Amazing stories shared on stage
THERE is only one person in the world who can say they were offered a role on television show after setting the Guinness world record for the longest backflip into a pair of trousers.
His name is Raymond Butler, aka US Ray from Boston, Massachusetts, and the program is Officially Amazing, screened in Australia on ABC ME.
Leeds-born English presenter and funnyman Ben Shires watched the record being set and the duo were recently in Perth to promote the first Officially Amazing Live! Australian tour, stopping at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on October 14.
“We’re just excited about bringing the TV show to life in front of audiences and what better place to do it than Australia,” Shires said.
“Each show we’ll be getting audience members on to the stage to take part in different challenges and setups. US Ray, Sizzlin’ Steve, Mr Cherry and myself are going to be there at every show and we’ll have special guests too; there’s always something new and jaw-dropping.”
The program, which started in 2012 and films record attempts around the world, has taken the pair in a new direction following initial ambitions by Shires to go in to law and Butler to become an engineer or architect.
Officially Amazing was the first children’s television show audition for Shires, who thought the pitch of watching stunts and saying funny things after them “sounded just like me”, while Butler was surprised when WHAT: WHERE:
WHEN: TICKETS: his backflipping, which he has done since childhood, started to pay off.
“I didn’t grow up around a lot of cheerleaders or gymnasts, so it was not until after I graduated from high school and worked over the summer at a couple of gyms and learnt some actual skills that people started saying I was really good,” Butler said.
“I went to an audition for the Boston Celtics and their one phrase was ‘this is your moment to show off’. They kept saying ‘show off’ and in my head everyone had been telling me not to show off; now they were telling me it was OK.”
When not touring and record breaking with Officially Amazing, Butler still performs during half-time shows with the Boston Celtics and is a head coach at a gym teaching parkour and ninja warrior obstacles.
In comparison, Shires, who travelled to Guildford during his Perth visit to go antique shopping, admitted to never really being sporty.
“I was just very enthusiastic about stuff and I think you have to be when doing Officially Amazing because there’s always new things being presented,” he said.
Raymond Butler, aka US Ray, and Ben Shires from Officially