That daring young man…
Twenty-two-year-old Agostino Maltese was still groggy with sleep when we sat down in a white circus tent set up last week in the lot behind Logan’s Roadhouse. At 9:30 a.m. on what already promised to be a warm day, Circus Chimera’s most daring act yawned with the placidity of a waking kitten, giving no hint that in a matter of hours he would be making crowds shriek as he flew through the air on his “Wheel of Destiny” and on a flying trapeze. A native of Venezuela, Maltese speaks only a smattering of English. So, with the help of the ringmaster doubling as a translator, we took a moment to discuss circus life.
What is your official job title?
I’m a circus performer. I perform the Wheel of Destiny and I am also what you would call a “leaper” on the flying trapeze.
How did you become part of the circus?
My mother’s family was in the circus, but my father’s wasn’t. I had always wanted to do it, and when I was 9 I did.
How do people react when you tell them what you do?
They are always surprised because what I do is so different and out of the ordinary.
What is the most difficult thing you do in your performance?
Wheel of Destiny. It’s the easiest to learn but the most dangerous to perform. It involves being 45 feet up in the air without a net.
Have you had any gruesome injuries?
Yes! When I was 14, I punctured a lung and broke my shoulder on the flying trapeze during the passing leap.
The circus lifestyle requires being constantly on the move. What’s that like?
I love to move. I’ve been to a lot of countries and made a lot of friends, and I get to relax every day. I like my life.
If you were to be doing something else, what would it be?
I don’t even think about doing anything else. I like my work.
Do you still get nervous?
Only on the flying trapeze.