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How to Eat Fire

by Liana Cabezas

Ever dreamed of running away to the circus? Here's your chance. You opened this book to learn how to eat fire, and you'll get full blown circus training. Once you have mastered all of these techniques, the circus will be begging you to come with them. Just don't expect to be dropping out of school any time soon. These skills take lots and lots of time and practice.

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Step. 4.Teach your lion to jump through a hoop. Put a some food on the ground for your lion. Place the hoop between the lion and the food. Make sure that the lion has to go through the hoop to get the food. Gradually, raise the hoop. If the lion goes under, don’t give them the food. Continue this until the lion can jump through the hoop with no food on the other side.

How to

Train a Lion 

Like a Lion Tamer

The first lion tamer was Isaac A. Van Amburgh, and he performed with a cage of wild lions. Many followed in his footsteps, including Martini Maccono, and Rose Flanders Bascom, the first female american lion tamer. Before you go start, I’d recommend some safety gear.

Step. 5.Find a circus. Once your lion is well trained and you have confidence in both of your abilities, you need somewhere to preform. Give the traveling circus a ring. It’s time to show off your skills.

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Step. 1.Raise a lion.  In order to start, you need a lion to train. It’s best if the lion starts to get to know you from the day they’re born. That way, the trust bond is starting early.

Step. 3. Get your lion to trust you. Take it slow, just step at a time. If the lion isn’t ready, don’t push it. You just need to prove to the lion that you’re their friend, and they can trust you.

Step. 2. Think like a lion.You can’t assume that animals think like us. In fact, they don’t. Learn to understand and accept the way that lions think.In order to train a lion, you have to turn your mind away from a human and to the fourth largest cat in the world.

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How to

Throw a Knife

Like a Knife-thrower 

Step. 1. Pick out your knife.  There are so many different types of knives The best kind for throwing will have only a sharp point, round corners  for safety, and will weigh about 200 grams(7 pounds.) It doesn't matter what he knife looks like. A knife with a fancy grip won’t be any easier to throw.

Step. 2. Find a target. You should find a soft, large target. It should be something big and soft enough that anything thrown correctly wilo get impaled. A rotting tree would be perfect because then you don’t have to focus on power.

Knives are one of the oldest tools and weapons. Knife throwing is a skill practiced in many circuses. There are slightly different  techniques for each person, and this takes lots and lots of practice.

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Step. 4. Throw. There are many different types of throws. For a half-spin throw, stand about 6 feet from your target. The distance you stand from your target  will vary from person to person. Hold you knife with  the tip pointing towards you and the handle towards the sky. Throw it with moderate force. If the knife point isn’t the part that hits the  target, then move forward or backwards.

Step. 5. Practice. This skill requires lots and lots of practice. Try to find out how far away you must  stand. Practice with smaller and smaller targets so your aim becomes more and more accurate.

Step. 3. Learn the grip and stance.You have to relax your body, and you should be standing up straight. If you're a rightie, keep your right foot forward and your left foot slightly behind it. If you’re a leftie, do the opposite. Since your knife should have no sharp edges, only a sharp point, you would hold the knife like a hammer.

Step. 6. Find a target girl or boy. This will be a person that is willing to stand against a board of wood while you throw knives and hope you don’t hit them. Of course this step only comes when you are very precise. Now go preform.

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How to 

Eat Fire

Like a Fire Eater

This skill is harmful...even if you do it the right way. Fire eating might be cool for show, but this won’t be one of your Friday afternoon hobbies. This is how you do it, but DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

Step. 1. Prepare yourself. Firstly, eat something. Eating fire on an empty stomach can give you a headache. Also, get your hair out of your face. You'll need to wet your mouth, and make sure you’re away from wind and smoke detectors.

Step. 5. Mangiare. Eat. Tilt your head back and stuff the torch in. You should be happy that you know how to not let the cotton touch your mouth. When the torch is deep enough To get your mouth around the flame, close your lips and smother the torch with your should be wet mouth. After a couple of seconds, the fire should go out.



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Step. 2. Make your torch. Find a straightened hanger. Tie cotton on it, but don't tie the cotton with metal or anything else that will get hot. Tie the cotton with something like thread, and make sure it won't fall off.

Step. 4. Light your torch. First, dip your “torch” in fuel that doesn’t have lead in it. Then just light the torch.

Step. 3. Practice putting the torch in your mouth. For this step, you need to be able to be able to put the torch in your mouth without touching the cotton to your cheeks. This is something you'll really want to prefect because soon that cotton

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Step. 1. Choose suitable balls. Beanbags are good to start with. You want to find something that you can get a good grip on, and that won’t bounce or roll away when you drop them. Also, find a good place to work. Don’t be next to something that is breakable, for the ball will go everywhere.

How to

Juggle

Like a Juggler

Juggling has been going on about as long as people have had things to throw in the air. The first hard evidence of juggling was found in an ancient tomb in Egypt that dated back to the ancient kingdom. Even though juggling has had a few rough spots in history, it became popular in medieval Europe and is now popular today. Beware, this is not a skill that you get on the first try.

