Thursday, February 09, 2017

Zamora's Vegas Sideshow

Zamora is back in Las Vegas with a limited run show.

Zamora's Vegas Sideshow 
Friday-Monday every week until the end of February
The original Vegas "freakshow" from the man who has been called "...the godfather of the modern circus sideshow."

Zamora The Torture King is laying down a cool hand at a small showroom at the Royal Resort Hotel - and his show is doing better than shows in Vegas casinos.

The word of mouth buzz is beating the paid corporate domination of Vegas shows. 

"What a great show!! My son loved it! He talked about it the entire ride home and then some. It was tough getting him to bed for school, so he got me to promise we'd go see it again. He may wake up tired in the morning but he'll sure have some stories to tell his friends tomorrow!"

"We though the show was the best show that we've seen in our whole entire lives - even though I couldn't even watch half of it! So the half of the show that I did see was one of the best shows I've ever seen in my whole entire life."

You have seen him on Stan Lee's Superhumans and The Discovery Channel.

e has has appeared on TV shows in England, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Japan.

Know as Zamora The Torture King, his astounding show will shock and amaze you. It's the weirdest show in Vegas.

This is your chance to see these incredible feats live and close up, leaving no doubt that this is the real thing.

Warning: May be too intense for some viewers.

The show is at The Majestic Theatre on the second floor of The Royal Resort Hotel (99 Convention Center Drive), just off the Las Vegas Strip near Circus Circus.

Zamora the Torture King first came to Las Vegas in 2003. He was chosen by two Vegas show producers to star in the show SHOCK! at the Bourbon Street Casino on Flamingo road. It was the first show of its kind in Vegas. The show ran for years, at one point relocating to the former Debbie Reynolds Casino on Convention Center Drive. 

 Later, a slick producer tried to create a knock-off of the show, using performers who were self-admittedly imitating Zamora.  Despite better placement on the Vegas Strip, billboards around Vegas, illuminated advertising trucks and signs, promotional support from a major Vegas casino chain, the show closed in six months. 

 The general economic collapse of 2008 - combined with the failure of the knock-off show - made it that much harder for Zamora to work in Vegas, so he went on tour with various shows, eventually ending up in Europe.

 Now Zamora has returned to Las Vegas, self-producing a "smaller is better" show at the Royal Resort Hotel that has already lasted longer - and done better financially - than a show shows that have been at major casinos on the Strip. This show in only contracted until the end of February,  so see it while you can.

Zamora's Vegas Sideshow runs until February 27th. The shows days are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday every week. Doors are at 8:00pm. The show starts at 8:30pm

 The venue is not licensed to sell alcoholic beverages - however - you are allowed to BYOB.

For a history of Zamora in Las Vegas, CLICK HERE

Buy Zamora's book, Weird Las Vegas and Nevada, on Amazon

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Interview in Aktual Magazine Croatia

Interview in Aktual Magazine Croatia 

Aktual Magazin (Croatia) 11 June 2014 Issue 158, pg 66-70.

Ekstremne Tocke U Zagreb
Interview by Tamara Boric. Photos by Andy Hartmark and Marshall Foster.

The following interview was for a Croatian magazine Aktual and was published as pre-publicity  for and event in Zagreb called Freaky Friday that took place in on Friday the 13 of June, 2014.

Aktual magazine seems to be the Croatian equivalent of Time or Newsweek. It was very surprising that this interview and photos published in what would seem to be a conservative publication.

What follows is the questions that were asked and the answers that were given for the article.

Q: You will be performing in Zagreb, will this be your first time in Croatia? What can we expect?

A: This will be my first time visiting Croatia. I have traveled in Europe and Scandinavia before but have never been to Zagreb so I am really looking forward to it. My show is fun but shocking. It is based on the performances of Fakirs from Middle Eastern countries that were brought to Europe as entertainment. I have preformed my act in many countries and on TV shows all over the world and people are always amazed.

Q: It's actually the celebration of Friday the 13th. Do you believe in all of those bad things about that date? Bad luck, ghosts...

A: I have an interest in folklore but I have taken the Friday the 13th superstition and inverted it. For me it is good luck. There is only one Friday the 13th this year and that is the day get to come to Croatia and entertain people. What could be luckier than that?

