click here to watch Brian Miser's Fiery Crossbow Liftoff (Preview)


Brian Miser was already a veteran of one high-risk circus act--the flying trapeze--when he took up being shot out of a cannon in 1997.  Sixteen years later Brian still regularly submits his body to the shock of being catapulted off of a supersize crossbow and to the threat of injury--his most recent being a broken nose during a 17-day engagement at the Big E Fair in September 2013.  In this YouTube video, Brian explains the risk factors involved in being launched from the barrel of a cannon or from a supersize open-air crossbow, as live-action images of his "human fuse" routine flash across the monitor. 



These dramatic scenes were videotaped by Jim Allison, who documented two of Miser's shots at an Ohio street festival in early September.  Allison, like Miser, is a resident of Peru and over the years has devoted many hours to videotaping the practice sessions and performances of the Peru Amateur Youth Circus.  Jim Cole, who began photographing circuses in the 1960s, contributed the use of his photos of Brian at various stages of Miser's career.  I'm grateful to both camera artists for their creative efforts, especially on behalf of the youth circus movement.


Most of all, I want to thank Brian, who took time out for interviews with me in Peru and West Springfield, MA. Oh yeah, look for the polished aerial routines of Skyler Miser, the 9-year-old daughter of Tina and Brian.  Like father, like daughter, as they say.


Best wishes,


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