Friday, October 26, 2007

meet a real live sword swallower!

In my last entry, I asked you all "If you were to run away and join the circus, what kind of performer would you be?".    I was amazed at your answers.  I had such cowardice, and would only agree to be a clown.  You all were brave!  You gave answers from lion tamer, to trapeze artist, to contortionist to many things in between.   

But what amazed me most, was there were a couple of people who replied to the question who have performed in a circus. 

One is Astaryth of Adventures of an Eclectic Mind.  Here's her comment: 

 

Ummmm... what if you really -did- run off and join the circus once upon a time?? LOL! I think if I went back I would want to work with my beloved Tigers, but would also enjoy the horses, or even some of the other exotics. I much prefer taking care of them to actually putting on the costume and performing every day (which I have -also- done!)

Another person who commented was Dan Meyer.  He presently performs as a sword swallower! 

Comment from: halfdan
"Since I've already worked as a real circus clown, juggler, elephant rider, fire-eater, and for the past 6 years one of the last few Sword Swallowers left in the world today, I would probably have to pick something else new that I've never done before!

Since I LOVE animals (I work with horses and parrots now), I have always wanted to be either a Big Cat trainer or to fly on the flying trapeze.

If you get get any responses from others who really want to learn sword swallowing, please send them my way!

 

Dan Meyer
http://www.swordswallow.com 

When I emailed Dan and asked him if I could tell his story in an entry, he emailed me back and said yes.  He told me this:

Hi Krissy!  Sure.  

I'm curious to hear what other responses you get back on your website!   As a kid, I always used to set up a blanket in my back yard and try to train our kittens to stand on stools... I always wanted to raise the big cats, ride elephants, and run away with the circus.  When I was in college, I learned to juggle, got into clown ministry, learned fire-eating, and ended up working with a variety of small circuses around the midwest.  Then I hung out with Ringling Brothers for a few weeks in Madison WI, and got invited to go to Ringling Brothers Clown College.  But instead of going to Ringling Brothers Clown College, I ended up moving to be a missionary in India where I learned to ride elephants and saw sword swallowing first-hand.  Then after 20+ years of clowning, juggling, stilt-walking and fire-eating I finally learned sword swallowing after 3 years of daily practice.  Now this is all I do, and I enjoy performing on TV programs and documentaries, but also getting to perform with the occasional few sideshows that are still around.   I'll include a link that I filmed with John Strong's Sideshow at the TN State Fair in Nashville about a month ago, as well as a few photos.  As a matter of fact, this past weekend, I got to work with several Ringling Brothers clowns in TN, and to juggle and pass clubs with the TOP female juggler from Russia!   All this coming from a NON-Circus kid who just really wanted to work with the circus!  All this is just to say, if there's a WILL, there's a WAY!


Linda of Footprints in the Sand emailed me to provide us with this link in case any of us would like to join the circus:  SO YOU WANNA JOIN THE CIRCUS?  Thanks Linda!

Finally, I want to end this entry with photos Dan sent of himself to me to share with you all.

                
                                   Dan as a clown

                        
                        Dan applying his clown makeup 

                                               
             
How cool is this?  Here he is in the Ringling Brothers Parade!

                               
                                 Dan fire swallowing

Almost done here.  Now for the finale, and what Dan does today:

                                 
                             He's a sword swallower!  According to Wikipedia, only a few dozen are in existence today.
 

I hope you enjoyed this entry!  It was fun!

EDIT:  Earlier I put in a link for Dan Meyer's website.  Unfortunately I wrote an incorrect website address.  If you want to check out his website the URL is now corrected.

Krissy :)

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24 comments:

  1. sugarsweet05610/26/2007 11:19 AM

    WOW! Very interesing!
    Hugs,
    Sugar

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  2. Boy, Krissy, this was so neat to read!  I will pass on joining on right now, however.  I sure am amazed at some of those answers! Very neat and interesting! Thanks for asking us all such a great question, Krissy!  Merry

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  3. littlelady169910/26/2007 11:30 AM

    WOW THAT IS COOL!!!!!!

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  4. specialadyfink10/26/2007 11:36 AM

    My moms 'real' mother and father were in the circus.He died(don't know how) and the authorities came and took my mom and her brother from her.Said she couldn't afford to raise two young kids on her own.(NO welfare in those days)
    Anyway Grandma Lillian Miller was a trapeze artist and I never knew what grandpa did,probably the same.
    I love horses and used to have my own but my cinch strap broke and I and my saddle went to the pavement.I got three crushed discs out of it.If-I could still ride -I would do an act on a horse.
    ~C~

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  5. deshelestraci10/26/2007 1:13 PM

    What fun!  Great responses!  I could have seen Dan at the fair in Nashville but we didn't go this year.
    Traci

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  6. Well Krissi this is amazing and all through one question you asked us all.I have realy enjoyed reading about Dan how exciting for him ending up in the circus,being a rare sword swallower.Thanx for sharing his story with us all.Take Care God Bless Kath
    astoriasand http://journals.aol.co.uk/astoriasand/MYSIMPLERHYMES

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  7. wow..how cool is that?!!
    I'd definitely will check out his site.
    Gem :-)

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  8. ok here is what I wanted to know Krissy, is how Dan the Sword swallower happened to see your blog?????? thanks for sharing a little bit about a nearly lost art Dan, if you read this. I have never gone to a circus but I like to watch acts on tv, or side show stuff... I dont know why I have never run up on an actual circus in my entire life, seems odd but just not gotten that opertunity. Wheres the big tent for Gods sake! I wanna see kittens get up on chairs.

