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Death and taxidermy
If it weren't for the roadkill on the streets of Philadelphia, Beth Beverly would not be making her television debut tomorrow night.
"I would see birds crash into windows and roadkill on the street. I would see how beautiful it was and what a waste it was," Beverly said.
So she started stuffing animals.
As one of the four taxidermy experts on AMC's new reality show "Immortalized" (Thursday, 10 p.m.), Beverly will go head-to-head against challengers to see who can mount the best carcass based on a new theme in each episode. In tomorrow's premiere, Beverly will take on the theme "Size Matters." (Keep your jokes to yourself, peanut gallery.)
Beverly, who lives in South Philly but works in Port Richmond, has an almost glamorous style when it comes to deceased animals, integrating stuffed chickens into hats and giving her mounts whimsical accessories.
"I try to pour as much of my own energy and emotion into my pieces, and it translates into tender, sometimes morbid and sometimes very humorous pieces," Beverly said. "I really care about animals, that's why I'm driven to want to preserve their beauty. I like to think that translates in the end product."
Before attending the Pocono Institute of Taxidermy in 2010, Beverly was self-taught, learning all she knows from books. She suggests going solo at first for curious Philadelphians looking to get into the mounting biz.
"Try it out on a mouse first. Let your cat catch a mouse. You can even buy feeder mice at pet store, they come frozen in these little containers. Online you can find instructions for anything," Beverly said. "I would say just try it to see if you can handle it. It's definitely not for everyone, and it isn't for the faint of heart."
If you dig Beverly's AMC spotlight, check out her website (diamondtoothtaxidermy.com) and her Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/bethandbeverly). Beverly will also give a talk about her taxidermying ways, called "Skinned, Stuffed and Mounted: The History, Culture and How-to of Taxidermy," at the Wagner Free Institute of Science (1700 W. Montgomery Ave.,
wagnerfreeinstitute.org) on Sun., April 21, from 2 to 5:30 p.m.
* Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen is recovering from hip replacement surgery. Uosikkinen's doing fine and will be back behind the skins in eight weeks or so. Need a Uosikkinen fix? Check out his "In The Pocket" at songsinthepocket.org.
* Local rockers Soraia, who recently wrote songs with Jersey's own Jon Bon Jovi will, play a record show at the Legendary Dobbs on Saturday. Leader Soraia Mansour wrote five of the 10 songs on their newest album "In the Valley of Love and Guns."
"He was so opened-minded to my ideas," said Mansour, who met with Bon Jovi five times to write. "A first it was more of a teacher-student relationship. It made me happy to write."
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