Brian Miser performs the hottest stunt in the world — literally.
As one of the headliners of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus “Fully Charged” show, he’s known as “The Human Fuse” and gets shot out of a canon that’s made to look like a humongous crossbow. To add a little twist to the act, he does this while on fire.
Once ignited, he’s shot across the arena, does a forward flip in the air, lands on a huge air cushion and then walks around a bit, still on fire, before being doused. He’s in flames for about 18-22 seconds, during which time he must hold his breath.
Miser says he’s the first to do the cannonball act while on fire, having started in 2003.
Though the “Human Fuse” looks like a movie stunt, Miser says he did his own research and created his gear himself, choosing a high-tech fabric called Carbonex.
“I get about 150 shots and burns out of one suit,” he says. At 10 shows a week, that’s about three to four months before the material starts getting brittle and showing holes.
He’s already performed the stunt more than 250 times this year and says he expects to do it 480 more times on the tour through the end of 2012.
Indiana-born Miser discovered a talent for acrobatics at an early age and became a flying trapeze performer before switching to human cannonball.
“I really like this stunt and I’d like to keep doing it as long as I can,” says Miser, 47. “I’ve been performing professionally for 30 years and my body is starting to feel some aches and pains.”
He says he’s constantly thinking of new stunt ideas, but concedes, “I’m having a hard time topping this one.”