Bello Nock

Daredevil, juggler, acrobat, star: Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey Circus

Bello's circus roots date back to the late 1700s, when his forebears founded Circus Nock in Bern, Switzerland. For the next 200 years, the Nock family produced daredevils and a ...read more

Bello's circus roots date back to the late 1700s, when his forebears founded Circus Nock in Bern, Switzerland. For the next 200 years, the Nock family produced daredevils and acrobats. When it came his turn, Bello says his father, Eugene, was not going to force him into the circus. He just said I should try it for 30 or 40 years. Not that he needed much of a push. My father was my Michael Jordan, he says. I saw him do amazing things, train his body hard. Wow! Bello first put on clown makeup when he was 3, performing in a Dumbo circus routine, and because he describes himself as a natural-born stuntman and comedian, his routine as a daredevil clown was a natural extension of his personality.His wife, Jennifer, says, "When you see Bello on the show, it's just an exaggerated version of Bello at home." Bello, 32, performs several acts for the circus, among them the sway pole, a 90-foot-high contraption that he climbs with nothing but his feet and hands. Once at the top, he swings the pole in crazy arcs, leaving the audience sure he's going to slip and send himself flying across all three rings of the circus. In addition to various tightrope walking acts, Bello also rides a motorcycle across the line. "It takes prayer and a lot of practice," he says. "You're walking a fine line [pun probably intended], but it's a controlled risk.""So what does Jennifer think about all this? ""They have trained just like anyone—a doctor, a lawyer, a journalist," she says. "It's a calculated risk. It's not like Evel Knievel when he does his motorcycle jumps. They have science, mechanics, geometry behind it. I have confidence that this is what he's called to do, this is what he's meant to do. So I know that he's under the covering of God, and that definitely gives us peace." Bello can't resist a final comment: "I usually say, 'Boys and girls, don't try this at home. Have your mom and dad try it first.'"

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