Kiwi in Las Ve­gas

Central Leader - - NEWS - By JESS ETHERIDGE

Af­ter 22 years as a pro­fes­sional jug­gler, Mike Twist fi­nally made it to Las Ve­gas.

Mike, from Auck­land, says he was the first New Zea­land jug­gler to per­form on the iconic en­ter­tain­ment strip when he ap­peared at Cir­cus Cir­cus ho­tel on Novem­ber 1.

‘‘I had been hop­ing to have the chance to au­di­tion for Cirque du Soleil and had been com­mu­ni­cat­ing with them for some time, as well as other ho­tels and venues.

‘‘The en­ter­tain­ment man­ager at Cir­cus Cir­cus gave me the thumbs up to per­form and the tim­ing was right for me to travel there, so I flew there and did a seven-minute piece – jet lag and all.

‘‘And yes, I was more ner­vous than I nor­mally would have been.’’

The 43-year-old turned pro­fes­sional at age 21.

He has per­formed in­ter­na­tion­ally for the last 17 years.

‘‘For me, the art of juggling and the per­form­ing side of it has opened up a world I never would have imag­ined,’’ Mr Twist says.

‘‘Be­sides the ini­tial throw­ing stuff in the air’’, Mr Twist says at­ten­tion to de­tail, cre­at­ing tricks, mu­sic and mar­ket­ing him­self is a juggling act in it­self. Even find­ing a prac­tise space in Tokyo, where he re­sides for a large part of the year, is dif­fi­cult, he says.

But he is grate­ful as his pas­sion has taken him around the globe, such as Ger­many, Mex­ico, Hawaii and Fiji, for wed­dings and twice to Bangkok’s In­ter­na­tional Street Per­form­ers Show.

The dream is to live and work full­time in Las Ve­gas, Mr Twist says.

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