Q: As I can see, your show is always a spectacle... Who organizes it?
What are the reactions of the audience? How different are they when compared [to different audianece] throughout the world?

A: My show was and still is self-created and self-produced. When I put it together it was a lost art. The acts were from another place and time. I created a presentation for the modern world and because it was type of entertainment that really did not exist anymore I had to come up with new ways to promote it and new places to present it. Performing at nightclubs that usually have rock bands was one of the ways of doing this.

 Because of this, especially in America, the crowds tend to yell and make a lot of noise. People like the show all over the world, and one thing that is universal is that there are some people who are going to faint. At the very end of the show I do things that are pretty intense. I tell people if they don't think they can handle it they should watch the faces of the people who are watching the show. That can be entertaining as well.

Q: Are people in shock when they see your shows? Because, they know what they are going to see, but I guess there are some reactions to what you do...

A: People should know what they are going to see; I am called "The Torture King" for a reason. When people come to see the show I tell them that that I start with my least shocking feats and that the show gets more and more intense. I always give them to option of running out of the room right before I stick a skewer in through my muscles. It is usually the guys who are trying to be tough who end of fainting.

Q: What can we expect?

A: My show is about strange and intense demonstrations of control of the human body and mind. It is a fakir show the includes me swallowing a string and pulling it out of a part of my body that nothing should ever come out of and shoving sharpened bicycle-spoke like wires through my muscle tissue without blood or show of pain... and all in the name of entertainment. It appeals to the same kind of thrill and excitement you get while watching a scary movie or going on a roller-coaster.

Q: What are the reactions of the audience? How different are they when compared throughout the world? [Didn’t she already ask this?]

A: In places like Holland and Belgium the fakir show is traditional kind of entertainment. Last December I performed at a Winter Festival in Belgium and there were lots of families with children in attendance. They were warned about what I do beforehand and had no problem with it. The festival wants me to return this year.

Q: Who is the craziest [audience]? Can you tell us some of the anecdotes that you've experienced?

A: Audiences at rock music festivals in Scandinavian countries can be pretty wild. I have done a few of those and there is a lot of drinking going on and that adds to this. I remember doing a show at a club in Sweden where a couple of guys jumped on stage and wanted to get in on the show. They dropped their pants and began peeing into cups.... I won't tell you the rest.  My show is very intense, but it is not about grossing people out. What I am doing is very dramatic and very traditional demonstrations of mind and body control. These guys jumped on stage were more like the TV show Jackass.

Q: You've been interested in sideshow art all of your life. What fascinates you so much?

A: At a very young age I was interested in stage magic, pulling rabbits out of hats and things like that. Then I read about sideshow style acts and fakirs performing in the Middle East and India. This was like real magic. There are no mirrors or hidden wires. It also appealed to me because it is so visceral and intense and something that everyone can relate to as most of the stunts involve the human anatomy; and everybody has a body [as obvious as that may be].

Q: Why did you decided to do what you are doing? This is not an ordinary, everyday job...

A: This was just a "weird hobby" for a long time. I would do some small shows at parties and now and then opening up for punk rock bands. In 1991 in Seattle I got together with a group and we put together a sideshow act that booked on the largest touring rock festival in the USA. It introduce a the lost art of sideshow to an new generation. I have been touring ever since then, both with group of other performers and with my own show.
 Before I was touring and making my living as a performer I had very mundane jobs to pay the rent. Ever since I have been a performer I have been traveling to all kinds of interesting places and meeting interesting people all over the world. I love the nomadic lifestyle and the adventure of performing. It was not something I planned. It was something that I had a fascination with that came to the front of my life and now I can't imagine doing anything else.

Q: Who or what inspired you to start doing it? Have you seen somebody else do it? How did you learn everything you know? There aren't any schools for this...

A: Most of the people who inspired me were people I read about in books. They were either dead by the time I found about them or were from far away countries. One is a man who was named Mirin Dajo who performed in the 1940s. He would have a long, pointy fencing style sword run all the way through his body from the back to the front. It was the real thing. He did this in front of doctors many times.
 I am mostly self taught. I learned some fire eating from a small circus troupe. I would try to get instruction from people who had experience, but most of what was seeking was a lost art. I did as much research as I could before I would try anything. I started with less intense acts. The more I performed and traveled the more I learned. I think now there are some places that teach some basic sideshow skills, but when I started there was nothing like that.

