Strange, Alluring, & Death Defying: 
Chicago’s Pain Proof Woman

Photo by Alejandra Guerrero

Sally Marvel is a Chicago-based sideshow and burlesque performer and producer. She is one of approximately 40 known female sword swallowers world wide! Sally embraces that which is bizarre, dark, and sensual, combining the beautiful and the visceral. Sally recently appeared on FOX’s Empire, (Season 3, Episode 10, “Sound & Fury”) and has performed for WGN Morning News. She was also pictured in The Chicago Reader’s 2014 “Best of Music and Nightlife” write up. Sally’s specialties are:


– Angle Grinding
– Fire Breathing
– Fire Eating
– Fire Fans
– Fire Parasol
– Fire Whip
– Fire Wings




– Bed of Nails
– Blockhead & Mental Floss
– Glass Walking
– Human Pincushion
– Ladder of Swords



Sally has performed across Chicagoland and the U.S. both independently and with the world renowned traveling freakshow Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue. Locally, she is the resident performer and talent curator for “Vaudeville” Thursdays and “Cabaret A Go-Go” at Bordel as well as “Bikes & Burlesque” at Holiday Club. Vaudeville was voted one of the hottest burlesque shows in Chicago by the Thrillist. Sally Marvel also performs regularly for Harem of Oddities at Berlin Nightclub every third Friday, and is an official specialty entertainer with Zhantra Entertainment Chicago.

Sally Marvel’s acts are insured by Specialty Insurance Agency. She adheres to the safety protocols and standards outlined by Specialty Insurance Agency as well as the safety standards of the broader fire performer community. Proof of insurance is available upon request.

Notable Appearances

Festivals/ Events:

Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival (Chicago, 2015)
Awesome Biker Nights (Sioux City, 2016)
Bondage Ball (Pittsburgh, 2017)
Dirty Show (Detroit, 2017)
Fire Ball VII Deadly Sins (Madison, 2015)
Founders Fest (Grand Rapids, 2017)
Freaky Deaky (Chicago, 2016)
Leo Burnett Breakfast (Chicago, 2015, 2016)
Lollapalooza Side Show (Chicago, 2014-17)
Lupulin Carnival (St. Louis, 2015-2017)
Motoblot (Chicago, 2017)
Naughty Gras (St. Louis, 2016, 2017)
River City Rockfest 6 (San Antonio, 2016)
The Steampunks World Fair (New Jersey, 2014)
Throttle Fest (Chicago, 2013, 2014)
Tour de Fat (Chicago, 2017)
Queerpocalypse (Chicago, 2014)
Wisconsin Burlesque Festival (Madison, 2017)

Opening Act for…:

CHVRCHES at The 5th Annual Lollapalooza Sideshow (Chicago, 2014)
Grendel Tour (Chicago, 2014)
LCD Soundsystem at The 7th Annual Lollapalooza Sideshow (Chicago 2016)
Leaether Strip Tour (Chicago, 2013)
Little Dragon at The 8th Annual Lollapalooza Sideshow (Chicago, 2017)
Tom Keifer Band & Warrant with Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue (Chicago, 2016)
Vince Neil with Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue (Chicago, 2016)
Zebra Katz at The 6th Annual Lollapalooza Sideshow (Chicago, 2015)


“Sound and Fury”. Empire. FOX.
WGN News. Mar. 14 2015. “St. Patrick’s Day”.
WGN News. Oct. 30 2014. “18th Annual Northhalsted Halloween Parade”.


Thrillist, May 14 2016. “The 11 Hottest Burlesque Shows In Chicago”
Nylon, Sep. 19 2016 “Alejandra Guerrero Debuts New Clothing Line Featuring Her Fetish Photography: Fashion meets fetish meets function”.


A.J. Olson. 106 Pieces of Nude Photomanipulation Artwork. Jun. 2016.
Chicago Reader, Jun. 26 2014. “Best of Music and Nightlife.”

E-MURGE, Oct. 2014. “The Lost Girls”.
Gorgeous Freaks, Issue 27. Mar. 2014. “The Blue Room.”
Gothesque Magazine. Aug. 2015. “Death and Flowers”
Milwaukee Alt. Summer Edt. Aug. 2014
Strange Beauty Magazine, Issue 7. Mar. 2015
Strange Beauty Magazine, Issue 5. Oct. 2014. “Underbite”.
Strange Beauty Magazine, Issue 4. Sep. 2014. “The Blue Room”.
Strange Beauty Magazine, Issue 3. Aug. 2014. “Devoid and Deveil”.
VintEDGE, Issue 1. Fall 2013. “Devoid and Deveil”.
XPressions. Feb. 2014. “Powder”.