02 July 2012

Killer Mexican clowns according to Natalie Kardos

Guest photographer and narrator for TL's last trek to lucha libre is Natalie Kardos, a 30-year-old Harrisburg native who works at a biotech company by day. It’s Too Sunny Out Here is her photography blog, where she posts photos mostly of concerts and travel. But seeing as how she's moving to Seattle in a few months, she's considering changing the name to “There Are An Appropriate Number Of Clouds Here.”

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I’d been to a WWF wrestling event in my youth, so I expected something similar but more outrageous, and of course in a language that I mostly don’t understand. I speak little to no Spanish, and only understand a tiny amount, so without a group like Turista Libre I probably would never have gone to an event like this. It also helped to have friendly faces to turn to and say, “Holy crap, did you SEE that?!?” during the matches.

It’s even more over the top than WWF. But it’s also beautifully acrobatic, and despite how ridiculous the setups are for each move and how fake the hits are, you have to respect how talented the performers are because yes, they really did just jump down onto that table.

What surprised me most was Ruby Gardenia, the transvestite luchador, and the overwhelming crowd support of her. In a culture known for its emphasis on masculinity and religion, it was amazing to see everyone cheering for her during the match.


During an intermission, the announcer had all these kids come up on stage and show off their luchador masks and muscles. There was one kid who was maybe a little too young to understand what was going on, so he just kept running around with his luchador mask on and standing on the ropes. It was adorable.

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