The High-wire Mystic
A mystic is one who, above all else in life, desires to know,
to experience, and to teach about
the deepest Truth of existence.
Chris began his search for truth at the age of eleven when he bought a book on meditation. The world of the circus opened up for him when he learned to juggle as a teenager.
On the high-wire, these two obsessions meet. Each wire walk is a meditation that takes Chris to a profound, non-ordinary state. This state impacts the audience on a deep level, and often even brings people to tears as they are touched by the miracle of life in the simple yet profound image of a man walking through the sky.
Chris' spiritual journey deepened through traveling the world for 12 years. Through his travels in around 30 countries, he took on a yogic lifestyle and has practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Buddhist meditations on a daily basis ever since. He made a living by performing on the streets of Europe, Latin America, and India, tying a rope between trees or lampposts. As well as developing an enormous repertoire of circus and clowning tricks, Chris's skills as a rope walker continued to develop.
A growing desire for performing on the wire drove him to study with master funambulists (tight rope walkers) and spiritual teachers around the world in Paris, Brussels, Cuba and Kazakhstan.
"The more aware you are that you are going to die,
the better you live."
It is a rigorous and disciplined life that he has chosen and it can be no other way. His training requires him to develop heightened awareness, self-control, and focus which are as fundamental to his profession as a journey toward accepting the ultimate truth, namely our own inevitable mortality. Chris finds this fulfilling, as he believes“the more aware you are that you are going to die, the better you live”.
Chris explores common themes of the human experience in an extraordinary context such as courage, fear, connection, separation, and balance. It is the profound expression of our experience that Chris embodies and transmits to the audience.
This lays the foundation of his artistic work as a director and performer of extravagant, large-scale spectacles.
To expand on the overall vision and story, Chris has collaborated with a myriad of artists. For a show commissioned by Coventry City of Culture in 2021, Chris directed a music producer, a devotional singer, an aerial acrobat suspended beneath the wire, and an extensive lighting and pyrotechnic operation. He has also collaborated with musicians, spoken word artists, fire performers, dancers, actors, and other funambulists.
Before the pandemic, Chris was selected by Sam Mendez to perform on the wire at the National Theatre in London and was chosen by Tim Burton for a modern interpretation of Dumbo. Chris has also performed for Cirque Du Soleil in Andorra, being watched by thousands of spectators every day for a month in a leading role in a one-off show called 'Stellar' commissioned by the Andorra Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
One of Chris’ fondest memories is the historic walk of a 230m wire with an endpoint 30 meters above the 900-year-old medieval marketplace in the heart of the city of Norwich. “Walking at night in the glare of the lights was particularly challenging but I felt incredibly supported by the warmth of the 15,000 thousand people who showed up to accompany me on the walk.”