Top Of The World

The big event at Cinema Tropicale tonight isn’t so much the arrival of filmmakers as it is a stunt to be done by three local notables. Three of the Flying Wallendas—Tino, Alex and Aurelia—will take to the high wire tonight at the Sarasota Yacht Club and perform their death-defying stunts for the gathered masses. The whole event is tied in with the world premiere of The Show Must Go On, which follows the Wallendas on a North American tour. We caught up yesterday with the three who will perform tonight and talked about this stunt came together, and why there will be no net.

When did you decide to do you act at the Film Festival this year?

Tino: When we first started talking with the festival, film scheduled was to be at the Hollywood 20, but then they said perhaps we could show it at the Opera House. There was bigger interest, because this is Sarasota and we were the Wallendas, and then they came up with the idea, how about do a little show for us. We decided where have to have it, and it was this party.

Watching this film, it is striking how you don’t use a net, even when you practice. Why?

Tino: That gives you the sense that you don’t take any unnecessary chances. We start pratcicing on a low wire, and you don’t take your act from the low level up to at the high level until you are as near to perfect as possible.

Aurelia: Nets aren’t 100 percent foolproof. With all of the equipment we have, it doesn’t mean if we fall into the net, our equipment isn’t going to fall on us.

Tino: My grandfather’s brother was a little careless, and one time he loaned him his equipment but said he must use a net. The Wallendas really pioneered working without a net, but he said you must use a net. But his brother still was reckless, landed in a net, bounced out and was killed. Once we performed with the Sarasota Orchestra below us. They didn’t feel safe. We put up a net so they would feel safe. It made us feel a little uncomfortable.

Alex: When you have a net, you are prone to take chances further than what you are capable of. What we do is a very calculated risk. We’ve done it 100 out of 100 times. Also, we don’t train to fall. If have it in the back of your head you can fall, then you are prone to do it.

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