Torches

Did you change your name?

Yes. I was born David Smith and performed with that name for many years but I always thought it was too common. When I got married my wife didn't like her last name either so we decided to pick a new last name and both switch to that.

Didn't I see you on TV?

Yes. I was a semi-finalist on America's Got Talent. In the first round I did my comedy contortion routine. In the semi-finals I sang "The Masochism Tango" by Tom Lehrer while performing many of my sideshow skills. I was assisted in the second round by the lovely and talented Melissa Forgione. Because while I am a One Man Sideshow, it takes two to tango.

How did you get started?

When I was 9 years old, I decided I wanted to be a stand-up comedian. Not when I grew up, mind you, right away. Since there aren't many comedy venues available when you are 9, I decided I would sell jokes door to door. I went around my neighborhood knocking on doors and telling people I was selling jokes at 10 cents a joke. One guy actually fell down laughing when he heard this, so I charged him and surprisingly, he paid. I made a little over $4 that day and ever since I have been making people laugh until they gave me money.

Do you do roving, walk-around entertainment?

Yes. I don't recommend walk around entertainment for small events. But if you're having a grand opening, a company party, or a similar event, I can mingle among your guests and even get them to help me with some tricks.

Where can I learn to juggle?

If you're local, the Philadelphia Juggling Club is a good place to start. We meet every Monday except city holidays from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Lloyd Hall, at the corner of Waterworks Dr. and Kelly Dr. in Philadelphia (right behind the Art Museum). For more information see our website at www.phillyjugglers.com. If you don't live in Philadelphia, check out the International Juggling Association at www.juggle.org.

What ages are you appropriate for?

In my family show, I like to perform for ages 4 and up. I try to make my show fun for the whole family. The parents often laugh harder than the kids.

In my adult show; suitable for theaters, comedy clubs, colleges, etc., I do some dangerous stunts not suitable for young children. Walking on broken glass, lying on a bed of nails, or having a cinderblock smashed over my chest are some of my more spectacular stunts. My comedy is always clean regardless of which show I'm doing. I always customize my show to the audience, so it's always appropriate.

How far do you travel?

I usually work within two hours of Philadelphia (that can be anywhere from Maryland to NY). But my work has taken me to Las Vegas, Boston, and Los Angeles so it all depends.

How much space do you need? We have low ceilings.

Low ceilings aren't a problem. I only do one trick that needs a high ceiling (juggling five balls) and I can just go down on one knee.

I like to have 12' by 9' for my "stage" but I can work with less than that. I can easily do my show in your living room.