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Thursday, August 1, 2013

 
Circus takes Peru man to China as human cannonball
from: seattlepi.com
By CARSON GERBER, Kokomo Tribune
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
PERU, Ind. (AP) — It's a unique gig, getting shot out of a cannon. Want to make it even more unique? Do it in China. At the world's largest permanent circus.
That's exactly what 28-year-old Jon Cole did for two years. In June 2011, he left with his wife, Jenny, and their two young kids to become the first human cannonball to ever perform the act in China's history.
At the same time, he be-came one of fewer than 10 human cannonball acts in the world.
How did the Peru native end up on the far side of the world? It's a winding road that led him to China and into the history books, and it begins in Peru — the self-proclaimed "Circus Capital of the World."
When he was 5 years old, his parents decided against signing Jon up for baseball. Instead, they enrolled him in the Peru youth circus as a kiddie clown.
At the age of 7, Jon started performing actual circus acts and eventually worked his way up to the flying trapeze.
"I loved it. My older sister kind of fell out of it, but I was the kid who was totally into it," he told the Kokomo Tribune (http://bit.ly/14ikXvF ).
Jon was a first-generation performer, and he meshed with the circus scene. After high school, he went to Indiana Wesleyan University, where he received a degree in physical and health education.
Right after graduating from college, The Flying Pages offered him a spot in their flying trapeze act. Jon jumped at the chance and hit the road for the next year traveling with the group.
Then it was back to Peru. Jon landed a job at Carroll High School teaching P.E. and gym. He also started dating Jenny while they were both working as coaches at the Peru amateur circus. They married after he stopped performing with The Flying Pages.
Jenny said she's a third-generation trainer in the Peru circus, and both her parents were professional circus performers. She also received a teaching degree from Purdue University.
But Jon said teaching wasn't cutting it for him. He had an itch to do something else — something more exciting.
"After that, I kind of got bored with teaching," he said. "I thought life here was a same-kind-of-thing-everyday routine. It just seemed like I couldn't do this for 30 years and then retire."
Then he had an idea. Jon knew Brian Miser, the recently retired human cannonball for Ringling Brothers who lives in Peru. Miser builds and leases cannons to circuses. He has a shop on 2nd Street.
Jon approached Miser about doing a cannonball act, but there wasn't any work available. A few months later, though, Miser called him with a proposition.
He had just built a cannon for a circus in China. Would Jon want to travel over with it and perform as a human cannonball?
read more:
http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Circus-takes-Peru-man-to-China-as-human-cannonball-4697705.php


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