Matt The Knife - 1/1/05

 

Q. Your show "Art On The Side: A Midway Menagerie" is completely sideshow orientated.  After some research it seems your background is focused mostly on magic though.  When did you decide to add sideshow to your rťsumť?

 

A. Well youíre right that the show is without a doubt one hundred percent sideshow.  My performances tend to be themed (Mentalism, parlor magic, sideshow, etc).  There are around seven different performances that I currently do.  Occasionally Iíll also do what I reference as a ďsamplerĒ performance in which you get a mix of genres.

 

There really wasnít ever a conscious moment that sideshow was added.  I had always been interested by sideshow to one degree or another.  In my mind I canít imagine a person in the world that isnít fascinated by at least one of the sideshow acts at some point in their life.

 

I never really thought that Iíd be doing the stuff mind you.  But for that matter I never intended to do magic even as a hobby, never mind as an occupation.  But pretty much once I started to get into magic I had my sights set on sideshow as well.  Iíd bring it up now and again to my friends and wax poetic on how neat it would be to be able to do it.

 

It wasnít too long before I had made my mind up and so I started doing a few sideshow pieces.  I was fire manipulating, walking on glass, and doing a bunch of other fakir type things.

 

Q. Once you decided on exploring your sideshow abilities where did you begin learning the acts?

 

A. Well early on I was just teaching myself.  I could already do escapes.  And then I taught myself how to do fire-work, the bed of nails, and a few other things.

 

In those days Iíd bounce almost all of my ideas and questions off of my good friend Ed Hill (heís the Co-Founder of the New England Magic Collectors as well as a Territorial Vice-President for The International Brotherhood of Magicians).  So one day I think I sent him an email that essentially said, ďEd- I need to learn how to sword swallow.  Who do you know?Ē  Ed recommended Todd Robbins and another guy (who will remain nameless since I donít want to hurt his feelings).  I chose Todd for two reasons.  His website looked better than the other guyís and Todd referenced himself as a magician several times and has also been written up in magicianís magazines.  At the time I figured that Iíd be better off learning from someone that understood what I was doing up to that point.  Sort of a common ground as it were.  So I got in touch and he has since been of more help within the sideshow aspects of my career than any other single individual.  He taught me a few things but his two main influences on me were to teach me sword swallowing and just general tips.  Now and again Iíll drop him a line and ask him some sort of random question or get his opinion on something.  I do it even to this day.  Heís a great guy and I canít say enough good things about him.

 

But I suppose that itís important to mention that Iíve also learned as well as taught quite a bit over the years with all sorts of people.  You can only get so far in a business like this alone.  You need to people and they need you.

 

Q. Do you have a role model that you work with in the sideshow industry or have you been somewhat of a loner in your attempt to achieve success in the sideshow industry?

 

A. No, itís more or less been on my own.  After I started working within the industry more I started to really love a bunch of different performers.  Todd Robbins, Keith Nelson, Harley NewmanÖ but doesnít everybody love these guys?!  I wouldnít call them role models but they sure are fun as all hell to watch.  Of course I never try to emulate any of them though.  I just try to be me (or at least me as MTK).  Hopefully thatís conveyed to my audience since one thing that I donít want to be is a thief.  But Iíve always worked on my own to date (well I commonly have a full staff of courseÖ but on my own on stage I mean).  But that isnít to say that if the right offer comes along that I wouldnít be willing to join forces, so to speak.

 

Q. What acts do you actually incorporate in your sideshow performances?

 

A. Thereís no particular order to this but: Sword Swallowing, Glass Eating, Glass Walking, Fire Manipulation/Eating, Animal Traps, Escapes, Bed of Nails, Strong Man Feats, Blockhead, Bullwhips, Human Pincushion, and Iíve been thinking about adding a few more things during the next year or two.  There are several other pieces that I do but that havenít actually ever been added to the show as of yet.

