Life on the blade of death
Nicholas Shakhlevich not yet ready to give up his dangerous profession
You can’t be seen to the performance of the artist of the original genre without Validolum and shudder. All items of unique yogi in Belarus are natural and not questioned. And the best proof of that is the scars and punctures that are dotted all over his body. He tortures himself for the amusement of the audience for more than a quarter century. The graduate of school of Tibetan survival and long-time friend «R» Nicholas SHAKHLEVICH came today in its living room.
— Nicholas, what forcing you to come back from the lucrative Moscow and St. Petersburg edges to home: the family, the machinations of rivals, nostalgia, or other reasons?
— In autumn 2009, died tragically famous showman Roman Trachtenberg, who supervised me in Russia, and all plans have gone awry. And then there’s the global financial crisis. Artists of my genre have become less in demand, earnings fell by half. And rent of a one-room apartment in Moscow dispayed then in one thousand dollars a month. And I tired of nomadic life. I missed my wife, sons, which sometimes visited me at the time of school holidays.
— And how you to work at home, how have expanded your exclusive program?
— I get invitations to restaurants, casinos, corporate events, and weddings. I have from 5 to 10 appearances in month. An earnings at times falls short of the average of Belarusian. I earn slightly, but do not lose heart. Basic tricks I have 20, and I can do 30 or more. It all depends on the capabilities of the hosts of the event. For example, not every one of them provides an ordinary table, which I carry in my teeth. Rare organizers are also able to prepare a path of red-hot coals or broken glass.
— In your track record, there are two unique achievements. There are 117 push-ups on one hand for a minute, and 29 push-ups in 38 seconds on two fingers. Would you want to perpetuate its in the Guinness Book of Records, or at least in its Russian analogue of the «Miracle»?
— At the time, I spied these exercises near the Bruce Lee. I’ve been training 5 years, and then showed them to the Belarusian TV in the popular show «Strongman» of Vladimir Dovzhenko. Then I called to Moscow. I was told that they needed a record-holder, but only a citizen of their country. And the British, as it turned out, only interested in achieving that lasting at least an hour. In this universe ambitions of Shakhlevich are over.
— I know that you have repeatedly found on the verge of death during performances. And was there ever a particularly scary?
— One day I could not get the needle, which was bent about rib when I pierced my belly. A recent emergency has occurred in the Philippines. The hosts of show did not have required fuel mixture. And I took the petrol for lighter. When I was exhaling it, someone opened the door and traction was formed. I instantly became a torch and I extinguished myself by means of a curtain.
— And how are your households perceive your extraordinary craft?
— And 10-year-old Pasha, and 20-year-old Alex normally concern. But they do not even want to learn a simple trick. For my wife Julia, now a housewife, my work, though not acceptable, but it is habitual.
— You have traveled many eastern countries, where yoga classes are nothing new. Do you spy on something in the repertoire of colleagues?
— In the East, more charlatans than the fakirs. I asked the Filipinos as they conduct operations without a scalpel? They just laughed at me, because this is just a clever work of hands. Only one fakir surprised me. He inserted into the esophagus big jackhammer.
— So, you do not like working with poisonous snakes or long delay of breathing?
— Reptiles still need to get, and plenty of trouble with them. And a breath-holding I recently showed at TV shooting. Without any preparation, I was able to hold his breath for 3,5 minutes. If I will be in training purposefully, I will be able at least double this time.
— You are already 45 years old, more than half of life devoted to self-torture. Is it time to change the profession, because you have diplomas of parapsychologist and suggestologist?
— While I’m not going to change my vocation. And in the future, when the time comes, then I think about it.