Underneath the shadows cast from the tilt of a top hat and burning stage lights are deep and rather mischievous eyes adorned with black makeup and they are bloodshot from whiskey, weed, and things of the nocturnal persuasion. The eyeliner creeps into the crevices of earned crow’s feet, and the twisted clown like liner leaves a trail down each cheek. A devious and sinister smile slips his burned lips, while a long gypsy beard finds itself salt and peppered. A silver bead in a singular dread matches his silver tongue. A panty dropper, a lady killer and a con artist of conversation. A traditional blood-red Ring Master’s coat covers a tattoo rich with sideshow images. A two headed baby shares the human canvas with a tattoo of a woman that represents the Govna’s combination of his favorite women. A gentle reminder of his Texas roots and convoluted past. Untouched by trends and western ideas, the Govna pairs this beautiful and sacred garment with thrift store dress slacks cut and torn at the ankles to make way for a pair of monochromatic high top Converse.
When his voice cracks over the loudspeaker it’s gritty, and hints at a Texas drawl. It’s a hot knife through butter earned by years of smoke and drink, glass eating and fire breathing, entertaining the masses and enticing thoughts and ideas. He walks tall with a body that has been beaten, worked, and seduced. A man 41 years young with 80 year’s worth of living. With piercing eyes, that if you look closely, hold a wealth of knowledge, the Govna will tantalize your thoughts and humors. Honest, direct, unabashed and very intelligent. Most are surprised to find him to be a deeply private man with a very mysterious hidden life.
Bryce "the Govna" Graves
(creator, producer, director and sideshow stuntman)
The Govna’s collection of deep thoughts and experiences give him the kind of smarts that can’t be found in libraries or on search engines. Street smart, business minded, and highly intuitive, he knows people, he knows business and he knows life… If allowed, he would consume this world, one bite at a time. His hunger is insatiable and he will stop at nothing to get what he wants, then move on to the next thing. He has a love, an obsession and a dedication to his cause. A man who has not one second for pessimism, he is unstoppable and always finds a way. He is a passionate man, a survivor of the road, among many other things.
Like a proud father, the Govna looks after the performers as his own. His reputation is his treasure, and he works diligently to uphold it. Loyal, ethical, principled. This man has a heart of gold, and is often found smiling, and partaking in a laugh. He is charming, and eager to see and learn something new every day. Untamable, and limitless, he is a man that will never be held back, or held down. He is the most wonderful brand of eccentric with a touch of traditionalism. Often mistaken for being an asshole, or a jerk, he is a very driven man that must be stern and organized to keep his business alive. He is protective and loyal to the ones he loves, and wouldn’t dream of dishonoring another’s good nature.
While on stage in front of open mouths and shocked eyes, you will find this man driving a 5 inch drill bit into the center of his skull. Afterwards claiming he’s big on sanitation he has a fellow performer lick the drill bit while the crowd lets out a collective gasp. He eats light bulbs, and washes them down with bottles of Windex. The crowd crawls all over one another as he shoves popcorn kernels up his nose and forces them out through his tear ducts. As each piece of corn bounces on the stage, he lifts up his heels and hits the tips of his toes, and looks at the crowd to say, “What? Did you think you were here to see a tea party?” After a condom is flossed through his nose and mouth, he’ll slingshot it into the crowd and say, “Save that for later, you might need it!” Though he tells this joke every performance, he genuinely chuckles at it, as his wild eyes look onto the poor red-cheeked shlub in the audience. At the end of the show, he’ll shock and amaze as he blows a giant fireball off the end of a sword that is submerged inside the sword swallowers rib cage and organs. He grits his teeth and always seems to be on a verge of a roar. But when he smiles he reveals a dimple, the women of the audience have heart bubbles floating around them and glazed over smiles.