 

Q. How long have you been performing under the name "Matt The Knife"?

 

A. I think that it was somewhere around 2000.  Iím not entirely certain.  Itís difficult to figure out if it began much before then because a fire actually destroyed all of my records (and just about everything else for that matter) somewhere around then.  But in any event, it was a nickname well before that anyway.

 

Q. What was it that made you decide on that name?

 

A. Well I actually had a few different nicknames.  That was just the one that I liked the best.  But I got that nickname due to any one of several different occurrences.  So there are actually a few stories on this.  Since Iím not the one that came up with it I can only tell you what people have told me.

 

First off I suppose that I should at least mention some of my past.  Itís not really a secret but I donít comment on it all that frequently either.  I got in to sideshow because of an interest in magic but I did not get in to magic solely due to an interest in it.  Iíll give you the short version of this as the long version is very long.

 

Most people tend to assume that all magicians get in to magic from a very young age and are fascinated by it for nearly their entire lives.  And in most instances thatís true.  Except this was not at all the case for me.

 

You see, in my younger days I participated in some rather illicit activities.  These included things like card sharping (a nice way of saying cheating) and grifting (a nice way of saying con-ing).  My interest didnít lay in magic so much as many of the practical applications of sleight of hand, subterfuge, and all around deceptive practices (note my customary tag line of ďA Purveyor of Artful Dodges, Practiced Deceptions, and Masterful ConjurationsĒ).  It was only later on when I decided to alter these talents and abilities in to a tax paying performance art that I became fascinated with it in terms of ďmagicĒ. (It should probably be noted here that I now do a good deal of work with Anti-Fraud groups, police agencies, and the like in order to help combat such prior indiscretions.)

 

At any rate, the term Card Sharp derives from a colloquialism referencing music.  Those in the know are ďSharpsĒ while the marks (AKA- victims) were ďFlatsĒ.  So those in the know about me used to say that ďMattís so sharp that you could use him to cut.Ē  And so ďMatt The KnifeĒ became sort of an inside joke.  Another story of it comes from some of my tougher background and a rather violent incident that Iíd just as soon assume that the name didnít come from.  And the third and final possibility, that I know of anyway, is simply because Iíve been known to occasionally listen to Bobby Darren, Louis Armstrong, and a the like and it may have just been handed down to me through the similar song title.  I suppose that itís possibly some other reason or perhaps (and probably most likely) it was a combination of one or more of those factors.

 

Q. Did you have any prior names?  Is so what were they and why did you change it?

 

A. Hahaha.  Yes actually.  Iím impressed by the question since no one has every actually asked me!  I had (that I can recall of anyway) five different nicknames.  The others for one reason or another havenít lasted.  And most of them I really wouldnít have bothered using as a stage name anyway because they didnít really work as such.

 

When I began performing magic I would sometimes use the name Matthew Cassi.  This was for a tremendously brief time mind you.

 

It was simply an abbreviation of Matthew Cassiere (which is my actual name).  I found that too many people would screw up the pronunciation of my full name and it would begin to annoy me.  So I just cut it down to relieve confusion.  But to be honest I never really liked it and thatís why it was so short lived.  This was for two reasons.  First off I felt that the name just sounded stupid.  The other reason was that it wasnít very me.  While MTK is still me heís sort of a caricature of me and I rather like to separate the two.  Plus doesnít ďMatt The KnifeĒ just sound a hell of a lot cooler?!

 

Q. Do you find it tough to get yourself booked as a sideshow performer when your most prominent skills are based on magic?  If so, how do you overcome it?

