Interview with Adam, Part one.

1. How did you get your start? 

>>I got my start with whips after watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade when I was 9.  I saw the whip and just had to have one.

2. How long have you been doing this? 

>>I've been doing the whips off and on for the past 20 years, and I've been performing at renaissance festivals for the last 5 years.

3. You have 7 world records, for what exactly? 

>>Longest whip ever cracked: 216 ft; most bullwhip cracks in one minute: 257; most stock whip cracks in a minute: 272; most whip cracks in a minute with two whips: 513; most candles extinguished with a whip in a minute: 50; most soda cans cut in half in 3 minutes with a whip: 23; fastest time to hit 10 targets: 4.85 seconds.

4. Where can people see you perform? 

>> I mainly perform at renaissance festivals.  In 2011 I'll be at the Arizona Renaissance Festival, the Scarborough Renaissance Festival, the Bristol Renaissance Faire, and the Texas Renaissance Festival.

5. If you weren’t doing this what would you be doing?

>>I was a full-time whip maker before I started performing, so I'd most likely be doing that to some extent.  I also graduated with a double major in math and physics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2004, so I'd probably make use of my degree as a teacher. 

6. What gave you the idea to crack whips on fire? 

>>A friend of mine who is also a full-time whip performer has fire whips as well and I saw him using them several years ago.  I bought a pair of whips and started playing with them.  It was at my second renaissance festival that I decided to make it a regular part of my show and it's certainly aided my success.

7. Have you even been injured or injured a bystander?

>>I've never been injured by a bystander that I can think of.  As far as injuring a bystander goes, in Texas this year I whipped the can off my head and sent it flying right into the chest of a well-endowed lady.  She ended up with a pretty good can-sized red spot. 

8. Can anyone hire you for events?

>>Yes, pretty much anyone can hire me.  However, the United States is a big country and traveling is expensive, so often times people will ask me about performing without considering the costs of actually getting me from where I am to where they are.  Also, with the four renaissance festivals where I work, many of my weekends are booked. 

9. You hobbies include? 

>>My hobbies include rope spinning, blues harmonica, and Swedish language books and DVDs.  I just finished watching 'The Girl Who Played with Fire' on DVD.

10. Does your friends and family support your career path?

>>My parents have been very supportive of my performing career.  They're happy to see me travel around the country instead of being stuck in their basement.  I would say all my friends have been supportive of me, though I can say that since performing is such a large part of my life that if they weren't supportive they wouldn't be my friends for long. 

11. What’s your favorite color? 


12. Favorite Food?

>>My new favorite food is Paneer Amritsari, which I had when I was in India back in December. 

13. What is your favorite venue to perform in?

>>I like any venue where the crowd digs what I'm doing and are willing to laugh and cheer freely. 

14. Do you have pets? 

>>At my parent's house there's one calico cat.

15. How long have you been playing the Harmonica? 

>>I started the harmonica when I was 15 years old and took it pretty seriously for several years.

16. What kind of permits do you need to perform with whips on fire?

>>Most festivals just want to make sure that I insurance in case something goes wrong.  It helps that the festivals are outdoors and I'm usually out in the open away from buildings.  Performing with fire gets trickier if it has to be indoors. 

17. Do you enjoy the Devo song “ whip it “.

>>I think it's a catchy novelty tune, but I can't say that I'd listen to it for enjoyment. 

18. Who is your idol or Icon, if any? 

>>Indiana Jones.  I've been re-watching all of the Indiana Jones movies this winter.

19. Have you ever thought of becoming a lion tamer 

>>I think being a lion tamer first requires a love of animals, and in particular an interest in training them.  My main interest is just in the whip cracking, so if you put me in a circus ring with a lion, he'd probably just sit there while I did my thing.

20. Goals for 2011?

>>I'm hoping to get a gig in Lebanon at a western-themed ranch over there.  I've never been to the Middle East, so it should be interesting.  I plan to continue working on making my renaissance festival show better.  I'm also working on material to submit to Cirque du Soleil, as it's been a goal of mine for a while to some day work for them.

21. When is your next trip to Houston?

>>I'll be back at the Texas Renaissance Festival this fall, and that's about the closest I'll be to Houston all year, aside from when I'm at the Scarborough Renaissance Festival which is in Waxahachie, TX. 

22. Pepsi or Coke? 

>>Diet Coke, even though the aspartame turns to formaldehyde.

23. What would you do if you won the lotto?

>>I'd travel to all the places in the world that I ever wanted to see, like the Pyramids and Buenos Aires, and I'd probably pay Cirque to hire me. 

24. Favorite Movie?

>>The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly 

25. Advice for future whip crackers? 

>>Wear a hat and glasses when learning, and try to meet and learn from every other whip cracker that you can.

26. What is your biggest fear?

>>In school it was bad grades.  I'm a middle child, a midwesterner, and a Cancer, so that puts me into the people-pleasing trifecta.  I guess now my biggest fear would be having to interact with the person that I can never please. 

27. I heard you speak Italian, mind sharing? 

>>I don't really speak Italian, I just learned a few phrases when I was there in 2009 for a Guinness World Records television show.

28. What’s your sign? 


29. Anything you would like to say to your fans? 

>>I'll keep trying to make the show better as long as my fans come out to watch.