Tom spent eight years on the Seattle Waterfront selling souvenirs. One day in early summer, a top-hatted street magician set up his table outside the shop and walked in looking for a bottle of water. After several discussions about street performance, Tom signed on as magicians apprentice and started learning a variety of strange tricks including human blockhead (hammering large nails into the nose), strong-man tricks (ripping phone books and apples in half), escape artistry with handcuffs and straight-jacket, sleight of hand & juggling. As is the nature of magicians, Tom’s mentor pulled a grand vanishing act at the end of the summer. Tom continued practicing his set of strange skills and eventually found himself getting gigs with burlesque troupes around Seattle. Finding the flavor of burlesque performance not particularly to his liking, Tom stepped out of the spot-light and continued his life as a mild-mannered retail worker with a few bizarre talents to pull out at parties. One dark and rainy day in December, Tom was riding a bus to work and feeling particularly down about a few turns of events when he looked up and, lo and behold, there was an advertising billboard that simply said “COME FLY WITH US! SANCA school of flight.” Tom’s curiosity was instantly piqued. Finally, a chance to step from side-show to big-top had arrived. Tom signed up for an Intro to Aerial class and a Juggling class and was instantly in love with circus arts. Session after session passed and Tom continued to sign up for more and more classes in a variety of different disciplines including Aerial, Tumbling, Hand Balancing, Juggling and Sleight of Hand until he was at SANCA almost every day. To pay for all his classes, Tom joined the work-study program. The common joke around the school was that Tom practically lived at SANCA. In the summer of 2012, Tom was finally ready to make a full-time commitment to circus and quit his waterfront job for good to become a coach and office assistant at SANCA. Tom’s hobbies include playing the accordion and toy-piano, learning to walk on stilts, clowning around and juggling knives.
Coach, Fly Staff, Equilibristics Camp Coach