 

A. Well Iíd like to interject just for a moment on that note and mention that I feel that Iím one of only a handful of performers out there that can genuinely cross the boarders of both magic and sideshow and yet still do them both extremely effectively.  Iíve seen some incredible sideshow performers and some amazing magicians in my time.  But I have seen only a tremendously small handful of individuals do both effectively.  You hear about sideshow performers that can do magic and magicians that can do sideshow.  But when you get right down to it there isnít really much effective cross over.  Typically a sideshow performer that says that he can do magic is able to do only extremely simply tricks or just a handful of good ones perhaps.  A magician that says that he can do sideshow can maybe do one or two sideshow skills.  My point is that Iíve never thought that these qualified as someone that can do both.  There are cases though of performers doing both effectively.  These are few and far betweenÖ perhaps even more so than is thought of within the industry.  And Iím extremely proud to count myself within both realms.

 

Now back to the core of the question.  The difficult thing isnít getting booked to do sideshow.  Instead itís getting pigeon holed.  I find that if a college, corporation, or what have you will hires me for one thing and then they never want to hire me for any of the others.  Itís not because they dislike the other material mind you.  Instead itís that if they see me do sideshow then Iím a sideshow performer, if they see me to mind reading then Iím a Mentalist, if they see me do magic then Iím a conjurer.  This is frustrating to me because Iím all of those things and a few more.  So if I get booked for one then it tends to become nearly impossible to convince them that I can also do the other things just as well simply because they donít want to listen.  Take your typical college for example.  Letís say that book me for Sideshow.  Well they will rarely book me again for Mentalism.  Oh sure, theyíll hire other Mentalists and theyíll usually have me back to perform sideshow at a later date also.  But rarely are they interested in testing the waters on another genre.  The only consistent exception to this is theaters.  Theaters tend to be more understanding of my different hats and as such some have been very kind when it comes to me working different styles of shows within their venues.

 

Whenever this comes up I often think of my buddy Ian Rowland (www.ian-rowland.com).  Ian used to tell me that Iíd be better off picking just one area of the arts and sticking to it simply because then itís easier to market yourself.  And to be honest heís probably right!  But I love it all so much that I could never do that.  Not to mention that if I ever want to take a break from one genre (at least as far as practice is concerned) then I can do that because then Iíll just work on one of the other areas for a time.

 

Q. Your performances have landed you in Paris, not to mention your stops in the U.S.  Is this a case of hometown boy hits the big time by chance, or did you spend a lot of time studying and learning along the way.

 

A. Actually theyíve landed me all over the place.  Iíve been lucky enough to see and work in a great deal of Europe.  Presently Iím trying very hard to get together a bit of a tour over there again for the near future.  One of the best aspects of my job is the travel and Iím always excited to take advantage of it.  Plus I loved it out there and little could make me happier than working there again.

 

For me it wasnít really either big time or hometown boy though.  It was actually fairly early in my performance career so as far as thatís concerned I suppose that thereís sort of a ďhits the big timeĒ feel to it.  But I had already spent so much time learning and working on what I was doing for so long before that it d dnít seem like I suddenly hit.  Iím somewhat reminded of the band thatís been performing together for ten years and then gets a Grammy for best new artist.  But I learned a lot while I was out there.  And hell, everyday Iím still learning.  Thereís always more.  If we get too copasetic in where we are in our performances then I feel that a part of the artist in us dies.

 

Q. Just how did you end up performing overseas in the first place?

 

A. Just through friends, general magic connections, and dumb luck.  Also some of it was street performing and really all you need to do that is to just show up and do it (you should probably also know the local laws I might addÖ typically I did notÖ but you probably should).  And Iíve always really enjoyed street performing (weather and the law permitting of course).

 

Q. Have you performed your sideshow overseas?

 

A. A bit but never a full set.  Although I must confess that Iím trying very hard right now to figure out a way to get a tour in Europe for ďArt On The Side.Ē  Iíd be very curious to see how full MTK sideshow event would go over in Europe.

 

Q. Stepping back in time a bit, when did you know you were destined to become a performer?

 

A. About an hour ago- haha.  Just kidding.  Well a lot of my family seemed to think that Iíd end up that route even when I was just beginning to talk.  Which was a bit ironic because many of them were not overly supportive, particularly early on and once I actually made the conscious decision to go down that  ath. Some are still not supportive for their own various reasonsÖ some of which are to a certain degree justifiable, others are not so justifiable.

