Extremely Modified People - The Lizardman

Eric Sprague

Eric Sprague is an artist and entertainer who is better known as The Lizardman. Eric has made a living performing around the world as a sideshow and freak show performer. He is also the front man for the rock band Lizard Skynard. The Lizardman has also made appearances on the Tyra Banks Show, The Daily Show, the mockumentary Boxboarders, and the documentary Modify.

Modifications

  • 700 hours of tattooing.
  • Several body piercings including a half inch diameter septum. In 2009 he stopped wearing jewelry in his one inch earlobes due to a reaction.
  • 10 subdermal implanted horns, 5 above each of his eyes.
  • Filed teeth to form sharp fangs.
  • Bifurcation (splitting) of the tongue.

Cost

Eric hasn't kept track of the cost involved to modify his body. A lot of the work was done for free, or at a reduced price, but Eric estimated that he's had close to $250,000 worth of work done in total.

Why?

You can't always judge a book by it's cover. Eric was well educated. He was on a full academic scholarship at Hartwick College, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Philosophy. He was also a national merit scholar finalist. In 1996 at the University of Albany Eric began his doctoral studies in philosophy, but by 1999 he walked away from it. Why walk away from education and turn yourself into a walking, talking reptile? He simply wanted to pursue a career as a full time performance artist.

Eric's physical appearance and body modifications were part of a transformation project working in body based performance art. This idea first came to him while he was in college. He wanted to use body modification for an art piece that explored what it meant to be a human from a linguistic standpoint. The modifications to start with were just tattooing, and that then evolved into other procedures. It wasn't a spur of the moment decision, but rather a lengthy planning process. Eric began thinking about the design in 1990, but only started getting the work done with his first tattoo in 1994.

There's still one unanswered question. Why a lizard? Eric thought it was best to choose a total body theme. A theme that would work well with all areas of the body, and of course age well. The most important factor Eric considered though when weighing up options was choosing something that he would actually like and could live with for the rest of his life.

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