Clown Bello Nock Is a Father of 3, So What's Scary About a Highwire?

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Clown Bello Nock picture

Bello Nock is a clown, a daredevil and a dad. Courtesy of Bello Nock

On Nov. 10, world-famous clown and daredevil Bello Nock will perform a stunt so dangerous it has never been attempted before.

For his next trick, Nock, 42, will walk 405 feet across a half-inch cable on board Premier Productions The Music Boat cruise -- 260 feet above the deck of the ship's two highest points.

Crazy? Of course. But to Nock, it's his calling.

ParentDish caught up with the funnyman at his home in Sarasota, Fla., to find out why this father of three puts his life on the line to bring home the bacon.

ParentDish: You are a seventh-generation performer?
Bello Nock:
I am and proud of it.

PD: Were you pressured into the circus business and keeping up with family tradition?
BN:
There was never any pressure. However, my mom and dad did tell me I had to try it for a good 30 to 40 years and after that I was free to make any decision I wanted to.

PD: Sounds like you grew up on the road, since you traveled with parents who were also performers.
BN:
Yes and no. We lived at my home in Sarasota for a good three months out of the year. I even got to go to elementary and junior high school there.

PD: But the school year is longer than that.
BN:
I had tutors my entire life.

PD: Did you have time to make friends, or did the kids tease and bully you because you traveled with the circus?
BN:
My friends were the circus. And, yes, I was picked on in school and bullied, but, then again, people are bullied for all sorts of things. Since I was trained at a very young age to be a daredevil, I never let their words bother me.

PD: You have performed all sorts of stunts at Ringling Bros. and the Big Apple Circus for decades. Have you ever lost your balance and fallen in front of a live audience?
BN:
No, but I can tell you that I risk my life at least seven times per show. I can honestly say I have never broken a bone or had a single injury in my career.

PD: Why put your life on the line for a living when away from the big top you are a father?
BN:
It is my passion. To me, there is no difference to climbing a 90-foot pole than it is driving to the movie theater.

PD: Didn't Steve Irwin's death in 2006 scare you into finding another line of work?
BN:
No, not at all.

PD: So you have no fears?
BN:
No.

PD: For your next trick, you will be attempting to walk across a half-inch cable wire on board a cruise ship while it's sailing in the Bermuda Triangle. Are you afraid the boat will sway and you will come crashing down on the deck below?
BN:
I have done vigorous testing for this trick. To do what I do for a living you have to be made up of four different parts: One is the scientist who creates, two is the engineer who designs, three is the daredevil and four is the performer to do it over and over again.

PD: What about falling into the ocean and being attacked by sharks?
BN:
I am a really fast swimmer.

PD: How will you top this trick if it goes off without a hitch?
BN:
I want to find bigger and larger cruise ships.

PD: Who would you say is your biggest competition?
BN:
OK, you just stumped me for the first time in my life. I can't think of anyone. Does that sound arrogant?

PD: Aside from entertaining audiences, you are also a doting dad. Tell me about your three children.
BN:
My son, Alex, is 20, my 17-year-old daughter, Amariah, is my personal assistant and my other daughter, Annaliese, is 14 years old and is a handstand contortionist and a daredevil at heart.

PD: What stunts have you and your wife, Jennifer, (they have been married for 22 years) let Annaliese do?
BN:
She has climbed a 70-foot flagpole and walked the high wire. I mean, she has been doing this since she was 12 years old.

PD: How does Jennifer feel about Annaliese following in your footsteps?
BN:
She is more than OK with our kids following my career path.

PD: Since you are 42 years old, how long do you see yourself in this daredevil role?
BN:
Until I can't get myself out of a sticky situation. I might stop doing one thing but not another. However, in terms of numbers, I just don't know.

PD: What will you do when you can't be a clown/daredevil anymore?
BN:
All I know is I will be an entertainer my entire life.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.