The Hypnotist That Couldn’t Leave Town

75… The day Profesor came to town with his big blue tent…

A traveling hypnotist sets up his blue tent in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

A traveling hypnotist sets up his blue tent in Álamos.

There, on a Wednesday afternoon, a traveling hypnotist arrived in town and began
to setup camp in a bare field across the street from the hospital for a weekend
series of shows. The small circus tent was going up on the edge of the Navajoa
road, at that time Álamos’ only paved entrance and exit, and word quickly spread
that something new was in town. New in Álamos was a big deal: a circus came once
a year, occasional touring dance bands played at the Ganadera, a couple of rodeos
setup at the municipal baseball park and independent productions would ride in
on a Sonoroan breeze or a Sinaloan tail wind.

Not long ago, low budget movies, with missing edits, were shown at the Dominquez’
cine on Calle Rosales. The Costumbrista de Sonora Museum had a small theater.
Sporadic concerts, plays and events were presented on the Palacio stage. Today,
2011, there is the annual multi-day Ortiz Festival celebrating music and the arts
along with the first annual Álamos Film Festival that was held in April. A couple
of private theaters have been built in hotels and resorts. Back then, Spring of
1995, the blue tent was the big show in town, there was new entertainment passing
through in Álamos.

Profesor and his promotion car with loudspeakers, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The fine art of road promotions as practiced by a professional.

For the next couple of days this car repeatedly circled throughout the barrios,
all day long from 8 am into the early evening, blaring promotions for the upcoming
shows. This was common practice to announced activities such as the man who buys
your silver, road show events, concerts and Profesor Marcovich.

Entrance to the little top traveling show.

The entire show fits in one truck and a loudspeaker car.

Welcome to the Teatro Milion Dollar, notice how someone took
the time and energy to brush the dirt off these alluring words. Excitement
was building on the day of the first show. A couple of North Americans were
going and promised me an opening night review. For some reason I was not
interested in walking through the magnificent entrance that was the Teatro
Milion Dollar, notice that’s dollar not dollars.

Poster board for the traveling show, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.,

This is Profesor Marcovich's fold-out promotional billboard.

Hollywood, Bollywood, Broadway, Las Vegas this isn”t. Entertainment that
makes it to Mexico’s back country towns, it is. Reviews from Americans that
visited the Friday night opening show were the the topic of many Saturday
morning coffee get-togethers. “Obscene”, “Child pornography”, “Disgusting”
and on and on. Apparently Profesor Marcovich’s liked to chose and hypnotize
young boys from the audience and have them perform acts with sexual overtones.
A couple of Mexicans I knew in attendance shrugged their shoulders, no big deal
and not worth the money. The next night’s audience was much smaller. Álamos
had given Profesor Marcovich Teatro Million Dollar a thumbs down.

Today I googled Profesor Mauros Marcovich to see if he was still in the
“entertainment” business and nothing showed up. Mexican media is a land
of sexual conquest fueled by sexy macho males and conniving big busted females
in revealing garb. Bawdy comics deliver body functions gags for big laughs,
especially fart jokes. Sultry latin dance adds hot sauce to the stereotypical
image of Mexico – a land of sensual delights and romance. Ribald plays big in
Mexico but Profesor Marcovich presented a show that few in Álamos found
entertaining. Each show had a smaller audience until there was no audience,
no money, just a blue tent attracting highway grime and desert dust.

The traveling show doesn't have enough money to leave town, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Laundry for a stranded traveling show hangs out to dry in the dust.

The gypsy camp in plain view was becoming an eyesore. Laundry was strung
up along side the tent Profesor was seen around town running errands on
his motor scooter. Day after day passed by. Rumor on the street was that
Profesor had run out of money. He couldn’t afford gas to get to the next
town. He was becoming a problem. Álamos doesn’t allow strangers to come
into town with a large tent-camp and squat on public property for all to see.
I was told the City gave Profesor money to leave and he was gone.

A Day In the Life of Plaza de las Armas


This is a look at life in the Álamos plaza between 1993 and 1996. Much has changed since then but much continues as it has for hundreds of years. Photos and video editing by Anders Tomlinson. Music, “Mystic Hoedown,” is by the Dig Brothers/SonicAtomics featuring Denver Clay and Anders.
©2015 Anders Tomlinson and Denver Clay, all rights reserved.

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©2013 Anders Tomlinson, all rights reserved.



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