 

But the actually moment where I said that I was going all in was during a conversation that I had with someone thatís dearer to me than anyone else.  She knew that I was at something of a crossroads and so we sort of sat down and talked about it.  I went on about my different options.  All of the others were certainly more sensible, most assuredly safer, and more or less what I had always thought that   was supposed to do.  But after I had explained to her my feelings on magic and sideshow she very clearly told me that I was crazy to do anything else.  Well I deeply respect all of her opinions (really hers comes before everyone elseís as far as Iím concerned) and so it took on a certain weight.  So that night I gave in to it.  Looking back even considering anything else seems preposterous to me.

 

Q. Did you view it more as a dream or a goal that you intended on focusing on until you finally achieved it? 

 

A. Initially I never saw it as realistic.  I went to college and graduated.  I was doing magic and some sideshow and I was getting paid for it.  But I was making enough to get by and not enough to ever consider it a career.  I actually had every intention of going to Law School.  I applied, was accepted, and was getting ready to leave.  And it simply didnít feel right.  Not at all.  I felt as though I was falling in to a life that wasnít what I was ever intended for.  So thatís when, after some kind pushing from Amanda (the aforementioned girl), I decided to pursue this lifestyle instead.

 

Q. Where and when did your very first professional sideshow performance take place?

 

A. This is terrible to sayÖ but I donít actually remember.  In private engagements I used to not do the themed stuff like I do now.  Back then it was a hodgepodge of vignettes from all different genres.  So Iím not even sure when I did one that was exclusively sideshow.  But I know that Iíve been doing full sideshow performances for at least 2 years on and off.

 

Q. In your own words, how well would you say you did?

 

A. Well since I canít remember the exact event Iíll comment on this in total.  Some nights are good and some are bad, itís the same with the crowds, and the pay.  Iíve NEVER had an evening where at least one thing didnít go wrong (a lighting cue, sound issue, equipment problem, general screw upÖ whatever) and sometimes I really take these to heart.  Iím one of my toughest critics and I tend to get mad about these things for awhile and sort of let them haunt me.  Overall I think that I do a pretty good job and I feel that itís reflected in my repeat bookings and the loyalty of my fans.  But Iím never satisfied and I always have to strive to be better even on my best night!

 

Q. Do you feel comfortable in a sideshow atmosphere or are you still more at home with magic?

 

A. Actually I love them both dearly and Iím very comfortable in both.  I donít pick one over the other.  It sort of just depends on my mood.  But theyíre really very different styles.  You can see a bit of my magic style come through though in sideshow.  For example, magic is very hands-on with the audience.  So in my sideshow performances I always have people up on stage to help me with nearly everything that I do.  Iím very big on audience involvement.

 

For a lot of sideshow Iím able to detach myself and focus on the audience.  With magic the focus is still on the audience but Iím always caught up in the effect as well.  Sideshow allots for something of a more relaxed quality for me because there is nothing to conceal.  And if youíve had to deal in deception as I have for such a long time itís nice to be able to be completely honest now and again.  In some ways itís almost freeing to me.

 

Iím often reminded of Tennessee Williamsí play The Glass Menagerie when Tom says, ďYes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve.  But I am the opposite of a stage magician.  He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth.  I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.Ē  That, to me, is what sideshow is.  Normally I make a falsehood out to be realÖ but with sideshow it is real and yet it ironically looks like a falsehood.  Consider Mentalism.  Many individuals, even after I explain that I am only perpetrating the illusion that I can read minds still believe that what Iím doing is real despite my best efforts to convince them otherwise.  And yet many of these same people would think that Iím not really swallowing the sword.  The whole thing to me is very whimsical.

