Most of us take great measure to ensure that what we put down our gullets won't come back up to haunt us later. Stevie Starr, the Scottish performer perhaps better-known by his rather vivid stage handle, "The Regurgitator," isn't most of us.
Starr, who's been working the professional "regurgitation circuit" -- for lack of a better term -- for more than 20 years, will appear at 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, at Seminole Casino Hollywood for a free performance in the event pavilion.
Starr -- whose performance involves swallowing and bringing back up objects like pool balls, live goldfish, and light bulbs -- has done the rounds on late-night talk shows, making hosts like Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon, and David Letterman squirm, and most recently has competed on Britain's Got Talent, in addition to several other televised talent shows in Europe.
As a blog dedicated to the ingestion of substances, Clean Plate Charlie had to get to the bottom of the whole "regurgitation thing." We caught up with Starr last weekend, via phone, while he was in Connecticut en route to Canada, where he was to perform before returning to the States and heading south to Florida.
For someone who spends an inordinate amount of time consuming (more or less) a wide variety of things, Starr's diet is surprisingly narrow. The performer doesn't drink any alcohol, and "never ate vegetables or fruit, salt or pepper." When ingesting things that will stay down for the duration, he subsists on potato chips, Diet Coke, and "unbelievable plates of chocolate," as well as huge platefuls of bacon, sometimes up to 20 slices at a time.
Despite having the diet of a poorly supervised teenaged boy and making his living putting potentially
dangerous deadly objects in his body, Starr says he has never been sick a day in his life. "For some good all reason, it seems to work," he said. "Here's me swallowing things you shouldn't eat and I've never been sick. I wouldn't know a headache if I had one."
Among the many things that find their way into Starr's act, and therefore, his stomach, he has a few favorites. "One of the best ones is I'll swallow a cup of Equal [or sweetener] and a glass of water, and I bring the Equal back up dry," Starr said. "There's so many... I do two different-color sugars, and I drink a glass of water, and then ask the audience which color sugar they want me to bring up and then bring that back dry."
With 25 years and roughly 250 to 300 performances a year, Starr said: "I know my limits. The largest object [to swallow] would be the pool ball." Other objects that might appear, disappear, and reappear during his performance include coins of various sizes, locks and keys, and a Rubik's Cube. Starr said to expect a lot of audience participation and comedy in the show, though, of course, the focus is on, well, regurgitation.
"It's just a natural thing -- something I learned as a child," Starr said of his unorthodox trade. "I use my insides as a pocket more than a pocket."
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Tickets are free, on a first-come, first-served basis. Pick 'em up at the Player's Club. Here's an idea of what you can expect: