
After doing some research, I've discovered that inserting Any object - including fingers - into the nasal cavity is dangerous. The mucus membranes in the cavity are very sensitive and can be damaged easily. Resulting in swelling, which would cause difficulty in breathing. As well as bleeding and serious infections. I realize this a 'popular' (?) Demonstration, however all risks should be considered before attempting.
A side note... researching this revealed every article had to do with small children putting things up their nose.... Children...

Cheers.
 

ID4

Aug 20, 2010
418
206
Note - the metal coating on bobby pins often flakes off if they are straightened or otherwise bent, which can leave those flakes inside your nose if you follow that advice.

While it appears CASEACE79's photo shows a bobby pin with metal coating, I thought it was common sense to use bobby pins without metal coating.

I realize this a 'popular' (?) Demonstration, however all risks should be considered before attempting.
A side note... researching this revealed every article had to do with small children putting things up their nose.... Children...

Some daily activities have risks too e.g. taking a shower, crossing the street, driving a vehicle, etc. Every person has to decide what risks they're willing to accept.
I'm unsure what your point is. Are you suggesting that no one should perform Human Blockhead just in case the odd small child should try to imitate them by putting things up their nose?
 
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