Fata Morgana teaches life lessons

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Heather Heiney
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs
Adults aren't supposed to get giddy over acrobats, strongmen and dancers and they surely aren't supposed to learn life lessons from clowns. But that's exactly how I spent my Saturday morning when performers of the cirque-style show Fata Morgana gave a free performance to the Keesler community at the Bay Breeze Event Center.

Before the show even started, I was lying on my stomach in the center aisle with my feet swinging back and forth -- you know, because that's the best place to get good photos and not at all because I was excited and wanted to be as close as possible to the performance.

As I watched the performance with my camera glued to my face, I was completely absorbed and couldn't help but think of the dedication those performers must have. Each act required strength, finesse and accuracy. One missed beat at the top of a balanced ladder, across a wire or within a spinning metal ring could result in injury or death. To put that in Air Force terms, the performers epitomized the term "excellence in all we do" and exemplified the results of physical fitness and training.

After the main performance was complete, we were invited to gather outside the Bay Breeze for a trampoline and low-wire act by comedic daredevil, Bello Nock. Throughout his performance he allowed us to peer through the crushed-velvet curtain and see the life of a performer. Nock has been training, performing and traveling the world since he was a small child and explained to the audience that any skill takes a lot of time and practice to acquire.

"Anyone can walk a high wire by age five...with thirty years of practice," Nock said.

When it came time for Nock to walk the low wire behind the Bay Breeze, he said that he treats every wire with the same amount of respect no matter how high or low it is; just like each person should be treated with the same amount of respect no matter who they are.

He said that the most difficult part of any venture, including a high-wire walk, is taking that first step. After that, you just let your feet feel the wire beneath them and move forward. He also explained that whatever your goal is (say, making it to the other end of the wire) you should focus on that goal the entire time and never look down.

"If you look down, you're focusing on the problem, not the solution," Nock said.

I immediately took out a note card and pen so I could write that down to remember forever.

Too often I've found myself looking down at a problem just like that and it has stopped me from moving forward in fear or made me so unbalanced that each step took a tremendous amount of effort. Sometimes I've even given up completely. But now, I've been inspired to start finding the solution and keeping my eyes on it so I can calmly and surely move forward.