Jeff SchrierJoel Tacey, of Bay City is a magician and stilt walker who performs at schools, libraries and special events.
By Pati LaLonde | For Mlive.com
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
BAY CITY, MI — Meet Joel Tacey, 34, of Bay City, a stilt performer and owner of Joel Tacey's Tiptop Entertainment.
How did you become stilt performer?
I began performing as a magician and juggler. These are perfect for family shows, but I wanted to add a strolling act to my repertoire. What's the coolest strolling entertainment I could think of? It occurred to me that I never met a stilt performer. I've seen them in the circus or on TV or I saw them in books and you hear stories about them. I never met someone who performed on stilts for a living. I thought that's what I”m going to do, I'm going to add stilt walking to my entertainment. A family friend of ours owns Current Construction up in Gaylord, where I lived at the time. I borrowed a set of dry wall stilts from him. I walked around my parents garage holding onto the gutter. That way I could walk around freely and if I started to tip over I could just grab the gutter. After a couple days of doing that I got brave enough, and I started walking around our neighborhood on stilts. That's the first time it hit me I could really offer this as entertainment. Wherever I went strangers, neighbors, would come up to me and laugh and joke around with me. It was appealing to adults and kids. Everyone just got a big kick out of it.