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  9. WOW!!  That was such a cool entry.  Enjoy your weekend.
    Missie

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  10. princesssaurora10/26/2007 3:27 PM

    Wow!!! Really neat... thans for sharing...

    be well,
    Dawn
    http://journals.aol.com/princesssaurora/CarpeDiem/

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  11. Krissy, this is so exciting about Dan.  What a life he has had.  So interesting,
              Of course I would have to work with the horses.  But can you imagine swallowing a sword......I have trouble swallowing vitamins.....Thank you for sharing Dan's story.                                            
                                                                     Love Myke

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  12. If I worked in a circus it would have to be with the Elephants because I love them but also because my Mother DID work in a circus looking after the Elephants and helping generally.  Great entry.

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  13. hugsdoodlewacky10/26/2007 5:51 PM

    (((((((((((((HUGSTIYOU)))))))))))))))))Have a nice weekend.

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  14. nyuknyukpik210/26/2007 7:43 PM

    HI Krissy,
    Sorry it's been so long.
    I don't like the circus--so I'd never run away with it.  If I did though--I'd be the ring master--it's more fun to be in the spotlight all the time.

    I have sooo many things I want to catch you up on.

    first--I've read john's journal--love his pics.

    2nd--my journal is named after my life--I wish someone would throw me a bone --once in while.

    I've missed the photo hunts--but have been soooo overwhelmed--I'm hoping to get a pic in for this entry coming up.

    I've missed the monday morning questions as well.

    I'm really happy for you that john doesn't have cancer.  we are having a blood drive at school--the leo's club organizes it--so I am giving my students extra credit for a pint of blood.

    I'm sure you've been through a lot-- I can't even fathom it--but the idea of cancer is scary.

    They ran quite a few tests when I first got sick to rule out cancer and I was scared to death.

    you and john are still in my thoughts and prayers!!!!!!!

    hugs,
    j

    ps--I've been doing some memori writing for a class and have updated my journal--would love some critical feedback if you get a chance

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  15. How cool are Astaryth and Dan, who are really in the circus!!!
    This was a great question this week, how fun!! I remember going to the circus as a child and one year the clowns from the Ringling Brothers Circus appeared at our store, I wonder if Dan was there, lol, it was probably around 1990....
    Have a great weekend!
    Linda :)

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  16. My real life is a circus, so who needs the big top!  LOL  Hope you have a good weekend.

    Phil

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  17. preciousone2510/27/2007 9:34 PM

    WOW!!!  I didn't know there were real sword swallowers, I thought it was just a trick..... I'm really impressed, now!!!  OUCH!!!

    Joann

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  18.     Now that was cool!
    Jude
    http://journals.aol.com/jmorancoyle/MyWay

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  19. kaydeejay544910/27/2007 11:07 PM

    Wow!  I'm sorry I was out of town for this question but so happy I was back to read this interesting story.  I took my grandchildren to the circus a few months ago.  They LOVED it.  The 3 yr. old loved the elephants the best even though they were 'stinky'.  LOL
    Hugs, Kathy

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  20. It's trick or treats time! Come get your J-Land Chocolate treat @ http://journals.aol.com/winivere2002/TheGlassBox/entries/2007/10/27/trick-or-treats-thru-j-land/1902  

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  21. Wow that was very interesting....thanks for sharing....June:)

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  22. Now that is absolutely fascinating, and his website is coolio!  Thanks, Krissy and thanks Dan!!  Hugs, Val xox
    http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

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  23. Even though I didn't answer your Monday Morning Question- I thought anything would be fun to try, but I wouldn't want to run away though!  How cool is that - all the neat replies you got back.  Those pictures of Dan were amazing- but I have to wonder how many times he has nicked himself when doing that !?!?!  I don'tthink it would be the life for me, but I do admire those who dedicate long hours learning their crafts so they can give excitement and happiness to others.  Thank you Krissy for passing these folks along to us!  God Bless all, and have a wonderful week!  Love Carolyn :)

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  24. irisheyes192910/29/2007 12:16 AM

    WOW!!  That was probably the best Monday Morning Question EVER!!!  The heat is on Krissy...can you top it next week?!?!?!?
    ;-)
    Kellen

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