Hanging in There (Meet the Cast 6)

Unusually cool in Oak Ridge TN at the moment, but still shirtless season. And ‘Irene’ didn’t touch this far west, thank goodness.

News from our Welsh farmboy Neil, caretaking our little UK investment. The world record for bog snorkelling was broken on Saunday in Llanwrtyd Wells – 110 metres (360 feet) in 1 minute and 24 seconds (and no swimming strokes allowed) by a guy from Halifax in Yorkshire. Heigh Ho!

Meanwhile, Neil’s putting a glass track into our barn so that we can keep up the training when we’re there. He thinks we’re mad, scrunching around on broken glass, and maybe we are but, as I have written before, performing on broken glass isn’t that big a deal.

One aspect of sideshow freakery I didn’t deal with yet is hair hanging:

Mostly this seems to be done by the ladies, perhaps because they often have longer hair. Often they combine it with juggling and stuff. Our Ivo, partner of Dave’s brother Pete, sports a long blond pony tail right to his waist, and he attended a kind of circus ‘summer camp’ one time where they persuaded him to try it. Now its included in our shows as part of the acrobatics, with his hair tied to a bar whilst he supports his own weight and often another (smaller) guy like Ethan or Jack too.

Pete met Ivo shortly after arriving in Oak Ridge, when out for a run: he saw Ivo (really Ivor but no-one calls him that) working out on a pull-up bar in his yard, got talking, and the rest is history. Ivo was responsible for getting me into his group of trainee acrobats, and the rest of that is history too. Yeah, see the first book of our adventures, due shortly! He’s not any kind of qualified coach, but his wisdom and sense of what we can achieve, along with that of Ron, Mike and Aaron from the group gym, has inspired almost all of what we have done.

ONE PICTURE REMOVED AT THE REQUEST OF THE SUBJECT: This professional gentleman objected (rightly) to some comments I made about the style of his performance. I apologise unreservedly for them here, especially since the one thing I try to do is to be absolutely fair and respectful of other circus performers. It was an inexcusable lapse and I have no excuse. TC

Or do it in pairs:

Dave and I – well, we hang from our teeth, but that story can wait for another time. Most of the time, any hanging we do in our shows is more conventional, as demonstrated here by Ben and Josh from New York.

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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