Q: As I could read, your father was a University professor. Did these things, this art that you are performing, started as a rebellious behavior, perhaps?

A: I don't see my interests as rebellious but rather as individualistic behavior. My interest in my act was never a way to be against something; it was just a subject that I found intriguing. I did have the advantage of living a University town that gave me access to a lot of information. I spent a lot more of my youth than I ought to have in University libraries. How's that for rebellious? I did find ways to rebel, but I never saw my act as having anything to do with that.

Q: Can you make good money? Is it worth going through all of those, as it looks like, painful things?

A: It the kind of thing where sometimes I make good money but it is not very consistent, like many other kinds of entertainment jobs. I tell people it is less painful than working at a fast food restaurant and less dangerous than driving a taxi.
  The fact is I feel pain differently than a normal person. I have trained myself to do this. I have been tested by doctors and have demonstrated this. I have documented this and it has been show on several TV shows recently.

Q: How do you feel on the stage?

A: I am kind of an extroverted introvert, so I have always had a strange relationship with the stage. I am not one of those performers who is "on" all the time. But it is a great feeling to be in front of a group of people and really freaking them out in an amazing and fun way.

Q: Can you tell me something about your childhood, growing up?

A: I had a difficult time growing up in a small-town. My ideas were very eclectic and I felt trapped and limited, despite the access to information. I have often wondered what would have happened if I had spent my teenage years in a bigger city.

Q: What fascinates you the most about your work?

A: The most fascinating part about what I do is that although I am showing some very dramatic and spectacular example and pain-control and body stunts, the same mental techniques can be used in everyday life to deal not just physical pain but stressful situations and psychological phobias.

Q: How long do you have to practice before you can do an act?

A:  I do a lot of planning and metal practice before do an act on stage, and many times what I do more intense version of what I have already been doing. Once I wanted to lie down on a bed of nails and have a car drive over the top of me. I built the bed of nail and then began to see how much weight I could get on top of me during my stage act. I would get 4 of the biggest guys out of the audience to stand on top of me when I was on the nails. They would way over 1000 pounds (453+ Kilos) but that was still only about half the weight of the car; I could really not practice beyond that. It was for TV show it was going to be on the show whether I was successful or not. It was a success and since that time I have done it a few more times for TV . The last time I did it was for live TV in England. The car weighted so much that I passed out on live TV, but I came to and was OK afterwards.

Q:  You wrote a book called Weird Las Vegas. Why? What is it about?

A: I was the first sideshow style performer in headline a show in a Las Vegas casino and lived there for 10 years. I have always had an interest in the strange and the unusual and used to publish a small magazine devoted to weird information. When I can I am a writer and have several published books and articles. Weird Las Vegas is about folklore, legends and unusual people and places in the Las Vegas region.

Q: What are your future plans, career wise?

A: I have been getting a lot of inquires from people asking them how to deal with pain and other discomforts. I have been putting together some information on using the mental techniques I use in my pain control acts for use in everyday life. I also have been doing some management of booking of other variety performers and I have some writing and research projects I would like to work on, including some television projects. Other than that, I plan to keep doing this until my body gives out... which may be a while. I have been doing this for almost 25 years and am still going strong.

Tim Cridland / Zamora TK
Skype Name: Zamora TK

Monday, August 31, 2015

For Your Halloween Event

For Your Halloween Event

Zamora The Torture King
A classic act for modern times

Are you looking for a unique act that will draw paying customers to your event?  Zamora The Torture King and his show have something that you will find nowhere else; a unique combination of recognition, experience, versatility, quality and rarity along with the ability to draw media attention and customers to your event or venue.

Experience: Zamora has over 20 years of experience as a performer and as a show producer. He is one of the people who “started it all.” A USA newspaper said “…Zamora the Torture King, might just be the godfather of the modern circus sideshow…”

Name Recognition: Zamora has appeared on many major US , Uk, European and  international TV shows and networks over the last 20 years. He continues to make 2-3 TV appearances per year. Even if your potential patrons do not know him name they will recognize him from TV and other media. Most recently Zamora was filmed for Das Supertalent in Germany and was featured on the Channel 4 UK TV show Man vs Weird.  You can see more of Zamora's TV credits at Internet Movie Data Base and at the CV section of his web site. and!about1/cj67

Versatility: Zamora and Zamora's Sideshow had toured and performed at many different venues over the years, including nightclubs, corporate events, colleges and universities, Renaissance fairs, State fairs, circuses and amusement parks. Zamora can adapt his show for your needs.  Zamora’s show can be a solo show or a two performer show and can be up to an hour in length.

