THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS! AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!

CIRCUS NOW OPEN!

2014 Convention

SAVE THE DATES

SAVE THE DATES

Friday, June 10, 2011

California family brings circus, magic show to town


Jim Kent, 21, at left and obscured, holds a flaming hoop as his father, Victor Kent, calls Belle the dog through the hoop during practice at a relative's home in Sylvania. In the rear is daughter Cynthia, 19. THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER

BY ZOE GORMANBLADE STAFF WRITERfrom: The Toledo BladeIf you were driving along Fairwood Drive in Sylvania this week, you might have seen someone swinging on a trapeze or a man balancing a wheelbarrow on his chin. A traveling family circus brought to town flaming hoops and levitating children, but anyone who missed the back-yard performances can catch the act Friday night.
Victor Kent started as a traveling magician, but when his children kept bringing home new props and skills, his show became the Kent Family Magic Circus, which is giving a free show at 7 p.m. Friday at Toledo's Westgate Chapel. The circus consists of Victor and Mami Kent, their seven children, three assistants, a dog, two rabbits, four doves, and a cockatoo that dances to "Mississippi Squirrel Revival" and causes trouble on set.
The family is staying at a cousin's house in Sylvania on Fairwood en route to a tour gig in Tennessee, and have been practicing in Kris and Jay Parker's backyard, which now houses a static trapeze, a lyra (an aerial hoop), a diablo (a yo-yo like juggling prop), and a tightrope that son Victor Kent, Jr., 9, has mastered.


Midori Takahashi practices for her performance. She met the family at a benefit for tsunami and quake victims of Japan and joined the summer tour. THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER

The Kent family recently worked with an elephant group in Michigan, but Mr. Kent said he was happy none of his children came back and said, "Let's add an elephant to the show."He added that the next thing they want is a wheel of death -- two connected, human-sized hamster wheels that roll over each other while somebody runs inside or on top of each.
Mr. Kent has been performing magic since he was 7, but he took a brief hiatus before returning to the job after college.
"I had left magic for a while because a girl I had met earlier on had said to be more serious with my life," Mr. Kent said as he peeled a layer of skin off his pet python, Buttercup. "Stupid."
He met his wife in college where she was studying English as an exchange student from Japan and he was majoring in Japanese. Mami Kent saw that her husband was miserable at his business in Tokyo and suggested he go back to magic.
Mrs. Kent, who juggles a plunger and makes costumes for the show, said she enjoys the circus life.
"It's very interesting," Mrs. Kent said. "It's really good to see all of the children developing character and seeing so many places in America."


Jim Kent, 21, juggles on a tight rope. He said that after he graduates from college, he wants to conduct an orchestra and would like to incorporate circus elements into his performances. THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER

The couple's seven children, who are mostly home-schooled, first became involved as magicians' assistants. James, the oldest, held a magic box with such pride, Mr. Kent said, that he became a regular. He is now known for balancing large household objects -- such as wheelbarrows -- on his chin.
James, 21, and his sister Cynthia, 19, both attend college and do not plan to perform in circuses professionally for the rest of their lives. But both said they want to continue traveling and doing circus acts recreationally. James, who wants to conduct an orchestra, said he would like to incorporate circus elements into his performances.
"I'll always have circus in my life," he said. "And traveling is in my blood."
Cynthia added that whatever her career path, she wants to continue traveling because staying in one place for her is "weird."
Everyone in the family is involved in the show, even Titus, 13, who has a rare disorder that severely limits muscle control. Titus waves his hands and changes a dove into a rabbit.
Mrs. Kent said she stayed home with Titus in Oroville, Calif., when the family traveled before she discovered his magical talent. The family lives in California for four months out of the year, when the high school students go to school to take required tests, and Titus attends a special education junior high.
"People appreciate that [Titus] has a disability, but he can still be part of the show," Mrs. Kent said. "They say afterward that they really like seeing someone like him perform."
The family stunt-poodle, Belle, is trained both to jump through hoops of fire and to awaken the Kents if Titus starts choking in his sleep.
Mr. Kent himself has a spinal condition, so he sticks to magic tricks and smaller stunts such as pounding a nail into his head and eating fire. His illusions include "cutting" one of his daughters into three pieces with a sheet-like blade and "impaling" another child with a round sword.
Both magic and circus acts will feature in Friday night's show, which includes complimentary popcorn and cotton candy.
The Kent Family Circus is sponsored nationally by a calamine lotion company.


No comments:

Post a Comment


TO VISIT OUR PAST POSTS--SCROLL DOWN THE SIDE BAR. ALSO LINKS ARE FURTHER DOWN