Not a costume or a character – it’s who he is

Not a costume or a character – it’s who he is
August 07
08:00 2015

43 years old Erik Spraque most known as The Lizardman from Texas, USA, is tattooed with green reptilian scales and abstract black markings over his entire body. Not a costume or a character – it’s who he is

Photo: Copenhagen ITC
”The Lizardman”, Erik Spraque


Lizardman always dreamed of being an artist or performer of some sort. As a teenager he began researching and learning sideshow stunts and in college he had the idea of making some of the performance art he did been doing with costuming permanent via body modification. By the time Lizardman was 24 years old he was becoming heavily modified and had a small repertoire of stunts, which he started putting together into a modern sideshow format. Within a couple of years he was touring full time and had left his doctoral studies in philosophy because he found performing more fulfilling than academia.


December 1993 or January 1994

These two months was the time of his first tattoo. He was 21 years old. It was during the winter of his senior year in college and he was home on break. Traditional karate was a major part of his life at that time and he still study martial arts. It still means something to Erik The Lizard Man and today he thinks of it as still being there, despite it being effectively invisible to most viewers.

It was on my back (right shoulder) and was the kanji for kiai. My original design for my back including various words and symbols but I later changed it and the kanji was incorporated into the blackwork that is there now



If you get that lucky in life

Erik did not think so much about when he became a performer like he is today, he just found out doing something he loved could also make him money so he did that because it seems the obvious thing to do if you get that lucky.
To an extent the body and appearance is Lizard Man’s full time job – not to mention his talents and skills as a performer figure when he perform sideshow acts in a comedic fashion.


I refer to myself as a professional freak (that’s what it says on my business card) but when people need more explanation I say that I am a variety entertainer specializes in acts usually associated with the sideshow – like sword swallowing or the bed of nails – done in a comedic fashion.


Lizardman travel year round and often spend over 250-300 days a year on the road. Tattoo conventions are only one of the many places he performs and in fact are not the most common place. He has also worked on rock tours, music festivals, arts & fringe festivals, galleries, comedy clubs, bars, theatres, colleges, private & corporate events, etc.


Before Lizardman appeared

Lizardman mentions his life before he changed into the reptilian man as less fun but still pretty good. The best thing about his job is that he can be his own boss. Work and live on his own terms. To Lizardman this is why his job or just being self-employed in any industry is preferable.
To day you can meet him all over the world where ever he is performing and he always takes some great memories with him back home.

I have a number of great memories of shows, tours, people – I won’t do them the disservice of picking one out over the others


lizard itc

Photo: Copenhagen ITC
Performer and model Elegy Ellem with Lizardman at Copenhagen ITC 2015.


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1 Comment

  1. Karlmann
    Karlmann August 26, 12:55

    Han er for vild, mødte ham på CPH ITC 😀

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