Safety: Zamora never had an accident. He has never caused any damage to a venue.

Quality and Consistency: Zamora's show is booked again and again by satisfied clients. He has been hired by Knott's Berry Farm amusement park for 17 years in a row.  See Zamora's history at Knott's Scary Farm at this link:

A Modern Classic: Zamora was part of the first show to revive the old style sideshow acts and combine them with modern day edginess. He was an original member of the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow. He is the first performer of his kind to headline a show in a Las Vegas casino. If you have hired other sideshow/freakshow type acts for you event or venue it is likely that they were “inspired” by Zamora. When you hire Zamora you get the original not an imitation.

Rarity: For many years Zamora was locked in to a Halloween event in Southern California and has not been available for any other Halloween season appearances.  This is the first year that he is available for your event. Your patrons will be thrilled to see something new to them.

Attention Getting: Zamora has been consistent in getting media attention for over 20 years. Zamora will get press, radio and TV time that will promote your event and venue. You can see examples here:!about1/c1fp1 and here 

Contact Zamora via email at and on Skype with Skype name Zamora TK .

You can also contact Zamora at the German mobile phone number 49-(0)-15172 693543

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Making Halloween Haunt History

It is official, Zamora the Torture King will NOT be at Knott's Halloween Haunt this year; in fact, they have cut ALL the shows except for the big 2, The Hanging and Elvira's show at The Charles Schultz Theater.

The Los Angeles Times reported “Haunt has severely pared back its show offerings... with only the perennial pop culture evisceration of “The Hanging” and the campy song and dance of “Elvira’s Big Top" returning for 2014." (emphasis added)  Los Angeles Times Aug. 7, 2014 “Knott's Unveils...”
 Zamora first showed up at Knott's Scary Farm way back in 1996, appearing on a very small stage set up on the streets of “Camp Spooky,” or The Gauntlet Scare Zone as it was called during the haunt. He did not expect to be a part of Haunt for more than a few years but they hired him back, year after year, until he became a Knott's Halloween Haunt tradition.

 Zamora's 17 seasons in a row are the longest run of shows of any entertainer at The Haunt ever. This was confirmed by Ted Dougherty, author of the definitive book, Knott's Halloween Haunt: A Picture History. In a recent email he confirmed that Zamora's 17 year successive run beats even Haunt mainstay Elvira, saying “...if your records show you were at Knott's 17 consecutive seasons, you definitely have Elvira beat..” and “...I think you're safe in making a statement on your website as 'Performer with the longest uninterrupted run of years for a stage attraction at Knott's Scary Farm.'"

In those 17 years Zamora performing on almost every stage at Knott's. It was a good run and fun time. This leaves Zamora open for bookings at other venues and events for the Halloween season. It would be good to be back at Knott's, so if you would like to see the return of Zamora, or any of the other performers and shows that have been a part of the Haunt, a good way to let them know is to post on The Haunt's official Facebook page... but please post nicely and politely. This is the best way to let Knott's know that you like the traditions that made Knott's Halloween Haunt what it is, the first and the biggest Halloween scream park in the world. The Knott's Halloween Haunt Facebook page is

  What follows is a listing of all of the shows and stages that Zamora has done at Knott's over the years, all recreated by searching email and Internet archives. The list will be improved, with attention to official show names and other details, and updated. Interspersed in the list are photos links and videos relating to the show by year. Every effort is made to credit the photos to the photographers. If you have any details or photos to add please send them Zamora at .