The Govna’s personal life…
Bryce "the Govna Graves" is an American producer, creator, director, master of ceremonies, and sideshow stuntman in the entertainment industry. Though the Govna is primarily known for his creation of Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue, it is not where his career began. The Govna, at the tender age of 18 and a dropout of Garland (Texas) High School and student of the National Stuntman Association, set out on his own. He tried his hand at college for 2 years but wasn’t for him. Full of just the right amount of ambition, gumption, and big dreams, the Govna moved to Hawaii to become an entrepreneur and all before he was of legal drinking age. It was at this time that he began a full and exciting dangerous career in high-rise window cleaning. In is free time he studied the entertainment industry. A man of his word and a firm believer in a solid handshake, there is no mold that the Govna could fit, or any other could fill. A true visionary with an open mind, there are no limitations to creative and prosperous ventures ahead. He once said, "I was the kid that had to show my mother everything!" True to form, the Govna has continued to the world of his many, interesting and albeit peculiar discoveries.
The Govna is truly a catalyst in many successful careers. A born leader, he furthered his career in the music industry, leading to artist management, working as a tour manager, booking agent, and concert promoter. Just getting started, the Govna moved onto his first entertainment business, Brown Gravy Entertainment, in March 1998. He co-created, co-produced and co-directed True Music, the world's first HDTV Rock-N-Roll TV show (owned by Mark Cuban). The Govna also worked as a casting producer for a variety TV show in Istanbul, Turkey. He co-founded Applied SB and GroupieTunes; once the world’s largest provider of mobile content for independent artists. The Govna worked as a tour manager, designer, and captain of the Making Memories Bike Ride in 2001. Making Memories is a non-profit charity organization that helps women with breast cancer. He was responsible for mapping out and managing a fund-raising bicycle ride that stretched from Canada to Mexico. This grueling, yet inspiring bicycle tour lasted 11 days, and was broadcast on the radio in Dallas. The event succeeded in raising over $100,000 in donations.
Born in Dallas, Texas (November 17, 1972), and raised in Garland, Texas, the Govna is one of four children. He was destined for the spotlight. Charismatic and charming, the Govna has been able to talk his way out of a paper bag from childhood. Always on some new adventure, and finding ways to fund those new adventures, it was only natural that he would find himself center stage. Unlike most children in America, the Govna never found himself desiring that house on the hill with a white picket fence life. A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, he knew he would travel this world in search of the newest high until the day he died. You might find that a Johnny Cash soundtrack would play the score to the Govna’s life.
The Govna, a text book "at risk youth", forever changed his destiny when escaping a troubled life and gangs, and ran away to Hawaii for nearly 5 years. He would go on to live a life of "thrills, chills, and sometimes doctor's bills". Business minded and a lack of fear, the Govna started his first business in dangerous high-rise window cleaning, which would turn out to be a successful launching pad for future ventures. A man in his young twenties, the Govna became a father to a beautiful daughter. A very private man (he wishes to keep her identity concealed). A business man, and now father, it was time to be close to home so he moved back to Dallas. Another business venture in full swing, the Govna was managing fatherhood, a small horse ranch, and soon enough the world of entertainment. Those who know him now may be surprised to learn that he knows his way around livestock, but they may also be surprised to learn that he was once a student in cosmetology school, stunt school, and even illegally tended bar at the tender age of 15 and continued throughout his 20’s.
His daughter now older, and grass growing under his feet, it was time to hit the road. The Govna witnessed his first freak show in 2004. Leaving a light on in his head that could not go unanswered, he was hooked. With thirteen years of experience managing rock bands, TV personalities and producing TV shows, the Govna managed and later owed part of a traditional vaudeville traveling freak show called Brothers Grim SideShow. After many years of moneyless paychecks, and a clashing of creative minds, an epiphany! "Why build on someone else's legacy, when I can build my own?" So begins Hellzapoppin.
Selling off his shares from his ringtone company, and being a millionaire “on paper”, the Govna threw in every dime, all his blood, sweat and tears into Hellzapoppin, and has not looked back since. Hellzapoppin has become the Govna’s Magnum opus! Coming from absolutely nothing and within a few short years, what was once a dream is now the world's largest traveling variety show. With his band of gypsies and ever faithful, French Bulldog, Mr. Buggles, the Govna continues to build on this marvelous empire.
Give me your eyeballs, and I will put them in a jar of formaldehyde and show you the world... Bryce “the Govna” Graves
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