I spoke with this remarkable man just hours before he walked across a highwire above the 32 story Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi. He is Bello Nock, comedic daredevil and international circus star who headlines Fata Morgana, the Cirque-Style Extravaganza being performed this summer at the Beau from June 26 through August 19. Bello holds the distinction of completing the first ever high wire walk across a cruise ship at sea and was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for this accomplishment. He has also been deemed, “America’s Best Clown” by TIME magazine. When I interviewed Bello, he was the epitome of calm, cool and collected – not a care in the world, eager and ready to make history on the Gulf Coast with his death defying stunt high atop the magnificent Beau Rivage. Bello looks like no one else with his wonderful “mile-high” blonde hair and his beautiful, big smile that lights up a room. He is charming, funny and a joy to be around.GTP: It is such a pleasure to meet you! Please tell me about your childhood and upbringing.
BN: “I am a 7th generation performer, that dates back to 1772. I grew up in a family of daredevils and I always try to out do my family heritage and top myself. I was walking the wire at the age of nine professionally. I am so excited to be walking the wire for this beautiful MGM Resort property and this has never been done before. My wire walk is 360 feet high and 360 feet across and I am really looking forward to it.”
GTP: Are you ever afraid? Do you experience fear before or during your amazing stunts?
BN: “No, it is never about fear, it is about having a level of respect for the art. When I walk the wire, I treat it the same regardless of the height – whether I am one hundred feet off the ground or higher or just a few feet off the ground. I train and I am always ready.”
GTP: How do you train and stay so focused?
BN: “It is a lifetime of preparation…I dream of doing this stuff! I don’t go anywhere without looking at rooftops, buildings. bridges, trees, anything I can string a wire across and walk over it or hang from it…whatever! My team and I have been planning this for about eight months and I looked at this opportunity to walk the highwire on the Beau Rivage and I couldn’t wait! I have been working with the Entertainment Director, Anthony Gibson and Public Relations Director for MGM Resorts Mississippi, Mary Cracchiolo Spain, for quite some time and we were all in agreement that we would do this. It took about 7 days to do the rigging and hang the wire for my walk. Everything has gone perfectly and according to plan.”
GTP: Can you tell me about your touring schedule and where you have been?
BN: “I was with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for eight years, I performed for over 40 million people while with them. I have also toured with The Big Apple Circus, on Broadway, off Broadway, and all around the world. I am basically on tour all the time. The only person who matches my schedule is David Copperfield, who never stops and either do I. The beginning of this year I traveled to seven different countries, but as a performer we are always looking for a great home base, somewhere beautiful with a great back-drop. I mean this will all sincerity, out of all the places I have been, this area is the most beautiful and I really love it here.”
GTP: Who have you performed for in the way of dignitaries, political figures and celebrities?
BN: “I have had private tours of the White House but that really doesn’t matter much to me. I don’t care who you are, or how old you are. That is the magic of what I do, what I bring to show business and the world of circus theatrical entertainment. It doesn’t matter if you are four or one hundred and four, I am going to entertain you with an element of surprise, old world and new age, a little bit of X Games, and I promise there will be something for everyone in my shows. That is what is most important to me.”
GTP: What else can you tell me about Bello Nock and of course I must ask you about your trademark hair do!
BN: “I speak five different languages and I play twelve different musical instruments. I have done every X Game sport and have done every single stunt that exists today. Now about my hair…Can you keep a secret? So can I! (laughs) No, seriously I put Viagra in my shampoo – that’s it! (laughs) I promise you, if you walked the high wire and go as high as I do, your hair would stand up on end all by itself too.”