1996: Gauntlet Streets w/ co-performer The Impervious Aziza (Year 1)

From James Taylor's Shocked and Amazed
Click Here for James Taylor's Shocked and Amazed

1997: Gauntlet Camp Snoopy Animal Stage w/ co-performer contortionist Nancy Luna (Year 2)
Higley, Doug Higley, Nancy Luna and Zamora TK
1998: Gauntlet Streets w/ co-performer Rubber Boy. (Year 3)

1999: Festival of Freaks Gauntlet Streets  w/ co-performer Rubber Boy (Year 4)
Photos by Stephanie E. Jennings Photography Oct. 31, 1999
2000: The Bird Cage Theater w/ co-performer Rubber Boy (Year 5)
Knott's feral cat backstage at The Birdcage Theater
2001: Boardwalk Ballroom     w/ co-performer George the Giant (Year 6)

2002: Zamora's Sideshow of the Bizarre at The Wagon Camp Stage and The Boardwalk Ballroom with co-performer Zandrini (George the Giant) and Morgana (little person assistant). (Year 7)

2003: Gauntlet Camp Snoopy Outdoor Theater w/ co-performer Miss Electra (Year 8)

2004: Gauntlet Camp Snoopy Outdoor Theater w/ co-performer Miss Electra (Year 9)

2005: Gauntlet Camp Snoopy Outdoor Theater w/ co-performer Miss Electra (Year 10)
Photo by Brent Turner
2006: Zamora’s Sideshow of The Bizarre Gauntlet Camp Snoopy Outdoor Theater w/ co-performer Miss Electra (Year 11)

Click to see Sideshow World's Coverage of  Zamora at Knott's 2007

2007: Zamora's Sideshow of the Bizarre Gauntlet Camp Snoopy Outdoor Theater w/ co-performer Miss Electra (Year 12)

2008: Zamora's Sideshow of the Bizarre Gauntlet Camp Snoopy Outdoor Theater w/ co-performer Miss Electra (Year 13)

2009: Zamora’s Sideshow of the Bizarre at The Cloud Nine Theater w/ co-performer Kitty Karloff (Year 14)

Photo from Theme Park Review

2010: Zamora's Sideshow of the Bizarre Outside on small stage near The Perilous Plunge assisted by Cheyenne (Year 15)

2011: Zamora’s Sideshow of The Bizarre (“Zamora’s Sideshow of Horrors”?) at The Cloud Nine Theater w/ co-performer Kitty Karloff (Year 16)

2012: Zamora’s Sideshow of Torture at The Birdcage Theater w/ Dr. Odd (Mike Odd) (Year 17)

 Tim Cridland / Zamora TK
323-366-9539 voicemail

Help support live entertainment and help keep the Zamora on the road and entertaining people. If you have seen Zamora's show and would like to through a something into the virtual tip jar, make a donation of your choosing with the button below.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Zamora on Man vs Weird on UK TV Channel 4

The UK TV programme Man vs Weird finally aired on Channel 4 in The UK in May.
The show underwent several changes impending air dates and even a change in the title. The Daily Mail  had announced that the show would air in “probably April” with the name Miracle Hunter, its original title. Zamora's segment in in the second episode which is titled Superhuman Strength.

The show traveled around the world and searched for people who have, or claim to have, remarkable powers.
Simon Farnarby in front of The Onyx Theater in Las Vegas

The second episode featured a segment on Zamora and Zamora's Sideshow and included a live show that was filmed last July at The Onyx Theater in Las Vegas' infamous Commercial Center.
Simon Farnarby, the show's presenter had some flattering things to say such as “Zamora is a legendary entertainer who can withstand extraordinary leaves of pain and he has a bewitching power over his audience.”
Zamora freaking out Farnarby

After seeing the show Farnarby said “That was astonishing, bizarre, outrageous...”

fMRI of Zamora being put in pain.

There was also a section of a meeting with Simon, Zamora and Dr. Joshua Prager from the UCLA Pain Medicine Center. Dr. Prager has previously studied  the pain control abilities of Zamora, or Tim Cridland as Dr. Prager knows him in his clinic. This is detailed in a previous blog posting HERE.
Dr. Prager brought along functional MRI brains scans that had been done during a previous study of Zamora/Tim Cridland. Dr. Prager explained how the  brain scans show that the part of Zamora/Cridland's brain feels pain normally, but the part of brain that reacts to pain is made dormant. The interview was quite interesting and extensive and unfortunately time constraint only allowed a small portion of it to be aired.
Farnarby, Cridland (Zamora) and Dr. Prager

 When asked about Zamora's pain control Dr. Prager said “Clearly he has a special ability” “...what Tim can do is he can accurately turn off the suffering by getting himself into a certain state. So that even though we see that that pain information is getting right to the place where you feel it, the whole experience of the suffering, hurting, gets turned off. So he doesn't hurt, so he can take as much pain as he wants.”
Another view of a fMRI of Cridland (Zamora) taking pain in the brain.