Step. 2. Get comfortable with the balls in your hand. Start out just throwing one ball back and forth between your hands. Try to practice scooping too. Just dip your hand before tossing the ball.

Step. 3. Add a ball. Start with just two balls. Hold one in each hand. Toss your first ball, and when it reaches the top of it’s arch, throw the second ball. Keep practicing this until it becomes comfortable. It should feel like a first nature to you.

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Step. 4. Try it with three or more. Start with two balls in your dominant hand, and one in your non dominant hand. Throw one of the two balls in your dominant hand up, and when the first ball reaches its peak, throw the second ball from your other hand. As soon as the second ball is at the top of it’s arch, you should catch the first ball and throw the third ball. When the third ball is at its highest point, catch the second ball and throw the first. Then just repeat.

Step. 5. Practice You'll need to really work to get the hang of it. The good thing about juggling is, whenever you master something, there are always ways to advance. You could add a ball, or you could juggle torches that are on fire. Now, once you're all good, get in front of a crowd.

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How to 

Spin a Plate

Like a Plate Spinner

Step. 4. Try some tricks. Maybe throw the plate in the air and then try to catch it. You can try to spin the plate on your finger. You can even spin something other than a plate. Get creative!

Plate spinning has been going on for a long time. Acrobatic performances date back to 2000 years ago in China. The “Show of One Hundred Skills” came into being and eventually included plate spinners.

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Step. 3.  Spin a plate single-handed. Hold your stick up, and hang the plate so the stick is just under the rim. It should look like a jacket hanging from a hook. Slowly let your plate circle the stick so that nothing but the rim is touching the stick. Increase your circular wrist motion so that the plate speeds up. Keep in mind not to lasso the plate. As you increase the speed, you’ll see the plate becoming horizontal. Just stop spinning your wrist, and the stick will go to the middle of the plate.

Step. 1. Find the right plates. Do not use normal plates. There are specific plates that are used for this that slope towards the middle, and have a large rim on the underside.Find plates that are worthy to be spun, then grab a stick/pole.

Step. 2. Spin one plate. Balance one plate in the center of your stick. With your free hand, give it a spin. Hold the top of the plate, and just flick your wrist. Don’t spin it too hard because then the plate will go flying off the stick.

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How to 

Juggle a Diabolo

Like a Diabolo Juggler

Diabolos evolved from the Chinese yo-yo, which standardized in the 1100’s. The difference between the two is that the Chinese yo-yo has a longer axle with discs, and diabolos have shorter axles and larger, rounder cups on either end. This is a handy skill to have in your back pocket because whenever your parents tell you to go outside you can just do this in your backyard.

Step. 1. Gather your supplies. You will need a diabolo(of course). You will also need two sticks. There will need to be some sort of string connecting your two sticks.

Step. 2. Master the basics. You need to be able to spin the diabolo. What you do is place the diabolo on the ground, bring both your hands together, about knee level, and keep both sticks level. Pull the string under the diabolo, and keep your non-dominant hand still and level while you lightly tap your dominant hand to keep the diabolo spinning.

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Step. 5. Learn some tricks. You can learn to do a grid, which is simply spinning the diabolo as fast as you can, throwing it in the air, catching  the diabolo on the axle, and just letting it spin. You can also explore tricks with a diabolo, and learn your own trick.

Step. 3. Throw the diabolo. Start out just holding the diabolo on the string. Quickly open both your right and left hands, and just toss the diabolo in the air.

Step. 4. Catch the diabolo. First, throw the diabolo. Then, put your Dominate hands stick higher in the air, and keep your opposite hand on a curve. Point your dominant hand up at the diabolo, and it will catch on the string.

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Step. 3. Try a card trick. Get a deck of cards. Take out all the jacks and three other random cards. Show the audience the four jacks, but keep the other cards behind the jacks, out of view from the audience. Tell a story about how four jacks were going to rob a bank, and they helicoptered in on the roof. Put the cards on top of the deck with the jacks below the three random cards. Continue the story by telling how one jack went to the ground floor(place a card on the bottom), one jack went to the second floor(put a card in the middle), and the third jack went to the vault(place the third card a little higher), and the last jack stayed in the roof(you can show them the last jack). Say the jack on the roof saw the police coming, and he called all the jacks up the roof. Announce that you will summon the jacks to the roof the way their friend did. Then say the magic words, and show the audience the jacks.

How to 

Do Magic

Like a Magician

Step. 4. Practice and learn. The more you do the magic tricks, the  more they’ll look real. As you get better, you can watch videos to learn some harder tricks. Maybe you'll soon be able to pull my bunny out of a hat.

Magic goes back a long way. Our ancestors  have passed down stories, and stories are written about magic. Now you will finally learn the art of making your audience see what you  want them to see. Just always remember the number one rule: never reveal your secrets.

Step. 1. Prepare.  Follow  couple tips. Whenever you’re performing act confident. The more you believe in yourself, the more the audience will. Also, involve the audience, ask for volunteers. Always remember, people come to the show to be dazzled. Don’t be afraid to throw in a little smoke or fire here and there.

