August 2023 Star Gazing Guide with Burnaby Orbax
Prof. Burnaby Q. Orbax is a Canadian sideshow entertainer and a physics professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Together with his partner Sweet Pepper Klopek, Orbax is one half of Monsters Of Schlock, a traveling sideshow act that combines shocking stunts with comedy, vaudeville, and science. The duo have set 25 Guinness World Records (and counting). Orbax and Pepper also perform all-ages science shows to stimulate the minds of younger audiences.
Orbax grew up on a farm in rural Maidstone, Ontario. He was valedictorian of his high school class and graduated from the University of Guelph with a bachelor’s degree in physics (’00) and a master’s degree in experimental polymer physics (’02), and even worked toward his PhD.
Always an entertainer at heart, Orbax spent some time performing in the independent Ontario Wrestling Alliance (OWA) before embarking on a career as a carnival sideshow stunt performer. Circo Loco was an throwback entertainment package set up by Orbax that featured non-stop performances by a lineup of rock bands, freak acts, burlesque dancers, and comedians. (The variety acts would perform while the bands set up their equipment, to keep the audience entertained throughout.)
One of the two bands featured in Circo Loco was The Legendary Klopeks, fronted by Sweet Pepper Klopek, who joined the Great Orbax Sideshow in 2006 and later teamed with Orbax to form the Monsters of Schlock.
Comedy has always been an important element of Orbax’s sideshow act, and he uses slapstick antics and comic banter to engage with his audience and make his stunts all the more shocking.
Orbax began teaching as a sessional instructor at his alma mater in 2009, and continues to split his time as both a physics professor and sideshow performer.