Grass, road signs, and traffic lights are things that you expect to be green. But a green man? It's not something you see everyday.
Erik Sprague, also known as the Lizardman, began the process of literally transforming his body into a reptile in 1993, "originally a student art project that is kind of grown into being my entire life." He adds, "this is who I am and this is just an expression."
Sprague knew going into it that he would tattoo his whole body so he began with his back first. Over 700 hours of work later, almost his entire body is covered in scales, 10 pieces of teflon are implanted onto his skull to create horned ridges above his eyes, his teeth are filed down into sharp points, and to top it off , his tonge is split in two. He likes to entertain the crowd by flicking his lizardlike tongue back and forth, then in different directions.
In his show he performs tricks with his toungue, and performs the human blockhead,or hammering items like a nail and a pair of scissors into his head. Some in the audience at Dr. Ink's Tavern cover their eyes while others cheer him on.
He says calling him crazy wouldn't be off the mark, "I might be, I can be a little crazy. It's a reasonable argument. Lots of people are a little crazy, you can't lump all the crazy together. " Sprague continues, "there's good crazy that doesn't hurt anybody else and is sometimes fun to watch . I'm the second kind of crazy I don't hurt anybody else and just sometimes fun to watch."
Sprague is constantly "on" since he isn't wearing a costume, "If I go out to get my mail I'm still performing in a sense and I think it's really cool. If somebody is driving by and they see me I change their whole day."
B efore you become green with envy, Sprague says some parts of his transformation were painful.
"In terms of things like my implants a great deal of pain actually. This the most painful thing I've experienced in my life."
He takes the discomfort in stride for the sake of art and smiles from fans.
The Lizardman will be at Dr. Ink's Tavern again Thursday and at Ripley's Believe It or Not in Myrtle Beach on Friday and Saturday.