Step. 2.  Start small. Try a simple coin trick. Tell the audience  your doctor said you were low on iron and this is a good idea. Sit on one side of a table with the audience across from you. Place your hand under your chin,and have your other hand ready to rub the coin into your elbow. Begin rubbing and “accidentally” drop the coin. When you grab the coin, grab it with both hands and switch the coin to the hand that was under your chin. Then Continue rubbing until the iron has”disappeared” into your skin. If you feel like it,you can even make the coin appear from behind an audience member's hair, shoulder, or ear.

How to

Walk on Stilts

Like a Stilt walker

Step. 3.  Get the correct positioning and stance.  Place the middle of your foot on the foot block.  Have your thumbs pointing down, and your chin up.  Keep the stilts straight up behind your elbow.  

You’ve probably seen stilts before. Or maybe you’ve seen someone who’s legs seem a little long for their body. Follow these simple steps, and gain a few inches.

Step. 2.  Find a spotter.  You need someone to help you balance on the stilts, especially when you’re starting out.  If need be, you can use a soft or cushioned wall so you can find your balance.

Step. 1.  Get some stilts.  Try to start with stilts that you can also hold with your hand.  You might have used stilts in gym, and these are the best to start with. Make sure you have the right size for you.  

Step. 5.  Put one foot in front of the other.  Start taking tiny steps.  Start walking.  Learn to walk backwards and sideways. That way, if you lose your balance, you can regain it. 



Step. 4.  Start marching in place.  Concentrate on picking up your knees.  If you have trouble, try doing it on bucket stilts.  Then advance up to these.



How to

Walk a on a tightrope

Like a tightrope walker

Step. 4.  Start walking.  Once you can balance on two feet, put one foot in front of the other.  Keep going until you reach the end of the tightrope. Remember that when you’re standing on two feet, always put your weight on your back foot.

Tightrope walking is a skill that requires a person to be daring, confident, and calm.  Nik Wallenda was all of those things.  He was the first person to cross directly over Niagara Falls on a tightrope.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll set records just like him.

Step. 5.  Learn to turn.  Start by having your right foot facing ahead on the rope.  Place your left foot at a right angle, with your toes facing out.  Shift your weight to your left foot, and swivel on the ball of your right foot.  Put weight on your right foot, and face the other direction.  Don’t look down at your feet.  Then, congratulations, you’ve walked a tightrope!

Step. 1.  Practice your balance. Try walking on stilts. Mastering them will help improve your balance. Also walk on curbs and low walls to get the feel.  When you’re ready, start with a slack line first. It’s a little looser than a tightrope.

Step. 3.  Try standing.  Have someone help you onto the rope, and start in the middle.  Start by balancing on one foot, which will be easier than walking.  Look not at your feet, but forward.  Make sure to your arms straight, but move them to help you balance.  If you want to, you can hold something like a stick or juggling clubs in your hand.  You should work on keeping balance from your hips, and avoid waiting for the rope to stop wobbling when you put another foot on the rope.

Step. 2.  Set up.  Don’t put your rope more than twelve inches above the ground.  As you become better and better, you can gradually raise and tighten the rope.

How to

Do Cardistry

Like a Card Manipulator

Step. 5. Practice and learn. You can read books or watch videos to get better. You’ll be able to learn whatever tricks you want. Then go preform.

Now don’t get this confused with card tricks. Cardistry is just the non-magical manipulation of cards. It’s usually made to look impressive and challenging.

Step. 4. Learn different types of cuts. There’s many different types of cuts. There’s the scissor cut, the thumb cut, the sybil cut, and so many more. Start with the easier, and work your way up to the harder ones. The best way to really learn something is to watch a video, or watch it in person.

Step. 1. Find a deck of cards. This is the most important thing in the act. Besides, just make sure you have your 52 card deck. You don’t want t o be missing an important.

Step. 3. Try displaying the cards. Become comfortable with displaying cards. There are many variations on how to display the cards.  and a common one is the spring. Hold the deck with your thumb on the close short edge and your other fingers on the opposite short edge. Put pressure so the deck slowly bends inwards, then release the pressure slowly with your thumb. Catch the cards in your other hand. This will take a lot of practice.

Step. 2. Get used to the cards. Try different types of grips, like a dealer/mechanics grip. You hold the deck horizontally with your pointer finger on the short edge, and your thumb on the long edge. Also, have your other three fingers opposite your thumb, on the long edge. You should practice shuffling and cutting cards too.

Want to really learn how to do a sybil cut? Want to get the first hand experience? Just grab your cards and click on this link!

Feel like learning a couple more magic tricks? Want to get a few tips? Just click right below, and POOF!!!

Extra Information

John Bill Ricketts opened the first american circus in Philadelphia in 1793. In 1797 he also established the fist Canadian circus.

 Philip Astley opens the first circus in 1768. It contained trick riding. He added  acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers and a clown to fill in the pauses between acts in 1770.

History of the Circus

Circuses spread to many places. They also evolved over time. More and more performers added more and more acts.

Charles Hughes, Philip Astley's first competition, opened a rival amphitheater and riding-school in London, the Royal Circus and Equestrian Philharmonic Academy. This became known as a new form of entertainment:the circus.