 

Q. You are a three-time world record holder.  What exactly do you hold records for and are they Guinness records?

 

A. The three records that I currently hold are for the fastest escape from handcuffs, the longest torch teeth, and the fastest escape from handcuffs while underwater.  They did break the previous Guinness World Records.  Currently the records are being reviewed by them for inclusion in to their database.  Between the guidelines that must be followed, the paper work, and the review time this can sometimes be a rather lengthy and involved process.  But Iím confident that theyíll be accepted very soon.

 

Interestingly enough, my father actually used to hold the Guinness Worldís Record for most consecutive hours of playing tennis.  He broke the record back in 1975.  At the time it was something like three days straight.

 

Iíd also like to note that I intend to break several more world records this coming year.  I tend to do them more for my own general enjoyment but they also make for wonderful publicity pieces.

 

Q. Where and when did these come about?

 

A. They were used as publicity stunts for one of my shows.  I did them in Rhode Island at a local park in October right before Halloween.

 

Q. You're extensive background in magic has resulted in your being affiliated with many, many professional organizations and associations.  Is there one that you are most proud of?  Why?

 

A. Well not just one, no.  Iím just so damned glad that many of these organizations are proud to have me as a member.  I suppose that Iím a little extra proud of the International Brotherhood of Magicians because of the work and connections that Iíve made through them.  The Sword Swallowers Association is really high on my list too.  Iíve made some great friends thorough it and weíre such a small group that it has an extra sense of mutual respect and bond.  The Society of American Magicians has been very good to me throughout the years.  Not to mention that I also always get a kick out of all of the fraud groups that I work with now too.  This is simply because I sometimes feel as though Iím the reformed wolf reassuring the sheep.  But they do some really fantastic work so Iím proud of them also.

 

In other words, I suppose that I just said (in a round about way) that theyíre all great and thatís why I try and work with so many different organizations.  All of the ones that I didnít mention Iím proud of also otherwise I would belong to them.  I help them out and they help out me.

 

Q. Do you see yourself attempting to obtain the same amount of recognition in the sideshow industry?

 

A. Iíd certainly like to.  But I do what I do mainly to have fun and to earn a decent wage so I can keep on doing what Iím doing.  The recognition is nice but itís secondary by comparison.  And it should also be noted that while I love to be liked by my colleagues, my audienceís opinion is what Iím really concerned with.

 

Q. How long do you see your career lasting, most importantly the sideshow aspect of it?

 

A. Well Iíd love to do this for the rest of my life.  Performing and this lifestyle really is a true love for me.  The sideshow aspects will ALWAYS be there at least to some degree.  I have fun street performing and imagine that Iíll keep doing it now and again at least for kicks.  In there youíll always at least see a bally.

 

Someday a lot of it may be gone.  As your readers know a lot of sideshow stunts are exceedingly dangerous.  Iím also known for many of my other dangerous magic routinesÖ I do a bullet catch, a Russian roulette routine, several genuinely dangerous escapes, as well as a host of other potentially fatal things.  If I was to get married and certainly if I was to go off and have children, would I keep doing what Iím doing?  In all likelihood the answer would be a definitive no.  Would I still perform?  Of course!  But Iíd have to cut back, cut out, or drastically alter many of the potentially lethal feats that I do.  Iím simply not capable of allowing a family of my own to have to endure the possibly lose of their husband/father.

 

Q. What is your most memorable moment in your career to this point?

 

A. Tough to say.  For me theyíre more about a feeling that I got from something than an actually incident.  Theyíre less tangible and your readers might find these a bit sappy.  But those sorts of things are the moments that I live for.  And I can think of a few so I may as well share the ones that come to mind.  

-The way that Amanda always looks at me with such pride after I get off stage.

-How astonished my father was after he saw me do mind reading for the first time.

-All of the amazing people that Iíve met throughout my work that I would have most likely otherwise never have had the opportunity to meet if it hadnít been for my vocation.

