Amaz­ing sto­ries shared on stage

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Of­fi­cially Amaz­ing Live! River­side The­atre, Perth Con­ven­tion and Exhibition Cen­tre Oc­to­ber 14 www.tick­etek.com.au Tanya Macnaughton

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.

Pic­ture: Tanya Macnaughton

Ray­mond But­ler, aka US Ray, and Ben Shires from Of­fi­cially

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