Lump-covered Arizona man joins California freak show as ‘Bubble Boy’ BY Lee Moran NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, April 16, 2015, 9:45 AM Courtesy of the Venice Beach Freakshow Bob Heslip has neurofibromatosis type 1, or NF-1. He says working at the Venice Beach Freakshow lets him educate others about his condition. An Arizona man whose body is covered in noncancerous lumps says he finally feels normal — after joining the Venice Beach Freakshow. Bob Heslip, 50, of Tuscon, has suffered from genetic disorder neurofibromatosis type 1, or NF-1, that has caused blob-like bumps across his body since puberty, reports the Huffington Post. The dad of three has had to endure people looking at him strangely for almost his whole life. It's led to issues at a Dollar Tree where he works, as customers don't want him touching items because they think he's contagious. But a recent family vacation to Los Angeles has changed his outlook on life, and also given him a potentially lucrative new career. Heslip said he was at the Venice Beach Freakshow with his family when the owner recognized his bubble-like skin as NF-1. Courtesy of the Venice Beach Freakshow Heslip works at a Dollar Tree in Arizona as well as the Venice Beach Freakshow in California. The pair talked, and Heslip ended up performing for the audience. "I went to the front, took off my shirt and the crowd went crazy!" Heslip told the Huffington Post. "When I met the performers, there was a feeling of belonging. I felt at home," he added. He talked with the bearded lady, a man completely covered in hair and America's smallest married couple. And, he said, he finally felt comfortable — for the first time in decades. Courtesy of the Venice Beach Freakshow Heslip is known as "Bubble Boy" at the Venice Beach Freakshow. The Freakshow ended up inviting Heslip to join its cast of colorful characters as "Bubble Boy" several weeks ago. He agreed, and he's now juggling weekend appearances with his work at Dollar Tree. Heslip said his new schedule was tough. But it gives him a way to explain his condition. "I want to teach people that it's not taboo to ask questions. I'm OK talking about it," he told the Huffington Post. "My son and oldest daughter also have this condition and my speaking out about it gets them excited. They know my attitude is positive," he added.