-The first time that I really felt any sort of fame was pretty neat.  I was in Times Square and these two extremely attractive women from Miami ran up to me and asked if they could get their photos taken with me.  It was all very surreal.

-When Amanda first referenced performing as my ďcareerĒ.  It sort of blind sided me and I was like, ďwowÖ I guess it is!Ē

-The first time that I worked for a crowd in the thousands was pretty amazing.  Actually that really never gets old.

-The opportunities to see those that really care about me support me even when there were rough spots.  Thatís always a nice one too.

 

Q. Looking back, if you had it all to do over again would you choose a different career path or change the way you've ended up where you are?  If so, why?

 

A. Absolutely the same career path without even the slightest bit of doubt.  The only thing that Iíd change is that Iíd have done much of what Iím doing now a hell of a lot sooner.  I just love it so damned much and it would have brought me even more joy had it just hit me over the head earlier on.  That and I wish that I understood the industry then as I do now.  Many of the business aspects of this career are harder to learn about than sword swallowing, card cheating, and pick pocketing combined!  And Iím not just saying that.  Seriously, some of the information on the business side of this industry is as difficult to get as trying to turn lead in to gold.

 

Q. What is your one true goal at this point in your career?  What makes it so important?

 

A. What is my one true goal at this point?  UmmmÖ Money.  Why is it important?  Mostly due to having gotten used to eating.  Haha- Donít worry, Iím kidding.  Well sort of anyway.

 

My main goal since I got in to this professionally was to supply an entertaining and fascinating experience that was worth to the audience more than the money that they paid to see it.  And in so doing being allotted enough funds from this to keep on doing what Iím doing.

 

Riches, fame, and what have you would certainly be nice.  World travel is always good and so are some of the perks that you get as an entertainerÖ but those are all extras.  I just want to put on a great show and be able to keep putting on those shows.  So as long as I can do that and get by then Iím pretty happy.

 

Q. Outside of your career in performing do you hold down a full or part time job between gigs?  If so, what are they?

 

A. Nope.  At this point Iím fortunate enough to say that this is what I do full time.  My feeling is like that of performer Max Maven and my old acting professor.  If you take on another job then itís nearly impossible to fulfill your full potential as a performer.  Magic, sideshow, and all of their allies are on my mind nearly all of the time.  By a perpetual immersion in it I can transcend what Iíd be if I was just to dabble now and again.

 

Mind you, I donít just perform.  Iím also a lecturer, a consultant, an instructor, and Iím currently even working on a book.  Of course itís all within the fields of sideshow, magic, fraud, etc, etc.  Itís all great stuff and a lot of it is posted on the website in case your readers are interested in those aspects of my career as well.

 

Q. In closing, in your own words can you describe just who Matt The Knife is without a promotional spin on it?

 

A. Haha- no, or at least not entirely.  He is, after all, a marketed character.  But Iíll do my best to do so with as little spin as is possible.  Well first let me give you the brief ďPR FriendlyĒ version (Iím sorry if itís a bit promotional).  MTK is ďa purveyor of artful dodges, practiced deceptions, and masterful conjurations.  One of his performances is guaranteed to demonstrate just why heís the cutting edge of entertainment.Ē  Basically what that means in a nut shell is that MTK is NOT a conventional entertainer and even less of what is generally thought to be a conventional magician.  Ergo, heís not a flamboyant Vegas style magician nor is he a bad childrenís birthday party entertainer (no offense to my friends that work in Vegas or to the good birthday party magicians out there for that matterÖ Iím not trying to be demeaning, itís just that MTK isnít those things).  MTK is tricky but itís rarely intended to be in an sort of offensive way.  He doesnít dole out his wares as challenges but as more of an example of what can be done given the right aptitudes and desires for such occurrences.

