The Pain-Proof Provocateur

Photo by Alejandra Guerrero

Sally Marvel is a Chicago-based sideshow and burlesque performer. She is a member of an elite group of dangerous dames being one of approximately 50 known female sword swallowers world wide! She is strange, alluring, and death defying. Joining the feminine with the bizarre, Sally curates entrancing yet visceral experiences for her audiences to indulge in. She hopes that witnessing her acts will create an opportunity for audience members to escape the mundane, to question what is possible, and to explore their own minds. Sally has been featured on FOX’s Empire, in The Reverend Horton Heat music video “Hog Tyin’ Woman”, in the Chicago Tribune, and in the Chicago Red Eye’s Nightlife Issue (2019). Her skills include:


Sword Swallowing

Western Arts:

Whip Cracking

Pain Proof:

Bed of Nails


Glass Walking

Human Dartboard

Human Pincushion

Mental Floss

Fire & Grinding:

Angle Grinding

Fire Eating

Fire Breathing

Fire Dancing (various props)

Fire Whip

Sally’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 performance community. Proof of insurance is available upon request. A COI listing relevant parties can be provided with advanced notice.


Notable Appearances

Festivals/ Events:

4 Hands Brewery’s Lupulin Carnival (St. Louis, 2015-2019)
Alleluia! The Devil’s Carnival with Emily Autumn (Chicago, 2015)
Awesome Biker Nights (Sioux City, 2016)
Big River Steampunk Festival (Hannibal, MO 2018)
Bondage Ball (Pittsburgh, 2017)
Chicago Tattoo Arts Convention (Chicago, 2019)
City Winery Holiday Party (Chicago, 2017, 2018)
Dirty Show (Detroit, 2017)
Dutdutan Tattoo Convention with Hellazapoppin’ Circus Sideshow Revue (Dutdutan, Philippines 2018)
Embarc’s Annual Variety Spectacular (Chicago, 2017)
Founders Brewing Co’s Founders Fest (Grand Rapids, 2017)
Freaky Deaky (Chicago, 2016)
Harley Davidson 115 Year Anniversary Party at The Iron Horse Hotel (Milwaukee, 2018)
Journelle Chicago’s 2 Year Anniversary (Chicago, 2017)
Lagunitas Beer Circus (Chicago, 2018)
Lake Shore Harley Davidson’s Friggatriskaidekaphobia (Libertyville, 2017)
Lakeview East Festival Of the Arts (Chicago, 2018, 2019)
Leo Burnett Breakfast (Chicago, 2015, 2016)
Lollapalooza Side Show (Chicago, 2014-2019)
Mama Tried Motorcycle Show Weekend at The Iron Horse Hotel (Milwaukee, 2018)
Motoblot (Chicago, 2017-2019)
Naughty Gras (St. Louis, 2016, 2017)
New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Tour de Fat (Chicago, 2017)
Relativity Holiday Party (Chicago, 2018)
River City Rockfest 6 (San Antonio, 2016)
Rubber Ball USA (Minneapolis, 2019)
The Steampunks World Fair (New Jersey, 2014)
Starbird Car Shows (Tulsa, 2019)
Starbird’s World of Rats & Riches (Fort Smith, 2019)
Stern Pinball Epic 30th Anniversary Extravaganza (Chicago, 2016)
Taste of Lakeview (Chicago, 2018)
Throttle Fest (Chicago, 2013, 2014)
Town Cutler Chicago Grand Opening Celebration (Chicago, 2017)
Triumph Motorcycle’s Back In Black Tour (Chicago, 2017)
Uptake Holiday Party (Chicago, 2017)
Wicker Park Fest (Chicago, 2018, 2019)

Tours & Extended Productions:

“Carnival” by Dublin World Wide Productions (Niagra Falls, ON 2018)
“Under the Big Top” with Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus (Chicago, 2018)
Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue (US, 2016)
“Skin & Bones” a Universal Studios-Singapore Halloween Horror Nights Production (Singapore, 2019)

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)
Lizzo at the 9th Annual Lollapalooza Sideshow (Chicago, 2018)
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)