Tim, you might say, is the world champion of internal pain-control.”
We will attempt to copy of the unedited interview and will transcribe it and post it at a later date.

At the end of the series Farnarby put Zamora in the category of the truly puzzling saying “Some of what I've seen has totally baffled my rational mind. Like the extraordinary people born with bizarre powers.”  Of which he includes “ ...Zamora The Pain King. ...born with genuine abilities beyond the reach or the desire of most of us.”

The show Man vs Weird has been  viewable on to people in The UK on Channel 4's Video on Demand service which can be found here: Information about the series can be found here:

But what about the rest of the world? How can you see it.? A version has appeared on YouTube. There is no guarantee that it will remain there show watch it right now while you still can. The segment on Zamora and Tim Cridland starts about 24 minutes in. Man vs Weird Episode 2: Superhuman Strength

Contact Tim Cridland at

Tim Cridland's web site is

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Interview from 2006

A blast from the past.... this interview appeared in The Charleston Gazette in 2006
Q. What is your skill?
A. I am called The Torture King. That's the traditional sideshow title for people that do what I do. I do things like laying on sharp objects with people standing on top or breaking objects on top of me and putting sharp wires through my body - not just through the skin, but all the way through muscle. I do very extreme demonstrations. I have a skewer going into my mouth and going out underneath my jaw - that's one of the things I'm known for.
Q. Ow! Doesn't that hurt?
A. It appears that I would hurt myself doing what I do, but I come through it without pain - that's the point of the act. If it hurt me, I wouldn't be able to do it every day. And with the show we're doing now, I do it multiple times per day. It's more about healing and self-control over the body and mind than anything else.       
Q. How in the world did you learn that you could do this?
A. It was a very slow process. I was fascinated by things like this when I was growing up. I grew up in a small town, so I naively believed that people in bigger cities were still doing it. I quickly learned that was not the case, but I kept learning and researching. [Torture performance] is an obscure subject, so it took me many, many years to accumulate my knowledge, but once I began to put that knowledge into practice, it became easier to learn and achieve stunts."
Q. Have you ever had someone puke or pass out watching the show?
A. As far as that goes, it's pretty much expected. We have a speech on "How to prevent this from happening." Women usually have the sense to look away. It's the macho guy in the leather jacket that ends up being the one to pass out. I'm usually not aware of it except that a big open area appears in the crowd. Puking isn't as common.
Q. In contrast to your stage persona, what's the most normal thing about you?
A. It depends on what you consider normal. I'm actually the contributing editor for a book called "Weird Nevada" published by Barnes & Noble, so I'm doing lots of research and scholarly stuff. I don't know if that's normal, but it's certainly different from what people think I should be like, given my profession. Because of the shocking nature of my act, people expect me to be completely over the top, but the truth is, I'd rather be at the library doing research then going to a bar and getting wild.

Charleston Gazette (WV)-August 3, 2006

The Charleston Gazette

Info about the book Weird Las Vegas and Nevada.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Tim Cridland and Dr. Joshua Prager Part 1


Testing and Verifying Tim Cridland’s Pain Control Abilities

During the many years I have been giving pain-control demonstrations I have been observed and tested by Dr. Joshua Prager. Dr. Prager specializes in pain medicine. He is the current director of California Pain Medicine Center and Center for Rehabilitation of Pain Syndromes at UCLA.
Photo of Dr. Joshua Prager taken by Denis Belliveau via Dr. Prager's Wikipedia page (
The first interaction between Dr. Joshua Prager and me was not in person. I had done some demonstrations for a TV show called Encounters: The Hidden Truth that aired in 1995. The producers of the TV show had show Dr. Prager the video of my demonstration and on the show he commented:

"He is able to change what he experiences. It’s not that the stimuli aren’t there, it's that the way that he [Cridland] processes them is different than you or I would. So when you say mind over matter; I believe that you cannot see pain in isolation as a physical phenomena. Pain is an experience and the mind is a major part of that experience.”
Years later, in 2003 I met Dr. Prager in person for the first time. This was when I was filmed for a TV show for a UK production company. They had filmed some of my demonstrations and wanted to see if my abilities could be tested. They brought me to Dr. Prager’s offices at California Pain Medicine Center at The UCLA Medical Center.