 

Heís all me but different aspects of me drawn forth.  Also depending on whatís being performed youíll get these aspects at different measures.  When Iím performing Mentalism I tend to be a bit more serious.  When I perform sideshow I tend to be more whimsical.  In any event, the character of MTK is all me.  Sometimes itís aspects of me that I left behind a long time ago (most notably the grifter traits) and sometimes itís parts that are still in me but are a bit subdued until I walk out on to the stage.  And a lot of it is just regular old Matthew (waitÖ now thatís just funny to be referencing myself as ďregularĒ).

 

Iím not sure if thatís what youíre looking for but Iím also not sure that I can ever fully put in to words how I feel about the character.  At times I wonder how much of him is me and how much me is him.  You may have to be him to fully understand him.  Wow, suddenly I feel that Iím getting needlessly esoteric and philosophical.

 

Anyway, I keep this as my own internal question which I seem to revisit quite often.  Someday I hope to have a more definitive answer.  But the character is forever developing just as much as you or I are always on a path of discovery.  He is the living, breathing embodiment of many of my coalesced actions and reactions, my thoughts and my conflicts.  And heís within me all of the time.  He is my not so secret Mr.Hyde.  A silver tongued joker that will manipulate, corrupt, and smile in his own guileful way at you all the while.  Heís an opportunist that will never pass up a chance to lay waste to his audience or client.  He is in many ways both the best and the worst parts of me.

 

Q. Finally, to close out our interview in the usual fashion, is there anyone you would like to thank or anything else you would like to add?

 

A. Yes, there is actually.  Two people in particular are of perpetual support.  My best friend Ciro (and yes thatís his first name) and the aforementioned Amanda, with whom I love very dearly.  I also had a few friends (namely Bill and BrettÖ what the hell I may as well give them some credit!) who were really there for me a lot early on and kept pushing (and still do for that matter).

 

Ciro has worked as just about everything in all of my shows.  Heís helped out more than I should have ever even asked him to and never complained once.  Heís been involved in everything from roady to set design Ė Stage Manager to Crew Chief Ė Driver to Public Relations Director.  Heís just a seemingly never ending source of help and an incredible friend that I can most likely never fully repay.

 

Amanda really is dearer to me than anyone.  Weíve been very close for around a decade now.  As I mentioned earlier she really was one of the reasons that Iím still doing what Iím doing.  If you notice, out of my favorite moments she was the only one to get in there twice.  She has attended nearly every one of my major events and many not so major ones.  She appears to have more faith in me than I do in myself, is of constant support, and she simply means the world to me.  Sideshow and some of the other dangerous things bother the hell out of her.  But she knows what it means to me so she grins and bears it.  I could ask for no one better and I want to take every opportunity to thank her for that and so much more.

 

And finally, anyone out there that has come and enjoyed one of my performances.  Seriously, I know that a lot of entertainers say things like that but Iím never certain if they mean it or not since it comes off as such a clichť.  But it truly humbles me to think that people love what Iím doing out there enough to keep me doing it.  Now and again a fan will send along a photo from a performance or from when they met me here or there and Iím just blown away to see that people care enough to actually hold on to these things and add them to their list of memories and experiences.  Itís simply the best gift that anyone could give and I always want them all to know that I appreciate it and that I hope to always be striving to do more for them.

 

Oh, and while weíre mentioning fans, I always like to take every opportunity to drop the website www.MattTheKnife.com.  And for those readers that are interested in receiving a regular update then please join our monthly email list known as "The Aichmophiles"! (Essentially that means "Knife Lovers").  Just send your email address along with your full name to: Join@MattTheKnife.com.  Now and again we send out snail mail so if you'd like to add your street address as well then please feel free.  But know that we never release your information to any other organization.

 

Interview by Derek Rose

 

Each month we will try and interview a new performer for the site.  Because of the logistics of it face to face interviews are tough to come by.  A good percentage of the interviews we will be doing will be via e-mail or telephone.  If you are interested in being interviewed for the site drop us a line.

 

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