Dr. Prager attached me to a device that he called a “Medoc TSA II.”  This was attached to the back of my hand with a strap. The device would apply levels of cold and heat and I would respond by clicking a button, first when I was aware of the heat or cold and then again when I could no longer tolerate the stimulus.

The Medoc TSA II Pain Threshold  manufacture’s website says that it is “is a precise, computer-controlled device capable of generating and documenting response to highly repeatable thermal and vibratory stimuli, such as warmth, cold, heat-induced pain, cold-induced pain or vibration….  The TSA-II is… used for identifying thermal pain thresholds in various clinical and research applications.
The TSA-II thermode is placed on the patient's skin to heat or cool the skin. Patients respond to the temperature stimuli by pushing a button, and the sensory threshold is recorded and automatically compared to an age-matched normative data.”

In other words the device would measure to see if I had normal sensory response or if my pain response was impaired by nerve damage or some other disorder and would then test to see how high my tolerance to pain is.

The device showed that my nerve response was normal; that there was nothing psychically wrong with me and that I had the same nerve response as the majority of the population.

However, when I was asked to show my ability to withstand pain I the machine went as high as it could go without causing tissue damage. “You went to its limit.” He told me You do know when there is pain there; it’s just that you don’t react to it the way a lot of our patients do.”

Prager also said:

“When I first heard about Tim I thought more likely he was an illusionist than he was actually doing what he does.”

“He had the ability to take our machine up to its maximum and down to its minimum, in terms of the temperature being generated, without withdrawing, which most people who come in here are not capable of doing. So he was able, clearly, in this setting, also in a measured situation to be able to turn off his pain.”

“It takes a special ability to be able to ignore your pain. The way that he does that demonstrates a level of mastery that probably requires some special abilities.”

Video of a TV show with Dr. Prager and Tim Crildand
I went to Prager’s offices again a few years later, in 2005 for a test that was filmed by The National Geographic Channel. This time Prager had a different device to measure pain. It was called a Neurometer CPT/C.   This device had a clip that attached to my fingertip. The clip had electrodes that pressed against the skin of my fingertip. This time I was asked to hold onto a button and keep holding on as long as I could tolerate it. As soon as the button was released the electricity would stop. He did two separate runs of this.

The sensation from the electricity was much more intense than from Prager’s previous device. It turned out that this was because that each of the two sessions were stimulating separate nerves.  The electricity could be adjusted to create very specific pain stimuli.

When I did first runs and it showed where most people would stop (level 4-6). I had stopped at level 20.

After this first run Dr. Prager said “Your score basically puts you in outer space compared to the rest of the population.”

I told him that now that I had felt what kind of pain it was I could do it again and increase my pain tolerance to the specific type of pain.
We did two more runs, once again one each of the specific electrical stimuli, and this time I showed a remarkable increase in tolerance, scoring raising my level to 27. I had managed to increase my pain tolerance tens of times with only a few minutes of practice with the specific style of pain stimuli.
Dr. Prager said “Clearly he is able to change something in his nervous system so that he can tolerate more pain.”

I met with Dr. Prager for further testing for a Japanese TV show called The Miracle of the Human Body that was broadcast on TV-Tokyo in April of 2011.  During this show I was observed by an fMRI machine while in I was put in pain. The results confirmed something that I had been telling people for a long time; that I can feel pain as a normal person does, but that I react to it differently. By changing my reaction I change the whole action of pain.

Details of what happened during the filming of the TV Tokyo show will follow in an upcoming blog post.
Tim Cridland

Some references:

Machine used for first test at Dr. Prager’s office:

Machine used in second test at Dr. Prager’s office:
Article about pain that mentions Dr. Prager and Tim Cridland:

TV Tokyo show Miracles of The Human Body:
Contact Tim Cridland at

Tim Cridland's web site is